This holiday season, don't forget to give your practice the gift of an end-of-year checklist. Take the time to reflect on your practice management accomplishments this year and plan for a productive new year. Here is an end-of-the-year practice management checklist to help you start the new year off right.
1. Review This Year's Progress
Before your staff members start departing for holiday vacations, take a moment to reflect on your progress this year and review your practice management checklist. You can run dashboards and reports in your EHR and EPM system to help you review practice management statistics, quality measures, and financial information with key staff. Celebrate any areas where you met or exceeded your goals, and discuss where you fell short so that you can identify ways to improve your performance next year.
2. Set Next Year's Goals
What does your practice hope to achieve next year? Gather your staff in December to discuss your goals for the coming year and set priorities. By involving staff and providers, you can create buy-in for any new goals and measures you hope to roll out in the new year. Next year's goals should be paired with measures you will use to assess progress. Use the SMART goals framework where possible to set specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound targets. Make sure you have easy access to the data you need to calculate measures and develop a schedule for assessing progress. Your EHR and EPM system can help you keep track of any clinical, practice management, or financial goals. Develop custom dashboards, templates, and reports to calculate and display critical metrics in one place. Or use tools like TempDev's NextGen EHR and EPM Practice Dashboard Report to track measures like appointment statistics, open orders, tasks, and Patient Portal usage.
3. Submit Any Remaining Claims For The Year
Before your billing staff takes a holiday break, conduct a thorough review to make sure you don't miss any claims filing deadlines. Most insurance companies require claims to be submitted quickly after an office visit. Unbilled office visits lead to a significant loss of revenue for practices. Don't let vacations or physicians behind in charting lead to denied claims and lost revenue. The end of the year is also a great time to review your denial rates and develop new processes to make the new year more efficient. Automation tools like the NextGen Background Business Processor let you scrub, batch, and submit claims automatically, saving you time and money. If your practice struggles with slow billing or denials, third-party revenue cycle management companies like TempDev can help you identify bottlenecks and get back on track.
4. Prepare for Payment Changes
As your practice heads into the new year, make a list of any forthcoming changes to payer contracts and requirements. If you negotiated new insurance company contracts this year, ensure your billing systems are prepared with the new rules, codes, and rates. Your practice should also review any forthcoming changes to Medicare and Medicaid payment rules that may affect you and your patients. For example, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule includes changes to E&M CPT codes and new HCPCS codes for chronic pain management. Prepare your systems to comply with new Medicare and Medicaid rules now so that you are not scrambling to catch up in January.
5. Get Ready for Quality Reporting
Most quality reporting programs operate on a calendar year basis. Your practice will close the books on the quality measurement year on December 31, with reporting due in early in the year. For example, MIPS reporting for the performance year is due March 31. Quality programs like MIPS affect your bottom line, so submitting accurate reports on time is critical. Before the year ends, review your progress on key quality measures and identify any data issues or unexpected results. Make a list of any tasks you need to perform in January to fix problems with your quality measures and get your reports submitted on time.
6. Communicate with Your Patients
Reach out to patients about any holiday closures as early as possible. Prioritize patients who come in regularly, have conditions requiring strict management or have follow-up timelines that coincide with the holidays. Post closures prominently in your office, email patients, and call to reschedule appointments if needed. Also, make sure you black out closure dates in your Patient Portal or other self-service appointment scheduling applications. The holidays are also a great time to communicate your appreciation to your patients. Holiday cards or other messages of thanks can make patients feel more connected to your practice.
7. Boost Provider and Staff Morale
The holiday season is an opportunity to take stock of burnout in your practice. If your providers and staff struggle to finish the year, consider adjusting closure dates and on-call schedules to allow for rest and recovery. You can also show staff and providers how much you appreciate their efforts. Holiday parties, gifts, time off, or notes of appreciation can be great ways to boost morale going into the new year.
How TempDev Can Help with Your End of Year Checklist
TempDev is here to help with your year-end practice management checklist. Our expert consultants and developers can support your practice to review progress, identify new goals, and prepare for quality and financial reporting. Through TempBill, we also offer temporary medical billing support and revenue cycle outsourcing to maximize your revenue in the new year.
Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here for help closing out this year and preparing for next year.
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