Tech in Billing Insurance to Save Time and Money 4 of 5 with Jeremy Zug | PoP 405

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Can I save time and money with billing insurance tech? What are some of the platforms available? What terminology do I need to understand?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Jeremy Zug about tech in billing insurance to save time and money.

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Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months’ bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re setting up Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with therapists and counselors in private practice. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to

In This Podcast


In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Jeremy Zug about the technology in billing insurance that will save you time and money.

Let’s get started. The first thing you need to know is:

Electronic Health Record

The best way to start with regards to using tech in billing is by making use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, like Therapy Notes, for example. Therapy Notes is the best when it comes to billing for insurance.

What to look out for:

  • Whether or not you can submit claims electronically. A paper claim can take up to 20 days.
  • An EHR that takes care of most of your business, for example, payment posting, denial and rejection follow up, clinical documentation, and more.
  • An EHR that matches your budget.

Find out which insurance companies use an electronic portal

These companies have agreements with insurance companies where they house eligibility data, claim status enquiry data, etc. Calling an insurance company can be demoralizing and take time. Instead, you can simply search these databases for the information you’re looking for. 

If you’re not credentialed yet, there are three portals you’ll need access to:

  1. CAQH: houses provider data so that you can get in-network with insurances faster
  2. NPPES: use to get your NPI
  3. PECOS: medicare credentialing system

Use LastPass to keep your login information safe.

Use Zoom for any teletherapy.

Make use of a HIPAA compliant credit card processing system.


Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE]: Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re setting up QuickBooks or help you work through a profit plan for growth? Green Oak Accounting does just that. Green Oak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with therapists and counselors in private practice. Their value goes way beyond bookkeeping. They can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to Again, that’s
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 405. All right, well welcome back to our series that’s all-around. All-around. You can tell that and dive in here. I’m living that in here. It’s all about billing and insurance and hanging out with Jeremy Zug, getting some great advice. In the very first episode, we talked all about the biggest myths in insurance. We then went into insurance terms you have to know. Last time we talked about fraud audits and not screwing over your business. And today, it’s all about that tech in billing to save time and money. So, we’re all about that tech. Jeremy, how are you doing today?

[JEREMY]: Just fine, Joe. How are you?

[JOE]: I’m doing well. Got my cup of coffee and ready to roll.

[JEREMY]: All right. Let’s get —

[JOE]: Kids gone off to school and a very smooth way. Yes. So, cool. So, where do we start in regards to tech in billing? You know, there’s a lot of different tech things that’ll save time and money. Like where do we start?

[JEREMY]: Totally. I think the biggest place to start is, from a billing perspective is an electronic health record system, or EHR system, and we can talk about HIPAA-compliant, phone, HIPAA-compliant email and messaging and all that stuff. But I think that if you’re going to go into private practice, you’re going to take insurance, you’re going to do billing, it is imperative that you have a good electronic health records system. So that would be like a Therapy Notes, where you can —

[JOE]: They are our sponsor but honestly like the more I learn about them, which I have been over the last few years, it’s the only one that I feel like I can stand behind and recommend.

[JEREMY]: Yes, I totally agreed from a billing perspective with insurance, I think it’s fundamentally the best and I’ve run into people that use a variety of electronic health records and honestly, they each have their pros and cons. But if you’re going to bill insurance Therapy Notes is definitely the one you should go with. But in electronic health record system, what should you look for? Well, you should look for the ability to submit claims electronically. The difference between an electronically submitted claim and a paper submitting claim in terms of reimbursement is about two weeks. So, an electronic claim tends to get reimbursed within 10 to 15 business days, whereas a paper claim is processed anywhere between 20 and 35 days.
So, if just from a cashflow perspective that’s very important. You want an electronic health record system that can manage most of the aspects of your business from claims submission, payment posting, denial and rejection follow up, which we’ll get to in the next webinar, or any of those other variables as well as clinical documentation. I don’t have access to that in Therapy Notes because I’m a biller, and I shouldn’t have access to it, but you know, having clear treatment records is also, from a compliance perspective, very, very important. So, finding an electronic health record system that matches the way you think matches the way your practice runs is very important, and obviously matches your budget. You could spend a lot of money on electronic health record system for sure.

[JOE]: Awesome. So again, EHR, [inaudible 00:04:14], what else?

[JEREMY]: So, I think the next part of the tech side of billing is to find out which insurance companies you have that operate off of an electronic portal, or getting access to a portal that has composite records. So, let me dive into that a little bit. An example of what I’m talking about would be a company called Availity, which is like using name or another one is called NaviNet. These are companies that have agreements with insurance companies where they house eligibility data, claim, status inquiry data, and you can get a variety of information out of those portals. So, let me give you an example.
So, in previous podcasts we talked about verification of benefits, we talked about denials. So, calling an insurance company, and Joe, you know this from experience, but calling an insurance company can feel like really demoralizing and take a substantial amount of time versus going to an online website and typing in your patient’s information and the date they were seen and pulling up their claim information. Whether it was denied or rejected or what have you, that becomes infinitely faster from an administrative perspective and from just a time perspective. You could spend 40 minutes on the phone or two minutes looking up this stuff. So, that technological aspect is very important. So, finding an Availity, finding a NaviNet, finding a web dentist or a portal that your insurances use to manage your claim data or your provider data is very important.

[JOE]: And we’ll get links to all that in the show notes for you guys too.

[JEREMY]: Totally. The next piece, if you’re going to, let’s back up for a minute. Let’s say you’re not credentialed yet, you’re not in network. There are three or four portals that you’re going to need access to right off the bat. So, the first one, and again, we’ll link this, but that’s CAQH. It’s nonprofit organization that houses provider data so that they can get in network with insurances faster. So CAQH is a necessary technology tool that you can sign up on your computer to get access to those insurance panels. That’s the first one.
The second one is, let’s say that you are listening to this and you’re, let’s say you’re a grad student and you’re not yet a provider. You need a login and a username too; N (as in Nancy) PPES to get your NPI, which is your national provider identifier. That number, every therapist has one but you need to sign up for that and know your login, and especially if your social worker’s going take Medicare because that will be the same login that you use. Again, all the acronyms are a little confusing and I will probably do a blog post all about acronyms or something for PECOS, which is the Medicare credentialing system.

[JOE]: Is that where you apply for your NPI 2 if you’re doing a group practice also?

[JEREMY]: NPPES is also where you also apply for your Type 2 NPI. That’s right.

[JOE]: Awesome.

[JEREMY]: So, should we explain perhaps what NPI 1 and 2 is?

[JOE]: I think, let’s say that for the webinar. I think that people can just Google it for now. Let’s stick with just kind of the billing stuff.

[JEREMY]: Yes. And then —

[JOE]: The thing about group practice, that’s a whole another series

[JOE]: That’s a whole other stick. Yes, that’s right. It gets a little bit more in depth from that perspective. But right off the bat, get an EHR system, get information or login information for Availity or NeviNet or the insurances that you’re in network with and keep your login information somewhere secure. Joe, do you have any tools for how to manage passwords?

[JOE]: I love LastPass. Oh my gosh. So LastPass is free up to a certain level and then, like I ended up having way too many passwords in it, so I had to do the like 20 bucks a year or something like that. But every one of my passwords I just stomp on the keyboard, with my fingers, not with my foot, and then hit a bunch of numbers and then do some random, like it’s so random or they do kind of random ones and then you can share that password with other people without them seeing it so they can get access without seeing the actual password. So, you know, I have a huge virtual assistant team and I’m not going to give them all my passwords to everything, but they get access to it without knowing what the password is. And they can’t change the password unless they know the password. So, I love it. LastPass is awesome, they’re not a sponsor, it’s just what I use every single day.

[JEREMY]: That’s awesome. And I think that the more you delve into billing, the more you’re going to interact. I mean it would blow your mind how that multiplies out, how many portals, how many logins you’re going to need, because everything needs to be HIPAA-encrypted. In order for portals or passwords to be encrypted, there’s just a lot of stuff, a lot of logins, a lot of tools that you need. So, get LastPass for Therapy Notes, your Therapy Notes login, your Availity login [crosstalk]

[JOE]: App that goes with it, which is nice on your phone, because so often it’s like, you know, you update and then you have to enter new passwords to everything and then you can get it right there on your phone. Two other things that I think are really good, and Jeremy, you can tell me if I’m wrong, if you’re looking for 45 minutes sessions or shorter, Zoom is encrypted and you can also get the paid version of course. They’ll send business associates agreements and then an end-to-end encrypted texting service is Signal. And that’s one that I know a lot of people use as well. That’s free to use.

[JEREMY]: Well, that’s exactly right, and I think that those are great recommendations. And then I think the last one that I would throw out there as far as technology tools go would be a HIPAA-compliant credit card processing system. So, and last I read them, and I know a lot of practices use Square, and I’m not sure if they are HIPAA-encrypted and I’m not sure because I have doubts about Square. It’s just, I haven’t looked into it, but like if you used Therapy Notes, they use a company called CardConnect, which is HIPAA-encrypted or HIPAA-compliant and encrypted. So, all of that information is secure, and so that way you can process that payment information compliantly because payment for healthcare services is considered protected health information. So, you want to keep that in mind as well. So, find a system that you can process payments in a compliant encrypted way.

[JOE]: Yes, and we’ll look into that and try to put it in the show notes whether or not Square is. I know that HSA is and that you have to specifically say you’re a medical provider in order to get that feature. So, I think they are encrypted but we’ll verify that and put it into the show notes as well for this.

[JEREMY]: Yes.

[JOE]: Well we’ve talked through a lot of tech in a short period of time. Well done sir.

[JEREMY]: All right, sounds good.

[JOE]: Tomorrow we’re doing, for the next podcast we’re doing your billing plan and so we’re going to try to bring all of this together, give you step by step instructions as to kind of how to start to bring together your billing plan. And just a couple of quick announcements; on November 6th, 2019 at three o’clock Eastern, two central, one mountain and noon Pacific, we have a billing webinar. Jeremy and I are going to be chatting it up even more in depth than this on just what do you need to know about billing and get your questions answered so that you really know like what do you do in regards to credentialing, billing, insurance?
This is stuff we didn’t learn in grad school. And if you’re starting the credentialing process and you want a consultant to help you with that, if you want to do DIY billing or if you have an assistant that you want trained by Jeremy to do your billing or if you’re a much larger organization that wants a top to bottom evaluation and save a bunch of time and money, you want to connect with Jeremy. Head on over to and you can schedule a free consulting session with him to just chat about what you should do next and see if consulting might be a good fit to give you a good ROI on that time with him. So, tomorrow we’re going to dive in. Talk to you soon, Jeremy.

[JEREMY]: Awesome. Thanks Joe.

[JOE]: This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one. And thanks to the bad Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We love it.