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Brad Broker

Using HIPAA technology upgrades to advantage

In planning for HIPAA, physicians and practice managers should consider acquiring a computer system that will go beyond basic compliance. Instead, take advantage of the new standardization and mass exchange of electronic data and acquire a combination of computer systems that can provide new financial management capabilities and opportunities.

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Justice Dept. OKs third party messenger model

A proposed consent decree filed by the Department of Justice has further validated the use of the third-party messenger model as a means of collectively dealing with managed care contracting while avoiding antitrust scrutiny. The messenger model will come under scrutiny when it is used principally to strengthen the bargaining power of physician group participants, but it may be used appropriately to facilitate information exchange between plans and physicians, thereby enhancing the negotiation process by independent groups.

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New performance standards for MD billing

Significant differences exist in the billing performance of physician group practices. Some practices are struggling to maintain a basic level of billing effectiveness while others have made significant improvements in their billing operations--improvements evident in rock bottom accounts receivable, a higher collection ratio and decreased billing errors.

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