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Makers of Practice Magic Psychotherapy Billing Software

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What's New

For information about the CMS-1500 form required as of 4/1/2014, click Here.

For information about 1/1/2003 CPT codes, click Here.

Questions about NPI# and filling out the new CMS-1500: Click Here

Problems Unzipping: Click Here

This page displays an up-to-date listing of changes to our customer support web and a list of the latest features added to Practice MAGIC. We'll also place notices here regarding product updates, scheduled releases, or problems and work-arounds that may affect all customers. When bugs reported by our customers get fixed, we'll place a notice here.  Updates must be requested by the customer; they will not be shipped automatically.



CMS-1500 Forms required as of 4/1/2014

The version of Practice Magic that handles the new CMS-1500 forms that are required as of April 1, 2014 is available. It enables several changes. Diagnosis codes are lined up properly and are indicated by letters instead of numbers.  Box 30 is left blank.  Although the new form requires qualifiers in several places, there is not change in Practice MAGIC for these. You can simply type them in where needed. Box 14, for instance, was a date. Now it is a date and a qualifier that you can type into the client file after that date, so that the qualifier prints correctly on the form.

The new version has two new insurance templates, cms1500m.frm and cmsaltm.frm. These should be automatically transferred to your c:\MAGIC\INFO folder when you install the new version of MAGIC. MAGIC will not know to look for these new templates unless you go to line 39 in USERDATA (accessed through the MAGIC Calendar EDIT menu) and place an "M" at the end of the file name on that line.

The cost of the upgrade to this new version is $38.50. This is independent of yearly update costs, and it is required of people who have the unlimited version of Practice MAGIC as well. It covers the cost of additional programming necessary to make these features available.


The ICD-10 diagnosis codes are not yet required, but they can be entered into MAGIC by simply typing them in, without searching the included codes. When an ICD-10 list becomes available to us, we will make it available for inclusion in the software.


New CPT Codes beginning 1/1/2003.

For an upgrade of the program that handles the new CPT codes introduced and required 1/1/2013, you will need a new version of MAGIC that has been reprogrammed to handle these codes. Unless you purchased the program after 8/1/12, the charge for this upgrade for single-user programs will be $39.50 to cover the cost of reprograming. This fee also applies to upgrades for unlimited programs. It is not in lieu of annual update fees.

The new version will NOT print the old codes after 1/1/13, even if the date of service was in 2012. If you must print a statement that includes the old codes either do it before you install the new program, or set your computer's date back to 2012 (i.e. 12/31/12) and print the statements you require.

The new codes include some quirks: They do not differentiate between inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy, so 90818 will now be coded as 90834, 45 minutes of Psychotherapy. As of 1/15/2013 they do not include a code for a 90 minute session, although it appears that 90854 will be added for that purpose. Practice MAGIC does not have a designated code line for 90837 (60 mins) or 90854 (90 mins) so, if you want to use these, you will need to add to them as userdefined codes in USERDATA. (There are six slots for userdefined codes).

If you have a code that is printing as ".5" units, try download the upgraded Practice MAGIC again, as this problem was recently corrected. If it persists, the problem is with the "minuts/units" designated in the box where you fill in the fee amount for each procedure for clients. In the client file, accessed through the EDIT menu on the calendar screen, remove the "Minutes/units" designation entirely (so that it is blank) in the box where you set the fee for the code that prints with .5 and it will print with a "1"  Assuming that code is the one that most commonly causes the problem, 90832, if you put a "1" in the "Minutes/units" box in the screen that allows you to set the fee, the code will print as "90837" and the units will be "1"



Other  Features Added to Practice MAGIC over the years (All are in the Windows version; some are in the MAC version)

  • Year 2000:
  • Practice Magic is Y2K compliant. HCFA now requires the dates in box 24 on the HCFA-1500 to be printed as a single eight digit number of the form mmddyyyy with no separations between month day and year. Practice MAGIC now prints in this format in box 24 (unless you place a ^ before the name of the insurance form on line #101 of the client information. - i.e. ^HCFA-1500 ). You can still, at your option, type a two or four digit year in the various boxes that ask for dates. If you give a four digit year, MAGIC will print the date in the new eight digit format. If you give a four digit year, MAGIC will print it in the traditional format. If you utilize the four digit year anywhere on the form, MAGIC will use the new format in the signature box (#31) when it prints the current date.

  • Self-Running Demo:
  • The opening screen of Practice MAGIC now offers you two options, one to run the program normally, and the other to run a self-prompting demonstration that illustrates many of the features of Practice MAGIC.

  • Expanded Client Info Box:
  • In the calendar window the data entry box can be pulled down to reveal a complete list of clients and insurance companies. We have had requests to be able to make that box wider so that it will be possible to distinguish between insurance companies with the same name but different addresses. This can be done by holding the SHIFT key down and pressing the right arrow key. Once you have opened the client list in this wider format, it will open in the wider format each time you open it during that session of MAGIC.

  • Default for Place, Type and Units of Service (Boxes 24b, 24c and 24g on HCFA-1500):
  • Previously, the default for Place and Type of Service (Boxes 24b and 24c on HCFA-1500) has been O and 9 respectively. It is now 11 and 3 respectively.  Also, now, if you change the Place and Type of Service (Boxes 24b and 24c) on the on-screen HCFA-1500 (reached by selecting Client Info on HCFA from the EDIT menu on the MAGIC calendar screen.), MAGIC will ask you if you want this new value to be the default for new clients. The default for box 24g, units of service, is "1." To change the units of service, edit the client information, and place a colon after the fee for the particular service in question followed by the number of units you would like to print.


  • Quick Financial Status Check:
  • Press the <F11> key when a client appointment is selected from the MAGIC calendar and MAGIC will display a screen containing all that clients appointments from the end of the last billing period, as well as payments and balances as of the date of the selected appointment. Pressing <F12> instead will display the summary of charges, payments and balances at the bottom of the screen without leaving the calendar screen. There is also now a DAY SHEET option in the PRINT menu which will print a single day's appointments with telephone numbers and a summary of charges, payments and balances as of the day of the selected appointment.


  • HCFA-1500:
  • A new "HCFA-1500" menu has recently been added to the menu choices on the MAGIC calendar screen.  This menu redundantly provides in one place all the functions that would be required by someone only interested in using Practice MAGIC for filling out and printing HCFA-1500 forms for clients. The entries are in the order one would use them: add a client, edit the client information on an on-screen HCFA-1500, and print it. These are exactly the same functions as "Add Client" in the DISPLAY menu, "Client Info on HCFA" in the EDIT menu, and "Print insur. form" in the PRINT menu respectively. There is a fourth menu entry under HCFA-1500, "Print all insur forms," which is the same as the entry under PRINT with the same name.

    MAGIC now fills out the HCFA-1500 form in the NEW TIMES ROMAN font and prints the bottom lines on the HCFA-1500 in a reduced size font so that there is room for name, addresses, phone # and pin # (6 lines of info) without writing over the red lettering on the form. Some users will still find it necessary, however, to set the page size on their printer setup information to Legal (8.5" x 14") so that the bottom line of print on the form can be printed. You can now enter visit dates directly onto the on-screen HCFA-1500 rather than first entering them on the appointment calendar.  Also a button has been added to the on-screen HCFA-1500 EDIT screen to allow you to proceed directly to PRINT.

  • Click and Drag Disabled:
  • On some computers the click-and-drag method of moving or rescheduling an appointment was not working properly. We accommodated those machines by placing an asterisk at the end of line #46 in the USER DATA file, the line that asks at what point you begin to charge interest on an overdue account. The asterisk disables this feature. If you would like to reenable click-and-drag, simply edit line #46 in USER DATA (from the EDIT menu), eliminating the asterisk.

  • Report Unpaid Insurance:
  • When running a receivables report ("Receivables report for all" in PRINT menu), you will now be asked if you want MAGIC to also report all dates of service for which no insurance check has been received (for clients for whom a primary insurance carrier has been designated.)

  • Add-New-Client menu option:
  • Formerly new clients were automatically added when an appointment was made for a client MAGIC didn't recognize. Now, you can also add a client or insurance company using the Add-new-client option in the MAGIC "EDIT" menu or the newly added "HCFA-1500" menu.

  • Select All:
  • Formerly Unselect All always appeared in the SPECIAL menu. Now it is replaced by Select All when no clients have been selected. This makes possible a variety of procedures like printing an address list of all clients. Click on Select All, and then select the "envelops/labels" option from the PRINT menu. If you have indicated on line 21 of Userdata that you print addresses on labels rather than envelops the adderesses will print on paper as if on label sheets ("3x11" and "3x10" indicate 33 or 30 labels to the sheet respectively.)

  • Electronic Billing:
  • Using software supplied by the electonic claims clearing house,  Practice MAGIC can now be used to generate an electronic version of your HCFA-1500 claim on disk, which can then be transmitted electronically to any of a variety of elctronic claims clearing houses in order to bill claims electronically.  The electonic claims clearing houses charge a fee for this services.  We have found that eclaims seems to be the easiest to use, however, freeclaims is free and MAGIC will work with most of the others.

Changes to Practice MAGIC

  • 1/16/09 OUTLOOK Hotsync. Practice MAGIC now offers a hotsync feature for OUTLOOK (Windows only). Please note that we just finishing development of a module that allows practice magic to hotsync with the Microsoft Outlook calendar. Since almost all handheld devices, including cell phones, blackberries, iphones, palm handhelds etc., hotsync with Microsoft Outlook calendar as well, this makes it possible for you to make your appointments on your handheld calendar and electronically transfer them back and forth to MAGIC. Development time and costs have been extensive; we are charging a one time fee of $99.95 for this feature; more information will be available on the What's New page of our website,, shortly.
  • 8/16/08 Practice MAGIC is no longer physically shipped to customers.  All orders are filled electronically.
  • 2/1/08 Palm Hotsync. Several years ago the Palm operating system was changed (beginning with Palm OS 1.4) so that the files of the Palm Calendar residing on the desktop computer could no longer be read by a Practice MAGIC program that had the optional Palm Hotsync feature. Recently an enterprising customer who had grown accustomed to the convenience of scheduling all his appointments on his Palm Handheld, figured out how to continue to use the MAGIC Palm Hotsync feature with a new PALM HANDHELD.  He has his older Palm on his desk wired to his desktop computer. This old palm hotsyncs perfectly with Practice MAGIC, as always.   Since it is always plugged in, the Palm does not need a battery which can hold a charge, which is fortunate, because the batteries on old Palm Handhelds rarely do. Then he carries to his office a new palm, upon which he schedules all his appointments. Once a month, when he is ready to do billing, he uses the ifrared ports of the two palms to send the appointments on the calendar of the new palm to his old palm, which then hotsyncs them to MAGIC.  The only drawback to this plan is that appointments scheduled on the desktop are transmitted to the old palm but then are not transmitted from the old palm to the new palm, so that all appointments and changes must be made on the new Palm Handheld.
  • 1/1/08 MAC programs gave a message that 2008 dates were unacceptable. This was a problem for about five customers.  The problem was corrected in mid 2007 and the people who had this problem were given new versions of the program for which there was no problem.
  • 5/20/06 New version of MAGIC for CMS-1500 forms and NPI numbers. Originally we offered current users a free download which would handle many of the requirements of the new CMS-1500 form including NPI numbers, but we subsequently discovered that the ideosyncratic requirements of various Medicare organizations around the country required a flexibility that the older version of Practice MAGIC could not provide, so we had to reprogram. The new version of Practice MAGIC became available in mid 2006, and we have been charging older customers an upgrade fee of $39.95, which was separate from any yearly update fees that may have been due.  The original version put the letters "SOF" in box 31 for "signiture on file.". After receiving some complaints about this, we made a change that now causes the program to print the therapist's name in box #31.
  • 5/20/05 Downloading of Updates is no longer necessary. We have changed the update procedure.  When the program tells you you need to contact Cornucopia for an update, it now also gives you a number to report when you call or email us.  Based on that number we give you code that you can enter into MAGIC when it asks, that will extend the functionality of your installed program.  Purchasers of the unlimited version will no longer need to contact Cornucopia after the the first year.
  • 12/20/04 Can Automatically Update fees for all full-fee clients when your standard fee has changed. If you run a "Receivables Report for All" or "Receiveables Update Only" or "Statements for All" and answer "yes" to the question about whether you want to update, MAGIC will ask you, "After this billing, do you wish to automatically change the standard fees for all of these client's to the default fees in your current USERDATA file? (Y/N) [Default = N]"  If you answer "Yes" Magic will ask what your original standard full fee for "C.P.T. 90806" is before the change. It will then change the fees on those of these clients who's full fee for "C.P.T. 90806" is your standard full fee to the fees currently listed as defaults in your Userdata file.  Only the full fee will be changed, not any adjusted fees or copays.
  • 6/15/04 The statement format printed by MAGIC has been radically redesigned so that visits and payments appear in the chronological order that they occurred and portions of the statement are set apart by boxes. The program gives you the option of using this "chron style" or going back to the original statement format )"classic style statement.") The new style does not permit you to use your own stationary, so you might want to stay with the classic style if using your own stationary is important to you.
  • 5/15/04 WINDOWS MAGIC (CD ROM version) PASSWORD feature has been deactivated due to the number of support calls we were getting from people who had forgotten their passwords or could not get into their program due to the password protection. If you must have it, you can reactivate the PASSWORD feature by placing a "tilda" at the end of line #39 of your USER DATA.
  • 3/15/03 WINDOWS MAGIC (CD ROM version) now offers client file encryption for those users concerned about HIPAA privacy regulations.  We have had many inquiries about whether MAGIC is HIPPA compliant.  Even without encryption it is, because it does not send files electronically; it only produces a file that is then sent  electronically.
  • 1/26/03 WINDOWS MAGIC (the CD ROM version only) can now print the entire HCFA-1500 form including the red print on the form itself.  In the past, when MAGIC filled out the HCFA-1500 form, it did not print the red form; only the black text that filled out the form was printed. Now, if you purchase the Windows version of  Practice MAGIC that comes on a CD Rom disk, the program can print the entire form on a color printer.  Note, that it is far more economical to use preprinted forms. [As always, you can buy preprinted HCFA-1500 forms from a stationary or business supply store like Office Depot or purchase them from us (Cornucopia Software) in smaller quantities.]
  • 6/25/01 WINDOWS code for MAGIC to hotsync with PALM PILOT is complete. (There is an extra $50 charge for this feature.)
  • 3/22/01 MAC code allows appointment dates to be entered directly onto the on-screen HCFA-1500. This feature has been part of the Windows version for more than a year, and has been very popular so it has now been added to the MAC version.  Also added is the option in the FILE menu of printing onto a HCFA-1500 form directly from the on-screen HCFA-1500 without having to return to the Calendar screen.
  • 3/11/01 Corrections to Windows and MACintosh codes    Both Windows and MacIntosh versions of MAGIC had a problem during Feb/March of 2001.  They involved a February 29 date being inserted into the calendar under certain conditions.  When this happened and the calendars were saved, the appointments on March 1 were saved as occurring on February 29 and all March appointments were saved to one day earlier than than the actual day on which they occurred.  This has on at least one occasion caused a therapist to send out an inaccurate insurance forms in which the dates of service were one day off.  This problem has been corrected. 
  • 6/26,/2000 - Electronic Claims Submission

    Electronic billing of insurance carriers has now been simplified using Practice MAGIC.   Magic now offers the option of "print form to disk file" from the CMS-1500-on-screen display or from the new CMS menu on the Calendar screen.  This option will cause the CMS-1500 to be written to a disk file that can then be transmitted directly to the electronic claims clearing house of your choice.  The clearing house will provide the software for sending them the file.  It is still necessary for practitioners to pay for the services of the electronic claims clearing house to whom they contract to submit claims, however some are free. We recommend or

    • If you have any questions, e-mail us at supports.jpg (5397 bytes).
  • 7/ 27/99 - modifications to Windows Practice MAGIC
    • New feature allows dates of service and procedures to be inputted directly into on-screen HCFA-1500 form. (These are automatically transferred to the MAGIC calendar.) A new menu heading called "HCFA-1500" provides in one place all the functions that would be required by someone only interested in filling out HCFA-1500.  The entries are in the order one would use them: add a client, edit the client information on an on-screen HCFA-1500, and print it.
    • Corrections to MACintosh code made 12/24/99
      • Correction of a Y2K bug which caused an error message when jumping from a calendar page in 1999 to one in 2000. 
      • Correction of a Y2K bug which caused the wrong year to be displayed at the top of the screen when paging up from December, 1999 toJanuary, 2000, and visa versa although the proper calendar was actually correctly dispayed.
      • Correction of an incompatibility that caused certain printers to drop the first letter of the therapist's name and address lines when printing statements formatted to fit into double-windowed envelops.
      • (For both MACintosh and Windows) Addition of the therapists telephone number after the information lines at the bottom of statements formatted to fit into double-windowed envelops.


  • Questions about NPI# and the new CMS-1500:

    We have received an avalanche of questions about the new CMS-1500 form with NPI# which replaced the HCFA-1500 form on April 1, 2007.  We have prepared an upgrade to Practice MAGIC that will handle the new insurance form.  The cost of the upgrade is $39.95.  Since this version required reprograming the software, this is not an update, which otherwise would be free to holders of the unlimited Practice MAGIC program. To utilize the upgraded program, for any given client, select "Client Info on HCFA" (or "Client Info on CMS" if you have a later version of MAGIC) from the Edit Menu, scroll nearly to the bottom, and then change the letters "HCFA" in the box labeled "MAGIC Insurance Form Template" to "CMS" so that instead of reading "HCFA1500," for instance, it will read "CMS1500". This change will cause the program to fill out CMS-1500 forms for that client instead of HCFA-1500 forms WHEN PRINTED. IT WILL NOT CHANGE THE APPEARANCE OF THE FORM ON THE SCREEN!  If your program is set to print the entire form including red ink (Windows XP/Vista only) this change will cause the program to print and fill out the CMS-1500 form. Click here for more detailed instructions on converting Practice MAGIC to print the new form, after the upgrade (or template) is installed.


    With the old HCFA-1500, box 29 was obsolete and unused for years.  With the CMS-1500, for reasons beyond our abilities to comprehend, this box has been reactivated.  Since Practice MAGIC keeps a running balance of charges and payments, and does not associate each payment with a specific service, the program can not calculate box 29 accurately.  Those practitioners who feel compelled to place an accurate number in box 29, will need to settle for the calculated copay on the relevant visits to be placed in box #29 as "amount paid."  By clicking "no" to the question in box 29 on the on-screen cms-1500, you will instruct MAGIC to change the insurance template from "CMS1500" to "CMSALT" which will calculate the copay for the visits being billed and place that number in box 29. Note that neither we nor any of our customers have ever encountered an insurance company that had any interest in knowing how much of the client's copay had been collected to date. 

    Please note: If the Medicare licensee in your state insists that your NPI number appear only in box 33a, you will want to precede the number in 33a with a slash so it does not automatically print in 24j. More about this and other changes involving NPI insertion, can be found by clicking here.

  • Thursday, July 10, 1999 - modifications to Windows Practice MAGIC

    • Correction of situation in which information was requested about new clients twice
    • Correction of difficulties correcting errant payor entries during check depositing
    • Prevents wrong address from printing in certain situations during batch printing on labels and envelops
    • Correction of a bug that caused a one cent error in certain situations in balance forward
    • Permits processing of inch measurements as complex fractions
    • Filters illegal characters out of client codes
    • corrects bug that caused crash when empty client list box was opened.
    • corrects bug that caused the message on line #117 of client information files to print only sometimes on statements.
    • Alters the editing of the first nine lines of USERDATA (information about the therapist and his or her office). Creates an edit window that appears whenever any of these nine lines are edited, so that font point, font name, and font style are edited in separate edit boxes from the information about the user.   Causes user information to be displayed on these lines before font information.  There is also a font help box in this window that permits fonts and font points to be selected from a list of those fonts available.
    • Sets up the above referenced window and fee/copay windows so that if they are closed by the close-box (with the "X") they will not automatically proceed to the next line.
    • USERDATA.ORG was modified to reflect the above changes.
    • +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  • Problems Unzipping:
  • If you are using Windows 8, you will need an installation program specifically for Windows 8. Since Windows 8 does not support a dos window, you will need to install Practice MAGIC without the batch file that first removed or renamed the Practice MAGIC that you were previously using. If the new Practice MAGIC does not install, you will need to first manually remove or rename the Practice MAGIC (magicwin.exe) that you were previously using. The MAGIC folder and all other files should not be disturbed. If you get messages that say you are replacing a file with one that is not newer, click the button that indicates you want to keep the one that is newer.
  • If you are experiencing a problem installing onto an XP system in which you are receiving an error message about 16 bit software, please contact us by telephone or by e-mail at our support address, supports.jpg (5397 bytes).   We will respond by providing you with a new web address from which to download Practice MAGIC.