Posted by: AtlasMD

December 16, 2013

The Third Medical Billing Option — DIY

Practitioners always need to decide how they’re going to get paid. Of course, if you’re in the fee-for-service world, your payment is inextricably linked to billing codes. But the goal is same for any doctor — garner maximum revenues with minimal costs while not compromising the quality of services. Let’s for now assume you haven’t transitioned to direct care. Your first option would be in-house billing.

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National Commission on Physician Payment Reform Recommends Fee-for-Service Payment be Phased Out in Five Years

Here’s a huge announcement from the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. They recently issued a report outlining 12 sweeping recommendations designed to rein in rampant health spending and improve our nation’s quality of care.

How will they accomplish this? By fundamentally restructuring the way doctors are paid.

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LISTEN: Atlas MD Podcast, Ep. 7

LISTEN: Atlas MD Podcast, Ep. 7

Tune in to the next installment of our podcast. Our direct care ship is sailing smoothly, patients coming in and out, some patients even tweeting about the great care they received.

We appreciate the kind words! Looks like there’s more publicity for Atlas MD, too – the direct care duo, Drs. Josh and Doug, will be speaking at the American Academy of Family Practice Docs on September 26th; the next day they will head to Colorado to speak to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.


Oh, and some huge news — EMR has launched its beta trial! Please email hello[at] if you want to be among the first users. It’s free for the first 90 days. Click through to review some highlights from the taping.

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Atlas Blog Q&A: ICD codes, HL7 Feeds, and New Patient Forms

I wanted to share our follow-up with a doctor who recently wrote into us asking about direct care. Here’s her query:

Dr Josh,

Thanks again for speaking to me a couple of weeks ago about DPC. It was very helpful. I will be using your EMR program in my practice. Was wondering if the ICD codes are generated /accessible by/from your EMR?? Also, I was advised by the local lab I will be using to ask you if your EMR has a “HL7 feed” for importing lab results. One last thing, could we see what forms you are using in your new patient information packet? I have created my own from basic forms I have used in the past but was interested in seeing what you use. Thanks again for all your help and being a champion for the DPC movement. Wish you much continued success!

[name omitted]

These are fantastic questions. I’ll address them one at a time.

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“Well-known Journalist Blasts Hospitals, Drug Makers, and Device Manufacturers for Lack of Transparent Prices and High Cost of Medical Care”

timeWe had to put the title of this post in quotes because Pamela Scherer McLeod published an article with the same title. She was reporting on a comprehensive and media-stirring exposé that was published by Time on March 4 under the title “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” (you’ll need a subscription to read the full article). It was written by Steven Brill, a prominent journalist and entrepreneur who founded Court TV.

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Insurance Companies Are Not Fighting Fair

Check out this May 8 article by The New York Times. They present government data suggesting that hospitals are charging upwards of 400% of actual costs for non-optional procedures.

It’s a complex issue but the worrisome fact is that competing hospitals are charging wildly different rates for similar procedures based on whether a patient is using Medicare, private insurance or isn’t insured. The worst news is that hospitals might be charging the highest rates to uninsured people to cover their bottom line.

Here’s where hospitals are taking a hit:

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