What is the “Sharknado” of Medical Practice Management?

Sharknado is a phenomenon that is taking the world by storm, pun intended. Even though I was completely un-impacted by the first movie, I admittedly was unable to escape the complete media build up for the sequel. 


For those unfamiliar, this is a brief summary of the plot. New York City succumbed to the “perfect storm” of weather conditions that created massive tornadoes.  Not so improbable these days as can be verified by many in the “Tornado Alley” area of the United States.

The unlikely part however was that the tornadoes had managed to suck up hundreds of multiple varieties of sharks. 

So, in my usual fashion of tying completely unrelated, unusual things to medical practice management, I am going to attempt it again, with you guessed it: super-tornadoes and sharks.

The first one, super-tornadoes, is not that hard to draw an analogy to medical practice management.  There is an extreme level of science to tornado development, but a very basic cause is rotating cool air from a thunderstorm converging with warm air rising from the ground.   The bigger the thunderstorm, and/or cooler/warmer the air, the more powerful the tornado becomes.  In the movie, two massive storms, merged into one.


What in medical billing is like two already massive tornadoes merging into one? For me, I think I would say ICD-10 and Meaningful Use Stage 2

super tornadoWe have been able to see both on the horizon for quite some time.  Government extensions on implementation timelines and indecisiveness have caused many of us to delay in taking the preparations necessary to ensure the financial safety to our medical practices.

Of the two, I believe ICD-10 to be the less scary of the two.  On the optimistic side, this version of the diagnosis coding system has been in use in other countries for years.  Here in the US, we definitely have the skills, and knowledge to make the change.  We just need to dedicate to the timeframe and get it done.  On the pessimistic side, some predict the transition will result in increased claim denials and delayed reimbursements.

Since both have significant financial repercussions, it is still a danger we need to be ready for.

ICD-10 medical billing software

At Medical Business Systems, we were well ahead of the storm.  Our practice management system, Iridium Suite, was up and ready for ICD-10 by January of 2014.

If your billing system has left you unprotected, let us help you find your ICD-10 safety.  Don’t wait until the storm hits, schedule a free demo today!


To me, Meaningful Use is a more complicated issue.  Beyond the reporting requirements, you have to ensure you have a certified electronic health record (EHR) or you are out of luck no matter what.  Many of the EHR vendors that qualified for Stage 1 have fallen short on the Stage 2 requirements.  If you are an administrator who made the unfortunate choice to purchase one those non-qualifiers, I imagine you are more than slightly stressed out.  You are facing potential reimbursement penalties or large investments of both time and money in acquiring a new EHR system.

connectivity clearinghouseNo matter what electronic health record you are using, Iridium Suite’s billing software with its integrated Connectivity Clearinghouse, can provide you with the ability to share patient demographic and charge data with your EHR.

By utilizing the HL7 format, it is virtually effortless to import and export data between the billing system and the EHR.

So, if you fail to properly prepare for ICD-10 and it does happen and you fall short on your Meaningful Use reporting requirements, it could be your “perfect storm”.

Keep your eyes on the horizon for my next installment of the “Sharknado” of Medical Practice Management.  Hint: it’s all about the sharks!

sharknado of medical practice management