March 2018
Spring Newsletter
During a recent spring rainstorm, a spectacular golden eagle landed directly in my backyard. The huge bird started walking around and pecking his strong beak around every inch of my backyard. To see such discipline and fine detail the eagle was demonstrating was mesmerizing. Once it surveyed all of my grass, it spread its magnificent wings that seemed to span my whole yard, let out a strong roar and flew off to its next adventure. This process is how SMB works for its clients. We strive to notice every detail. In doing so, we work hard to maximize our clients reimbursements while reducing their AR.

In this newsletter, we highlight the importance of Medicare Revalidation, developing patient trust and rapport and the New Tax Law passed in 2017. Happy Spring!
Importance of Medicare Revalidation
By: Kendra Houston
Medicare requires a revalidation of certification every five years, and DME suppliers must revalidate every 3 years. This is part of CMS’s provider screening process and is intended to help reduce fraud and abuse. Other payers have quickly begun jumping on this bandwagon. Missing a revalidation is not only a headache, it can also cause a pause in your ability to receive payment from the payers.

SMB does not specialize in contracting or credentialing, but we want to provide you with the most up-to-date information to eliminate problems with your revalidations. In this article, we will discuss the process for Medicare. Keep in mind that many Medicaid programs and also a few commercial payers are also following the same, or similar, process.

  • Medicare due dates will always be on the final day of the month, and providers can submit their revalidation up to six months in advance.
  •  Providers will be notified of their due date by their prospective Medicare Administrative Contractor 2-3 months prior to the due date. These are sent by email. If no email address has been provided, it will be sent by postal mail.
  • Providers can also use the Medicare revalidation tool found at to find any approaching due dates for providers or DME. To use the tool, put your NPI in the space provided and leave all other spaces blank. If you find a TBD, you have not yet been assigned a revalidation date. This is updated every 3 months for convenience and shows dates up to 6 months out.

If you happen to miss a revalidation, your claims will not be accepted by the payer. At this point, you only have a very short period of time to get your application submitted. Failure to meet this deadline can result in deactivation of Medicare billing privileges, resulting in no payments for any dates of service during the deactivation period.

You can complete your revalidation using PECOS or by completing the correct CMS-855 application. Be sure that all requested documentation is also submitted with the application before the Medicare provided due date. DME suppliers must also submit the application fee.

Once your revalidation has been approved, you will receive a letter verifying the approval, PTANs, and effective dates. When this letter is received, please forward it on to your personal biller so that we can have that information on file.

Keep a close eye on your email and postal mail for any information regarding your provider revalidations and promptly return any required information. This will help eliminate any consequences of neglecting to revalidate your provider information.
Developing Patient Trust and Rapport
By: Jessi Bixler
Editor: In our continuing efforts to provide actionable information for our clients, we felt that information about digital marketing would be useful. The patients are relying on the digital media more and more for sources of information, transactions and security. We have asked Jessi Bixler to help us provide actionable advice for you. Jessi may be reached at if you would like to discuss with her the ideas expressed here.

Today it is becoming almost impossible to run a practice without having an online presence. In this age of cell phones, tablets and “Googling it,” a practice needs to make sure they are online and portraying the right image to their patients.

This month we’ll explore an aspect of doctor-patient relationship and how digital media would assist both the patients and doctors. Websites gives you a place where you control the content about your services. With a website, patients now have the ability to easily obtain information that concerns them and self-educate about medical issues. Most importantly, the website develops a sense of trust and rapport with you before the patient ever steps foot into your office. This patient empowerment gives you creditability that helps the patient to more readily accept your advice and counsel.

I have a client who has been practicing for over 30 years. Over the years they worked diligently to build a good referral system and a committed client base. The practice began to realize they needed an online presence. After finding a digital marketing partner they felt comfortable with, they embarked on a journey to utilize the potential of digital marketing with patients’ needs in mind. The first step was a patient empowering website.

One of the results of the new website is: the naturally occurring rapport the doctor develops with patients is enhanced and magnified by the web site. Now, older patients as well as all patients, feel more relaxed about their first visits. Thus, creating a better quality of initial encounter results.
New Tax Law
We wanted to let you know about a new law that was just passed that may directly affect your taxes. After months of intense negotiations, the President signed the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Of 2017" (the "New Law") on December 22, 2017. The new law made significant changes to the amount of taxes a business owner can deduct. Under the new law, a business owner can deduct 20% of the income generated through a partnership, S corporation, sole proprietorship, trust or estate. However, not all businesses are treated the same. An owner or partner in a service-oriented business cannot apply the 20% deduction if his or her income exceeds $157,000 (filing individually) or $315,000.00 (filing jointly). Whether or not a podiatry practice qualifies as a service-oriented business has not been determined yet. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be issuing rules in the coming months that will provide guidance on this issue. Once the IRS releases its rulings, we will report back to you if podiatry practices qualify. Until then, please check with your Accountant.
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