1. Missing Money What happens to insurance company checks that don't reach their destination? What happens to checks that are never cashed or aren't cashed in time? They turn them over to your state government. You can locate these funds at the above link. Federal unclaimed funds are a different story. Each federal agency lists its unclaimed funds separately. You can find a listing of the federal sites at the US Gov't Site For Unclaimed Funds Included in the federal site, are FHA insurance refunds. The National Taxpayer's Union has a searchable database of people owed IRS refunds.
2. Fix Your Windows XP Computer For Free If you think you need a new computer because it has slowed down, chances are that it has spyware or needs a tune-up. The best spyware removal, antivirus, and tune-up package is currently made by Microsoft and its free to try. Click on the above link and follow the links for full scan. If you get the warning about popups, right click the yellow bar below the address bar to allow active-x controls. It will take hours to run, so do it at the end of the workday. I have done this on a dozen Windows XP computers, and each one ran much better afterwards. It has detected spyware, viruses and Trojans, that MacAfee, and Computer Associates products didn't.
4. Alive or Deceased? There is nothing more embarrassing than sending out a follow-up notice to a patient, only to find out that they have passed away. We all have an office employee assigned to the task of watching the obituaries so that we may keep track of these sad events. Ancestry.com has a free service where you can tell if someone has passed away, called the SSI Death Index. It is based on official social security records. Search by name and address, or social security number.
5. Create Your Own Website Free A brand new service by Google lets anyone create professional looking web pages in a short time. It's called Google Site and it's free. You only have to sign up for a free Google email account. There are currently no ads, and its wonderfully easy to use. The interface is very similar to a word processing program. I found it easier than using MS word. I created a site in two hours as a first time user. As an added bonus, all pages are indexed by Google's search engine, so your site gets seen. You also have the advantage that your site is hosted on Google's reliable high speed servers. Plus you can also get Google Analytics for free. It tells you everything about people viewing your website except their name. What country and state they are in, how they got to your site (i.e. search engines, links from other sites, which of your links they click on, what browser they use, what screen resolution they use). Amazing. And it's free. Microsoft also offers a free website promotion for small businesses, where you can choose your own domain name. It is free only for one year, and you need your credit card to sign up.
6. National NPI Registry Search It can be a hassle calling other doctors offices to find out their NPI numbers and addresses. Save time by looking it up on the internet using the US government directory. You can search by either individual or group providers name. Also included are UPIN numbers, Medicare, and Medicaid ID numbers.
7. National UPIN Registry The UPIN (Unique Providers Identification Number) directory has been discontinued, but you can still find UPIN numbers using the link for the NPI registry. Although the UPIN number is being phased out, you will still need the info to process claims. Look up individual or group UPIN numbers and addresses.
8. Medicare Carrier Directory (Excel). Got a Medicare patient from another state? Don't know where to submit their claims? It's handy to have this Nationwide listing of Medicare carriers. It's in excel format. If you don't have Excel, you can get this listing in PDF format Medicare Carrier Directory (PDF)
9. Free Electronic Claims Submission Software, PC-ACE This is subsidized by the US government because of the mandate that Medicare claims must be submitted electronically. It is available free of charge from your local Medicare carrier such as Empire Medicare. Or you can contact your local Medicare Intermediary using the directory above.
10. Free Medicare Remit Easy Print Software CMS developed software which gives Medicare providers a free tool to read and print an Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA). This software is called Medicare Remit Easy Print (MREP). Providers who use the MREP software package have the ability to print paper documentation that can be used to reconcile accounts receivable, as well as create document(s) that can be included with claim submission to secondary payers.
11. Free Payroll Service The IRS has a list of approved electronic payroll services. Intuit, the makers of Quicken, QuickBooks and Turbotax software, currently has a special offering the first three months of their online payroll system for free. Afterwards, its $29.95 a month. For this option you don't need Quicken Software. Unlike many vendors, their is no extra charge for direct deposit. They also have options using QuickBook software, which run from $9 to $59 a month, depending upon their level of support. Their support is excellent.
12. Free Credit Reports The US government mandates free annual credit reports for consumers according to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT). This is the official site which is sponsored by the big three consumer credit reporting organizations, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experion.
13.Instant Tax ID Online This is the official website where you can apply and be issued an EIN (Employer Identification Number) online, instantly. This service is free.
14. US Postal Service The US Postal Service offers several convenient online services. Create shipments, print postage, and track shipments online. There is a convenient Online Change Of Address which charges $1 against a credit card for identity verification purposes. They will also mail you free shipping supplies such as boxes, labels, and envelopes.
15. Guaranteed Ontime Shipping The US Postal Service offers on time guarantees. From experience I can tell you that they are often not on time, even if you paid the extra charge for certified mail. If you need next day service go with UPS or FedEx