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Four Decades of Serving Clients

Administrative Assistant Kathy Anderson just celebrated her 40th anniversary with Gilmore Jasion Mahler. How well do you know her?

I work as an administrative assistant doing firm billing, help with the assembly of tax returns and financial statements and any other work as necessary. I also work with the healthcare and accounting services group doing monthly compilation work for medical/dental practices, trust accounting work, process 1099’s and W-2’s, and help put together our dental fee surveys and salary surveys for the medical/dental practices.

I really enjoy the diversity of the work I do and the people I work with and feel I have made many friends over the years. I have worked with some of the healthcare and accounting services employees for over 30 years.

I was hired by The PM Group – Toledo in June 1977 through a family friend. The PM Group was an accounting firm specializing in the healthcare field. I did much of the same work at the PM Group that I still do today. We merged with Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD in 1999 and everyone at GJM helped make this such a smooth transition, and for that I will be forever grateful. I am truly grateful for the flexible hours we have at GJM and opportunities to work from home if need be.

I am married with one adult son. I absolutely love Shetland Sheep Dogs and currently have my third one, although he has turned out to be more of a handful than the other two combined, but he is still a great addition to our family.

My husband is a volunteer fire fighter/EMT with the Richfield Township Fire Department. I help out with their annual fundraiser baking for days and working at the “Feather Party”. For those that don’t know what a “Feather Party” is, they have a big party close to Thanksgiving where they have a bake sale, silent auctions, games for kids, raffles for turkeys and/or hams, etc. to raise funds for new equipment for the department. Several years ago we were privileged enough to go to Maryland to attend the National Fire Fighter Memorial to honor a fallen member of the Richfield Department. That was a very humbling experience.

I enjoy gardening, walking at the park, going to the lake (I love all water sports), and going to my husband’s family farm in the mountains of Kentucky to go four-wheeling.

I once went water skiing with seven other skiers at the same time. What a blast that was! My next big adventure is to learn to wake-board. Over the Fourth of July, we had six wake-boarders up at the same time. It was awesome to watch!

Medical Debt & Credit Scores: Physician Practice Impact

medical debtAs of  September 15, 2017 the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will set a 180-day waiting period before including medical debt on a consumer's credit report. Given the confusing process of medical billing and lack of standard reporting in the industry, the six-month period is intended to ensure there's enough time to resolve disputes with insurers and delays in payment.

These changes were prompted by the findings in a December 2014 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and a 2015 settlement negotiated by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the three major credit reporting agencies. This settlement resulted in a subsequent agreement involving 31 state attorneys general demanding more accurate reporting and resolution of reporting errors.

Medical debt is a large part of debt in collection. According to the CFPB’s report, over half of all debt on credit reports is from medical expenses. The report also shows that one in five credit reports contains overdue medical debt. That means 43-million Americans have unpaid medical debt.

Another change in credit scoring has occurred in the recent past. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion all use the predictive scoring system developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). FICO has updated it’s scoring to differentiate non-medical and medical debt; assigning a lower risk to medical debt. Bottom line: outstanding medical debt doesn’t have as much negative impact on consumers’ credit scores as other debt.

The new 180-day waiting period could have a significant impact on billing procedures at your medical practice.

“If medical debt has less of an impact on consumers’ credit scores, it is possible that providers will see an increase in bills going to collections,” says Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Judy Anderson. “If patients know their medical debt may not immediately impact their credit, they may be less inclined to pay their bills.

It can make for a challenging scenario should a patient with outstanding debt with your medical practice have a scheduled appointment. Anderson says it is important that providers know that they do not have to see a patient with an outstanding balance, and can reschedule that appointment if deemed necessary, until after the outstanding debt has been paid. The patient’s well-being is, of course, the top priority. Always consult a physician before declining services. Still, it is also important that your patients understand the billing and other policies in place.

“The best practice always is clear communication with patients,” adds Anderson.

Judy Anderson, CPA, is a Senior Manager in the Gilmore Jasion Mahler Healthcare Department and a member of the GJM Healthcare Specialist Group. Judy works with a number of healthcare clients, including many physician offices across the region.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Team GJM Pitches in at United Way of Greater Toledo Kickoff to Caring 2017

United Way Kickoff to Caring Gilmore Jasion MahlerGilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM) joined hundreds of other volunteers at the United Way of Greater Toledo’s Kickoff to Caring 2017 this morning at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo.

Our team helped assemble back-to-school backpacks for children across Lucas, Wood and Ottawa Counties. The school supplies included notebooks, pencils, crayons, scissors and other necessary items for the classroom. The backpacks also included hand-written notes to the children, encouraging them to have a great school year.

GJM’s Matt Hoverman, a member of the GJM Community Impact Committee, took the lead in coordinating the GJM team, which included about 25 staff members.

“I’ve been involved in the Kickoff to Caring in the past and I knew it would be a great community service project for GJM,” says Hoverman, who joined the firm in October of 2016. “It was impressive to see such a strong turnout. We had about 25 people there. Some of us even brought our children to help. It’s a wonderful way to teach them the value of giving back.”

“Community service is one of GJM’s core values. Our people volunteer for many causes, sit on boards for many organizations and support local nonprofits in many other ways,” added Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore. “I’m very proud of our commitment to bettering our community.”

Other GJM “hands-on” service projects are planned for throughout the year. The Firm believes volunteering not only benefits the community, but strengthens the bond between our people. What better way to work together than by helping others?

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities. 

Mark Your Calendar for Carnevale 2017

Plans are under way for a bigger, better, even more fun (if that’s possible) Carnevale to benefit Flag City Honor Flight. Mark your calendar for November 3, 2017 at the beautiful Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Findlay.

Thanks to the generosity of last year’s sponsors, donors and attendees, GJM helped raise over $42,000 for Flag City Honor Flight. The money helped fund a second flight in 2017. That meant more veterans could make the trip to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor. It costs about $1,000 per veteran for the flight. They pay no money whatsoever. The entire cost is covered by donations. GJM hopes to once again help fund a second flight for Flag City Honor Flight for 2018.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler established the Carnevale event in 2016 after learning of Flag City Honor Flight’s need for financial support. Carnevale is essentially the Italian version of Mardi Gras. The event, with an Italian festival theme, will once again feature Italian specialties from renowned Findlay Chef Sam Fittante.

Exciting changes for the 2017 Carnevale event include additional performers entertaining the crowd, live auction packages you won’t want to miss out on, and raffle drawings.

The showcased live auction package for Carnevale 2017 is a trip to Italy!

The “Italian Culinary Experience for Two” travel package includes:

  • 5 nights hotel in historic Bologna
  • Half day truffle hunting outing which includes a one hour truffle hunt with a licensed truffle hunter and his dog, a tour and tasting at a local winery and a 5 course menu (featuring truffles) at a trattoria
  • Full day cooking class in Florence including: tour and tastings at a historic Florence food market, visit to a farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside for a cooking class, and then a group meal to enjoy what you’ve made with local wine pairings
  • Airline gift card of $1,500

Carnevale sponsorship opportunities are still available at a number of levels for companies and individuals who want to help get more of our veterans to Washington, D.C. Tickets are also now available to Carnevale for only $60 each. You can find all information about Carnevale 2017, including some great photographs of last year’s event on our Carnevale webpage. Check it out!

Save on Back-To-School Shopping During Upcoming Sales Tax Holiday

Ohio sales tax holiday 2017Hope you haven’t done all your back to school shopping for the kids already, because you have an opportunity to save some money next week.

August 4th – 6th is Ohio's sales tax holiday, which means you can buy certain clothing and school supplies without paying sales tax. Teachers can save on classroom supplies, too. But, of course there are some rules that apply. Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Charlie Heid did his homework on the 2017 tax holiday, and shared some key information on WTOL's Your Day.   

Rule number one: price matters on these items. For clothing, the item needs to be priced at $75 or less. School supplies need to be $20 or less. For teachers: school instructional material needs to be $20 or less

What items qualify? The Ohio Department of Taxation has a very detailed list on its website. But some examples of the clothing & school supply items that will be sales tax-exempt include:

Clothing items ($75 or less)

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Skirts
  • Uniforms
  • Shoes
  • Boots
  • Jackets

School Supplies ($20 or less)

  • Binders
  • Book bags
  • Notebooks
  • Pens
  • Lunch boxes

There are a lot of items that don’t qualify for the exemptions, including items used for a business, clothing accessories, hair accessories and sports equipment.

Other important rules people need to know:

The exemption is item by item, so, for example, if you bought five articles of clothing that were each under $75, your entire purchase would be tax-exempt.

One common question: If you bought something that was $80, would the “first” $75 of that purchase be exempt? No, if the item costs over $75, standard sales tax is due for that item.

Internet sales qualify if you order and pay for the item and the retailer accepts the order between August 4-6, even if delivery is made after the sales tax holiday. This also applies to sales by telephone, mail and email.

Can stores opt not to participate? No… this sales tax holiday is the law and all stores have to comply.

Sales tax holiday specifics: It starts Friday, August 4th at 12:00 am and ends Sunday, August 6 at 11:59 pm. So, something important to remember for online sales: if you buy something from an online retailer in another time zone, be careful. The time zone of the seller’s location is what determines eligibility for the tax exemption. The Ohio Department of Taxation uses this example: if you bought a $50 shirt online at 1 am on Friday, August 4th from a California retailer, it wouldn’t qualify, because it would actually be 10 pm Thursday, August 3rd in California at the time of the purchase.

Learn more about the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday for 2017 with these frequently asked questions from the Ohio Department of Taxation.