AltaPoint Knowledgebase

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AltaPoint Version 12 Knowledgebase (KB) 

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Performance Issues with AltaPoint (computers running too slow)? Here are a few tips the Data Doctor suggests to our clients:

1) Always use hardwired network connection instead of wireless, whenever possible
2) Use a 1Ghz network switch and 1G network cards (they’re pretty cheap to get these days) Here’s a 5 Port Switch for under $25 Here’s a 1G Network card for $15
3) Increase the Advantage Configuration settings. AltaPoint recommends 5 connections per user, so I use 10. Network Worker Threads is usually 0 or 8. I increase that to 16.
4) Run AdAware or other spyware software to see if there are many unnecessary processes running and eliminate those.
5) Clear out all the files in the temp folders in the c:\User\<Name>\Appdata\Local\Temp on all the workstations and the server
6) Clear out all the files in C:\Windows\Temp folder
7) In AltaPoint’s Utilities, be sure to select “Pack Data” to eliminate any deleted records that may have accumulated , slowing down performance.
8) In each data folder within c:\Alta, clear out any files beginning with the word “Temp” (ex: TempReport1229453.ADT)
9) Run MSCONFIG to see what other programs are being launched at startup and eliminate those not needed. I found several clients with HPUPDATE (Hewlett Packard’s automatic update) causing major performance loss for something that’s not needed.

Patient Information
Insurance Forms and Claims Submission
Billing and Transaction Entry
Reports
I cannot access parts of my AltaPoint program. What do I do?
 
Limited access to parts of your AltaPoint program is usually related to not entering your AltaPoint activation codes properly.  Click on "File" then "Practice Information.  Ensure that the practice name entered is EXACTLY the way it appears on your invoice.  The practice name is case sensitive and all punctuation must match as well (commas, periods, etc).  Then ensure that the serial number and Activation Code at the bottom of this screen matches your invoice EXACTLY.  Sometimes the number 8 may look like the letter "B" or a zero (0) may actually be the letter "O".   If you are setting up multiple practices (billing services or multiple locations) you will need to enter your Registered Practice or Business Name on the "Billing Service" tab at the top of the screen.  Note: If you did not purchase the CPT/ICD/HCPCS Codes for your software, do NOT try to import any codes into your program from the Utilities screen.  This will disable your program without the proper activation codes and serial numbers.  Billing Code Sets may be purchased from us at 866-287-8953.

Once you have entered those three items, you may change and customize the other fields in the screen. If you are having technical trouble, you can call us at 866-287-8953 for support or send an email requesting your activation information to be verified.

Do I have the latest release of my version of AltaPoint?
 
While in your AltaPoint program, click on "Utilities" at the top of the screen and then click "Display Version".  The last two digits will let you know which release you are on (ex: 11.00.09 would be the "09" release containing the latest improvements). To access the very latest software,CALL US at 866-287-8953

What has changed in the latest release?

       
AltaPoint publishes a version history of items fixed with each update. 

What clearinghouse do you recommend?

Although our software does not require any specific clearinghouse, but the best customer service our clients have encountered have been through  Apex EDI
 

Will backup software such as Backup Exec and Norton Ghost work with my AltaPoint?

 
Although these programs will create backups of all the data on your computer, it is always best to also use AltaPoint's backup program.  This will expedite recovering your data should you experience a system crash.  Backing up to a removable USB flash drive will make it easy to take your data home with you at night so that you have a set of data offsite.  Backup operations can be run directly from the UTILITIES drop down menu.
 
What are AltaPoint's system requirements?
 
Windows 2000, NT, XP Professional, Windows Vista Business or Ultimate, Windows 7 Ultimate or Business.  Mac users should use Mac OS X 10.3 or greater using "Parallel" software.  iPad users will need iTap application for the Remote Desktop application

Having 512 MB of RAM is adequate, although at least 1GB will allow for the best performance

Monitor resolution should be at least 1024 x 768 for best viewing of all screens

 
I have been asked to locate my computer's IP address. Where do I find it?
 

Every computer is identified to your network with an address known as the Internet Protocol (IP).  In order to find this number, you can click on your "Start Menu" and click on "Run".  Then type in cmd (for "Command" prompt).  The black DOS-looking screen will appear.  Now type "ipconfig" and press enter.  In the series of lines that will appear on your screen, you will see one that says IP Address which has your number. 

 
What is PostgreSQL? Do I need it?
 
Versions 7 and 8 of AltaPoint used PostgreSQL to handle all of the database functions.  The newer versions of AltaPoint (9, 10 and 11) use the much more efficient Advantage Database Server by Sybase.  Unless you are using AltaPoint 8 or other programs which may require PostgreSQL, the program is no longer required.  If you are upgrading from an older version of AltaPoint, the latest version will automatically convert your data files to the Advantage Database Table (ADT) format. 

 
There are two fields marked "Patient Type 1" and "Patient Type 2" Are they required?
 

In the Patient Screen of AltaPoint Professional, you will find the Patient Type fields.  They are OPTIONAL fields that allow you to classify your patients, should you desire to filter information on your reports.  For example, a mental health practice may use "G" for gambling addiction or "SA" for Substance Abuse.  You might also use the second field to track accounting issues (ex: "PP" Payment Plan, "C" Collections, etc).  The choice of how to use these fields are entirely up to you.

 
What insurance type should I select?
 
The Provider's ID is attached to the Qualifier on the CMS form.  By selecting the correct insurance TYPE, you will ensure the correct qualifier is selected.

Medical Group is generally selected for all commercial carriers except for Blue Cross, which would use "BC/BS".

Other Medical is mainly used for car accidents and other liabilities.  Do NOT use this for HEALTH Insurance.

Medicare and Medicaid are self-explanatory.
 

What information do I enter in the Employer ID field?
 

The Employer ID is actually your Federal Tax ID which can be attained at this Government link.

 
Since most of our patients are in Florida, is it possible for that State to fill in by default?

 
AltaPoint has streamlined much of your data entry by providing Default Patient Settings located on the "File" dropdown menu.  This allows you to enter the most common items you would normally include with most of your patient records.  "Sex" might be "Female" if your practice is OB/GYN for example. The State field could be used for your home State.  However, since AltaPoint allows you to automatically populate City and State by entering a Zip Code, you might want to leave the State field blank.  Other fields to consider are the default "Assigned Provider",  "Signature on File" fields and more.  Remember, that although you are filling these fields in by default, you can always overwrite them as you setup each new patient.

 
Why can't I located my staff member's name on the AltaPoint Schedule?
 

Open the staff member's information screen (File-Employees-Edit) and click on the Schedule Tab to ensure that "Schedule" is selected for them to be included on AltaPoint's schedule. Exit and reenter the program, then check the schedule to ensure the name appears. 

 
If I am a Chiropractor, Ophthalmologist or Dentist, where can I find formats for my specialty?  
To access additional patient screens and formats, you must first ensure you have the correct specialty selected in your PRACTICE INFORMATION screen.  Click on FILE, Practice Information.  Click the drop-down box for the type of practice and select either "Medical", “Chiropractic”, “Ophthalmology/Optometry” or Dental. By doing so, on your patients' records, you will have activated an additional input screen related to your specialty on your patients’ records (ex: Levels of Subluxation, Spectacle/Contact Lens info, Periodontal/Restorative teeth records, etc). After saving this information, exit and return to the program. Once you return to the program, you will be able to add the additional forms for your specialty. Click on “Utilities”, then “Add New Forms” and then “OK”.
 
What do the different qualifiers mean in box 24I?
 
The Qualifiers identify the TYPE of insurance on the CMS 1500 form as well as in the ANSI (4010 and 5010) format for electronic claims.  To select the Insurance Type, open the Insurance Carrier list.

Blue Cross Blue Shield -- 1B
Medicare -- 1C
Medicaid -- 1D
ChampVA -- 1G
Champus -- 1H
Worker's Comp -- X5
Medical Group, FECA, Other Medical -- G2
 
Does AltaPoint test its forms with all the clearinghouses?
 
The most recent versions of AltaPoint software are released in accordance with the latest government regulations (HIPAA, CMS, ANSI, etc).  AltaPoint's ongoing efforts ensures that your claims will meet or exceed the requirements of the clearinghouse to which you transmit.  However, it is the end user's responsibility to make sure their particular clearinghouse tests and approves the formats they submit.

AltaPoint will modify formats individually for clients as long as the clearinghouse provides a written document as to what they require.
 
A few digits are being cut off of one of my forms. Can I fix it myself?
 
Yes. Expanding a field in a form is a very simple change. Go to Reports | Design Custom Reports.

Find the report you want to fix and click on the button called Format. This will open up the form view. Look for the box causing the problem and click on it. When the box is highlighted, small black boxes appear around it.

Place your mouse on the top right-hand black box (on the corner) and click on it. Holding down your mouse, move slightly to the right. This will stretch the box to the right, making it bigger. Do this until you think the entire contents of the box will be visible. For example, if the box is only cutting off one digit, you should only stretch the box just big enough for one digit. 
 

My forms are printing off slightly (either too high, too low, too far left or right.) How can I fix them?
 
To adjust an entire form, you would want to use margins. Go to Reports | Create Custom Reports (Design Statements and Insurance Forms.  Select the report you want to edit and press Detail.

When the report comes up, look a few lines down until you see the margin settings. Essentially, which ever margin you set will push the text further away from that side. Therefore, a Top margin will push the text away from the top. A Right margin will push it away from the right side.

Determining the perfect amount of margin to set will require a bit of guesswork. Starting with an estimate of how many "rows" off you are, and knowing that 1 row is equal to .1667, you should be able to calculate a rough estimate. Put in your estimate and run a claim (or report) and print it out. From there you will just want to re-estimate and print again, following that procedure until you have determined the correct margin amount. If needed, you can certainly set more than one margin, or even a negative margin if your printer requires it.

 
Why doesn't the CPT code for my procedure show up on the claim?

 
When a procedure code is entered but no corresponding CPT code shows up on the claim, it is most likely due to the assignment of a fee schedule on that claim. Often an office will set up the CPT codes for their Standard Fee schedule, but forget to do the same for any new fee schedules they add.

To check this, go to Lists, Billing Codes. Choose the billing code in question and press View. In this screen, press the Fee Schedule tab at the top. Select the fee schedule assigned to the claim you are trying to print. Is there a CPT code entered in the top box? If not, put one in. The code should now print on your claim.

 
I applied a big payment from a patient, and their account shows a zero balance, but their paid bills still show up on their statement. Why?

 
Many offices will receive a large payment for multiple bills, and apply inside one of those bills. The patient's account will balance out to 0, but the payment has not been applied to the other bills on the account.

When you apply a payment inside of the Transaction Entry screen, it applies to THAT TRANSACTION.

If you want a payment to apply to multiple bills, you MUST enter that payment in the batch payment screen.

If a payment is not applied to a bill, the program recognizes the amount under the patient's account, but the bill will still have a balance if you open it.  For help applying credits, see the topic below.
 

 
One bill has a credit balance, but the patient has some with money owed. How can I apply the credits to other bills?

 
First, go into a bill with a balance. Go to the bottom and hit the Payment button. Choose either Apply to Item or Apply to Bill, depending on your preference. When the payment box comes up, click the tab at the top called "Apply Credit Balance."

To use this feature you will need to assign two billing codes. First, next to Adjustment Credit Code, assign a billing code that is set up with a code type of Write-Off. Second, next to Adjustment Charge Code, assign a billing code that is set up with a code type of Credit Adjustment.  

If there is an amount in the Payment Amount box, and you aren't sure how much credit is available, change the Payment Amount to $0.01. This will update the list below, showing all bills with a credit amount. Once you have determined how much credit is available, highlight the bill you wish you take credit from and change the Payment Amount.

Once you have hit Okay, a credit adjustment will be placed on the bill that was overpaid and a write-off will be placed on the bill you wanted to apply it to. 
 
Why do I have some billing codes appear under the billing codes list from under the list menu, but not on the search window in the transaction entry?
 
To help offices narrow their list of most commonly used billing codes, we have a feature called a "Short List." We also have an option to show only Payments and Adjustments in the search list in transaction entry. If you notice some codes are missing from the transaction entry billing code box, make sure none of these filters are marked in the check boxes at the bottom.

If they are not checked and you still don't see the code you are looking for, consider the following:

Is the item an inventory item? Do you have sufficient quantity on-hand? If you don't have any in stock the code will not appear in transaction entry because the program doesn't think you have any in stock.
 
What type of Accounts Receivable reports should I run in AltaPoint?
 
There are several reports in AltaPoint that are helpful.
  • For collections, you can run Patient Aging and Insurance Aging which help you determine which bills are past due.
  • There is Practice Analysis which presents an overview of money coming in and services being rendered.
  • You can also run Insurance Payment Analysis to view the payment trends of specific procedure codes.
  • Additionally, you can run the Comparative Analysis which is a Practice Analysis used to compare annual, monthly, and quarterly results.
Most offices run a combination of these reports for their A/R.

The wrong amount populates when I enter a procedure code. I change it in the transaction, but it reverts when I enter it on a new bill. Why?
 
The amount of a procedure is determined by the billing code corresponding to it. This is set up under Lists, Billing Codes. The Standard Fee is the amount set under your Standard Fee Schedule. Each subsequent Fee Schedule may also have a charge. If the amount populating in your bill is wrong, check the Fee Schedule assigned to the bill, then go into the Billing Codes List and check the prices set for the code.

Changing the price in the transaction itself will not save the change, it only edits the amount for that transaction.

 
I'm posting payments, but cannot type in the "Allowed Amount" field. How do I enter allowed amounts?
 
The allowed amount field automatically populates from the information you entered when setting up your procedure codes. This is set up under Lists, Billing Codes, under the FEE SCHEDULE tab.

 
I'm trying to run a query in SQL, with the names in alphabetical order. It doesn't seem to work. What's wrong?
 
If your alphabetical results don't seem to be in true order, it is probably because the SQL language is case sensitive. This means that a capitalized "B" will come before a lower-case "a." The queries determine order based on a table called "ASCII." To see that ordering system, you can go to http://asciitable.com/
 
How do I get a list of all patients with a specific type of insurance? What about a specific insurance company?

To get a list of patients with one type of insurance, for example Medicare, go to Reports | Lists | Patients. When the Print Custom Report box comes up, put a check mark in the Filters box. This will display several rows below.  

To get a list of patients with Medicare as their Primary Insurance Type, first we need to tell the report where to look for data, and what the data is supposed to be.
 
  • The "File" drop down is used to tell the program what part of AltaPoint we are looking for data in. In this case, it is the Patient File, so on this drop down we choose "Patient." 
  • The "Field" drop down is used to tell the report which box in the Patient File we would like it to look in. In this case, it is the Primary Type. 
  • The "Compare With" drop down is used to tell the report whether the value we are looking for is the same, less than, greater than, or not the same as what can be found in the "Field" box. In this case we want it to be Equal To, since we want it to be an exact match to the Medicare type. 
  • The "Value" drop down box is used to tell the report what results to look for in the "Field" box. In our example, the "Field" box has Medicare in it, which is Primary Type 0. So we put a 0 in the box. (Check HERE for a list of which numerical value matches each insurance type.)
You can also substitute Primary Code in the Field box and type the insurance companies Code into the Value box if you want to look up only a specific insurance payer.
For more information about how to design, run, and filter reports, look for the link in the next topic of Frequently Asked Questions.

 
I want to learn more about generating and writing reports, is there a place I can get more information?

We have a file you can download with some helpful information about report creation. Please note that this information may change, but familiarizing yourself with the key concepts can help you design and run successful reports.
 
I'm looking in the database, but I don't see Medicare as an insurance type, I only see numbers. What are these numbers?
 
Each Insurance Type has a numerical value assigned to it, to help the database calculate and refer to them. They are listed below. Ordinarily you would not need to know these, but for filtering and report editing it is handy to know.
  • 0 = Medicare
  • 1 = Medicaid
  • 2 = Champus
  • 3 = ChampVA
  • 4 = Medical Group
  • 5 = FECA
  • 6 = Other Medical
  • 7 = BC/BS
  • 8 = Workers Comp
How do I print a birthday list for everyone having a birthday in May?

Go to Reports, Print Custom Reports. Type "Birthday" into the search box. Press Okay. When the print box comes up make sure there is a checkmark in the box called "Advanced."

In the boxes below, there should be two lines filled in, one saying "Patient Birthdate Greater than" and one saying "Patient Birthdate Less than".  In the last box on the "Greater than" line, type in 05/01. On the "Less than" line, type in 06/01. This will give you a list of all birthdays in May.
 
I've sent my test claims to my clearinghouse.  How do I change the format so that it sends in "PRODUCTION" rather than in "TEST" mode?

Go to Reports, Design Statements and Insurance Forms.  Open the "ANSI1" form.  Press your <F9> key to edit the form.  Scroll down to Line number 53, where it should read

[ZNumber9({ClaimBatch}) + "*1*T*#~",,,8,Left, Font 1];"

Replace the "T" in that line with the letter "P" (without the quotation marks of course).   Then save your form.

My claim print/transmission failed.  How do I resubmit/reprint the claims?
  • Under "Activities", open Bill Management and make a note of the batch file that failed.
  • Click on "Create Claims"
  • On "Print Options", select "Reprint All Unpaid"
  • Select the "Filters" tab
  • Under "File" select "Billing"
  • Under "Field" select "Batch number"
  • Under "Compare with" select "Equal to"
  • Under Value, enter the batch number

 

When billing Medicare, how do I indicate that the Secondary Insurance is to be a Crossover/Medigap claim?
  • Open your Patient's record.
  • Click on "Billing" tab
  • In the field "Program Name", enter "MEDIGAP"
  • Be sure to include the insurance carrier's Payor Number in the Insurance Carrier record in the Field NEIC (National Electronic Information Code)   The PAYOR NUMBERS for AVAILITY can be found here

 

Are there any specific ANSI 5010 formats for Apex, Availity, OfficeAlly, etc?
 

Yes!  Ability Clinical Technologies has created custom formats for various clearinghouses.  The steps to import the information is as follows:

  • Download the format (ex: AVAIL5010.txt, OFFICE ALLY or Apex) for your clearing house or any of the other formats below
  • Open the format using WordPad or Notepad on your computer
  • Select all the information in the format (Ctrl-A usually does this well)
  • Copy the information to your clipboard (Ctrl-C does this)
  • In your AltaPoint program, click on "REPORTS", then "Design Statements and Insurance Forms" then "NEW"
  • In the next screen give your format a name and description (ex "AVAIL5010", "Availity ANSI 5010 format") then select "Insurance" for the form type
  • Once the format opens, press the <F9> key on your keyboard to go into the Report Detail
  • In the report detail, use Ctrl-A to select everything, then use Ctrl-V to paste in the new format
  • Click OK at the bottom of the report window and you're done!

Availity5010-SoloPractioner Version

Availity Output Descriptions

 


   
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