November’s Tennessee Insurance Symposium Will Help Practice Managers, Billers, Auditors and Coders Find Success in 2021

By Karen Baird, Karen.Baird@TNmed.org, Director of Insurance Affairs, Tennessee Medical Association

2020 is known in the medical community as “perfect vision”.  It is a term used to express normal visual acuity, which is clarity or sharpness of vision measured at a distance of 20 feet. The year 2020 has proved to be far from perfect.

The Tennessee Medical Association is bringing the major payers and healthcare subject matter experts together for a three day virtual conference. The Tennessee Healthcare Symposium is geared toward helping practices navigate through the many challenges they face in today’s healthcare environment.  

Payers will be available to meet with attendees in chat rooms to assist with claims issues, etc. and vendors will be discussing pertinent information and/or products between sessions. This event offers an array of session topics and has been approved for 17.5 AAPC CEUs.  

We are honored to have Carter Lawrence, the Chief Deputy Commissioner and COO of Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) as our keynote speaker. 

Here is a sneak peek at our sessions:

Payer Updates – Blue Cross, Cigna, TennCare MCOs, United Healthcare, Palmetto, Humana, Ambetter, and TennCare will present important 2021 updates.

Revenue Cycle and Practice Recovery – Post Pandemic – Revenues have suffered as a result of the pandemic and many practices are left wondering if they can recover. Learn how to recover your revenue cycle and how to set your practice up for success in this new climate. How to gauge FTE’s for your revenue cycle team, in-house versus outsourced revenue cycle, best practices to improve cash flow and streamlining your processes.

Using Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring to Support High Risk Medicare Patients within your Practice – Patients who have complex chronic conditions such as HTN, Diabetes, COPD, Depression and CHF are at high risk for poor clinical outcomes, often face access to care issues, and have multiple avoidable hospital and emergency department admissions.  The goal of this course is to look at ways physician’s offices, ACOs, and Hospitals are using the most innovative technology to address the specific needs of these populations – whether patient or employee.  We will also look at how telehealth providers are enhancing services by providing clinical services to support 24/7 monitoring.

Now that the Election is Over – 5 Planning Moves to Consider – Now is the time to take advantage of any current tax laws that might be changed next year or maintained by the newly elected President and Congress. At the same time, the tax law changes proposed during the campaign still have to be passed into law. This session will address areas you should consider such as retirement plan modifications, changes to health plans, updates to estate planning, income tax law revisions for practices and individuals, and compensation package design for physicians.

Cybersecurity 2020 – The lions are at the gate and the security and recoverability of your patient information has never been at greater risk! This session will explore the current state of medical practice data breach, the consequences, and practical steps you can take to keep the castle safe.

The New Patient Experience – Patients are officially consumers with a choice. Patient referrals, communication, and satisfaction now hinges on all the little touches, from text messages to online reviews. Insights from consumer research will show how modern consumer preferences are shaping the end-to-end patient experience in healthcare.

Optimizing Your Practice’s Revenues via Effective Payer Contracting – Payer contracting is integral to ensuring that your practices are appropriately reimbursed for the care and services they provide. Many provider organizations have failed to implement comprehensive payer contract management practices because of the complexity associated with negotiating and managing multiple contracts. Learn how provider organizations can overcome these challenges and maximize their revenue by understanding the basics of payer contracts, the value of payer relationships, analytics, contract language, negotiations, financial impact and other related matters.

E/M Services: Current vs. Future Regulation – 2019 brought about documentation relaxation. 2020 is a ‘hold steady’ year while you get ready for the changes coming in 2021. During this session, Shannon DeConda will discuss the changes and debate areas that are still ill defined, even with new guidance. Attendees of this session will receive a better understanding of the changes as well as suggested provider education and preparation.

The Role of Coding in TennCare’s Episodes of Care Program – Selected episode reviews will cover referencing the DBR/configuration file for the designated episode and how to use it when billing the claim, review how accurate and complete coding will impact the overall outcome of the episode, performance improvement by reviewing quarterly reports and applying data in a way that will produce a better outcome, and the importance of filing corrected claims to include additional information that could impact risk adjustment and episode outcomes

Creating a Winning Appeal – In this session, you will understand your appeal rights and time frames for which the different level of appeals must be file, How to structure a winning appeal… will provide some sample letters, medical necessity, who’s reviewing your documentation and your rights to question everything, and when and how statistical samples can be used by CMS.

Coding Corner Telehealth Services – Lynn Keaton Cockrell will give a telehealth services overview and cover expansion of CMS telehealth coverage. She will also address telehealth associated modifiers, correct place of service codes, and review online resources.

As you can see, we have a robust agenda that includes information affecting everyone in your practice. Join us by registering at tnmed.org/symposium. You don’t want to miss it!

TMA’s insurance advocacy team assists member physicians with claims resolution, contracting, coding, and audit issues. We meet regularly with the payers and consult with our Government Affairs team regarding legislation. Our goal is to assist our members with administrative burdens where they can focus on patient care.


Karen Baird serves as Director of Insurance Affairs for the Tennessee Medical Association. The Tennessee Healthcare Symposium, Nov. 10-12, shares information to improve productivity and financial performance and showcases insurance plan changes expected for 2021. For questions, reach out to Karen at karen.baird@tnmed.org. To register for the event, go online to tnmed.org/symposium.

Tennessee Healthcare Symposium