Practice Management Toolbox

New Year’s resolutions for your GI practice in 2020


 

I know that many have already started the planning process for next year’s business priorities and therefore I remain hopeful that time was taken to reflect on the success stories already achieved to provide the foundation for next year’s business goals.

What is key, is that one recognizes that the planning process must begin this year to kickstart next year’s work soon after the holidays are over. This planning process should lay out the framework from which to assign the work so it’s part of the business operations wherein goals can be established and ultimately achieved.

As we move into a new decade the evolution of medicine and specifically gastroenterology hasn’t stopped. The question is, have you set yourself (and your practice) up for success in 2020? In the ever-changing world of the gastroenterology practice you don’t want to be left behind this year. Here are the top things you need to know for a productive and successful new year!

1. Use the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Starting January 1, 2020, if you want to get paid by Medicare you must use the MBI when billing Medicare regardless of the date of service. Claims submitted without MBIs will be rejected, with some exceptions. The MBI replaces the social security number–based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) from Medicare cards and is now used for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

2. Prepare for Evaluation and Management (E/M) changes. Did you know that E/M coding and guidelines are about to undergo the most significant changes since their implementation? The changes to guidelines and coding for new and established office/outpatient visits (CPT codes 99202-99205, 99211-99215) won’t officially take place until January 1, 2021, but they are so significant that the American Medical Association has already released a preview of the CPT 2021 changes. Don’t miss out on the preview – https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2019-06/cpt-office-prolonged-svs-code-changes.pdf. Sit down with your coders or contact your medical billing company and create a plan for training physicians and staff for the changes for a smooth transition on Jan. 1, 2021. With changes this big, you may find you need all of 2020 to prepare.

3. Review your quality reporting under the Merit-Based Incentive System (MIPS). There have been several changes to the weights of quality and cost performance categories under MIPS for the 2020 performance year. These will go into effect January 1st and will impact your 2022 Medicare payments.

4. Evaluate your clinician participation level if you’re reporting under MIPS as a group. During the 2020 performance year, the threshold for clinician participation is increasing. At least 50% of clinicians from the group must participate in or perform an activity for the same continuous 90-day period to earn credit for that improvement activity.

5. Don’t forget to report under MIPS for 2019. Those not in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM), a Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) or other MIPS alternative must report the required data under the program or face payment cuts in 2021. The submission window for your 2019 data opens on January 2, 2020 and closes on March 31st!

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