Use Your Medical Billing Software to Analyze Your Performance, Part 2

Lea Chatham December 27th, 2012

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December Calendar 2012

If you’ve been reading our posts on the essentials for an effective year end and year to come, you know that we just talked about how to mine data in your medical billing software to start planning for 2013. In our last post, we provided a simple chart that you can complete by using the reports available in your practice management system. Now that you’ve completed that chart, let’s look at some of the factors that can influence those indicators. We won’t be able to cover everything here but we will look at a few crucial areas that you can examine as you try to set goals for the coming year.

  • Total Charges: Your total charges reflect the overall volume of business at your practice. A number of factors can influence your charges. The loss or addition of a provider during the year or a provider taking a leave of absence obviously impacts charges. Think about this when planning for the coming year. Are you planning to add someone or is someone leaving? The same goes for payers. You should know your 10 top payers. Are you losing a payer? Is there a new payer in the market? Are your contracted rates changing? Other things that affect your charges include no-show and cancellation rates and lost or unbilled charges. Look for any trends related to these issues.
  • Total Adjustments: This indicator is affected by your contractual adjustments as well as bad debt and collections referred to a third party. It can also be impacted by charity care write-offs or other write-offs like small balance or timely filing write-offs. It’s worth evaluating each of these areas to see if there are any patterns or inconsistencies. For example, if your bad debt is unusually high, is there a process problem with your billing staff or is it related to a
    specific patient population?
  • Total Receipts: This is the money that you are actually receiving for the services you render. Your receipts are going to be impacted by your payer mix and contract rates as well as how successful you are at collecting patient due amounts. Be sure to look at your payer receipts in addition to payer charges. Your highest payer by charges may not be the highest payer by receipts. Consider both then negotiating your payer contracts and fees.

As we said earlier, we can’t cover everything but taking some time to evaluate these three key areas and determine what is affecting your numbers will enable you to set realistic goals for your practice in 2013. In our next (and final) post on this topic, we’ll talk about how to use this information to identify opportunities and action items.

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Use Your Medical Billing Software to Analyze Your Performance

Lea Chatham December 26th, 2012

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In 9 Essentials for an Effective Year End (and year to come), Rico Lopez, Senior Market Advisor at Kareo, reviewed nine steps you need to take to effectively wrap up your year and plan for the year to come. The final steps were all about using your medical billing software to run reports so you can analyze your performance and set goals for the year to come. If you were proactive last year and established target goals, then this is a good place to start. If you did not set goals last year, then let’s use this time to analyze what happened this year and use what we learn to set our targets for next year. Your practice management system should allow you to run your numbers for the previous year so you can at least do a comparison. For more on year-end reporting for your practice, see the last blog on year-end essentials.

There are a handful of key items that should be measured. The challenging part is understanding all the factors that influence these key indicators (which we will discuss in our next post). Knowing the factors that led to your success or failure is the key to influencing the outcome of the upcoming year. This simple chart is a good place to start. Run your reports, create a spreadsheet like this one, fill in the data, and see if you can establish patterns that allow you to set realistic goals for the year to come.

Year End Analysis Chart, Kareo

Indicators Key

Rows

  • Total Charges – Total charges billed to Insurance Plans, patients, and other parties.
  • Total Adjustments – Adjustments made to charges.
  • Total Receipts – All payments for services.
  • Insurance – Payments posted from insurance plans.
  • Patient – Payments posted from patient or guarantor.
  • Unapplied – Payments posted but not allocated to a line item.
  • Refunds – Overpayments returned to payee.
  • A/R Balance – Total Amount still outstanding and awaiting payment.
  • Days in A/R – Average number of days it takes for outstanding
    items to be satisfied from.
  • Total Procedures – Total number of procedures billed.
  • Average Charge – Total charges divided by total procedures.
  • Billing Lag (Days to Bill) – Average number of days it takes to
    bill an encounter (Date of service to actual date the item is submitted for
    payment).

Columns

  • 2012 – Current year (or year ending).
  • 2011 – Previous  year.
  • Change – Difference from current year compared to previous year (Current year
    value minus previous year value).
  • % Change – Percentage change from current year to previous year (Change divided by previous year value).
  • Factors – These are the factors that influenced the difference from previous year to the current year.
  • Opportunities for 2013 – These are factors that the practice feel they can leverage or implement to influence the upcoming year numbers.
  • 2013 Goals – Conservative estimate based on how much the opportunity will influence the individual items for the upcoming year.
  • % Change 2013 – Percentage change from current year to upcoming year.

Watch for our next post on planning for 2013 where we will review some of the influencing factors to consider in your planning process.

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Are You Prepared for Medical Billing in 2013?

Lea Chatham December 19th, 2012

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The coming year is shaping up to be one full of changes for medical practices and medical billing in particular. In her recent webinar, Getting Paid in 2013: What You Need to Know, Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC, a renowned specialist in medical practice management reviewed the key changes that you are going to see. She offered specific insights into Medicare, CPT coding changes, Place of Service code changes, the Affordable Care act, and “voluntary” incentives.

This last topic was one of the most interesting and garnered a lot of questions. There are a lot of incentive programs. They vary widely from state to state and payer to payer, but Elizabeth focused on the government incentives, which are called
voluntary but carry penalties for those who don’t participate. She discussed:

  • Physician Quality Reporting System which has a bonus of .5% for those who do participate in 2013 and a -1.5% penalty in 2015 for those who didn’t participate in 2013.
  • eRx Program which has some specific requirements to qualify—most importantly that the G8553 code travels through the clearinghouse to Medicare (you will receive an acknowledgement on your remit with N365). Again, you get a bonus in 2013 but there is also a penalty that increases each year.
  • Stage 2 of Meaningful Use has several requirements including the controversial electronic patient communications portion. And there are penalties for non-participation starting in 2015 and increasing each year after that.

According to Elizabeth, by 2019 if you have not participated in these programs, the penalties could be as large as a 9% reduction in your entire Medicare payment. Find out more about these programs and the many other issues you may be facing in medical billing in 2013 by watching the recorded webinar and downloading the appendix.

About the Presenter

Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC is a professional speaker, trainer and author specializing in medical practice management. She has focused on medical practice operations and revenue cycle management for more than 20 years.

Expert Elizabeth_Woodcock will discuss getting paid in 2013

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Medical Practice Reporting for an Effective Year End

Lea Chatham December 18th, 2012

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December Calendar 2012

In 9 Essentials for an Effective Year End (and year to come), Rico Lopez, Senior Market Advisor at Kareo, review nine steps you need to take to effectively wrap up your year and plan for the year to come. Number five on his list was generating reports. Your year-end medical practice reporting is about more than handing information to your accountant. These reports help you evaluate your business and make plans for the future. The following is a list of suggestions from Rico about which reports you should run at the year end.

  1. Financial Summary Reports: This is a summary so it is a pretty basic. Since most accounting is done by physician, you want to have a breakdown by provider. Your summary should include: charges (insurance, patient/account, other, and all); payments (insurance, patient/account, and other); adjustments (contractual withe percentage of charges per plan, guarantor discounts, bad debt write off, and bad debt recovery/collection account write off); current unapplied/credits (pending refunds – insurance and patient/account). These reports will give you the big picture of your business.
  2. Accounts Receivable Reports: This shows the money that you are owed that hasn’t been paid. You can run a summary for the practice and then run detail reports by insurance, patient/account, and comparison from previous year. This is isn’t just so that you can do you follow up, it’s also an opportunity to look for problem areas that may need more work to correct.
  3. Provider Compensation Report: Most compensation plans are based on the provider’s collection rates so you want to look at payments (insurance and patient) by provider. However, some compensation plans are based on the number of procedures performed by the provider in the designated period. So run a report showing total charges by procedure for each provider and a report showing total collections by insurance and patient for each provider. This information will help review and adjust compensation.
  4. Analysis Reports: These are additional reports that can help you assess the state of your business. A provider analysis shows you how each provider performed overall in charges, payments, and adjustments. An insurance analysis should include payer mix by charges to show which insurance plans generated the most charges and payer mix by payments which shows which plans generated the most payments. These reports provide a higher level of detail that you can use to help guide your planning process.

You can utilize these reports to analyze where your practice’s strengths are and what areas need work. In our next post, we’ll share some insights into how to use this data to plan for the coming year and set goals for your practice.

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3 Easy Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Lea Chatham December 17th, 2012

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3 Easy Ways

Patient satisfaction and retention are two of the most critical factors in building a successful medical practice. It is also a basic business axiom that it is cheaper to keep a customer than try to find a new one. According to Frederick Reichheld, an expert in patient loyalty, a typical company loses 10%-30% of its customers a year.[1]  How can you beat the odds and keep patients coming back for care? Because patients evaluate their entire experience in your office based on how well they are treated, pay attention to the basics. Great service, as well as conveying a professional image, are the hallmarks of a busy practice. Here are some ideas to implement that can make a big difference in patient satisfaction.

  1. Easiest: Nothing can turn a patient off more than arriving in your office, only to be ignored by the receptionist. Be sure your front line staff members greet visitors warmly as soon as they reach the front desk. Train back office or clinical staff to greet visitors if they see the receptionist is on the phone or attending to another patient when a new visitor presents.
  2. Easier:  Be sure waiting rooms and treatment areas are clean and comfortable. They should look professional and offer magazines that are up-to-date. Include practice information such as the credentials of clinicians or health  information geared to the concerns of your patient population.
  3. Easy:  Stay on schedule. No one likes to be kept waiting, and lengthy wait times are one of the most common patient complaints. If the clinical staff is running behind schedule, make sure to inform your patients, apologize for the delay and give an estimated waiting time.

If you don’t routinely survey your patients on their satisfaction with your office, consider putting a program into place. There are online sites patients can access to complete a survey you already have set up, and many companies can take the entire program on for you. Regular surveys are the best way to ensure your patients continue coming back for care.

This is the latest in an ongoing series of blog posts aimed at helping you manage the day-to-day realities of running a medical practice. Check out our last post on reducing employee absenteeism, and be sure to watch Kareo’s Getting Paid blog for more in our “3 Easy Ways…” series.

[1] .Reichheld F: Loyalty Rules: How Today’s Leaders Build Lasting Relationships. Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2003.

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Use Your A/R Reporting to Dig a Little Deeper

Lea Chatham December 13th, 2012

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By Thom Schildmeyer, Co-Founder and President, Aesyntix Health, Inc.

Recently, I shared a post about getting more from your A/R reporting. Now, I’d like to share a couple of other metrics that can help you dig even deeper into you receivables: Percent of A/R and Days Sales Outstanding.

Percent of A/R

This ratio is calculated simply as your Total A/R (at a specific time) divided by your average monthly charges. (Warning: Some billing companies or billing departments will intentionally leave out the patient balances. When calculating this ratio, and all ratios as they relate to A/R, be sure to calculate both insurance and patient A/R balances). The total A/R as a percentage of average monthly charges (Percent of A/R) typically runs about 125- 175%. The accepted industry “healthy range” is 150%. Don’t be alarmed if your percentages fall outside of this range. Keep in mind, some A/R is always good, as those charges (not collected at time of service) will be collected over a 7-45 day period. Therefore, you will have A/R, and 1.5 average months of charges in A/R (or 150%) is normal.

Higher percentages typically indicate that balances are sitting in A/R beyond the industry averages, and the practice should begin to investigate why (e.g., charges going out late, denials, rejections, A/R not being worked, inaccurate coding, etc). The lower the percentage, the more the practice is turning over its cash flow. Too low would indicate not enough charges going through the system, or the practice is mixing their cosmetics with the clinical charges, thus undervaluing their A/R.

Days Sales Outstanding

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) is calculated as your Total A/R (at a specific time) divided by average monthly charges, then multiplying that number by 30 days. This will give you the average number of days it takes to receive full payment. DSO typically will range from 25-45, and the industry average is 40. The higher your DSO, the lower your collection levels—and more difficult it becomes to collect those dollars as time goes on.

Both of these ratios—Percent of A/R and DSO—should also be reviewed in the context of my last blog post, which discussed Total A/R and A/R Aging Analysis metrics in your A/R reporting.

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December Issue of the Kareo Getting Paid Newsletter Includes Big Changes in 2013 & More

Joann Doan December 11th, 2012

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The December issue of the Kareo Getting Paid newsletter, out this week, features great articles on the 2013 Medical Billing & Reimbursement Alert, understanding and making the most of your A/R Reporting and much more. Take a minute to review these useful articles and also be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you receive it in your inbox automatically. The articles featured include:

Getting Paid BlogIn This Issue / December 2012

Elizabeth WoodcockThe 2013 Medical Billing & Reimbursement Alert:
Big Changes Ahead
By: Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

There are going to be a lot of factors that may affect your medical billing and reimbursement in 2013. Expect it to be a year full of changes. The following are some of the biggest issues that we are going to see in the next twelve months. Read More

Rico LopezThe 9 Essentials for an Effective Year End (and year to come)
By: Rico Lopez, Senior Market Advisor at Kareo

Closing out the year is about more than just running reports and handing data to your accountant. It’s the time when you can evaluate the year, analyze whether you have achieved your practice goals, set new goals for the coming year, and look at new opportunities. Read More

Understanding (and Making the Most of) Your A/R Reporting
By: Thom Schildmeyer, Co-Founder and President, Aesyntix Health, Inc.

At Aesyntix Billing Solutions, we provide monthly “report cards” that include certain measurements and ratios, as well as financial reports and month-end summaries to our clients. I’d like to share some insights into the ways you can utilize information from your A/R reporting to identify important trends that indicate the financial health of your practice. Read More

Educational Webinar:
Getting Paid in 2013: What You Need to Know

Thursday, December 13, 2012
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PST

Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC.

Register Now

Are you worried how healthcare reform will affect your practice- especially as the recession continues? This is no time to go into retreat mode. In this high-energy educational webinar, national speaker and author Elizabeth Woodcock highlights the key changes in payment for physicians in 2013.

1 PAHCOM / AMBA CEU Credit for attending live.

Kareo Webinar Demo

Register Here

 

 

Case Study

Kate Lewis Sppech Path Case Study“Using the Kareo system has been a game-changer for our practice! Since we began using Kareo less than one year ago, we have significantly reduced our overhead…More

-Kate Lewis

 

 

Top News & Ideas from Industry

Bush Tax Cut Expiration: What It Means for Physicians
With President Barack Obama’s re-election, there is now no doubt that the Bush Tax Cuts will expire as of January 1, 2013.

Physicians Practice, 11/26/12

First-Ever Group Aims to Speed Medical Devices to Market
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today unveiled a new, nonprofit, public-private partnership that aims to speed safe medical devices to market…

Medscape Medical News, 12/3/12

Two-thirds of Providers Hire Consultants to Prepare for ICD-10
The Department of Health and Human Services’ August decision finalizing a one-year delay for ICD-10 has given providers additional time to make the necessary preparations for the switch, and, according to a KLAS report released Monday, most of them plan to use a third-party firm to help get them there.

Healthcare Finance News, 12/4/12

CMS Tweaks Final Stage 2 Meaningful Use Rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued an interim final rule making changes to the Stage 2 electronic health records meaningful use program, which already had been finalized.

Health Data Management, 12/5/12

CMS Seeks Doc input in push for patient Experience Data
In its latest move to get performance data up and available on the fledgling Physician Compare consumer website, the CMS is seeking feedback from providers about the use of patient experience measures.

Modern Physician, 12/6/12

Kareo in the News

Based on Employee Survey, Kareo Ranks 12th in the Orange County Register Top Workplaces
Kareo has been selected as one of The Orange County Register’s Top Workplaces based on employee feedback in a survey of hundreds of leading companies in Orange County.

More than Meets the Eye
Chiropractic Economic’s Tech Talk shares insights from Terry Douglas of Kareo about using scheduling software as a revenue generating tool.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter. Be sure to subscribe now to the Kareo Getting Paid newsletter in order to insure you receive future issues.

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Understanding (and Making the Most of) You’re A/R Reporting

Lea Chatham December 10th, 2012

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By Thom Schildmeyer, Co-Founder and President, Aesyntix Health, Inc.

At Aesyntix Billing Solutions, we provide monthly “report cards” that include certain measurements and ratios, as well as financial reports and month-end summaries to our clients. I’d like to share some insights into the ways you can utilize information from your A/R reporting to identify important trends that indicate the financial health of your practice.

There are a number of ways to look at financial data—beyond who owes you money. However, we review two key areas daily, weekly and monthly relating to A/R, to identify trends for this important area of your cash flow: Total A/R and A/R
Aging
.

Total A/R

I have presented for many years on financial benchmarking and predictably, and nearly every time I am asked, “How much A/R is a healthy benchmark?”  The answer varies, and there is no set amount. It takes charges to generate collections, and unless you are a cash-based practice, you will always have some A/R because you won’t collect the day you provide the service. We will continue to discuss specific ratios that help answer the above question, though it’s safe to say that your A/R will fluctuate with:

  1. Charges—the more charges, generally the more A/R
  2. Fee schedule changes—these will have a direct correlation to your A/R for that time period
  3. Payer profile—those who pay sooner will help
    reduce your monthly A/R, while slower payers will increase it; and
  4. Performance of billing team (in-house or outsource)—increased pursuit of A/R will result in higher collections and less A/R

A/R Aging

This report categorizes your A/R into “buckets” – typically 0-30 Days, 31-60 Days, 61-90 Days, 91-120 Days and 120+ Days). Most industry benchmarks suggest that, as a “healthy range,” 60- 85% of your A/R should reside in your 0-60 Days buckets. Most practices will always carry some balance in other buckets, though it is safe to say the less days owed, the better. Other industry standards state less than 10- 15% should reside in those 60+ buckets, but that will vary depending on insurance payment processing, claims processing, etc.

Your practice should have clear expectations for “working” A/R balances—for both insurance and patient balances in those various buckets—and a rational explanation if they are on the higher side of the percentages above. Either way, it is good practice for all managers and owners to watch trends in these buckets and measure them at least monthly to be sure A/R is being worked for both insurance and patients. Some billing companies and some industry benchmarks only measure the insurance portion of the A/R and fail to report on the patient balances. This can be a significant mistake, as patient balances continue to grow, the economy continues to suffer, and payment responsibility continues to fall more on the patient (copays and deductibles).

Watch for my next post where we will review two other important A/R metrics – Percent of A/R (related to average monthly charges) and Days Sales Outstanding.

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2013 Medical Billing and Reimbursement Alert: Big Changes Ahead

Lea Chatham December 10th, 2012

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There are going to be a lot of factors that may affect your medical billing and reimbursement in 2013. Expect it to be a year full of changes. The following are some of the biggest issues that we are going to see in the next twelve months.

  • Medicare: It’s been 10 years since we’ve seen the government announce a raise in Medicare rates in conjunction with the release of a Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), but history has not numbed us to the shock of seeing a 26.5 percent across-the-board decrease in physician reimbursement.
    However, in a press release, CMS revealed its dedication to try to reverse the very cuts that it just announced, declaring: “The Administration is committed to… ensuring that these payment cuts do not take effect.” Under extreme pressure to enhance access for seniors, CMS is apparently just as frustrated as physicians, but for now the agency’s hands are tied.
    Unfortunately, Medicare access and physician reimbursement are two of the many issues that Congress and the President must address to avoid plummeting over the “fiscal cliff” of mandated federal spending cuts in January. Don’t expect to learn the fate of Medicare reimbursement in 2013 until sometime in mid-January –­ possibly later.
  • RVUs: In addition to the massive reimbursement cuts forced by the conversion factor reduction, several specialties face significant reimbursement declines for another reason: reductions in the relative value units (RVUs) associated with CPT® codes those specialists frequently use. On the flip side, primary care specialties will see increases of three percent or more in 2013, thanks to upward revisions in the RVUs of many services they typically perform.
    However, primary care physicians will also benefit from a measure that temporarily provides parity between Medicaid and Medicare rates. Taking effect January 1, 2013, and continuing for the next 24 months, primary care physicians and other eligible health care professionals accepting Medicaid will be guaranteed to receive rates at or equal to Medicare. The parity will be limited to evaluation and management (E/M) services and vaccines. Click here for the November 6, 2012 announcement that details the rate parity.
  • Payer Incentives: The reimbursement landscape for 2013 is also influenced by ongoing incentive programs for physicians and other eligible providers to encourage technology adoption.
    Medicare’s eRx program continues in 2013 with a requirement to generate and electronically transmit 10 prescriptions by mid-year to avoid a reimbursement penalty. If you missed the June 30, 2012, deadline to do so, you may still have the opportunity to avoid the penalty – a 1.5 percent reduction applied to all Medicare reimbursement throughout 2013.
    Another popular incentive program sponsored by the federal government, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), should get a great deal more attention next year. That’s because avoiding the imposition of PQRS penalties in 2015 will be based on successful PQRS performance in 2013.
    More information has been released about the value-based modifier (VBM), which will be implemented on a widespread basis in 2017 but is already being fervently discussed. Don’t think of this modifier as one that is attached to a CPT® code. The VBM is not a coding convention; it’s a concept that will modify payment based on the “value” that the government deems appropriate to measure.
  • Patient-centered Medical Homes: Medical homes are also a likely hot topic for many physicians and other health care professionals going into 2013. Several organizations, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the Joint Commission, recognize practices as medical homes. In addition to validating the high performance of medical practices, recognition as a medical home is poised to become an important revenue source for practices, especially with the majority of states having one or more private payers that recognize medical homes with enhanced reimbursements. The medical home concept will likely spread further once the NCQA releases the details of a recognition program for specialty practices, expected in February 2013, considered to be an integral component of the patient-centered medical home “neighborhood.”
  • ICD-10: As if preparing for big changes in Medicare reimbursement and understanding myriad other changes in the MPFS isn’t enough, 2013 will also be the year to get serious about preparing for new diagnosis codes. After several fits and starts, ICD-10 will be implemented on October 1, 2014. With just more than a year to prepare for the inevitable, it is critical to learn this new and much more complex system. You’d be wise to also determine how your vendors plan to support it – and your efforts to adopt it.
  • Meaningful Use: In addition to preparing for ICD-10, be sure to assess your readiness for Stage Two of Meaningful Use, which will commence on January 1, 2014. The program continues the core/menu focus introduced in Stage One, but now there will be 17 core criteria plus three more to select from a menu of six. Two of the criteria required for Stage Two have sparked controversy among the medical practice community. One criterion is that five percent of your patients must download, view or transmit their health information. Another criterion calls for five percent of your patients to send you a secure electronic message. In other words, you’ll be held accountable for hitting electronic communication targets that you must ask your patients to do.

Once again, the old adage ‘change is the only constant’ seems to be truer than ever. 2013 will bring new challenges, but high performing practices have the vision to try and turn new requirements and other hurdles into opportunities for enhanced patient access and better revenue.

To find out more about these issues and their impact on your reimbursement, join me for a free webinar, Getting Paid in 2013, on Thursday, December 13.  I’ll discuss all of these topics and how to maintain your fiscal health into 2013. Register here.

About the author: Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC is a professional speaker, trainer and author specializing in medical practice management. She has focused on medical practice operations and revenue cycle management for more than 20 years.

Expert Elizabeth_Woodcock will discuss getting paid in 2013

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The 9 Essentials for an Effective Year End (and year to come)

Lea Chatham December 10th, 2012

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By Rico Lopez, Senior Market Advisor at Kareo

December Calendar 2012

Closing out the year is about more than just running reports and handing data to your accountant. It’s the time when you can evaluate the year, analyze whether you have achieved your practice goals, set new goals for the coming year, and look at new opportunities. Part of effective medical practice management is looking at the big picture and planning accordingly.

You don’t want to miss your chance to address problems, prepare for coming changes, and seek out new revenue streams. To make the most of your year-end closing, take the time to follow these nine essential procedures.

  1. Post all charges by the “practice-designated deadline”: The “practice-designated deadline” could be the end of the month or a few days prior to the end of the month. It is a deadline that you determine that allows your  employees to complete all the items needed to close the year (or month or quarter). While many practices will still insist on using the last day, this isn’t necessary. Plan your deadline based on what works best for your practice. There is no need to incur overtime just to get in the last day of the month.
  2. Post all received payments by the “practice-designated deadline”: This deadline may not be the same as the charge posting deadline. Generally, you want to get all of your payments posted for the month before you close. Payment posting impacts revenue and often the total compensation for providers. At the yearend in particular you want those revenue numbers to look as good as possible. Posting payments will be a priority over posting charges.
  3. Process and Issue all Refunds: This is another critical task since you pay taxes on your revenue. You want to get refunds off the books before closing out your year. You don’t want to pay taxes on money you are going to return to payers or patients. Make it a priority to clear those up.
  4. Post Bad Debt: Again, it’s the end of the year, and you want to clear up anything that will affect your tax bill. So post all bad debt adjustments for accounts that have been referred to an outside Collection Agency. Bad debt is a business write off and should be current for the year end.
  5. Generate Reports:  There are some reports that are essential basics for every practice at the end of the year (or month or quarter). These include a basic financial summary that shows charges, payments, adjustments, and current unapplied credits along with an accounts receivable summary. You will probably also need do some provider compensation analysis as well as analysis of payers and perhaps appointments as well. These reports aren’t needed for your accountant but will help you with analyzing your performance and setting goals for the coming year. Look for a more detailed overview of year-end reporting on the Getting Paid blog.
  6. Prepare Financials for Accountant: Typically, you’ll provide the reports included in the Financial Summary, plus the A/R summary to your accountant so your taxes can be prepared.
  7. Analyze Performance: Now it’s time to look at your performance for the year and compare it to the prior year. Did you meet your goals. If you didn’t meet your goals, why? Are there areas that need work? This information will help with your goal setting for the coming year. Look for an upcoming blog post on performnace analysis and goal setting on the Getting Paid blog.
  8. Set New Goals: After reviewing how you did this past year, it’s time to set your goals for the coming year. If this is not something you normally do, there is no time like the present to get started. Goal setting can help you build your practice and track your progress. For example, if you have room to accept new patients, set a goal for a percentage of increase. Let’s say 10% more patients in 2013. Or perhaps your denial rate is higher than you’d like so you might set a goal to cut denials in half in 2013. Once you establish you key goals, you can begin planning how you will achieve those goals.
  9. Identify New Opportunities: You want a business that is nimble and can adjust to the changing needs of your patients. Each year, you should take some time to look at whether or not there are new opportunities or other actions you need to take to grow your business. For example, more preventive care services are covered without deductibles or copays under the new insurance reform laws. You may want to do some “marketing” to patients about this or setup new reminders for patients to take advantage of improved access to these services.

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Welcome to Getting Paid, a weblog by Kareo offering ideas, news and opinions about medical billing and practice management with the goal of making medical billing easier and yes, getting you paid. Visit the Product Blog for more information on our products.

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Integrated electronic claims, electronic remittance advice and insurance eligibility services.

Analytics & Data

Store and access data with insightful reports, document management and faxing, and an integration