Don’t let the year-end and new year tasks and responsibilities become overwhelming. Proper planning, execution, and education are essential when closing out the year and preparing for the upcoming year. Use this checklist to help set your practice up for long-term success.
Fee and Allowable Fee Schedules
- Review and update fee schedules and allowables for January 1, 2022.
- Review documentation for E&M Coding changes in 2022.
Tip: Contact payers (at least your top five payers) and request your 2022 allowable schedule.
Schedule Review and Management
- Review and update your appointment schedule template to reflect 2022 working hours of your providers.
- Consider alterations to schedules to proactively adapt to changing healthcare landscape (i.e., telehealth visits, sick/well visits, in-office testing, hospital procedures).
Fully Work Receivables, Collections, and Overpaid Claims
- Identify and resolve any outstanding Accounts Receivable issues and start 2022 with up-to-date Accounts Receivable.
- Review overpaid claims and issue credits as appropriate.
- Review and verify collection agency information.
- Identify the office policy/procedure for working delinquent patient accounts (especially if you’re not working with a collection agency).
- Review bad debt, collections policies, and update.
- Consider adjusting self-pay balances of a certain age to bad debt or send the balances to your Collection Agency (per your office policy).
- Consider new office policies for no shows, cancelations, etc. and communication via statements or other methods.
- Remind staff of high January deductibles.
- Be sure you are collecting as much money as possible at the time of service.
Patient (paper) forms and questionnaires
- Review and update patient forms and questionnaires to ensure none of the hard-copy forms include the year 2021.
- Satisfy all Quality submission tasks for 2021.
- Review CMS’ announcement of Extreme and Uncontrollable policy (EUC) and determine if it is applicable to your practice.
Plan Your Hard Close Date
- Ensure you have a plan to “hard close” your month/year. This process locks financial transactions so that they cannot be changed without creating an audit trail and ensures the financial integrity of your system and the accuracy of your reports.
Tip: Best practice recommendation is to close at least once per month. Keeping your “hard closings” current will protect your financials!
Software and Security
- Keep your software and security measures up to date. This is critical to protect your data from ransomware, malware, and other malicious attacks.
- Collaborate with your vendor to plan your next upgrade.
- The end of the year is a good time to do an audit of the “users” in your system. If an employee is no longer there, speak to your vendor and inactivate them.
- Revisit the goals your practice set for last year. Adjust accordingly to see how your practice is tracking and schedule monthly or quarterly reviews.
- Evaluate other product and service solutions that may improve efficiencies throughout the practice.