SMB Medical Billing Newsletter

Newsletter 001
June 2011 

Welcome to the inaugural SMB Medical Billing Newsletter.  The purpose of this letter is to provide you informative information concerning the Podiatry industry in a quick, precise manner.  We look forward to this new adventure with you.


SMB Medical Billing

In This Issue
From the Desk of SMB
Configurations for Workstations
E-Prescriptions - June 30, 2011 deadline
Why Social Media?
From the Desk of SMB
Cheryl Sands, Senior Vice President SMB 

Be Prepared For The Unexpected

 My daughter graduated from high school this week.  On our way home from the ceremony, our van full of people broke down on the highway.  Without warning we were stranded on the interstate. Luckily we had roadside assistance who we quickly called and they were there in a flash!

What does this story have to do with you and your Practice?  Well, consider SMB your "roadside assistance."  Things are getting very unpredictable in our industry, to say the least.  The last thing you need is to be hit with a ton of denials or new rules that you have no clue about.  That is where we come in.

SMB stays up to date on the latest coding rules.  In fact, in a lot of cases it is our job to set insurance companies straight on THEIR rules!  Seems hard to believe doesn't it?  Case in point, the 97597/97598 CPT codes that Medicare dictated we had to begin using January 1, 2011.  (Replacing the 11040/11041).

 We updated all of our doctors and we were ready for the 01-01-11 new policy.  However, there was a big problem - Medicare was not ready!  They were actually paying the 97598 (add on code) and denying the main procedure, 97597.  We quickly began making calls to every Medicare region to point out their mistake.  They agreed with us and the "fix" to their CCI edits was put in place on 03-11-11.  Then we began the arduous process of getting those 97597 all reprocessed correctly.  (No, Medicare did not send those back through and fix their own error!  Shocking, I know.)

My point is, let SMB Medical Billing take care of these headaches for you!  You have enough to worry about with your day to day patient load, paperwork and dealing with all of your many issues.

SMB Medical Billing = "Roadside Assistance".  Actually we are better than that - you don't even have to call us.  We call you!


Configurations for Workstations 
Steve Bixler
Steve Bixler, Practice Development


 The excitement for SMB Medical Billing's new EHR, Scheduling and Practice Management is building.  The one question that keeps being asked by our clients is what are the system requirements for them to use the new system?

 The normal configuration of a system  contains four components:

1) Internet Access, 2) Local Area Network, 3) Workstations for Providers and Office Staff, 4) Mobile Stations.  



A diagram would look like this: 





Normal Office Configuration 

The type of work expected to be accomplished on this component are: scheduling, patient lookups, reports, data entry, etc.  Articles about the other components may be read on the SMB Medical Billing Blog at 


Please note that the Electronic Health Record system provided by SMB Medical Billing will work on both the Workstations and the Mobile Station.  You may perfom the same functions that the Workstation accomplishes with a Mobile Station, however, it will not be very convienent.  The subject of the Mobile Station will be covered in another article.


The critical components of a workstation (or laptop) that an office staff and a Provider would use for scheduling, patient lookup, reports, etc. are:


            Operating Syste


CPU Speed



           Network adapter

The minimum configuration for a workstation (or laptop) are:


Operating System

          Windows 7

Windows Vista current service pack

Windows XP current service pack

MAC OS 10 Mozilla FireFox


SilverLight 4.0 - installed on your first visit to the web site

Adobe Reader 8 or higher (free at

Microsoft Excel 2003 or higher (for data export and reports) Internet Explorer 6 or higher / Mozilla Firefox or higher


            CPU Speed

                        850MHz CPU


                        1024 MB RAM


                        17 inch monitor

    Display settings of 1152 x 864 (minimum is 1024 x 768)

            Network adapter

                        Network Interface Card - 10/100 mb

                        Wireless - 10 mb


I recommend systems that are designed for professional use - not home use. The reason is, when you have a patient asking you questions about their account balance or next appointment, you want a system that is fast.  Also, if you have downloaded 5,000 patient records and are trying to processing them into a useable report, you want a system that can handle the workload without "going out to lunch" for an hour.


I recommended the following configuration.


            Operating System

                        Windows 7 Professional


     SilverLight 4.0 - installed on your first visit to the web site

     Adobe Reader 10 (free at

     Microsoft Excel 2010  (for data export and reporting)

     Internet Explorer 9

            CPU Speed

     As fast as you can afford.  I get systems with speeds around 3GHz.           


                        4 gigabytes


                        Dual 23" HD Monitors

Use HDMI connectors - not USB for the monitors

Need a  video card in the workstation to allow two HDMI monitors to be connected at the same time

            Network adapter

                        NIC - gigabyte

                        Wireless - N (> 300 MB speed)


Please call me at 888-584-6352 or email me at if you have any questions.


CMS requirement of e-Perscriptions


SMB wants to remind you of the CMS (Medicare) requirement that most Podiatrists must use an electronic prescription system for 10 new and separate claims by June 30, 2011.  The penalty for not doing so is 1% of 2012 , 1.5% for 2013, and 2.0% for 2014 Medicare reimbursements.  The penalty requirements for 2013 and 2014 are still being drafted.  For more information please refer to:


As a podiatry practice, the requirement is for your practice group/provider to submit 10 new and separate claims with the G8553 code in addition to the normal procedure codes.  The prescription may be for over-the-counter products such as Tylenol.

A free electronic prescription system (NEPSI) is available and located at:

The free version of the service requires manual input of the patients.   The patient information required is the patient's First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Gender and Zip Code.  The free service is run by Allscripts.

For further assistance you can call the QualityNet Help Desk from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm CT at 1-866-288-8912 or email at

We hope you enjoyed our first eNewsletter.  We look forward to continuing to build our relationship and growing your practice.




SMB Medical Billing 
Why Social Media? 

Social media is the craze these days.  You probably have  heard about Facebook and Twitter but have not yet joined these sites.  There are a plethora of reasons to be connected to Facebook and Twitter and now SMB Medical Billing gives you another one  -  we will be giving live updates on imperative information regarding the Podiatry industry. 

We will connect you to all the latest information regarding government regulations, EMR/EHR, ICD-10, 5010, e-subscribe, CMS and other hot topics concerning your daily practice.  Like always, we want to provide you with the best knowledge and support to help ensure your business is thriving and profitable and these media outlets allows us to achieve this.

In addition to providing you current data, you will be able to connect to us and ask critical questions in real time.  This means your questions are answered sooner.

Moreover, if you are a current client of SMB, you will be able to join our Facebook group.  This group is private and only to SMB clients.  This special online forum will be used to discuss procedure codes and diagnosis, more in-depth issues and how to get the maximum return on your reimbursements.  You will be able to ask questions directly to SMB and also ask questions to other clients.

How do I sign up?

It is fast, free and easy!  Simply go to  On the homepage fill out the Sign Up form and hit the Sign Up button.  Once you are signed up, go to the search bar at the top middle of your screen and type in SMB Medical Billing.  You will see our logo and name and click on the choice item.  Once you are on the SMB Medical Billing page, simply hit the Like button and you will be following us.  You will see information regarding SMB Medical Billing on your news feed page whenever you sign in to Facebook.  For Twitter, go to, fill out the new to Twitter form and hit the sign up button.  Once logged on, go to the search field at the top of the black menu bar and type in @SMBPodiatrists.  We will pop up on your right side under People click follow.  Quick links of both sites can be located on the Newsletter Quick Links section.

Being connected saves time and costly errors to your business.  Connect to SMB Medical Billing today.  We look forward to seeing you on the web.


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