Blog 9 New Year’s Resolutions to Boost Practice Revenue in 2019 By Taylor Goldsmith, 12.12.18 FacebookTwitterLinkedin 2018 is coming to an end which means now is the time to make your practice’s New Year’s resolution list. Struggling with knowing what should be on it? Don’t miss these nine revenue-boosting tasks that should be on the top of your list. Recommit to delivering a stand-out patient experience A poor patient experience can have an impact on patient payments according to industry research. Get feedback via patient surveys to gage what’s working and what’s not. Then, work together with your front desk, clinical and billing teams to develop a plan on how to deliver an exceptional patient experience in 2019. This will pay dividends in terms of building patient loyalty and referrals. Nurture your referrals Do you know where your top referrals come from? Capture and track your referral data so you can identify who and what your top referral sources are – and don’t just look at the quantity of referrals, look at the quality of the referrals from physicians, patients, events and other sources. Once you know who and what sources to target, nurture these referral sources and plan to focus on them in 2019 Be transparent about the patient’s financial responsibility Unexpected medical bills are one of the biggest healthcare and financial concerns for patients. Do your part to ease patient’s worries by discussing their financial obligations up front. Ninety percent of patients want to know payment responsibility prior to the visit, according to the annual report from InstaMed, as it helps them plan and prepare for the expense. Additionally, the majority of your practice revenue in the beginning of a new year comes from patient collections so being up front with them can go a long way in preparing for a successful year. Collect patient balances up front According to TransUnion, patient responsibility grew 11 percent in 2017. With patient payments having more and more impact on your bottom line, it’s critical to collect patient payments at the time of service. A single system for EMR and billing can help. It provides prompts for front desk staff to collect any uncollected copays, coinsurance or deductibles upfront and applies them to the proper date of service to ensure proper patient credit. Bill clean claims Submitting clean claims is a key first step towards being paid accurately in the new year. To do so, you must equip your front desk with the tools necessary to capture accurate information and ensure claims are complete. Using a system with built-in features that help prompt the front desk to collect patient data and that will help prevent claim denials is a good first step. Additionally, follow a set of practice guidelines will help bolster your chance of being paid on the first pass. Use metrics and business intelligence to guide performance. With the major changes happening in healthcare, data should be your best friend. Having a fully integrated system also means having a wealth of information at your disposal, but it is only useful if you can understand and correctly employ this data to improve and grow your practice. Setting benchmarks against the industry standard on a weekly and monthly basis will foster improved performances and create lessons that can be used to coach staff and optimize processes. Decide whether to participate in MIPS In 2019, eligible physical and occupational therapists as well as speech-language pathologists can participate in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Take the time to get the facts about MIPS and to understand if participation is right for your practice. Clinicient has gathered a host of MIPS resources to make your decision easier, check them out in our MIPS resource center. Review and renegotiate payer contracts. According to an MGMA survey, medical practices that don’t keep track of their payer contracts are reimbursed on average 4 percent less per evaluation and management (E/M) code billed. Imagine what that could mean to your bottom line? If you don’t review and renegotiate your payer contracts regularly, your revenues are left at your payers’ mercy. Get the best possible reimbursement rate by arming yourself with cost, quality and market data as evidence that you deserve a certain reimbursement rate and terms. Mark the dates on your calendar as well to remind yourself when you need to start looking into your current contracts since renegotiation can take anywhere from 3-6 months. Address therapist burnout Provider burnout is reaching staggering levels. NEJM Catalyst found it to be a problem at 83 percent of healthcare organizations. Burnout can hamper a therapist’s ability to deliver the high-quality care patients need and can lead to low productivity and high turnover. Have an open conversation with staff to understand what’s stressing them out and how you can support them organizationally. One way is to adopt improved systems and administrative workflows that will reduce administrative work and increase their face time with patients.