Issue: #24 September 2017

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Dear SMB Client,


Being headquartered in Kansas City, we ended our Summer to a special treat - one of the best viewing sights for the solar eclipse. Over 300,000 people came to the KC metro area to view the eclipse.  The day started out with a big storm. People started worrying they may not see the eclipse.  But luckily, the rain clouds dispersed and the eclipse was a magnificent sight to see.  In a way, the day reminded me of the medical billing industry.  There are always new "storms" that pop up from time to time (remember the ICD-10 transition?).  But with these "storms", SMB continues to find clarity for its practices and delivers podiatry medical billing expertise. In this newsletter, we will highlight how CMS is removing Social Security Numbers, patient experience, and showcase Chad Bixler who oversees Business Development.


We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter.





Patient Experience
By: Chad Bixler
Chad Bixler
Business Development
Your patients' experiences are important.  The patient experience is what creates an emotional bond between the patient and your practice.   Practices with good patient experiences are rewarded with increased profitability.  Patients become repeat customers as their needs dictate.  Patients with bad experiences are always very happy to tell everyone they know about their unpleasant experience.  And with social media, word of mouth in amplified.  Good patient experiences foster reduced workload and a pleasant environment.  Patients are more forgiving of misunderstandings and the number of complaints that need attention are drastically reduced.
The emotional bonds that are created by a great patient experience are:
  • Confidence - the trust of the patient that the practice will fulfill its promises to the patient.
  • Integrity - the understanding that the practice will resolve any issues fairly and to the patient's satisfaction.
  • Pride - the patient feels good about being a patient of the podiatrist and wants to tell other about it.
  • Passion - the patient feels that the podiatrist is a key part of their life and health.
SMB Medical Billing does everything it can to help foster your patient experience by:
  • Accurate billing - so that the patient is not troubled by billing mistakes.
  • Quick turnaround - so that the patient remembers all the great results of the doctor.
  • Special trained personnel - in the art of working with older patients.
  • US base personnel - who know and correctly pronounce words to increase patient communications.
SMB's goal is to enhance the patients' experiences of our doctors' excellent medical care . "I want to express my gratitude to the patient, knowledgeable and responsive staff at SMB. Thank you for your patience and expertise." - Current SMB Client

CMS is removing Social Security Numbers

By: Cheryl Sands

Cheryl Sands Executive Vice President
To help fight identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars, CMS is removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards. We must be ready by April 2018 for the change from the Social Security Number based Health Insurance Claim Number to the new randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary identifier (aka New Medicare number.)Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards.The mailings will be staggered throughout the year with completion expected by April 2019.We can begin using the numbers as early as April 2018 when the first cards arrive.



The new id numbers will be 11 characters long and utilize only numbers and uppercase letters. (No special characters)


Be sure to start asking your patients for their new Medicare card.  Get in the habit of asking every time if anything has changed and if you can see their new Medicare card.  Your patients should be aware that this is happening so they will not be confused, and the more you talk about it with them, the better.


Rest assured, on our end SMB Medical Billing is already actively testing with our claims clearinghouse and with our software product to make sure we are ready for these changes that are coming.


This does not have to be a confusing time as long as we are proactive and keep the lines of communication open. Since it's always vital to ask your patients to see their insurance cards, this will be a natural easy way to catch the new id numbers.


Here is the home page at CMS that talks about the Medicare id number change  Keep this site bookmarked as well as this one this will help you answer any questions your patients' might have.


Employee Spotlight: Chad Bixler

Chad Bixler's family

I am part of an exciting and active family of four. My wife, Jessi, and I have been married 9 years.   We have an adventurous 7 year old son, Lincoln, and a sassy 4 year old daughter, Aria. When we can find time off, we love to travel to new places and experience other cultures. We like the simple things in life; having our family together, catching up with close friends and watching our kids experience things for the first time.

I've been working with SMB for over 12 years now. I love what I do; talking with new people every day and helping them solve their business issues. One of my favorite things about my job is getting to see the freedoms that this service provides doctors and office staff after only a few short months

  • P90X, yoga and racquetball junkie
  • Counting down the days until the new Star Wars movie
  •   Make sure I am available when you need me.
  •  Keep you up-to-date about podiatry news through our quarterly e-newsletter. 


From all of us at SMB, we hope you have a wonderful fall.  Thank you for reading our quarterly newsletter.