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6Feb 2017

Best Medical Billing Services: Our Recommendations

Medical practices rely heavily on the effectiveness of their billing operations. Healthcare might be the top priority, but your medical practice is still a business and needs to make money to survive. As any healthcare professional knows, billing is complicated process with a number of opportunities for things to go wrong. From coding errors and processing delays to dealing with insurance companies and trying to track down unpaid patient accounts, billing departments have to balance a number of tasks and complete them all perfectly; otherwise, you might not get your money for already-rendered services on time, or at all.

In-house medical billing vs. outsourced revenue cycle management
If you opt to have your own staff cover medical billing, you’ll need practice management software to keep track of your patients’ balances and send bills to payers. You’ll also need a certified medical coder on staff to oversee the operation, and the practice will be responsible for responding to any rejections or denied claims.

It’s also crucial to stay on top of the ever-changing regulatory framework and new policies; for example, ICD-10 coding has largely been implemented across the industry. Keeping billing in-house is often cheaper and gives you more control over the process, but for a small practice that already needs its staff to wear many hats, billing can be time-consuming and complex. Worse yet, if the proper time and attention are not given to the billing process, you might end up losing out on a substantial amount of money.

Medical billing services can help alleviate that burden, but it might end up being more expensive. Often, for a percentage of your collections or a subscription fee, a medical billing service can take over your revenue cycle management and free up your staff to focus on other tasks. A good medical billing service will increase your collection rate, reduce rejections and denials, and even provide an analysis of your accounts receivable. You’ll typically be able to generate on-demand reports and view your day-to-day finances through the company’s software as well.

How to choose a medical billing service
When selecting a medical billing service, there are a few things to keep in mind. Of course, you’ll want to know what the costs of the service are, but you’ll also want to know exactly what you can expect from a billing partner.

“Your lifeblood as a medical practitioner resides with this function,” Montana said. “If medical billing isn’t working, not only are you not getting paid, but you won’t make payroll, and you can get in so much legal trouble with the insurance companies. You need to know what you’re getting.”

These are highly variable based on the size and specific focus of your practice. You’ll need to contact a sales representative for hard numbers, but some billing services’ websites offer a general estimate of what they charge. Companies most commonly charge a percentage of your monthly revenue as payment, often between 4 and 9 percent. It’s important to consider what the costs in time and money would be to keep billing in-house versus what the financial cost would be to outsource relative to the potential increase in revenue.

6Feb 2017

Tiny Satellites to Make Big Contributions to cloutet technology

Tiny satellites, some smaller than a shoe box, are currently orbiting around 200 miles above Earth, collecting data about our planet and the universe. It’s not just their small stature but also their accompanying smaller cost that sets them apart from the bigger commercial satellites that beam phone calls and GPS signals around the world, for instance. These SmallSats are poised to change the way we do science from space. Their cheaper price tag means we can launch more of them, allowing for constellations of simultaneous measurements from different viewing locations multiple times a day – a bounty of data which would be cost-prohibitive with traditional, larger platforms.

From proof of concept to science applications
When thinking about artificial satellites, we have to make a distinction between the spacecraft itself (often called the “satellite bus”) and the payload (usually a scientific instrument, cameras or active components with very specific functions). Typically, the size of a spacecraft determines how much it can carry and operate as a science payload. As technology improves, small spacecraft become more and more capable of supporting more and more sophisticated instruments.

These advanced nanosatellite payloads mean SmallSats have grown up and can now help increase our knowledge about Earth and the universe. This revolution is well underway; many governmental organizations, private companies and foundations are investing in the design of CubeSat buses and payloads that aim to answer specific science questions, covering a broad range of sciences including weather and climate on Earth, space weather and cosmic rays, planetary exploration and much more. They can also act as pathfinders for bigger and more expensive satellite missions that will address these questions.

Funded by NASA’s Earth science technology office, HARP will ride on the CubeSat spacecraft developed by Utah State University’s Space dynamics lab. Breaking the tradition of using consumer off-the-shelf parts for CubeSat payloads, the HARP team has taken a different approach. We’ve optimized our instrument with custom-designed and custom-fabricated parts specialized to perform the delicate multi-angle, multi-spectral polarization measurements required by HARP’s science objectives.

HARP is currently scheduled to the International Space Station. Shortly thereafter it will be released and become a fully autonomous, data-collecting satellite.

SmallSats – big science
HARP is designed to see how aerosols interact with the water droplets and ice particles that make up clouds. Aerosols and clouds are deeply connected in Earth’s atmosphere – it’s aerosol particles that seed cloud droplets and allow them to grow into clouds that eventually drop their precipitation.
This interdependence implies that modifying the amount and type of particles in the atmosphere, via air pollution, will affect the type, size and lifetime of clouds, as well as when precipitation begins. These processes will affect Earth’s global water cycle, Energy balance and climate.

For now, size still matters
But the nature of CubeSats still restricts the science they can do. Limitations in power, storage and, most importantly, ability to transmit the information back to Earth impede our ability to continuously run our HARP instrument within a CubeSat platform.

So as another part of our effort, we’ll be observing how HARP does as it makes its scientific observations. Here at UMBC we’ve created the Center for Earth and Space Studies to study how well small satellites do at answering science questions regarding Earth systems and space. This is where HARP’s raw data will be converted and interpreted. Beyond answering questions about cloud/aerosol interactions, the next goal is to determine how to best use SmallSats and other technologies for Earth and space science applications. Seeing what works and what doesn’t will help inform larger space missions and future operations.

The SmallSat revolution, boosted by popular access to space via CubeSats, is now rushing toward the next revolution. The next generation of nanosatellite payloads will advance the frontiers of science. They may never supersede the need for bigger and more powerful satellites, but NanoSats will continue to expand their own role in the ongoing race to explore Earth and the universe.

25Nov 2016

Healthcare Apps: UI-UX Factors to Enhance your Product

Healthcare industry is growing rapidly and various new technologies are emerging to cater the different target users of this industry in making their life easy. Every user in this industry has different expectations, and to meet their expectations, different systems are developed. In the recent past, most of these systems were web-based; however, with the increase in rate of mobile adoptability, mobile apps are being developed and are getting integrated with the new innovations such as Google Glass, Smart watches, Fitness Trackers, etc.

What do you think is the purpose of developing these advanced systems? A very simple answer is to make these services easily available. When we (as a Healthcare IT product engineering service provider) get a requirement for developing such a system, there are two scenarios:

  • Re-design the existing system with enhancements, or
  • Develop a brand new system

In both the scenarios, the main intention of developing the system is to provide a simple, clean interface with focused action items keeping in mind the different users/roles accessing the system.
First step involved in developing or enhancing any system is to define the user experience. It is to understand the flaws in existing system; evaluate them and then design a solution.

When we talk about different target users, we refer to payers, providers and patients. In brief, payers are the insurance companies who provide cashless or refund services. Providers are the healthcare facilitators like hospitals, doctors, etc. And patients are the people availing such services.

To understand the pain points of the users, User Interviews are conducted. In case of healthcare, Patients and Providers are the major users for whom such interviews can be conducted. Based on these inputs, Personas and Scenarios are created which help to explore the goals, needs, expectations of the user towards the new system and frustrations and pain points towards the old one. It also helps in bifurcating the roles and responsibilities of users.

The system designed should be user-centric such as if the healthcare app is designed by keeping the patient in mind, then everything must have the user experience for the patient. For example, if the application has a form to fetch patient’s details, that form should be well defined or well categorized so it is easy for the patient to understand and comfortable to complete the form. Similarly, considering patients age group, the app interface should be easy to find any information.

When the system is designed keeping provider in mind, it should consider facts like how a provider can be notified about his visits, appointments, surgeries, emergencies, etc.

Creating task flows, block diagrams and wireframes helps to give a structure to the tasks and define the simplicity of the screens. The navigation gets concrete and screen elements are finalized. All the flows are filtered through usability perspective and are structured in such a way that the task is completed with minimum steps. Finally, the branding, colors and typography is defined while creating the UI design. Interfaces are designed to fit various screens and devices.

So, UX plays an important role. Similarly, UI also play a significant role and below are some considerations while designing the mHealth app:

    • Use color for meaning. User might get confused by unnecessary colors. So, define a color system that makes it more meaningful than just a part of style.
    • Think of a very refined typography and hierarchy of information. Patients who are 45+ years should be able to read the information or take any action seamlessly. Therefore, your app should cater all age groups by providing a facility to change the font size as required.
    • For medical issues, users across the globe are seeking for remedies and solutions through their healthcare apps. In such scenarios, the UI should be personal and supportive, which would enable or rather motivate them to provide health data through the app.
    • Ascertain the RWD (responsive web design) are taken care of with elements that suit the app
    • Allow your app to integrate with other features of the phone such as the front camera can be used by the doctor to access the patient. This will also help in expanding the scope of your app.
    • A voice recognition tool can be used by medical staff to input patient data so as to increase the level of interaction with the patients

We see that UI/UX plays a very vital role in developing a system that is more user-centric, provides better usability of the defined functions and tasks to be performed and offers a good interactive and informative platform for different user base.

3Nov 2016

Top 4 Driving Apps For Fall

Walkers got Pokemon Go this year, and they really ran with that app. Practically everywhere in the world people were running into lampposts trying to catch most of ’em. But here’s the thing: drivers really shouldn’t be using apps that run you into lampposts. So then, what? Drivers are just entirely left out? No, we don’t think so. Check out these 5 mobile apps that are ready to spice up your drive even as you use your wipers to clear off that one lone leaf that won’t seem to clear your windshield.

3Nov 2016

Selecting the Best Weather App for Your Phone

Today we are going to speak about something that everyone is concerned about, namely the weather. In the past we had to rely on newspaper, radio and television updates to find out about the weather but the problem with that information is its not current or relevant to your specific location and needs. Aside from the inconveniences associated with getting weather updates via these traditional forms of weather information you were also inundated with

3Nov 2016

Three Smart Home Problems Solved

The smart home has problems. And because it has problems, adoption rates are still low. If only the smart home was perfect, if only it weren’t confusing, if only it worked without issue. For as many problems as people claim the smart home has, there are an equal number of answers. The most common complaints include compatibility confusion, security, and installation. All three have very simple and straightforward solutions.