How to Find the Best Medical Billing Services

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Medical practice requires more than just seeing patients, giving diagnosis and treating illness; there is also much paperwork to do that healthcare providers may not have the time to complete. With a medical billing service, doctors and their staff can focus on the patients and provide better quality health care.

Finding the Best Medical Billing Services

The best medical billing services can improve the efficiency of the physician’s office. However, to find the best service for your practice, there are certain things to consider first. Check for the company’s reputation, quality of services, compliance, cost and experience before hiring them.

Reputation is very important in a medical billing company. Finding a reputable company assures you that your account, patient records and billing are handled professionally and confidentially. Moreover, their reputation says everything about how efficient they can be when dealing with outstanding claims and denials.

The best billing service offers superb services including the preparation and submission of claims, data entry, coding, and other billing tasks. Their services must also include dealing with denials, rejections and underpayments and setting up an efficient billing system.

With the complex insurance policies and changing legal regulations regarding medical billing, it is crucial that such regulations are complied with. Without following the rules, problems arise, such as denial of claims and underpayments of up to 50%. The practice will benefit greatly if legitimate and ‘clean’ claims are submitted the first time to maximize collections.

Hiring expensive medical claims and billing services does not necessarily be the best for healthcare providers. While such companies utilize the latest and the most sophisticated billing software and equipment, they may not be the right fit- budget wise. Unless the service serves to cater to the huge demand of a hospital, a small clinic can receive the best assistance from a small or home-based billing company. The key is to determine the types of services needed by the practice and availing only the ones crucial to the billing process.

Examining a billing company’s track record will help you decide whether they are worth the time or not. Be careful of companies claiming to have a lengthy experience in dealing with denials and rejections when in fact, they do not have enough experience nor the expertise to handle such cases. This can greatly affect your practice’s future finances. Get recommendations and read reliable reviews of the prospective companies before you hire them.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

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Having kidney stones is completely normal. Most people have them and pass them in their urine unnoticed or with a little discomfort. Kidney stones are formed when substances present in the urine become too concentrated to form crystals and lump together. To avoid this, drinking plenty of water daily and maintaining a healthy diet are effective. When the stones become too large to pass in the urine spontaneously, medical treatment may be needed.

There are four ways to treat kidney stones. The most commonly used among urologists (kidney specialists) is the Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy, which is a non-invasive procedure to break down the stones into small fragments. This enables the patient to pass the stones in the urine more easily.

Another treatment option is Ureteroscopy, also known as Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery. The procedure is the lease invasive, but can still be uncomfortable. Painkilling medication or a mild anaesthesia is often given by the doctor. This treatment is necessary for stones that are lodged in the ureter (tube where wastes from the kidney are transported to the bladder) that block the passage of urine and causing damage to the kidneys. A long, thin telescope called ureteroscope is passed through the urethra to the bladder and into the ureter where the stone is lodged. The surgeon will try to remove the stone gently or break it down using a laser for the fragments to pass naturally in the urine. A plastic stent is often inserted to let the fragments pass more easily.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is often used when shock wave lithotripsy is not possible to remove the stones from the kidney. Large stones, 21mm-30mm in diameter usually requires this procedure. The procedure involves a small incision in the back so that a nephroscope, a thin telescopic tube, can be passed into the kidney where the stones are then removed or fragmented using laser.

In rare cases, such as when a patient is in intense pain or require urgent care due to very large stones, an open surgery may be necessary. It is also done for patients with an abnormal anatomy, when all other alternative treatments are impossible. An incision in the back is made in order to gain access to both the kidney and the ureter for the surgeon to remove the stone successfully.

The above treatment options may become unnecessary in treating uric acid stones. This is because uric acid stones are much softer than the other types of kidney stones and they can be dissolved with plenty of water and alkaline fluids. Sometimes, the doctor will prescribe a medication to dissolve the stones, which when they become small enough, they can pass in the urine.

Before considering natural home treatments, make sure to see an urologist to determine whether the stones are small enough and safe to pass in the urine. If the stones are too large to pass and are causing intense pain, you may need immediate treatment at the hospital in order to make sure that you get the problem properly resolved.

Getting Ahead With a Corporate Intranet

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Today’s highly competitive corporate environment requires companies to implement an efficient system to manage information and communication. With a speedy circulation of information over the web, it is also a must for every company to keep up. As companies grow, a corporate intranet is an important factor for success.

A corporate intranet is a private network or website within an organization. It can only be accessed by authorized personnel who usually have their own IDs and passwords in order to login to the system. It is the central point of communication and collaboration within the company and may have multiple applications and programs to facilitate various functionalities to aid in creating, processing and sharing information among company personnel.

Various components and applications can be found in a corporate intranet. Among these are corporate directories, sales tools, customer management tools, project management tools, company news, company forms, documents, and company information. Depending on the type of company and its goals, other applications can be added to enhance productivity, communication and collaboration.

Implementing a corporate intranet offers numerous benefits to the company. Among such benefits include:

Time savings. Company announcements, implementation of new guidelines, etc. can take so much time from employees and company management. With a common website or homepage, employees can access such information simultaneously and be alerted of company updates immediately, thus saving time.

Improved communication. Corporate intranets utilize certain protocols that enable faster and easier communication among employees. Chat rooms, forums, video conferencing and many other tools are available through the intranet.

Efficient business operations. Company operations can be streamlined by providing employees and the tools, programs, software and other tools they need to do their jobs efficiently. Information can be accessed as needed so there are no delays in finishing projects and other tasks.

Enhance collaboration. Between employees, it can be time consuming to agree to meet up in the conference room to discuss a project they’re working on. Through the intranet, employees can collaborate even when they are in separate locations. Communication tools are available and they can work on the same project simultaneously, ensuring the latest files are available for everyone to access.

Cost effective. Without the need to print documents, distribute files manually, send emails individually, or meet up in one location, a company accomplishes more with the resources available. Printing costs, phone bills, travel expenses, and many other expenses can be spared because the intranet offers a central meeting point as well as a repository of documents to be accessed when needed.

Productivity. Last but not least, productivity is greatly improved through an efficient corporate intranet. More tasks can be accomplished at the shortest possible time. Moreover, a company can save on communication costs while improving collaboration and business operations.

With such attributes of a corporate and social intranet, it is important that companies implement their own private intranets and get ahead of the competition and provide better services and products to their clients.

Dietary Supplements for Gout

Filed under: Health

Gout is a painful swelling of the joints. Gout commonly occurs in the foot, in particular the large toe, however all joints can suffer from gout. This condition is caused by high volume of uric acid that leaves crystals in the joints causing it to get inflamed. A diet that is high in purine food will likely lead to gout. Purines when broken down become uric acid. It’s no wonder that gout is often found with those who are overweight or obese.

Most physicians will write a prescription for anti inflammatory medication if you come to them suffering from gout.  These drugs will definitely help as far as treating gout, however, they will not solve the problem of high uric acid.  Therefore recurring bouts of gout will happen unless preventive measures are applied to solve the root cause to begin with. There is where gout home remedies come in.

There are preventive approaches that a patient can apply to lower the risk of gout recurring.  Although some say that there is a genetic connection to gout, a lifestyle and nutritional change including the use of supplements is an effective way of preventing a high level of uric acid.

Before recommending some supplements, people suffering from gout should first avoid food that is high in purine.  The list of food that is high in purine can be provided by a dietician or doctor.  Here are some examples of food that must be avoided if you are suffering from gout or have an unusually high level of uric acid:

  • Organ meat like liver, fatty meat, shellfish, beer, sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, and poultry, to name a few.

There are a number of dietary supplements that can help reduce the risk of a gout attack.  Some of these supplements not only reduce the systemic problem of high uric acid, they are also helpful in treating the painful symptoms associated with gout.  Here are some examples:

  • Berries – cherries, blueberries and others are known to treat both symptoms and lower uric acid.
  • Celery Seeds – used for thousands of years in the East to cure arthritis and gout.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties;
  • Bromelain – an anti-inflammatory herb found in the stem of pineapples;
  • Quercetin – found in the skin of apples and red onions and responsible for the pigmentation of most fruits is known to reduce acidity in the system including uric acid;
  • Flaxseed – reduces inflammation and acidity

While dietary supplements help reduce the risk of gout, there are possible side effects on certain individuals for some of them.  Furthermore, a dietary change to lose fat is an individually unique form of treatment.  Therefore, it is best that before embarking on a change or trying any gout home remedies, consult your physician.

The Advantages Of Focus Groups

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Focus groups are groups of people who do extensive research and are asked how they feel—opinions, beliefs and attitudes—about a service, product, concept, idea or advertisement. They are asked certain questions in an interactive group setting where they are encouraged to communicate with other group members.

Basically, a focus group is conducted to find out how certain members of the public perceive, think about and evaluate certain products, services and other ideas and advertisements so as to help with marketing and the promotion of certain products or ideas.

There are certain advantages with focus groups such as: being easier to obtain information from the focus group, easier to understand results, getting information from body language and facial expressions and a faster and more effective way to find out information.

Even though there are many advantages with a focus group, there can sometimes be disadvantages such as the focus group not equally representing the larger population, difficulties in guiding and controlling a focus group, group members feeling pressured to give similar answers to questions asked and the moderator’s skill or lack of skill, affecting the responses of the group members.

Focus groups can be quite helpful when gathering insight into what customers are interested in buying and are most effective when used as part of a marketing, product development strategy or as part of a customer service program. For those using a focus group, it is used mainly to improve or develop services or products. It is important to note that one of the main purposes of a focus group is to obtain information that will change, enhance or create a product or service that is targeted at certain customer areas.

There are various types of focus groups such as customer improvement focus groups, idea focus groups or product focus groups.

There are some who are not sure about how many people should be in a focus group but the ideal size is usually 8-10 people. Those who are selected for a focus group should be chosen because of how familiar they are with a product or service and it also helps that three or more other groups be set up in order to get a good blend of ideas and perspectives.

Keep in mind, that it is important to develop a focus group that has clearly defined objectives and goals. This will enable the group to be successful during the focus group process.

To conclude, focus groups have many advantages and can add value and substance to most advertising and promotional campaigns.

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