As the end of the year approaches quickly, we wanted to remind you of some important tasks that should be finalized in the coming weeks.
2015 Budgets: Now that we know what the full impact of reimbursement declines will be, finalizing projected revenue targets should be easier to arrive at. Additionally, you should now be able to adjust expenses to coincide with the expected decrease in reimbursement. If you are planning on growing your agency, which all agencies should be planning, your 2015 budget for marketing should be increased from 2014. These goals should tie into your marketing plan (see below).
2014 Tax Planning: Proper tax planning to determine how much in corporate tax must be paid at the federal, and if applicable, state level should be performed now, by projecting your estimated year end net income, inclusive of depreciation and amortization. You should know how much cash will be needed to pay the tax directly from the corporation if a C-Corporation or if an S-Corporation or Partnership, the company needs to be prepared to set aside cash to pay for the shareholders and members personal taxes as a distribution. Proper tax planning can help you avoid nasty surprises on March 15th and April 15th. Tax planning shouldn’t just occur at the agency level, but also with the owners, as agency income or losses can have a direct impact on personal tax returns.
Staff Contract Review: With many agencies using contract staff to fill short term needs and to cover vacations, it is best to review contracted staff rates annually. If you already do this, then you are ahead of many other agencies. Contract reviews should be done with your agency’s best interest first. When you consider whether your agency pays too much for a visit, think about quality or lack thereof, timeliness of paperwork and your ability to work with the contracted staff.
Private Insurance Contract Reviews: Many agencies have at least one private insurance contract. This agreement needs to be reviewed according to its applicable time period. However, doing so at the end of the year will make it that much easier when the time comes to actually renegotiate, using the most recent data you have.
2015 Marketing Plan: Your marketing plan is going to be restricted by available funds, which will come from your budget. By working on a budget and marketing plan together, you can have a good idea of what your targets for new referral sources should be and where to get the best referrals (hospitals, SNFs, rehab centers, physicians, etc.) that benefit your agency the most.
New Service Lines: Have you thought about adding new services such as private duty, outpatient rehab services, or hospice to your current agency programs? Are you ready to close the loop and make sure your patients receive the best continuum of care available with staff that knows them? Thinking outside the box will help you, and new lines of service that expand your reach and influence will benefit your image as well as your bottom line.