If you plan on seeing any Medicare patients in 2017, it’s time to start planning for the changes you must make. We’ll start with the easy ones and move onward towards those that may raise our blood pressure a few points.

The New Medicare Part B Deductible

For 2017, The new Medicare Part B Deductible will be $183. That’s an increase of $17 from the $166 deductible present in 2016; but that’s also about as simple as the Medicare changes get.

Premium Increases

You may also get some confused patients wondering why their premiums have increased and if you (or your staff) speak to many patients about this, you will also note that the premiums are increasing differently for different folks, in many cases, depending on their income.

This is certainly not an easy pill to swallow for your Medicare patients, but fortunately, it’s nothing that you can do anything about.

Other than confirm the change for them. The best place to point them is the Medicare website that explains the changes. Here’s a link to Medicare’s press release announcing the new premiums and deductibles.

Par or Non-Par Participation

If the thought of being a PAR provider for one more year absolutely annoys (or terrifies) you, then you need to get moving quickly. You only have until December 31, 2016 to change your status to Non-PAR.

See our previous article on Can Chiropractors Opt Out of Medicare? for a quick how to – and get moving! Spoiler alert: “no” we can’t opt out, but you CAN change your PAR status (if you act quickly enough).

MACRA, MIPS, PQRS, MU & the Arriving Alphabet Soup Madness

PQRS and Meaningful Use are sort-of out the window and given new names for 2017, along with the other upcoming and mandatory requirements that fall under MACRA such as the MIPS and APMs tracks.

If you have no clue about this alphabet soup, you have a little time to learn, ; but the more you delay your plans, the fewer options you will have.

See our previous article, (Don’t Let Medicare’s MACRA Mangle Your Practice ) for a brief rundown.

For more detailed gameplan answering every what, why, when, where, how and how much questions you can muster, you should consider our upcoming ChiroProgress SEMINARS where will we will be teaching you better Medicare (including how to handle MACRA) better Insurance (because it’s not all about Medicare) and better Business strategies (because you need to keep an eye on your bottom line). And for those of you who need it, we’ll throw in a reality check, some sanity checks and plenty of free coffee to help you keep up the pace! (Don’t waste your weekend sitting in a classroom – with enough coffee, we get er done in a day!)