Happy New Year!
The end of the year and the beginning of the year seem to have the most activity for me as an owner. The festivities between Halloween and New Year make the end of the year busy with celebrations, appreciations, end of the year tasks, and so many other things. The beginning of each year brings new insurance regulations and new plan years for most clients with commercial insurance plans. It’s a busy timeframe that could use some prioritization. Whether your practice has been established for 1 year or 100, there are some things that each agency should do by January 31st (if not done already) to make the year flow a bit more smoothly.
1. 2024 Calendar. Create your 2024 Calendar for employees and for families. Developing an annual calendar and sending it to your team and clients will assist them with planning schedules and vacations. It will also assist you as a practice owner or leader with developing a budget based on the number of actual therapy days per month. We develop 2 separate facing calendars and include the following:
|Calendar for Employees
|Calendar for Families
|Days closed for holidays*
|Days closed for breaks*
|Paid Professional Development Days*
|Days closed for professional development*
*if offered by your agency
2. New Insurance Information. Most employers end open enrollment for insurance in October. Families usually don’t get new card information until the first week of January. If card info isn’t in hand, they most likely have access to a portal with their insurance information or can obtain it from their HR Department. If you haven’t done so already, contact all of your families for updated insurance information to ensure that you don’t have delayed payments or denials due to outdated insurance.
Plan Ahead Tip: Write a reminder in your calendar for October 31st, 2024. On or around this date, start sending parents weekly reminders to ask parents if they have completed open enrollment, if their plan is changing, and to let you know if their insurance is changing for 2025.
3. 2024 Goals. If you haven’t done so, now is the perfect time for owners and leaders to come together to discuss the glows and growth areas from 2023 and set goals for 2024 Goals can center around hiring, retention, enrollment, training, policy and procedure updates, or any area that is related to the values and vision of your organization. It’s important that once these goals have actionable steps behind them so that your time is best spent. Schedule time throughout the year to check in on the status of your goals. It’s also important that these goals are communicated as needed to employees that need to know as they become closer to fruition. Highlight meeting goals to your team and families and make time to celebrate along the way!
4. Appreciation. Take time this month to plan out how owners and leaders in your organization will show appreciation to your team this year. Think about appreciation days/weeks, observance months, company anniversaries, birthdays, passing RBT and BCBA exams, holiday celebrations, etc. Be intentional and thoughtful in how you will appreciate your team this year and make a line item in you company budget for showing appreciation.
Communicate to all of your leadership the plan to show appreciation and delegate responsibilities so that it doesn’t all fall on one person and so that one employee doesn’t get forgotten about.
5. Employee Documents. Have all of your employees re-sign that they have received a copy of the Employee Handbook and any important policies (attendance, documentation, etc) this month. This can happen during a meeting where policies are reviewed and employees sign, or info can be sent out electronically for signatures. This should be completed annually.
6. Client Documents. Providers should send out parent handbooks and have parents re-sign documents related to insurance coverage and company policies (attendance, financial, etc). Completing these items annually is allows for face to face time to review expectations, answer parent questions, and obtain insight into parent satisfaction with your services. If the meetings can’t be done 1:1 or face to face, electronic signatures is fine.
I hope you find this information helpful as you navigate the first quarter of 2024. Practice Ed offers business consultation services and can assist ABA Practice Owners with navigating any of the items mentioned above.