The new year is upon us and you know what that means… It’s time to collect some information from your patients to update their files and keep your files up to date. Many of these items are necessities, and some are just suggestions.  The point is, we want you to be prepared and updated going into the new year for patient, billing, marketing, and HIPAA related items.  We’ve got you covered on all of the things you need to update in your files so make sure you read on.

Your 2021 Checklist for Front Desk –

  • A copy of new current insurance information.   it’s important to get new insurance information for the year so you have all current cards and contact information.  Be sure to copy the front & back of the card!  This is imperative for you to have the current information, so you don’t run into issues when you go to bill for services.
  • Update patient contact information. You are collecting other forms and signatures; so this is a great time to make sure you have your patient’s current contact information on file.  Sometimes patients move or change phone numbers and forget to pass that information along. It is important to have a photo id on file along with the insurance information to avoid possible identity theft.    It’s also the perfect opportunity to create and/or update your email list for education & marketing.
  • Annual HIPAA form signed.  You need to have HIPAA forms on file for each patient under your care with a signed acknowledgement.  Usually this is done at the time of their first visit, however if in doubt, the new year is a great time to make sure.  Though you are not required to reissue your HIPAA notification annually, you are required to do so if you’ve made any significant changes to your HIPAA policies, which also makes the new year a great time to update your HIPAA policies, only if necessary.  Not only is it important to inform your patient’s of their HIPAA rights, it’s also the law.
  • Minors – Informed Consent form for divorced couples.  You want to make sure you have a minor consent for treatment form signed prior to the first visit, for both legal and HPAA documentation.  This form should be part of your intake process on the first visit and both indicate permission to treat and signed acknowledgement that the parent present has legal ability to give treatment permission as outlined with the divorce parameters.  Though not legally required in all states, it’s a good practice to have the consenting parent sign an updated form annually.
  • Assignment of benefits (AOB) form signed.  When getting updated copies of insurance cards each year, it’s a great idea to update the assignment of benefits signature as well.  The assignment of benefits should be included in the patient’s original intake forms and should always be updated in the event of a new/changed insurance and especially in the event of an auto, work comp or personal injury case (make sure you know if your state requires specific AOB forms to be filed).
  • Save your Files for 7 years, 10 years is better.  The law states for medical offices to save patients files for 7 years. However, 10 years is recommended. For HIPAA reasons, these files must be secured in a safe, secure environment.
  • Annual Gifts to Clients – may not exceed $50 annually by law.
  • Verify and confirm your system is completing a full back up – Check the backups, are they saving properly? There is nothing worse to have a system fail to find out the backups did not save properly, and important information was lost. Protect your patients and your doctor by verifying and confirming.  Write it down – date and initial when it was last checked.
  • CDC printable Posters on COVID [All posters are available at ]

Take this time to update all posters in your clinic to give it a fresh look for the new year


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