The new year is a time to begin again with a clean slate—and to tackle all those to-dos you’ve been putting off. Before you pop the champagne (or pour yourself a large cup of coffee) to prepare for your New Year’s Eve celebrations, take some time to make sure your practice is prepared, too. This may be a busy time of year for you, as patients hurry to take advantage of their remaining benefits before insurance plans roll over. If so, you’ll need to manage your time wisely. Here’s a short list of the most important to-dos to start 2016 on the right foot.

Cashing In on Private Pay: The PTs Guide to Going Out-of-Network - Regular BannerCashing In on Private Pay: The PTs Guide to Going Out-of-Network - Small Banner

Reporting Wrap-Up

  • Finalize all 2015 charges on a weekly basis. Better yet, work on them daily.
  • Pinpoint—and deal with—incomplete documents before December disappears.
  • Regularly scan and report all EOBs (election of benefits) and copay logs, particularly before Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Collections Clean-Out

  • Identify and address dead balances for both patients and insurances. Take a gander at this blog post for tips—and free templates—on writing effective collections letters.
  • Exhausted your collections efforts? Then it’s time to write these amounts off as bad debt. Reach out to your accountant to find out if they qualify as tax write-offs, too.
  • Assess—and improve—your patient fees collections plan. Don’t have one? Well, the new year is a great time to initiate new processes. Check out this blog post to learn how to implement this type of plan at your clinic so you can avoid sending patients to collections in the first place.

Verification Check

  • Complete eligibility checks for all current patients and update your patient demographics forms. (Bonus points: Ask your patients to re-sign your clinic’s patient fee policy, too.)
  • Review each patient’s benefits (and insurance expiration dates) to avoid claim delays due to patient benefit changes in the new year.
  • Review your front office policies to ensure your staff is being as efficient—and effective—as possible. This blog post explains how your front office can help streamline your billing workflow to make 2016 a success.

Reference Check

Of course, with any new year comes new regulatory changes. Here’s what you should know for 2016:

  • The 2016 standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $121.80 (or higher, depending on the patient’s income). The deductible will increase to $166.
  • The 2016 therapy cap will be:
    • $1,960 for both PT and SLP combined
    • $1,960 for OT
  • The therapy cap exceptions process remains in effect through 2017. To learn more about therapy cap reform and to take action on this important issue, visit this APTA page.
  • PQRS 2016 is here, so brush up on the ins and outs of satisfactory reporting to ensure your practice is on track from the get-go.
  • If you’re still working out the kinks when it comes to the biggest change of 2015, ICD-10, download our definitive guide here.

One last to-do: Start thinking about how you can plan for the new year—beyond completing administrative tasks or understanding the nuances of reporting. While those things undoubtedly are important, there also are some pretty weighty issues at hand in the healthcare industry. If you aren’t aware of them—or don’t know how to approach them—your practice could get crushed. To help you strategize for the new year, check out our most recent Founder Letter to see Dr. Heidi Jannenga’s top six predictions for 2016.

  • End of Year Preparation Image

    articleDec 18, 2014 | 2 min. read

    End of Year Preparation

    That’s right, folks, the end is nigh—the end of the year, that is. The big, fat man with the long, white beard is coming to town—and for us here at WebPT, that means helping your practice prepare for the new year. Here are a few things to put on your grown-up Christmas list to keep your jingle bell rockin’: Wrap up Reporting Finalize all 2014 charges on a weekly—or even daily—basis. Identify incomplete documents and finish them before …

  • Common Questions from Our PT Billing Open Forum Image

    articleAug 18, 2018 | 34 min. read

    Common Questions from Our PT Billing Open Forum

    Last week, WebPT’s trio of billing experts—Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, WebPT President and Co-founder; John Wallace, PT, MS, WebPT Chief Business Development Officer of Revenue Cycle Management; and Dianne Jewell, PT, DPT, PhD, WebPT Director of Clinical Practice, Outcomes, and Education—hosted a live open forum on physical therapy billing . Before the webinar, we challenged registrants to serve up their trickiest PT billing head-scratchers—and boy, did they deliver! We received literally hundreds of questions on …

  • FAQ: Physical Therapy Billing Live Q&A Image

    articleAug 30, 2019 | 51 min. read

    FAQ: Physical Therapy Billing Live Q&A

    Earlier this week, Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC—WebPT’s Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer—and John Wallace, WebPT’s Chief Business Development Officer of Revenue Cycle Management, paired up to answer rehab therapists’ most burning billing questions during a live Q&A-style webinar . And, boy, did we get a lot of great ones. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t possibly get to them all live, so we created this massive post-webinar post (our biggest yet) with the most commonly …

  • The Complete Guide to Physical Therapy Billing Image

    downloadOct 3, 2019

    The Complete Guide to Physical Therapy Billing

    When you think about physical therapy billing, what words come to mind? If you’re like most people, it’s probably not “simple” or “stress free.” The fact is, PT billing is less like a stroll in the park and more like a journey through a labyrinth. It’s confusing, and the rules are ever-changing. But, if you want your practice to be successful, it’s also very, very necessary. That’s why we decided to create this comprehensive PT billing guide. …

  • What to Look for in a PT Biller Image

    articleJul 28, 2015 | 4 min. read

    What to Look for in a PT Biller

    In the words of American rock legend Tom Petty, “Good love is hard to find.” While I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Petty’s wisdom, I think some rehab therapy practice owners might say good employees are even harder to find. And that certainly applies in the billing department. After all, your clinic’s billing operation is crucial to its financial well-being. One bad hire could mean the difference between your clinic achieving private practice rockstardom and hitting rock bottom. …

  • 6 Biggest Factors Impacting Your PT Clinic’s Cash Flow Image

    articleJul 23, 2018 | 8 min. read

    6 Biggest Factors Impacting Your PT Clinic’s Cash Flow

    Most of us went into physical therapy so we could make a difference in our patients’ lives. PT can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding—and for many of us, owning a practice has been a lifelong dream. Once that dream becomes a reality, however, it can be a sobering experience. Bills need to be paid and bottom lines need to be met. It’s not always easy to bring in enough money to cover cancellations and billing snafus, not …

  • Creating the Perfect PT Billing Workflow Image

    articleJul 14, 2015 | 7 min. read

    Creating the Perfect PT Billing Workflow

    In an ideal world, patients would know their benefits like the back of their hands, we’d have a global payer list, and every claim would be accepted on the first try. But the world is not a perfect place, and there’s only so much you can control. Still, you can do your darndest to get close to the perfect billing workflow. Perfect—or near-perfect—billing begins way before you even create the claim. So, let’s start at the very …

  • Denial Management FAQ Image

    articleMay 26, 2017 | 22 min. read

    Denial Management FAQ

    During our denial management webinar , we discussed the difference between rejections and denials, explained how to handle both, and provided a five-step plan for stopping them in their tracks. The webinar concluded with an exhaustive Q&A, and we’ve amassed the most common questions here. Insurance Issues Claim Quandaries Compliance Qualms Documentation Dilemmas Front-Office Frustrations Insurance Issues We’ve had issues with auto insurances denying 97112 (neuromuscular re-education) for non-neuro diagnoses, even in cases when the patient’s medical …

  • Clear Course for Cash: 5 Simple Ways to Optimize Your PT Billing Workflow Image

    webinarJul 6, 2015

    Clear Course for Cash: 5 Simple Ways to Optimize Your PT Billing Workflow

    Is your current billing workflow flooding your clinic with claim delays, rejections, and/or underpayments? Don’t try to bail yourself out with a sieve. Instead, stop taking on water entirely by patching the holes in your billing processes. But how, you ask? Never fear; we have the answers you need to shore up your ship—for good. Tune in to this month’s webinar, where hosts Heidi Jannenga and Charlotte Bohnett will show you how to set your billing workflow …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.