January 31, 2012, 1:51 PM
Tom Necela, DC, CPC, CPMA, CCP-P in a recent three-part series, discussed 12 areas that Chiropractors should be aware of for making changes in 2012. To read more, go to: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Here is a summary of his discussion:
- Medicare deductible. The new Medicare Part B deductible will be $140.00, starting January 1, 2012. That is less than last year’s deductible.
- Convert to 5010 Format. For all offices filing payments electronically, you have to use the new 5010 format as of Jan 1, 2012.
- New Medicare ABN Form Required. It functions like the old ABN and looks nearly identical too, but it is required.
- Take a Serious Look at Your EMR Company. Results are in and the “dream” of stimulus money has actually come true. The first few government checks arrived in the hands of – believe it or not – chiropractors! A few points need to be seriously considered in 2012.
- Be on the A/R Alert. As predicted, the latest statistical surveys on the economics of medicine (including chiropractic) have indicated that small physician and hospital Accounts Receivable are growing and “aging” across the board. People have less disposable cash and unfortunately, we as health care providers are low on the totem pole of priorities for bills to be paid.
- Take Tighter Reigns on Deadbeats. A natural consequence of focusing on the A/R as described above is the fact that you will begin to notice flakes, not of the dandruff variety, but financial flakes. Tighten up your financial policies, begin to outsource the deadbeats to collections “alternatives” and/or quit being such a softie and giving away your hard-earned work.
- Beware the Rise of the Non-Insured, Insured. It does not matter where you practice or who your major insurance payers are – I consistently hear reports that $5000 and $10,000 deductibles are becoming more commonplace. For many DC’s this means that this patient, who believes they have insurance coverage, will essentially be considered a “cash” patient or someone without coverage.
- Let Go Of Your Dead Wood. Face it, the reimbursement from many payers doesn’t appear to be getting spectacularly better anytime soon. Now is the time to seriously analyze which payers are at the bottom of your barrel and let them go.
- Pay Attention to Payer Policy Changes! Insurance companies continue to unleash a fury of payer policy changes to mostly unaware doctors and I don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon. Case in point: in 2011, several Blue Cross entities across the country unilaterally wiped out CPT rules with their “interpretation” of coding for the use of Modifier -52, timed procedures and physical medicine services.
- Emphasize (or Build) Your Internet Presence. Not using the internet as a viable source for new patients is ignoring massive, obvious potential for your practice – no matter where you live. The phone book is all but dead. Newspapers are dying daily. More and more have discarded these “old” media forms with online replacements.
- Your Revenue Model Will Need to Change. This will be perhaps the most difficult thing for many to accept. The old revenue model, purely based on volume, is crumbling. Most chiropractors will need to add significant additional revenue streams.
- Think About Your Exit Strategy. I am not telling you to get out of chiropractic before certain political legislation goes into effect, but someday this might be something you want to consider. It’s never too early to start planning.