Physical Therapy Software: Relationship Between EMR, Clearing Houses, Payers and Your Wallet

Physical Therapy Software: Relationship Between EMR, Clearing Houses, Payers and Your Wallet

The major roles of EMR, clearing houses, and billing are very important because the flow of the business depends on it.  Nitin Chhoda explains these relationships and the impact it has on your practice’ income.

physical therapy software Reimbursements from private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Workers’ Compensation are the primary sources from which physical therapists collect revenues.

Those income sources pay the bills and salaries, fund expansion and equipment.

In an age where payments are being limited, capped and questioned, physical therapy software EMR offers assistance in locating the best payers that directly affects a practice’s profit margin.

An EMR offers online submissions for quicker turnarounds on payments, along with billing and coding options for greater flexibility. Physical therapy software also provides the means to identify the best payers.

Contracts with Payers

Therapists may have negotiated contracts with primary payers, but that doesn’t mean the dollars are going to start rolling in. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) often sell their contracts to third party administrators (TPA) or another PPO that reimburses at a lower rate.

Selling contracts to other providers is a common practice, but most probably the one that’s financially disastrous for clinics. EMRs offer physical therapy software analytic tools that can be used to track payments from a wide range of third-party payers.

Therapists can ascertain which organizations pay the highest reimbursement rates and those that don’t limit or cap payments or services. EMRs offer physical therapy software billing and coding options to ensure practice owners are receiving the highest level of compensation for their services.

The Role of Physical Therapy Software

physical therapy software relationshipsPhysical therapy software provides the means for therapists to compare and contrast the financial benefits of working with specific third-party payers.

The current trend in healthcare is toward cost reduction, which directly affects access to established and potential patients.

Cost reduction is beneficial for insurance companies, but the plan doesn’t provide adequate reimbursements for clinic owners and their services. EMRs offer therapists physical therapy software options that help grow their practice.

Any therapist operating their own practice will soon learn about clearinghouses and the role they play in keeping their clinic funded. Millions of claims are filed with carriers each day, all of which would be traveling by mail to the four corners of the earth.

Clearinghouses and More

Clearinghouses were established to facilitate claims processing, resolve reimbursement issues and address physical therapy software errors. An EMR sends a therapist’s claims to clearinghouses electronically where they’re received almost immediately and checked for errors, before making their way to the specified payer.

The entire process can be accomplished in a matter of hours, compared to traditional mail that could take days to reach its destination. With the assistance of an EMR, questions can be answered, errors addressed, and corrections can be accomplished in the blink of an eye for a quicker turnaround on reimbursements.

Before the advent of physical therapy software EMRs, it could take weeks or even months of paper-based communications to clear a claim question and deposit the funds in a clinic’s account.

Physical therapy software provides the means to submit claims and obtain reimbursements quicker, offering better cash flow for any clinic.

An EMR saves long, tedious hours of phone time with individual insurance providers clarifying claims, allowing therapists to spend more time treating patients and less time waiting for reimbursements. They also contain the essential components needed for compliant physical therapy documentation to protect practice owners from a variety of legal ills.

EMR Solution: How to Effectively Improve Staff Productivity

EMR Solution: How to Effectively Improve Staff Productivity

When transitioning to an automated physical therapy documentation such as EMR, it is important to talk to your staff.  Nitin Chhoda emphasizes the importance of open communication, and preparing your staff for the big changes that are about to come. 

Communication and pre-planning will help to ensure that the documentation system you chose is the right one for your practice.

EMR solution staffManaging a healthcare practice takes ingenuity, patience, and an ability to see the bigger picture while focusing on the details that need to be improved.

The complexity of the job is what draws a lot of smart, capable people to the profession.

But these days, you have to be competent with many forms of technology as well as with the people who you are responsible for managing. And the reason that electronic medical records solutions were developed was to help management streamline and integrate all systems within a practice.

Managing Expectations

To truly benefit from a medical EMR, your practice will need to prepare in a number of ways. One of the most crucial jobs that need to be done will be to manage the expectations of the staff.

If the staff is excited about a new EMR system and is ready to learn and be challenged, the process will go more smoothly and everyone will be able to use the EMR to improve efficiency.

But if the staff feels anxious, unprepared, and frustrated by the process, productivity will probably go down and the adjustment period will be much longer than necessary. Before you can expect your staff to get better at their jobs because of an EMR, you’ve got to train them and prepare them psychologically for the process.

That includes bringing the staff into the planning process so they feel they have a voice and their goals will be met with the EMR.

Choosing the Right EMR Software

Another crucial decision, which could make or break your experience with an EMR solution, will be what EMR you choose. This choice should not be obvious. Expect it to take some time for you to identify which EMR will help your practice to reach its goals.

Make sure that you have specific, achievable goals for productivity and efficiency before you even begin the search, and then base your decision on how well the EMR can help you to achieve those goals.

Getting staff input during this process will also be very valuable. If staff members are currently frustrated by certain aspects of their job or the way that certain systems are not integrated well enough, they can tell you what their goals will be.

EMR solutionThe goals of individual staff members can be powerful tools, especially if the staff knows that the EMR is meant to help them to reach their individual goals.

Take Your Time

Managing the transition process will probably be stressful enough without a lot of time pressure. So don’t overdo it by setting tight deadlines and strict expectations.

Nobody needs to feel pushed too hard during the implementation process, and that includes practice management. Taking your time will also allow you to identify problems right away, while you still have access to training materials and support from the software developers. If you take your time, you will be able to do things right the first time, saving you time and money in the long run.

Physical Therapy Software EMR Benefits

Physical Therapy Software EMR Benefits

Learn how EMR can be very beneficial to your practice. Discover how this latest physical therapy documentation can be more convenient when it comes to efficiency, productivity and reporting.

physical therapy software benefitsIf you’ve heard anything about physical therapy software and electronic medical records (EMR), the reviews have probably been mixed.

Over the past five years, many physical therapy software systems have been implemented for the first time.

There are some systems that seem to work well for large scale hospitals and medical facilities, and there are others that improve the efficiency of the billing team but clinicians and doctors have not yet adopted their use.

The Challenging Times

The first few years of any new technology are challenging. Physical therapy software engineers are venturing into new territory. Healthcare providers are unlikely to see the value of something like EMR if they haven’t seen them successfully used in practice. A lot of skepticism, lack of enthusiasm, and problems with the software have given EMR a bit of a bad name.

But regardless, EMR systems are slowly increasing in popularity. More and more medical practices, from large hospitals to small private practices, are implementing technological improvements that are starting to be truly effective. Physical therapy software developers are working with early adopters of technologies to make changes that improve the systems.

Broad Strokes 

The process of implementation can be a bit burdensome, but forget that part for a few minutes and imagine a medical practice that has already implemented physical therapy software. Put aside concerns about cost, and imagine that instead of a paper folder and pencils or pens, the clinicians carry around small tablet computers that are hooked into your server, where all the EMR are stored.

Each time they change rooms and see a new patient, they can quickly pull up the record they need, scan it for the relevant details, and start taking notes on the current appointment.

Sounds like the future, doesn’t it? Well, it is the future of medicine. Each time the clinician finishes a visit with a patient, an alert is sent to the medical coding and billing staff.

physical therapy software EMR benefitsAt their most efficient, physical therapy software solutions could even provide the first draft of codes based on common terminology and previously agreed upon standards. In ten years, it may be that every practice is using some form of physical therapy software.

Convenience, Efficiency, and Reporting

The most basic benefits of EMR are in convenience and efficiency. A physical therapy software staff or member no longer needs to pull files for incoming patients and re-file the files that have been taken out during the day.

Communication between the clinician, assistants, and billers is made smooth and instantaneous.

A lot of time is spent in physical therapy private practices just getting things and information from here to there. Everything can move at the speed of automatic alerts and emails. This will free up time for more important tasks.

And for the management of physical therapy software, having all of the data in one place and easily accessible represents a big change to the way we do business. Reporting can highlight inefficiencies as well as efficient and effective practices. The benefits of having information at your fingertips are almost immeasurable.

Physical Therapy Software: The Benefits of EMR in Your Practice

Physical Therapy Software: The Benefits of EMR in Your Practice

Nitin Chhoda discusses the specific benefits of using electronic medical records in all aspects of your physical therapy business.  Useful advantages can be found in a variety of areas such as documentation, billing, scheduling, and reporting purposes.

physical therapy software benefitsWhile hospitals are struggling with a huge web of information to be managed by medical EMRs, physical therapy private practices have an advantage when implementing physical therapy software.

A private practice has a smaller number of employees to train. But most importantly, a physical therapy private practice has a very specific set of needs that physical therapy software can meet.

Reporting

For physical therapy management, nothing can compete with the reporting capabilities of physical therapy software. If reporting is used optimally, the average number of visits per patient can be easily checked.

This number can also be correlated with referral statistics. Inefficiencies can be identified where patients are most likely to self-discharge. In the past, this kind of detailed reporting would take a lot of time to compile. With physical therapy software, reports can be generated in minutes.

Billing Efficacy

Another realm where reporting does a very important job is within the billing department. Medical billing is notoriously cumbersome, with insurance companies paying roughly half of all submitted claims.

Physical therapy EMRs actually improve the success of submissions. Physical therapy software can help eliminate errors, increase the efficiency of the process, and make identifying the reasons for rejected or denied claims much simpler.

Medical billing staff will have access to tools that can track the insurance companies that reject or deny claims with the most regularity. Health care practice management can make decisions about keeping or dropping insurance companies based on real numbers.

physical therapy software EMRScheduling

Scheduling in a physical therapy private practice is also a place where inefficiency costs money. What happens when a patient cancels? How often do cancelled appointments get re-scheduled?

Do cancelled appointment slots get filled regularly? Are there patients who often do not show up for appointments? Physical therapy software review makes answering these questions simple, and provides solutions to fix problems with scheduling.

The Essentials

Managing a private practice is not a simple or easy job. Scheduling, medical billing and coding, and identification of inefficiencies can turn into time wasting tasks that lose money for the practice.

Handling these essential tasks is usually the job of the staff, but they can only do so much if they are still using outdated and flawed systems.

Inevitably, it is easy to tell which practices are using physical therapy software or a medical EMR.

When walking through the door of a modern physical therapy private practice, it is clear that an office has streamlined their practice management since they use a physical therapy software. Patients aren’t left waiting and the receptionist or medical assistant has the time to answer questions.

Of course, physical therapy private practices that use physical therapy software are more efficient, have better insurance claim acceptance rates, and tend to adjust quickly to problems that arise. The initial transition period always presents challenges. But the value of adding physical therapy software to your practice is well worth the work and time.

Physical Therapy Software: Adoption of a Tablet-Based EMR

Physical Therapy Software: Adoption of a Tablet-Based EMR

Investing in a tablet-based EMR can do a lot for your practice. Although it is not a requirement to have tablets in your practice, doing so will make the physical therapy documentation process a lot faster. Nitin Chhoda explains the benefits of having a tablet in your practice in further detail.

physical therapy software tablet-basedTablet computers are everywhere these days. They are used as educational tools, as the fast and easy replacement for a laptop, and as a way to improve informational exchange.

Tablet-based EMRs and physical therapy software really are making the job of a physical therapist more flexible and successful.

But the improvements come with a lot of changes, and for many, those changes will be challenging. So why should you consider spending a lot of money on new tablets and an integrated physical therapy software tablet-based EMR?

The easy answer is that in the long run it will save you money and make your practice more efficient.

But that may not feel like a fair answer. How can a small physical therapy private practice really make up for a big expense like fancy tablets?

The Costs Aren’t What You Think They Are

First of all, it turns out that purchasing tablets for your physical therapy software and practice will not be the overwhelming expense you expect it to be. Tablets can be just a couple of hundred dollars each when you buy them as a consumer.

If you do some research and communicate with tablet manufacturers, you may find that you can get an even better deal on a large purchase.

You can get close to wholesale prices if you are buying for your practice, and as a health care provider and physical therapy software user, some companies will give you great discounts. The tablets will not be the biggest capital investment you make, but they will make implementation and adoption of an EMR much more fun, exciting, and interesting for your staff.

physical therapy software adoptionBenefits Abound

And if your staff is truly on board with the big changes that will come from physical therapy software adoption, then the entire process will go more smoothly.

You can expect some difficulties, as with any change in the way people do their jobs.

But if you make implementation the priority and introduce the software and hardware together, you may find that your staff will be more interested and excited to learn new things.

Starting Out Slow: Some Good, Some Bad 

If you do adopt physical therapy software without tablets, at least at first, you may not get the full benefit of the programs. Clinicians will still need to get back to their desk to make the notes they need to make.

Or they will continue to carry paper and pens around, which is one thing you’d be better off eliminating entirely. Of course there is also a good side to taking things slowly. Naturally, your bottom line will have more time to adjust.

It’s Better to Start Sooner Than Later

You can make the changes to your physical therapy software scheduling and billing that come up and improve efficiency before you invest in tablets. With the improvements you and your staff see, everyone might be eager for more improvements.

The process of implementing physical therapy software should be considered carefully. What will work best for your staff?

Some practices take it slowly and things work out just fine. But other practices implement a fully integrated, tablet-based physical therapy software system and find that the way things work is dramatically changed for the better.

Physical Therapy Software – EMR Selection

Physical Therapy Software – EMR Selection

Before switching to electronic medical records system, there are important things that a practice owner should prioritize.

Nitin Chhoda points out the stages that a practitioner needs to complete before changing from a manual physical therapy documentation to an automated EMR system.

physical therapy software selectionEvery physical therapy practice manager wants to know exactly which physical therapy software is the best.

Of course, which is best will depend a lot on how the practice works currently and what you are hoping to achieve.

But there are a few helpful steps that physical therapy management can take to make sure that they are selecting the best EMR, one that will work for the staff, management, and benefit patients, as well.

Long Term Goals

Before making any decisions, in fact, before you even start looking at what is available, sit down and draft a list of long term goals for the practice. Have you been frustrated by the lack of tracking in the scheduling and re-scheduling of patients?

Do you want to improve the acceptance rate of claims submitted to insurance companies? Are you hoping to improve efficiency like using physical therapy software? Would you like your practice to have a more professional and modern feel?

Setting down a few goals is going to be critical to choosing the right physical therapy software. After all, you are not purchasing the software just because you like fancy software. Physical therapy software should help your practice to reach goals that you have determined because they are important for the continued success of the practice.

Working With Staff

While reporting and analysis may be the benefits to physical therapy management, there are numerous potential benefits to staff when adopting physical therapy software. Find out what your staff would like to improve upon.

Are your billers feeling overwhelmed? Does the receptionist handle a lot of miscellaneous tasks that could be eliminated with the elimination of a paper records system?

Not only will you learn what your staff needs from an EMR, but you will also plant the seed of potential benefit with the staff.

If you start with goals, both for the entire practice and for individual staff members, you can set your sights on the things that everyone will gain from adopting physical therapy software. If everyone knows how they will benefit, they will be more willing to work to adjust to the changes they will need to make.

Asking Around

physical therapy software EMR solutionSome of the best information you can gather about physical therapy software will be from other practices like your own.

It may be hard at first, but if you can identify practices that had similar goals, you can find out which software solutions might actually help you to attain your goals.

Often managers will have a lot to say about their experiences with physical therapy software implementation. If you give them the time to talk about what they did, you may learn some very valuable lessons.

Additionally, once you have goals of your own, you’ll know what questions to ask both users of software solutions and the software developers themselves.

By preparing yourself, you will know what you need the physical therapy software to do, and you can work towards goals rather than adopt software that may or may not actually be useful for you and your staff.

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