Preparing your practice for 2016

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As we approach the close of 2015, it’s important look ahead and prepare for 2016. There are a lot of changes to look out for with regards to meaningful use and PQRS standards.

The best strategy to get a head start on the new year is to be prepared. So, we’ve assembled a list of high-priority initiatives to help you get your practice rolling into the new year smoothly.

1. Meaningful use stage 3 implementation

Practices will need to meet Stage 3 minimum requirements come 2018, but because these requirements include extensive software upgrades, it is in the practice’s best interest to get started now.

Stage 3 meaningful use emphasizes 4 main objectives:

  • Software solutions must focus on improved security of patient information
  • Doctors must fully adopt ePrescribing capabilities
  • There must be provisions to support clinical decision-making
  • Software must easily facilitate data sharing between other health care providers, as well as the patients themselves, to increase patient engagement.

In 2015, CMS shortened the reporting period for meaningful use from 1 year to 90 days for all participants. However, be aware that in 2016, only first-time participants of meaningful use will be eligible for a 90-day reporting period.

2. PQRS in 2016

2016 will bring a few changes to PQRS reporting:

  • The penalty for not reporting PQRS in 2016 PQRS will be 4% for solo providers, and groups with 2-9 providers and will jump to 6% for groups with 10 or more providers
  • Newly proposed cross-cutting measures will include preventive care and screening, unhealthy alcohol use, screening & brief counseling; breast cancer screening, falls, risk assessment and falls, and plan of care.
  • New measures groups will include cardiovascular prevention, diabetic retinopathy, and multiple chronic conditions.
  • For the 2016 reporting period, EPs will need to report at least 9 measures, covering at least 3 of the NQS domains.

To review all of the changes to PFS and PQRS for 2016 and their provisions, click here.

3. Analyze your accounts receivable and get your claims paid in a timely manner

Give yourself the best chance at receiving claims payments in a timely manner by establishing a clear system among your staff. This process starts at the front desk, where staff should make sure to always make a copy of insurance cards, double check that patients have completed all necessary information on the forms, and that information is inputted correctly into the system.

Provide a clear payment policy (which patients will sign) that will allow for the practice to collect overdue fees on-site for recurrent patients. Charge entries can cause a delay if they are entered with even the slightest of errors. Designate a staff member to manage charge entries in an undistracted office room. Finally, delegate time to follow-up on claims that are overdue.

4. Consider outsourcing billing

If you haven’t thought about outsourcing billing, take a moment to analyze how moving billing out of your office can help you focus more on patient care, reduce billing errors, ensure billing compliance, and free up some office expenses used on office supplies and updating billing software.  Read more about some of the benefits of outsourced billing.

5. Focus on practice management

Administrative tasks can mount and cause frustration for physicians wanting more face time with patients.  EMR IMS Software Training will help cut down on time spent learning new EMR systems and will help ease any anxiety that comes with the integration process.

The time to start is now. 1st Providers Choice is dedicated to assisting physicians run an efficient and more care-based practice. Interested in learning more about our ePrescribing software, EMR IMS Software Training, or other services? Contact us online or call 480-782-1116.