It’s that time of the year. We’re busy gearing up for yet another undoubtedly jam-packed season of food, family, and festivity. But with the holidays on the horizon, it can be easy to overlook that now is the perfect time to plan for your medical practice’s upcoming year.
For a medical practice, the last few weeks of the year give you the critical time you need to prepare for a productive (and more lucrative!) year to come. Read on for some of our best tried and true year-end tips to help you take 2016 head on.
1. Wrangle in A/R
Piles of pending A/R issues can hamper even the best biller’s New-Year intentions. Luckily, for some independent physician practices, December often has a lower patient volume, which gives billers the time they need to double-down on tracking down lingering payments and follow up on claims.
It is also a good time to decide if some elusive charges are worth tracking down. If you still have pending charges from past years, now is the time to weigh the administrative costs of pursuing the revenue against writing them off. Purge the ones that are proving too expensive to collect.
If you find that you need better solutions to collect your hard-earned bucks, check out what technology is available to you to collect patient balances faster. It could also be time to find tools that will help you in-house billers improve productivity and workflow.
2. Get tax ready
It’s true! The only two things certain in life are death and taxes. But some year-end purchases can help you keep more money in your pocket instead of Uncle Sam’s.
Contact your accountant to discuss available options to reduce your tax exposure. For example, if you have large upcoming expenses, it may make sense to complete them before the ball drops on December 31.
Below are a few tax-deductible items that you may want to add to your end-of-year shopping list:
- Rent or building costs
- Advertising materials
- Technology & equipment upgrades
- Office supplies
- Employee gifts or bonuses
- Licensing fees
Always check with your tax professional to confirm all deductions. They may also be able to suggest other ways to limit your tax liability.
3. Update your policies
Make sure your policies and procedures are updated with any changes slated for 2016. Because these changes often need to be made in several locations (i.e. website, patient letters, payment agreements, etc.), take a careful inventory and get started early. (Get helpful actionable tips to updating payment policies.) You’ll also want to check in with staff to ensure they are fully trained on new policies.
Also, check with your payers to see if they have any procedural changes for 2016. Inform all staff members who need to be aware of them and make any necessary updates to processes.
4. Keep an eye on ICD-10
The ICD-10 conversion has past, but the ripple effects are likely to continue for a while. Keeping an eye on your medical practice’s ICD-10 progress will help eliminate residual issues that could continue to undercut your independent practice’s bottom line in 2016.
New robust reporting features can help you isolate areas of concern, including common claim denial reasons, and will allow you to watch your staff’s performance over time. (Listen to more tips for improving your ICD-10 performance with our exclusive on-demand webinar.)
5. Shake off the status quo
We’ll soon be inundated with New-Year-New-You messages from every advertiser on the planet. However, making some resolutions to shake things up may be what your private practice needs to have a record year.
Top-performing physicians are always looking for ways to update their tools to meet the changing times. Evaluate your current technology, like your medical office’s EHR and practice management software, to determine if it’s time for an upgrade.
Below are a few key features that are changing the way private practice doctors work and live:
- Anytime, anywhere access via the cloud
- ePrescribing (including controlled substances)
- Electronic fax
- Remote charge capture
- Mobile capabilities for iPad & iPhone
- Benchmarking tools
See how AdvancedMD is helping independent physician practices around the country prepare for their most profitable year yet. Schedule a personalized demo to see it in action.