Hey Doc, You Need a Vacation. Yes, There is Time For That.

Planning a summer vacation can sound very stressful for a busy physician. They need to hand-off patients to an available colleague who is probably also busy.

IMG_2341Call duties, shifts and billing paperwork need to get covered too. After everything has been arranged and the trip starts, there comes a time when they begin to check their phones or computers. Vacation Fail!

Relax we can help!

After you block your vacation days ahead of time and find someone who can cover for you, the real struggle begins. You start spending a lot of time to finish old paperwork, billing, and reports. You also need more time to hand in all the documents and information that your colleague needs to cover everything successfully. All this can be very easy instead.

Think of an HIPAA compliant mobile and web application that securely connects physicians with their billers and assistants in real time. Providers in the same group can access the list of patients, add session charges and submit to the billing office in seconds. Handoff patients for cross cover in a tap so your colleague can add new sessions and bill for those charges. After you come back, he will hand-off the patient back to you.

No more paperwork, no more additional meetings and no more computers or phones allowed on vacation. And if you are really tempted to check in, or you need to solve pending queries, just go to your app, review your inbox and message your biller or group. All in seconds with maxRVU. Learn more.

Check out this Forbes list of 12 amazing places to go in 2017 and start planning your next vacation.

The Green Side of Healthcare

3 Images iPhone 6Even though the United States government has no interest to participate in the global agreement to fight climate change, more than 1,200 private companies and government entities have kept a strong commitment to planet Earth. Here at maxRVU, we do too, and we have always been proud of doing our bit to help the environment.

Even today, most billing systems for physicians are still dependent on a lot of paperwork. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, does a good job to protect patient data but has also been a burden for the use of technology to transmit patient data. There are a lot of requirements for a healthcare communication platform to be compliant with HIPAA. For this reason, many providers find it easier to carry sheets of papers with them to annotate information about their encounters with the patients and then send these to billers to get their charges reimbursed.

Let’s talk about hospitalists as an example, who are physicians that work exclusively rounding at a hospital. On average, a hospitalist sees 30 patients a day. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, there are more than 50,000 hospitalists today in the U.S. Imagine each of them using at least 30 paper sheets a day to capture their charges during rounds. If we do a simple multiplication, we could be talking about 1.5 million sheets of paper used in a day by hospitalists in the U.S. or 180 trees per day!

maxRVU has made this whole process simpler and greener. Our encrypted HIPAA compliant solution allows providers to capture their charges on their phones and send them to billing offices with just a tap. Our users are now contributing to our planet while saving time and increasing their revenue. Over the years, maxRVU alone has saved more than 1,000 trees!

We probably won’t change the world by ourselves, but if each of us does their bit and we try to influence others, we could make a significant impact.

Learn more about maxRVU: info.maxrvu.com

Physicians well-being should always be top priority

“I should not be spending all this time on paperwork and accounting processes.” “I am a physician, not a biller.” “I need my day to have more than 24 hours”. “I should be earning more”. If you have said or thought about any of these, then you need to keep reading.

As stated by Ken Fisher, MD, on his article published in Medical Economics, “Physician well-being is vital to the delivery of good, cost-efficient care. Physician mental health is diminishing, and physician burnout is increasing, as reported in recent studies. This is becoming a national healthcare crisis…”

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As we have worked closely with doctors from all over the country, we can also confirm this. Even though ending the struggle to find a work-life balance is complicated, there are ways you can start getting closer to the ideal balance, and we are here to help.

An article posted on Medical Economics features doctors sharing their approaches to a healthy balanced work-life and providing peer advice. You can read it on the following link:
http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/2017-physician-writing-contest-winners

maxRVU can also certainly fill one piece in the balanced work-life puzzle. Imagine a world where you can send charges or solve a query from billing offices in less than 5 seconds. A world where you can add and manage your data and patients with just a few taps. A world where you can send information or messages to anybody from your group and be HIPAA compliant all the time. This world exists, and you can start today for free with maxRVU.

More than 60 hospitals and practices are experiencing this new era in which they can save time and increase their revenue at the same time. Their charges get reimbursed faster, and a lot of their billing headaches are history now. We want to make you more efficient and happier.

Taking care of your patient data makes you WannaCry?

maxrvu-6-e1496164209435.pngAs we go through the most intense technological revolution of all times, data protection has become essential in the healthcare industry and requires stronger governance strategies.

At the same time, cyber threats to data can compromise security and privacy. Hospitals and doctors are so busy trying to save lives that too often they don’t follow up with the latest updates and protection for their software and data is always at risk.

Also, as stated in The Economist by Bruce Schneier, a noted independent security expert, “people seem to have a fundamental disregard for security. They frequently prefer to risk the long-term costs of ignoring it rather than pay actual cash for it in the present.”

We recently witnessed the WannaCry cyber-attack that paralyzed high-profile entities all over the world, encrypting their data to ask for ransom money. Hospitals become a prime target of these cyber-criminals because they would pay up quickly and quietly [1]. Hospitals should invest more in resources trained to avoid, manage and control cyber-attacks. Obviously, this takes time, money and a lot of work.

In the meantime, adopting a secure parallel platform independent from the hospital on-premise system may come handy in such cases. A system that can provide complementing services to hospital EHR or Practice Management system may be extremely useful when locked out due to such attacks.

Such a platform can provide a short-term and effective solution to prevent losing data and paralyzing activities during cyber-attacks: Think of it like a safe where you can keep copies of your data that you can access it at any time and from many locations. If the hospital were to go through a cyber-attack, you would still have some level of data access and can continue operations while the problem is being fixed. This would ensure business continuity, communication, and collaboration at all times.

A charge capture solution like maxRVU can be very helpful in such cases. With your current census of patients, cases or consults, and secure communication, you will still be in touch with your daily work.

[1] WannaCry should make people trate cyber-crime seriuously, The Economist, May 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21722158-it-has-been-neglected-too-long-wannacry-should-make-people-treat-cyber-crime

Should Residents be required to have more training?

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75% of physicians in our Health Care Professional Survey would have preferred more training on the Business of Medicine during their residency.

The most important aspect of training is learning how to properly care for your patients, but what happens when you complete training and you’re off in the real world of medicine?

There’s a lot of things they don’t teach you, like how medical billing works, how you will be compensated, and how to track that compensation.

maxRVU Charge Capture helps physicians track patient encounters at point-of-care. This is a pretty easy concept to understand, but what’s so special about our charge capture solution is that maxRVU supports Residents as well. You can learn proper coding techniques that go right along with your specialty, while attending physicians review the codes you submit before they’re handed off to the billing department.

CPT codes will no longer be a mysterious string of numbers, but instead a well-known code describing what procedures and consultation levels you performed. Better yet, you’ll track the Relative Value Units associated with the codes to get an idea of what your reimbursements would look like.

Staying Compliant

Staying on goal is the most important lesson to get out of this series.  You can talk about, plan, and discuss things wonderfully, but if they are not physically being carried out effectively, it is all for nothing.

Internal audits should be performed in a predetermined timeframe – quarterly or every 6 months at a minimum.  These can be very simple checklists to ensure that you are staying on schedule, and also that your office staff is handling the new information correctly.

Also a monthly review of your progress is a good bet. These can be as simple as informal staff meetings where you review goals, provide education and ensure that you are keeping on track. Make sure that your billing program is tight – with no lost revenue and close receivables.  Also, check that you are staying on budget as well.  Hold meetings with your project manager, as well as with any companies you may have hired to do installations or training sessions.  Be sure you are on target for your initial due date, and make any accommodations you may need to, should that date need to be adjusted.

To keep current with compliance issues, you may want to subscribe to newsletters and journals that will keep you informed.  Some are free, but others may charge a subscription fee.  Share the information with your office staff at your staff meetings. Be proactive, plan ahead and stay on top of the regulatory trending patterns, so you can steer your practice towards maintaining compliance and profitability.

Conquering Regulation:Project Initiation Steps

You have assessed your assets, targeted your shortcomings, and initiated a project budget and timeline for compliance.  Now we must determine how you will educate yourself and your employees on the new codes, regulations, and rules that affect your practice.  Small project initiation will offset the grandeur of this task, and make it much more manageable than you may have ascertained.

Just as in any corporate structure, there are always new processes, new tools, new positions, and new compliance issues to deal with.  Structural change occurs frequently, and preparation is the key component to handling these upgrades in stride.

In order to utilize the new software that may have been installed, or to decipher new codes that were developed, education will be a paramount player in this project.  Developing smaller projects within the grand task is the answer.  Small group discussion over the needs of your practice is a great starting point.  Obviously the entire office cannot shut down in order to comply with training needs, so having different small group sessions works best.  There are a variety of e-solutions that offer great knowledge and training sessions regarding all topics of healthcare regulations and compliance.

Supplemental staffing is another avenue that may need to be addressed during this transition period.  During the project initiation itself, or training periods, additional staff may be needed for s specific tenure.  These contract employers are specifically trained to handle this type of workload, and can be an effective hands-on training tool at your disposal.  Many people learn better from these types of trainers.  They can also supplement office personnel should other training methods have been selected.

Job roles may need to be re-evaluated.  With new responsibilities and expectations, job descriptions may need to be updated, or even changed.   Meetings with office management will determine whether or not the current workload can be merged with changing strategies in compliance.

The thing to remember here is to make small, methodical changes geared toward the overall goal.  Rome was not built in a day.