Join Us in Las Vegas
By Ken Kopolow, OD
With the sounds of terrific New Orleans music still faintly ringing in our ears, we have already turned toward planning the second SNAPP National meeting in Las Vegas. You’ll hear more about this as we line up speakers, but it’s going to be a don’t-miss event.
These SNAPP national meetings provide attendees a truly unique perspective because they bring optometrists and licensed operators together for a time of sharing ideas and networking.
If you joined us in New Orleans, you know how valuable the time is. Not only was there opportunity to earn CE credit and practice management advice, there was relaxed time over meals and in great entertainment venues to simply talk. Often that talk turns to business because that is one thing we all have in common. But friendships are formed this way, too. If you were not able to join us in New Orleans, or if it has been some time since you’ve been to a SNAPP meeting, please consider marking your calendar now for September.
If you did join us in New Orleans, please make sure you come again. The next meeting agenda will be completely different. Each meeting has its own theme, speakers, education and vibe, but they all share a commitment to provide the best for the patients in our communities while creating efficiencies and profitability for the Pearle professional.
For the Business
Plan for 2019 Using These Top 10 Tax Deductions
Steve Wonder, CPA, provided compelling tax-savings strategies in his presentation at the SNAPP meeting in New Orleans. Part of that presentation included his top 10 favorite tax deductions for business owners.
10. Achievement Awards (Sec. 74): Each year, a company can give to its employees three separate, non-cash awards worth up to $1,600. The gift can be anything other than cash; no gift cards either.
9. Annual Corporate meeting: Combine the requirement that say that you have to update your formal corporate documents each year with an annual vacation. The entire trip can be deductible—and you can bring the family.
8. Your Corporate Gym Sec. 132 (h): Unfortunately, the IRS won’t let you directly deduct the cost of your gym membership. However, under this code section, you can deduct the cost of the gym equipment.
7. Business Gifts: Your company can give gifts to individuals of up to $25 per year. Often, these gifts are given as year–end or holiday bonuses. However, your company’s gifts to other companies are unlimited (within reason).
6. Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) (Sec 105): Your business can deduct otherwise non-deductible health care-related costs. HRAs allows a business to reimburse its employees, spouses and dependents for uninsured, out-of-pocket medical costs.
5. Seminars – Sec.162: Your company can pay for the cost of educational seminars—even if they have nothing to do with your current business.
4. Medical Insurance Premiums – S-Corp Owners: Health and accident insurance premiums paid on behalf of a greater than 2-percent S corporation shareholder-employee are deductible by the S corporation and reportable as wages on the shareholder-employee’s Form W-2, subject to income tax withholding.
However, these additional wages are not subject to Social Security, or Medicare (FICA), or unemployment (FUTA). To make this even better, the premiums are deductible on the front page of the 1040 without any limitations.
3. Rent out your Home: Your business can rent out your primary residence for “events;” income from these rentals is tax-free as long as they do not exceed 14 days. Rather than paying another facility, consider renting your house for a fair rate.
2. Tuition Reimbursement Plans (sec 127): Your company can pay for the cost of up to $5,250 annual Qualified Educational program costs, which are tax-deductible and are tax-exempt tuition benefits to the employee.
1. Hire your Kids: Your business, if done correctly, can hire your kids and get a $12,000 per-year per-child deduction.
Tip of the Month from AmCheck: Summer Holidays
Just as happens at the end of the year, many business owners find themselves facing questions about holiday time off and holiday pay. Our friends at AmCheck say that the answer is probably no.
The AmCheck HR Support Center says:
Whether you pay extra for work done on holidays is up to you. There is no federal law at requires an employer to pay extra for work on holidays. However, some states, such as Massachusetts, require work for certain employers on holidays to be voluntary and paid at time and a half.
As for overtime, if an employee has already worked 40 hours during that workweek, and then works on a holiday, the holiday should be paid at the applicable overtime rate.
While usually not required by law, offering additional pay for work on holidays can be a nice financial incentive and reward. A few suggestions for doing so:
- Pay time and a half or double time for all hours worked on the holiday;
• Add an extra eight hours to the checks of employees who worked; or
• Place eight hours into a “floating holiday” bank for employees who worked so they can take time off at a later date.
If you decide to provide additional pay for holidays, be sure to do so in a non-discriminatory and consistent manner for all employees.
Applying Payments to Your PM System
Applying payments to your PM system can often go overlooked or even ignored in many practices. But, failing to regularly post your payments into your PM system has some unintentional and avoidable consequences. Let’s review the possible ramifications of not posting your payments.
- You Could Miss Outstanding Revenue. Without applying payments to your PM system you won’t have a good way of estimating outstanding revenue from insurance companies. This is the most compelling reason to diligently post your money. Being able to accurately forecast future income by posting payments into your PM is a way to make sure you sleep well at night.
- Denials Could Go Unnoticed. How will you know what insurance claims need to be resubmitted? You can go through your remits and try to track it that way, but your information will be scattered and you’re likely to lose track of a denied claim through manual tracking.
- Inaccurate Patient Statements. Lastly, patient statements can’t be mailed with any degree of confidence. You’d also be forgoing the revenue from under collected copays and unexpected deductibles. Although ideally, the patient’s benefits will be pulled accurately and you’ll avoid most of these issues. But, inaccuracies are bound to occur.
You’ve earned the income, so don’t hesitate to send a statement to the patient in order to get paid in a timely manner. Your patient is much more likely to pay the $20 copay two weeks after the DOS as opposed to a year later.
If you have questions or want additional help with claim management in your practice, please contact Shane Shepherd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atlantis Scleral is Here to Help
Whether you are new to scleral lens fitting or have your feet wet already, did you know?
- One scleral patient per month could increase your profit by $20,000 a year!
• Some insurance companies will pay for medically necessary contact lenses
• Some patients are so pleased with their vision potential and the comfort of scleral lenses they are willing to pay even when insurance does not—Care Credit?
Are you aware of the resources we offer to assist you?
- FREE in-office fitting with one of our consultants—let us help you become the Atlantis expert with hands-on assistance for even your most difficult fits
• NCLE certified consultants across the country available to assist you via phone and email—200+ years of combined experience
• Customer Service and Consultation available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST
• Education and training events
We would love to help you grow with sclerals. Contact Cathy Smith for details on free in-office fitting at 360.961.7398. Click now for more information on our product line and pricing.