ACOM Chiropractic Consulting Group Senior Consultant Bharon Hoag Conducting a Series of Seminars at Fall '07 Chiropractic Conferences

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Chiropractors are often victimized by slashed third-party reimbursements and worse, outright denials of payment. Many times, the doctors are themselves to blame, the result of improper coding and/or inadequate documentation. ACOM Chiropractic Consulting Group Senior Consultant Bharon Hoag spells out the solution in a series of professional society conferences.

The fact that you gave us the code and explained how to use it, document it and explain it made this seminar the best I have ever attended in 21 years of practice.

Chiropractors across the nation commonly are victimized by third party payers either through delays or denials in settling bills for treatment performed or post-payment, when the insurers audit and contest their charges, according to Bharon Hoag, senior consultant with the ACOM Chiropractic Consulting Group. But doctors can and should fight back, he is telling chiropractors in seminars at a series of autumn conferences.

The tools that doctors need are straightforward, Hoag says: knowledge of the law, the facts about coding properly to prove medical necessity and confidence in their own billing accuracy.

On November 17, Hoag will address the FCA Winter conference of the Florida Chiropractic Association, with a seminar entitled "Proving Medical Necessity through Your Coding;" and on December 1, another entitled "Understanding Documentation and How to Implement It," at the Annual Seminar of the Advantage Chiropractic Network, an affiliate of the Iowan Chiropractic Society. October appearances included the 2007 ISCA Fall Conference of the Indiana State Chiropractic Association (October 12) and the OSCA Northeast District Fall Meeting of the Ohio State Chiropractic Association.

"It is absolutely ethical to bill for the services you performed, but many doctors fail to do so because they don't know how to bill properly, or they down-code for fear of an audit," he tells his audiences. "This leads to one of two scenarios: the doctor cheats him/herself, or the insurance company detects questionable billing procedures and challenges the request for payment. Insurance companies are not in business to pay claims. So be assured that they won't call attention to underbillings, but understand that they will certainly demand repayment if they feel that medical necessity has not been demonstrated."

Hoag's primary message to doctors is that to survive and prosper, they must cultivate a detailed understanding of chiropractic coding and documentation and how to implement both. The message resonates, as indicated by responses at October meetings. Examples:

"…the seminar provided a solid understanding of insurance and managed care, as well as ways we can stand up for our patients so they can receive the healthcare they need."

"Finally a program that cuts the fat and leaves the meat…the proof is in the CPT, not just in an 'uh…try this' coding seminar."

"The fact that you gave us the code and explained how to use it, document it and explain it made this seminar the best I have ever attended in 21 years of practice."

"…this was not a lecture, it was like a comprehensive discussion and it allowed me to learn a lot more than I would have…great method."

"It was refreshing to listen to someone that was promoting morals and ethics and not get-rich ideas ... finally, a business consultant that is not a greedy con-artist!"

According to Hoag, the first thing doctors must realize is that they have the resources they need to fight back. They simply have to recognize them and put them to use.

"The way in which the profession has evolved has left chiropractic an easy target," he said. "We can rectify that situation by dealing with the law and with the facts, but too often doctors are only given opinions that do not help them at all. We do not recommend anything that doctors are not entitled to, but at the same time, we do not want to see money left on the table when it is justifiably due for treatment performed."

About ACOM's Chiropractic Consulting Group
The ACOM Chiropractic Consulting Group, a professional services unit of ACOM Solutions, Inc., offers a suite of consulting programs for educating, equipping and empowering healthcare providers for success. Group consultants diagnose practice problems and provide options for improving chiropractic office operations and addressing the critical coding and document issues that are unique to the profession. The Consulting Group two-fold mission is to enable doctors to make more money ethically by collecting fully for all services performed while protecting themselves against audits, payback demands and possible legal actions. For information on ACOM's Chiropractic Consulting Services, phone 866-286-5315, ext. 305; email; or visit

Mark Firmin
Vice President, Marketing


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