Every year we set new goals and expectations for ourselves. January 1st is a clean slate for most of us hoping to make a change for the better in our lives. This year, make the commitment to your practice. Devoting time and effort to each of the following 5 points will help prepare your practice for the upcoming changes and help you better manage your practice in 2014.
1. Check Patient Eligibility
The New Year means new insurance coverage. Check insurance eligibility before the patient is seen. Ask for a new copy of their card and keep a copy of that card on file.
The beginning of the Health Insurance Exchange means many patients with new insurance plans and many patients entering your office that have never had insurance. They may not have an insurance card yet; make sure your staff is prepared on how to check their eligibility if they do not have their card.
2. Deductibles, Deductibles, Deductibles
The New Year also means deductible amounts are due. And again with the Health Insurance Exchange comes larger than normal deductibles. Be prepared for your insurance receivables to decrease the first few months of the year. Reminder messages of balances, a credit card on file program, and collecting at the check in window are great ways to keep your money flowing in.
Are you ready for ICD-10? Unfortunately transitioning to ICD-10 is not something that you’ll be able to do on October 1, 2014. This is something you will need to prepare for. The codes have drastically changed. Physician documentation will need to be altered for detailed specificity. If you have certified professional coders in your practice, they will need to recertify. Do not underestimate the change from ICD-9 to ICD-10. You can’t prepare your practice enough for ICD-10!
4. New CPT Codes
Remember that in January, there are new and deleted CPT codes. Be prepared on how these will affect your practice.
Are you looking at month end reports? How do they look? Do you know your days in accounts receivable or your net collection rate? What types of denials is your practice facing? How old is your AR and why has it aged? Looking at the reports is one thing but make sure you know which questions to ask the billing staff in order to analyze the reports. Understanding your reports and what they tell you every month should be a top priority this year. Not sure if your practice is performing at its best? Click here to download our free whitepaper on the Key Metrics to Measure Performance now.
Although these steps are not the tell-all of your practice, they are important starting points to get your practice on the right track for 2014. Make this year your best year.
Written by: Renzi Russell, CPC