Beaverlog Tips:  Volume 67 - June 16, 2014

New Releases Available

A new release is now available for each of our products. A brief description of the changes for each program is listed below and the update downloads are available here.

The THERAPIST Pro 3.0.008.19

This release of Pro 3.0 fixes a large number of bugs, most notable among them is the ability to restore data files and generating insurance claims. There is also a significant new capability (see the article titled Process Credit Card Payments below). The complete list of changes is here.

The THERAPIST Pro 2.5.045

This release fixes several problems in the new CMS-1500 (02-12) and adds a Carrier option to remove the period in diagnosis codes on both the printed and electronic version of that form. There is also a minor fix to the ANSI X12 5010A1 claim generator. The full list of changes is available here.

The THERAPIST EZ 2.6.002

This release adds a Carrier option to remove the period in diagnosis codes on the new CMS-1500 (02-12) form, both printed and electronic. There is also a fix to the problem of the qualifier codes in claim boxes 14 and 15. A couple of other minor problems were corrected. The full list of changes is available here.

Aeris Basic 2.0.002

This release adds a Carrier option to remove the period in diagnosis codes on the new CMS-1500 (02-12) form, both printed and electronic. It also fixes some cosmetic issues related to field alignment on several screens. The full list of changes is available here.

Process Credit Card Payments

As we continue to work on issues people have reported in The THERAPIST Pro 3.0, we haven't been idle at adding things that have been planned but not yet implemented. One of these is giving you the opportunity to accept credit card payments. Well, we can check this one off the list. With this release (3.0.008.19), you can not only enter a credit card payment, but you can process it online and have the funds added directly to your bank account.

We've partnered with Singular Payments, the company that actually processes the payments, to bring you a simple and cost-affective way to get paid more quickly. And, because no credit card information is stored on your computer, you don't have to worry about PCI compliance. If you don't know what this means, be thankful. You can read about it at https://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/pci-faqs-2.

If you want to see just how easy it is to handle credit card payments, we've created a short video that shows you the process step by step. You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PlRomxOJjw.

Another really nice thing is that Singular Payments makes the sign-up process easy. If you have ever signed up (or tried to sign up) as a credit card merchant, working with Singular Payments will be surprisingly simple. You can contact them at 877-328-8778 or you can do the whole thing online by going to http://www.singularpayments.com/beaverlog.

RIP Windows XP

While Windows XP has served us well for several years, its demise officially occured on April 8, 2014, when Microsoft discontinued support for the product. Despite the fact the Windows XP can continue to run without problems (or at least without any of the normal Windows XP problems), any computer running this operating system that is connected to the Internet, immediately became more vulnerable to attacks from a world of bad actors.

The reason for this vulnerability is not obvious but perhaps I can explain it clearly. Every version of Windows is based to a greater or lesser degree on its predecessors. This often means using some of the same source code for features and internal functions that haven't changed from version to version. Normally, when a particular security susceptibility is discovered, Microsoft would fix it and issue a patch that, depending on your settings, would be installed automatically. For Windows XP, those patches have come to an end.

Now, if a weakness is discovered in XP it won't be fixed. If such a weakness is found in a newer version of Windows, the problem might be in a section of source code that also used in Windows XP. So the announcement of a patch for the newer Windows is a red flag and a gift to those who want to attack computers running Windows XP and Microsoft just told them how to do it.

This glaring security vulnerability could render your practice out of compliance with HIPAA. HIPAA doesn't specify what operating systems to use but the requirements are written as broad guidelines to provide a baseline for security and data protection. Those guidelines include using the most recent patches available and clearly, Windows XP no longer qualifies.

In some cases you can get around the problem by using third party security software and having absolutely no connection to the Internet. Unfortunately these two are mutually exclusive because the security software itself requires internet access to stay up to date. Plus, even disconnecting from the net is not a guarantee that your computer won't be attacked. Malware can infect your computer through any media that connects to your computer such as floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, and flash drives. Not too many years ago, music CDs from Sony included a root-kit (a particularly nasty and difficult to remove kind of malware). At least, its only known effect was to prevent copying the content but the publicity backlash quickly made them remove it.

Certainly, there are things you can do to protect yourself if you continue to run Windows XP but it may be time to bite the bullet and invest in a new computer with a newer version of Windows. We're not big fans of Windows 8 and 8.1 but, with all their user-interface faults, they are a whole lot more secure than Windows XP was even when Microsoft was supporting it.

Memorized Services in Pro 3.0

Several users of The THERAPIST Pro 3.0 have noted with disappointment that memorized service in Pro 3.0 do not include a monetary breakdown of amounts owed by the patient, responsible parties, and insurance payers. This is not a bug but rather a design decision. Instead of memorizing these amounts, we decided, we would use the built-in responsibility rules. What is a bug is that the program is not using those rules when creating the service and not filling the payer amounts at all.

We have now come to understand that actually memorizing the payer amounts is both easier and more flexible for users. Therefore, we have added this feature starting in version 3.0.007.

What this means to you right now is that none of your current memorized services have payer amounts due nor do they have discounts or write-offs. While we typically correct data-related problems when running an update the first time, we have no way of knowing where the amounts due should go so we can't fix existing memorized services. You can either correct them yourself or delete them and memorize new ones after installing 3.0.007.

Another memorized service issue concerns diagnosis code selections on services. Unlike in earlier versions, these also are not part of memorized services. Instead, in the patient's diagnosis, there is a check box next to each diagnosis code. Codes with this box checked will be checked by default on new services whether created from memorized services or not. Easy-peazy.