Beaverlog Tips: Volume 33 - July 25, 2006
Provider NPI - The Deadline Approaches
Do you have your NPI? Don't wait and risk disrupting your cash
flow. Get your NPI now! National Provider Identifiers
(NPIs) will be required on claims sent on or after May 23, 2007 and every
healthcare provider needs to get an NPI. More information is available
on the CMS web site: www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalProvIdentStand/.
This page has lots of other useful information as well. Be sure to bookmark this
page as new information and resources will continue to be posted.
Quick and Easy Backups on Thumb Drives
You can change the location for your quick backups to a thumb drive and save up to nine backups on one drive. For those unfamiliar with them, thumb drives are the increasingly popular devices that slip into a USB slot on your computer and show up as a new drive. Most of them are based on what is called Flash Memory rather than a real drive but some of the higher capacity ones are actually tiny hard disks. They range in size from about 128 MB to 8 GB (1GB = 1,024 MB). For Windows 98 and ME, you may need to install a driver for your computer to recognize them but Windows NT, 2000, and XP should recognize most of them immediately.
Once you put the thumb drive into a USB port (USB 2.0 is much faster than USB 1.1), change your Quick Backup Path by going to:
Right-click in the entry field to select a new location and use the Drive drop-down to select your thumb drive. On the same screen, change the Number to Maintain to 9 and The THERAPIST will cycle through nine backups overwriting the oldest one once you have nine backups on the drive.
WARNING: Some thumb drives require that you run a little program before you remove the thumb drive. In Windows XP, there is an icon in your system tray (the area, usually in the lower right corner, where the clock is) that shows "safely remove hardware" when you hold your mouse over it. You can also remove them when the computer is turned off. I have two thumb drives. The smaller one I can remove without going through this three second process but the larger one, a tiny hard disk, requires that I "demount" it before removing it. It is possible to lose data or even damage the drive if you do not follow the manufacturer's instructions for removing a thumb drive.
New CMS-1500 Claim Form Reminder
You can start using the new CMS-1500 claim form on October 1, 2006 if your payers accept it. On May 23, 2007 you will be required to use the new form. This corresponds with the date the provider NPI will be required. More information about changes to the form was in the Beaver Log Tips volume 32.
Often, a computer consultant or technician at a computer shop calls our technical support, to help set up or troubleshoot a problem with The THERAPIST. We are always happy to do this but there are a few things you should know before you have your technician contact us for support.
So how do you find a good one? Look for someone who has been in business for more than one or two years. Get references. Call those references. Being you husband, wife, brother, uncle, cousin, brother-in-law, or neighbor should not be sufficient qualification for letting someone work on your computer. These folks may well know more about computers than you do but be very careful when your data (i.e. your livelihood) is at stake.
Sometimes we find ourselves ethically bound to contact our customer to let them know about the lack of competence of a consultant or technician. When we think your data or computer functionality is at serious risk from one of the incompetent ones, it is our duty. You can save yourself a lot of grief by carefully selecting who works on your computer. Of course, if it's a close relative or friend who is willing to help you for free, you have to ask yourself how expensive "free" will end up being.
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