March, 2017

Dear SMB Client,
Goodbye Winter, hello Spring!  We are excited to share with you our 1st newsletter of 2017. In this newsletter, we will highlight SSNRI, tips to increase "billable" time and Jenny Wade in our Employee Spotlight. We hope 2017 is a great year for you and your practice. Please let us know how SMB can make it even better! 

Cheryl Sands
Executive Vice President
What is SSNRI and Other Tips for Success! 

Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI) - Providers need to be ready for this change and implement a plan to make this as smooth as possible.
Beginning in April 2018 Medicare will start making new Medicare cards with new MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier).  This means that EVERY Medicare patient will be mailed a new Medicare card.
As you do for every patient, ask every Medicare patient for their new card so we can get the new id# in our system.  They may say nothing has changed, but that is okay, still ask for the card as these changes are across the board and will affect every Medicare card holder.
There will be a transition period while these new id numbers are implemented, but we want to be up-to-date from the start to cut down on any unnecessary denials due to incorrect id#. 
More tips for success...
It is imperative to get updated insurance information, address, etc. every time you see your patient.  Our #1 issue getting claims out the door is waiting on insurance information, patient demographics (date of birth, address, etc.), and invalid or missing CPT codes or ICD-10 DX.
Please help us help you by making sure every claim is complete before sending it over.  This will help both of us tremendously.
Also - make sure you know which insurance companies require prior authorizations, referrals, and such.  Take care of these up front when the patient makes an appointment with you.  That is a huge source of our denials, as well.  These insurance companies should be well noted by your office staff so they ask/call for these prior to seeing the patient.
Are you out of network with any insurance companies?  Find out if you are and make sure that credentialing takes top priority immediately.  This usually takes quite a while, the earlier you start on it the better!  We do not offer credentialing services, but we can point you in the right direction if you are confused by any letter you get on the subject.
Collect copays up front!  That is the best way to ensure you see that copay! You would be surprised how many offices do not make patients pay that up front.  It is a requirement they pay you the copay and there is nothing wrong with collecting it as they are standing there waiting to be seen.
We appreciate each of you and the efforts you make to keep open communication!  Our desire is to get you paid, your full reimbursement, from the first submission -  as quickly as possible!
The key to our success is follow-up! We are tenacious about calling on every unpaid claim! It's what sets us apart. We call on every claim once a month until it's paid in full!

Chad Bixler
Business Development
Increasing your "Billable" time

The new laws and processes imposed by the government have dictated a major shift in the practice of Podiatry.  These new laws and processes are forcing health care workers to operate in the same mode of lawyers and engineers.  This is not surprising for it is lawyers who created the new laws and processes. Lawyers' and engineers' careers are either made or ruined by their ability to be "billable".  If they are not, then they will not be successful.
Podiatrists and all health care workers need to understand this new reality and start paying attention to being "billable".  Today, the average Podiatrist spends over 42% of their time on nonbillable activities. With today's laws and pressures, if a podiatrist spends over 10% of their time on nonbillable activity, they are doomed to financial ruin.

 The purpose of this series of articles over the next year is to provide ways, suggestions, etc. to help you to increase "billable" time and reduce uncompensated time.

First, a simple change to your patient's room can increase productivity by 5-10% per day.  Place the hanging clock directly behind the patient's chair.  This modification allows you to see the time during your check-up and will help keep you focused and on a timely schedule.  In return, your workday will be more efficient and allow you to increase your patient load per day.

Second, many doctors spend countless hours on the phone to family members about their patient's medical problems.  Regrettably, these hours are not billable.  To make these conversations billable, set up office visits where the family members join the patient.  You can answer all questions at that time and bill the visit.

Lastly, as the Podiatrist, only do tasks associated with a medical license.  Fortunately, SMB Medical Billing helps alleviate this burden.  SMB handles all aspects of your Medical Billing and Accounts Receivable business processes from the time you fill out the Encounter forms to the time the reimbursements are in your bank account.  SMB increases reimbursements without increasing your workload.  We get you paid faster and remove your hassles - arguing with insurance companies, explaining bills to patients and minimizing office politics.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 888-874-5503 or

Jenny Wade Billing and Collection Specialist
Employee Spotlight
Jenny Wade

Me and my Family:
I live in Lee's Summit, MO with my husband and three children.  My husband, Eric, and I have been married for 22 years and he is a superintendent in the Carpenter's Union.  My oldest son, Seth, is 21 and just moved home from college in Florida.  He is currently working full time in banking.  My daughter, Laney, is 15 and a cheerleader at her high school.  She is enrolled in several honors classes that keep her very busy.  My youngest son, Jackson, is 11.  He plays fall and spring baseball and loves to play the cello.  

Fun(ny) Facts:
  • I am originally from Pensacola, Florida but we moved to the Kansas City area when I was very young.  Regardless, I am southern at heart and the beach is my happy place. 
  • I am a Royals fanatic!
  • I absolutely love southern Gospel music, (pretty much any artist), but Barbara Mandrell is my favorite entertainer of all time! 

My Goals to help your Practice:
My goal is to e nter claims correctly so that the office is paid as quickly as possible.
In addition, I strive to post all payments daily and f ollow-up on any non-payments to get claims paid in a timely manner.

Thank you for taking time to read our newsletter. We hope you have a wonderful spring.