Medical Management — How to Streamline with EMR

Medical Management — How to Streamline with EMR

One of the many and major benefits of using electronic medical records system is the ability to streamline the entire documentation and billing process.

This can significantly improve  productivity and boost cash flow. Nitin Chhoda explains how to streamline your practice with a simple, efficient and integrated EMR system.

medical managementCorrect medical management is the key ingredient to a healthy, growing practice. The way therapists manage their clinics will determine whether they succeed or fail.

Practice owners must think like business owners instead of medical providers, a task that many find difficult to reconcile with the everyday treatment of patients.

Assistance With the Help of EMR

Electronic medical records system offers valuable assistance and significantly lightens the load of medical management. Effective medical management of a physical therapy practice involves more than just getting more patients in the door.

It means identifying problems and issues within the clinic, tracking trends, and streamlining the entire range of office procedures. Along with improving client care, superior management means being reimbursed in the timeliest manner possible.

Reducing administrative costs and efforts, while planning for the future, are all earmarks of an efficiently run clinic that will experience exponential growth.

The Benefits of EMR

The most obvious benefit of an EMR in medical management is the ability to identify where unknown problems have crept into office procedures. Time is money in the business world and a physical therapy practice is a business with all the attending problems, issues, wasting of resources and marketing requirements.

Therapists who embrace the features of an EMR will see increased revenue, cost reductions, more effective marketing efforts and better utilization of resources.

Therapists will first notice an increase in cash flow through faster payments via electronic reimbursement submissions. The entire medical management claim and payment system is accelerated and funds can be deposited directly into the clinic’s account.

EMRs eliminate the days of waiting for claims to reach their destination and the return of paper checks that must then be physically transferred to the bank. EMRs provide clinics with the means to capture one-time and recurring payments online via credit or debit cards.

Determine Best Payers

medical management streamlineClinicians can easily determine the best payers through the metrics available in an EMR.

Therapists can ascertain each client’s insurance coverage and eligibility for services, and have the data entered long before the patient’s appointment, allowing for quicker medical management billing and coding that attains a new level of accuracy.

Information is power and EMRs place a wide range of data at a therapist’s fingertips to evaluate medical management staffing needs and deploy clinicians where they’re most effective. It may be possible to eliminate employees or practice owners may discover they can add staff to expand services into spas, corporate and home health programs, and senior facilities.

EMRs provide data that equips therapists with medical management information on local and national demographics, along with treatment trends, that can be used to formulate streamlined and more effective marketing campaigns that target groups by age, gender, location, services or insurance providers.

High Tech Communication

The ability to communicate with clients via multiple methods, including voice and text messaging, offers clinics 21st century technological tools with which to work. The term paperwork is destined to become obsolete with EMRs that record and store documents digitally.

As therapists fine tune their EMR documentation software to reflect their individual practices, medical management in all its many facets will become more streamlined and efficient than ever before, allowing clinicians to market their clinics more effectively, increase cash flow and manage practices for greater efficiency and profitability.

Healthcare Insurance and its Effects in the New Economy

Healthcare Insurance and its Effects in the New Economy

Nitin Chhoda discusses the current status of healthcare insurance in the country and how practice management, patients, as well as the insurance companies deal with the situation.


Healthcare is a complicated and convoluted process in the U.S. that involves patients, practitioners, insurance providers and a multitude of clearinghouses established specifically for processing, verifying and paying claims.

Each entity has its own set of rules, regulations and protocols governing covered expenses and how reimbursement claims must be submitted. The system has patients confused and healthcare providers fighting for revenues.

The multi-tiered healthcare system in the U.S. is a slow and ponderous process, but one that’s essential for the financial stability of practices and to ease the pain and suffering of patients. Due to the many facets of the industry, it can leave even insured patients with insufficient coverage or none when they need it most, while clinicians are buried in a mountain of paperwork and rejected claims.

Reactive healthcare is the new normal

Until recently, healthcare was a reactive system focused on treating ailments and illnesses as they appeared.  The beginning of the 21st century saw a shift in the thinking of insurance company executives toward preventative measures and ways for clients to avoid becoming ill or developing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

It’s a high goal that can mitigate a wide range of expensive healthcare problems, but doesn’t factor in variables such as genetic predispositions, or work and environmental elements. It’s a system that penalizes the elderly, infirm and those experiencing ongoing health issues or who require extensive treatment.

Insurance creates conundrums for the insured

When the Affordable Health Care Act is fully implemented, millions of previously uninsured individuals will have access to a core group of services through insurance policies obtained through their employment or a healthcare practice management insurance exchange.

Unfortunately, as insurance companies increase deductibles, co-pays and other costs, patients are delaying or failing to seek treatment and practitioners are experiencing distinct drops in revenues.

Today’s healthcare insurance may not cover specific services patients need or may require thousands in out-of-pocket costs clients can’t afford.

Healthcare insurance providers are forcing patients to shoulder more of the cost burden and setting limitations on costs and treatments. The result is that many clients that have insurance are no better off than those without.

Creating revenue strategies is a multi-pronged process

To ensure sufficient cash flow, clinicians must develop and implement strategic plans to contract with the best paying providers and examine client insurance coverage closely before beginning treatment. In some instances, clinicians may need to refer patients to other facilities or resources to obtain whatever treatment is insurance

The technology embodied in an electronic medical record (EMR) system is a clinician’s best friend for verifying insurance, providing enhanced documentation and submitting reimbursement claims.

EMRs empower practitioners, providing them with the tools to manage client treatment needs against their insurance coverage.

EMRs can identify claims that may pose potential problems, while offering electronic reimbursement submissions to facilitate payment turnaround times.

The structure of the healthcare system in the U.S. is difficult to navigate for patients and practitioners and the new direction being taken by insurance companies is actually narrowing options for the insured and creating financial hardships for practice owners. To remain solvent, clinicians will be required to make hard decisions about the patients they treat, the insurance they accept and the providers with which they contract.

Physical Therapy Billing: Using Revenue Cycle Management Software

Physical Therapy Billing: Using Revenue Cycle Management Software

An integrated electronic medical records system includes revenue management software that can streamline your physical therapy billing.

Nitin Chhoda explains why this type of software can be a critical component of the ‘big picture’, allow your entire physical therapy billing process to become streamlined and profitable.

physical therapy billing cycleThe first step toward solving a problem is always acknowledging that a problem exists. In physical therapy billing, this means evaluating the revenue cycle and the staff that is responsible for billing.

Nobody likes to have their job evaluated, especially when the goal is to find inefficiencies and problems.

Revenue cycle management software allows the practice to evaluate and make the necessary changes to physical therapy billing processes at the same time as the billing staff gets exciting and powerful new tools.

Giving the Staff Reason for Optimism

Start the process of evaluation of the revenue cycle with one question in your mind: which tasks could the right software take from the billing staff?

In other words, don’t look for what the staff is doing wrong, look for the places where their jobs could be made easier if you implement physical therapy billing software that includes revenue cycle management improvements.

If the staff feels they are being evaluated, you will have a harder time identifying problems, and making improvements will be more of a challenge.

But if the staff understands that the process of evaluation is impersonal, that the hope is that their physical therapy billing job will get easier, then they will cooperate and be upfront about the problems they experience.

It will be easy to get the staff to talk about problems with duplicate entry. However, physical therapy billing staff members will be protective about admitting to error frequency and revenue recognition delays and errors. The best way to get everyone on board is to make sure they don’t feel threatened.

physical therapy billing revenueRevenue Cycle Management Software Solutions

There is a lot of good news in the EMR world these days. New physical therapy EMRs provide revenue cycle management solutions that are very successful at improving efficiency.

In particular, you will find that duplicate entry is eliminated and not just within the physical therapy billing department.

With a fully integrated and mobile EMR, you can reduce the entry of patient information to a single occurrence, and it will happen when the patient picks up the tablet computer and enters their information.

Streamlined Billing

Of course the real time saver will be software that handles recurring billing in a streamlined and intuitive way. Physical therapy billing staff still needs access to each claim that is being submitted, so they can review and make changes based on the actual visit.

But if the treatment plan is set and pre-approved, the entire billing schedule can be set up to generate claims automatically. The biller only has to enter the information once, and then their job is to check for errors or inconsistencies.

Changing the job of physical therapy billing staff should be a priority for every physical therapy private practice manager or owner. Even if you hire a billing company, there are incredible advantages to planning and preparing so that each time the company sends a claim, you are much more likely to receive the payment in a timely manner.

Managing the revenue cycle will bring more visibility, make compliance more simple, and make the physical therapy billing team more productive.

Healthcare Practice Management: The 4-Prong Approach

Healthcare Practice Management: The 4-Prong Approach

To manage a practice, it’s important to adopt a multi-faceted approach that consists of four ‘pillars’. This allows for a more efficient, streamlined and successful practice, according to Nitin Chhoda.

healthcare practice management approachManaging a healthcare practice management is a lot like running other small businesses, except for a few glaring differences.

In general, a small business can predict how often and how well they will be compensated for products or services.

This is because the client or customer who received the products or services is the same as the payer. In healthcare practice management, the payer is often a third party, in the form of a health insurance company or a governmental program.

To ensure that a medical practice is financially secure, healthcare practice management must take a 4-pronged approached; everything within the practice needs to be integrated with the rest of the practice. Most importantly, scheduling, documentation, billing, and marketing must all be integrated to get the most efficiency and productivity from the staff.

Start with Scheduling

Making your scheduling of healthcare practice management efficient is fairly obvious; for every open appointment slot of each day, there should be a patient coming in to the clinic. The problems arise when there are either not enough patients or patients cancel appointments and the slots are never filled.

Historically, medical practices haven’t had much of a choice when it came to making the scheduling process more efficient or precise. But with technological advances, scheduling has evolved so that filling slots is easier and tracking patient visits becomes automated.

Scheduling and Marketing

To get the most from your schedule, it turns out that the healthcare practice management will have to do some marketing. Usually this means projecting a certain image to the general public and attempting to entice patients to come to your practice rather than alternatives.

Marketing is also important as patients move through the system, and encouraging referrals from current patients should be part of the healthcare practice management plan. Without good marketing, it will be hard to keep your schedule full.

Scheduling and Documentation

Of course, usually it is the receptionist who handles both scheduling and the pulling and re-filing of medical records. The responsible healthcare practice management staff member must take the time to look over the schedule and pull the correct records each day.

They must also know when to schedule the next visit based on the clinician’s notes from the current visit. This entire process can be automated and streamlined with current technology.

healthcare practice management 4-prongDocumentation and Billing

And the bottom line for any healthcare practice management will be collection of payments from the payer, whether that is the patient or their health insurance company.

Medical billers and coders need access to those medical files, too, and they need to know what the clinician has been doing to help the patient get better.


By realizing that there are important connections between the four major parts of a practice, healthcare practice management can look for the ways that communication and transfer of information has become inefficient within the practice. Efficiency can only be improved when management is seeing the connections and assessing the performance of each aspect of the practice as it relates to the rest.

Physical Therapy Billing: Simplifying Enrollment with Insurance Companies

Physical Therapy Billing: Simplifying Enrollment with Insurance Companies

There are times when new practices are unable to enroll with major insurance companies. In this article, Nitin Chhoda provides some valuable tips on how to simplify the complicated process of enrollment and get your practice in-network with the payers you wish to work with.

physical therapy billing enrollmentAlthough physical therapy billing is complicated by the various billing requirements of insurance companies and government programs, some private practices are finding ways to simplify the process.

In fact, physical therapy billing is being redefined by physical therapy documentation software and EMRs.

The changes that are being make streamline the process, improve claims acceptance from insurance companies, and improve the patient experience.

Applications to Insurance Companies

For each insurance company that a physical therapy practice would like to bill, an application process must be completed and even certification may be required. Insurance companies have a lot of power in this regard and the process can be time consuming and costly.

These physical therapy billing applications cannot be taken lightly, and the terms of the final contract with each insurance company should be carefully reviewed.

The contract terms will determine just what you can bill for and what the limits are for each insurance company. Not only will this inform what the physical therapy billing staff does, but it should also be used to instruct physical therapists on how to work with patients to get the most benefit from the limits imposed by the insurance companies.

The Most Efficient Way to Enroll

There are now services that offer to apply on behalf of your practice for a fee. In many cases, this can be worthwhile, as the time and energy it takes to complete this kind of application takes physical therapy billing or management staff away from other duties.

Hiring a specialist to do this temporary work may be the most efficient way to enroll with a number of insurance companies as well as government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

But this still involves a great deal of attention, at least from physical therapy billing and management. You may want to start by determining exactly which companies you want to enroll with.

Not every insurance company will be worth working with, especially if the limits are particularly low or they have a particularly high rate of rejection and denial of claims. Once you have drafted a list of potential companies and programs, you can work with an application company to get enrolled more quickly and efficiently.

Integrating Insurance Requirements into an EMR

physical therapy billing companies

A fully integrated and flexible physical therapy EMR can provide clinicians with the correct weighted procedures and treatment options so that when the information is transferred to the physical therapy billing staff, the billing process can be seamless and smooth.

A physical therapy billing and documentation software solution can help make enrollment smoother for physical therapy billing staff as well as for management. Once the terms are set, the specific can be entered into your EMR.

Without wasting time looking up the details of each insurance contract, the physical therapy billing staff can fill out the necessary claims and submit them more quickly and accurately than ever before. If the requirements are integrated into the EMR, everyone benefits including the practice as a whole.
Don’t Judge an EMR by the Cost of its Software

Don’t Judge an EMR by the Cost of its Software

Many physical therapists find that using physical therapy EMR is expensive. However, Nitin Chhoda emphasizes the many benefits of EMR systems and how the initial expenses can be justified with the long term savings down the road.

EMRPatients and practitioners are living in an exciting age of technological advances that detects diseases earlier and saves lives, but the ability comes with an impressive price tag.

That cost extends into the office with EMR technology and it’s an expense for which many medical professionals aren’t prepared.

The cost of implementing an integrated EMR varies widely, dependent upon the type of system that is utilized.

Practice owners can choose to install an on-site system that they must service themselves, or choose a vendor-maintained package that comes with a monthly fee. Free EMR systems are available, along with those with price tags of up to $80,000. It’s a major expense for any size clinic, but can be devastating for smaller practices on a budget.

EMRs should address the basics

An EMR should speak to three primary functions in the office environment. It should allow practice owners to submit reimbursement claims online to expedite cash flow, provide complete patient documentation, and maintain a client health record that enables clinicians to deliver a superior level of care.

An EMR encompasses of host of functionalities for marketing, client communications and collections, but should address the essentials first.

Cost doesn’t always mean quality

There’s no guarantee that an $80,000 EMR system will perform any better or offer more sophisticated abilities than one that’s free. EMR vendors offer valuable services and resources, but clinicians should remain cognizant that the ultimate goal of such firms is to make money. It’s impossible for a one-size-fits-all system to accommodate the needs of every type of healthcare facility. There will be gaps and inconsistencies that will adversely affect a clinic’s revenues.

Don’t forget the hardware

Implementing an EMR requires hardware, whether it’s hosted by a vendor or housed on-site. For vendor supplied installs, the web-based functions will be maintained on the company’s servers, but clinics will need to purchase laptops or tablets to access the EMR, along with routers, cables, servers and terminals. The cost is much more extensive for practice-maintained electronic medical records housed on-site.

The high cost of tech support and maintenance

Technical support is essential to ensure the smooth running of an intricate EMR system. Clinicians should determine the full extent of the available support before committing themselves and their livelihoods to a nebulous promise. Tech assistance should be available around the clock and include experts that will come to the clinic if needed.

Learning to use the system in easy steps

electronic medical recordsStaff training can represent a significant financial outlay if employees must travel or miss work to learn the system’s operation.

Many vendors offer on-site and online training as part of their services, but the real cost to clinics will demonstrate itself through an initial loss of productivity and interruption of the normal workflow.

The costs associated with implementing an integrated EMR are varied and they’re expenses that most clinic owners don’t even consider. They look only at the initial cost of the software, without considering the implications of staff training, hardware and IT professionals.

There are many expenses that may not be immediately obvious, but they’re elements that will cost clinics dearly in revenues if they’re not settled before implementation.