The Difference Between an EMR, Billing Software, a Clearinghouse and Billing Service

The Difference Between an EMR, Billing Software, a Clearinghouse and Billing Service

An EMR has many capabilities and a fully integrated software system allows clinicians to handle every facet of the practice’s business, from patient documentation to submitting claims for billing.

billingConfusion exists about EMRs, the software’s capability and how therapists can use it for optimum efficiency, and the key word to remember is integrated.

EMRs – Primary Functions

An EMR provides the tools to create documentation on each patient.

It can be accessed by multiple providers for continuity of care and is instantly updated.

It should have the ability to create intuitive custom templates that are most effective and efficient for each individual practice.

The EMR should have the ability to upload documents to patient files, from photo identification and insurance cards to test results, referrals and x-rays.

Most importantly, it’s essential that the EMR be able to communicate seamlessly with billing software.

In Touch EMR™ has the ability to integrate with existing office systems.

Integrated Billing

A therapist’s billing software has several requirements. It must be fully integrated with the practice’s clearinghouse and have the ability to check insurance eligibility online.

Billing software needs the ability to scrub claims and notify users of any potential problems.

Automatic posting of ERAs, batch submissions and billing statement generation speeds up the reimbursement process and In Touch Biller PRO™ software does all of that.

Clearinghouses – The Path To Payment

Medical billing software submits claims for documentation, along with supporting documentation.

Clearinghouses scrub the claims for errors and either forwards it to insurance companies for payment or back to the practice as a denial.

Creating clean claims at the office level virtually eliminates denials and delayed payments that will occur if the billing software isn’t compatible and integrated with the clearinghouse.

Integrated Billing Servicesbilling

It doesn’t matter whether billing is conducted in-house or outsourced, it’s essential that billing personnel master the practice’s billing software to obtain the full benefit of its capabilities.

In Touch Biller PRO™ is designed to be fully integrated with clearinghouse software, submits claims, manages denials and scrubs claims before they reach the clearinghouse.

It also generates statements and tracks patient benefits.

In Touch EMR™ and In Touch Biller PRO™ are both specifically designed with the needs of the therapist in mind. The software systems streamline documentation and assists practitioners remain compliant with applicable laws and the requirements of insurance companies to get paid faster.

Are You Making These Mistakes with Your EMR?

Are You Making These Mistakes with Your EMR?

With mandatory EMR implementation looming large on the horizon, therapists need to seriously consider the system they’ll be using. The software should be integrated throughout the office, with automatic functions that allow clinicians to work smarter, not harder.

EMRThere are key abilities that every practitioner should demand from their EMR system for documentation, billing and mobile readiness.

Integrated Billing

The selected EMR system should be fully integrated with billing and have the ability to detect and identify potential problems before claims are sent to clearinghouses.

In Touch EMR™ does all that and provides billing specialists with the means to easily obtain data, scrub claims for errors, and submit reimbursement requests individually or through automated batch filings.

Custom Templates

Most EMRs have a preprogramed set of parameters and forms that require clinicians to conform to the software.

In Touch EMR™ is designed specifically for therapists and conforms to the way clinician work, not the other way around.

Therapists can create custom documentation templates that best fits the individual needs of the practice.

Voice Recognition

Technology has given practitioners the means to document quickly and efficiently without the need to type information into patient files.

In Touch EMR™ has one of the most sophisticated voice recognition capabilities available, allowing practitioners to dictate and document on the go.

Clinicians can combine voice and typing options if they choose.

Going Mobile

Mobile devices are part of everyday life, but few therapists realize how the technology can be a distinct advantage in their practice.

With In Touch EMR™, therapists can use an iPad to perform many of the functions that would normally fall to staff.

With the EMR, tablet technology can be used for patient check-ins.

Clients can fill out forms, take a photo of themselves for identification, and supply their insurance information with the iPad’s built-in camera.

Data goes straight to client record and maintained safely in the cloud. Using a mobile device frees staff to work on other projects.

Mobile needs for practices extend to the ability to send text and voice messages to patients, and In Touch EMR™ can do that automatically.

The system can communicate with patients to remind them of appointments, accounts due and ask for referrals, along with sending physical and electronic greetings and newsletters.

Eliminating Sneaky FeesEMR

Many clinicians are finding that EMR vendors have a long list of sneaky fees. Practitioners are being required to pay for each individual user and that they’re being charged for each function they utilize.

With In Touch EMR™ clinicians only pay for licensed therapists that use the system. Technicians and others who must have access can do so for free.

An EMR is supposed to work for clinicians, not against them.

In Touch EMR™ provides the tools to take advantage of modern communication and documentation methods. It conforms to the requirements of the therapist and integrates with billing systems for a more efficient and profitable practice.

In Touch EMR Shows Five Ways to Speed Up Documentation

In Touch EMR Shows Five Ways to Speed Up Documentation

There are major problems with the current way clinicians document patient encounters. It takes too long, it’s a pain in the behind and everyone wants to get it done as quickly as possible.

In Touch EMRFor physical therapists, if it’s not documented it’s not done.

The In Touch EMR® contains the tools needed to document efficiently, maintain compliance and establish medical necessity.

Most EMRs on the market force practitioners to conform to them.

The In Touch EMR® adapts to the needs of the physical therapist, allowing them to spend more time with patients instead of being a documentation machine.

In Touch EMR Voice Recognition

One of the primary ways that clinicians can increase their efficiency is by using voice recognition for documentation.

Instead of typing in each item, practitioners can actually use the voice recognition abilities of In Touch EMR® to speak what they want instead of typing it in.

The ability significantly speeds up documentation for faster billing and payments.

Automated Sentences

Clinicians can take common phrases and enter them into In Touch EMR® as a sentence.

When the therapist types in the beginning of the phrase, In Touch EMR automatically completes the sentence, eliminating the need to type out the whole thing.

Clinicians can even assign hotkeys to specific phrases for additional time savings.

Dynamic Goal Boxes

It’s happened to every clinician – they think of a goal for their patient during an office visit, but forget it before they’re able to document it.

In Touch EMR® creates dynamic goal boxes, allowing practitioners to document goals on the go, as they think of them.

Click And Point Templates

In Touch EMR® adapts to the needs of the user, providing practitioners with point and click template creation.

The EMR comes with pre-made templates that can be used as is or modified to accommodate the individual needs of the clinician.

Practitioners can choose to create their own templates, and both methods allow for the greatest flexibility within the practice.

Automatic Flow Sheet Integration

Creating flow sheets can be time-consuming. When therapists create a flow sheet with In Touch EMR®, all the information is automatically and instantly transferred to the practice’s billing software.

In Touch EMRAll the ICD and CPT codes, units used and other pertinent data is transferred directly to billing when the clinician is done with the flow sheet.

That ability speeds up the claims process, allowing therapists to get paid quicker.

Reduced reimbursements and new regulations enacted through Obamacare make it essential that physical therapists increase efficiency throughout their practice.

In Touch EMR® provides the tools to improve efficiency, bill quicker and significantly reduce claim denials with software that adapts to the clinician. Therapists can spend more time with patients, practice medicine in their own way, and document with extreme accuracy for better and quicker reimbursements.


Common Myths About Modifier 59

Common Myths About Modifier 59

Modifier 59 is the outcome of the correct coding initiative (CCI) by Medicare. The use of modifier 59 can be confusing to clinicians and billers of all experience levels.

medical billing and codingThere are a lot of myths surrounding the use of modifier 59, but it will generally be used to designate CPT codes that are separate but can be combined.

The Right Time For Modifier 59

The important thing to remember is that if two codes are related and should be billed together, then append modifier 59.

When the modifier is used, it tells Medicare that the two CPT codes should be billed together, that there’s a valid reason to do so, and that the documentation is available to support that decision.

If two CPT codes are mutually exclusive, then there’s no reason to use modifier 59.

CCI Edits Available At Medicare

CCI edits applicable for any profession are all available on the Medicare website. The initiative was designed to avoid payment for procedures that typically wouldn’t be billed together.

The modifier 59 edit allows clinicians to bill two procedures when they’re related and is used to indicate a distinct procedural service (DPS).

Modifier 59 allows clinicians to differentiate to payers that a specific procedure or service was independent of any other that was billed on the same day for the same patient.

The modifier can be used to indicate a different part of the body, organ or injury. The edits are listed by specific CPT sections and is a free download on the Medicare website.

Alleviating Modifier 59 Problems

The answer to modifier 59 difficulties is the In Touch EMR™ software.

The EMR automatically checks claims, tells clinicians if the modifier is applicable, and which CPT codes need to be appended with the modifier.

Clinicians and billers no longer have to guess about the proper use of modifier 59 and hope that a claim isn’t denied or flagged for further investigation.

medical billing and coding

In Touch EMR™ represents the first generation of EMR technology that can tell the user if a potential problem exists that could result in a denial.

The software system helps billers and clinicians ensure that practitioners are paid, as long as medical necessity has been established.

Health and Human Services continues to update, modify and change its requirements, and reduce Medicare payments to practitioners.

Combined with the new rules and regulations associated with Obamacare, it can be exceedingly difficult to distinguish when to use specific edits and modifiers.

In Touch EMR™ takes the guesswork out of billing for far fewer rejections and denials, while increasing reimbursements.

Common Myths About the Medicare 8 Minute Rule

Common Myths About the Medicare 8 Minute Rule

There’s a lot of confusion about the Medicare 8 Minute Rule and how many units to bill. Calculating the correct number of units can be confusing without the proper training and understanding.

medical billingMany clinicians are unknowingly under billing and cheating their practice out of legitimate reimbursements.

The 8 Minute Rule is being used by Medicare and an increasing number of insurance companies.

Those that don’t follow the Medicare guideline typically bill in 15 minute increments.

For insurance companies that do follow the Medicare rule, each billable unit must be between eight and 22 minutes in duration, but it only applies to timed CPT codes.

The Total Is What Counts

Problems arise when an uneven number of minutes are dedicated to different tasks.

To bill accurately and ensure that they’re adequately reimbursed, clinicians must total all the minutes in the session for the maximum number of billable units.

To be included, only face-to-face time spent with the patient counts toward billable units.

The 8 Minute Rule applies as follows:

  • 1 unit is 6-22 minutes
  • 2 units is 23 to 37 minutes
  • 3 units is 38 to 52 minutes
  • 4 units is 53 to 67 minutes
  • 5 units is 68 to 82 minutes
  • 6 units is 83 to 98 minutes


Understanding Is Essential

Billing becomes more difficult when multiple procedures or services are provided.

When an uneven number of minutes occur, therapists should choose the code that best represents the majority of the treatment time.

To understand the 8 Minute Rule, therapists should talk with a professional biller. Without a full understanding of how the rule works, therapists will encounter errors and reimbursement denials.

Automatic Calculationsmedical billing

The In Touch EMR® automatically calculates the time for each CPT code.

The system knows if it’s a timed or untimed procedure and assigns the appropriate number of units.

Clinicians have full control and can change the claim before it’s sent.

Demonstrations can be scheduled to learn how the software works. It takes the guesswork out of calculations, increases efficiency, and ensures therapists are getting paid the full amount to which they’re entitled.

In Touch EMR Eliminates Scanning and Uploading of Patient Documents

In Touch EMR Eliminates Scanning and Uploading of Patient Documents

With the technology of an iPad and the In Touch EMR, there’s no reason to scan and upload documents to a patient’s record ever again. At this time, the In Touch EMR has the only dedicated iPad app for physical therapy.

In Touch EMRIn Touch EMR stores information securely in the cloud and can be retrieved at any time.

Implemented on the iPad, the EMR offers a fast, easy and simple system with almost unlimited uses.

Say Cheese!

With the iPad’s built-in camera, patients can take a photo of themselves for identification purposes, right in the office.

The photo automatically goes where it needs to be with the integrated In Touch EMR and it’s permanently stored in the cloud.

Patients can also complete forms and photograph them for inclusion in their records.

It’s essential to verify each patient’s identity for reimbursements, prevent fraud and avoid identify theft.

A photo of the patient’s insurance card can be taken and added to their file for quick verification of coverage and services, thereby increasing front desk efficiency.

Photographic Documentation

In In Touch EMR, clinicians can take photos of individuals during the patient encounter to document their posture, injuries and other visible data. The photos are instantly attached to the patient’s record to create a visual profile and establish medical necessity.

Clinicians can snap a quick photo of referrals, documents and records from other providers, all of which becomes part of the patient’s record almost instantly.


Clinicians need to understand the various elements of Obamacare so they can provide explanations to patients.

The In Touch EMR is an important tool for patient education.

Clinicians can use the EMR and iPad as a visual aid to help clients understand what they’re being told verbally. Instructions, examples and pertinent information can be called up, printed and given to patients to peruse at home.

Automating the Workflow

In Touch EMR and the iPad automates the before, during and after patient experience. Staff members spend less effort on time-consuming tasks and patients receive more quality time with their clinician.

In Touch EMR

Billing can be completed and submitted, even before patients leave the office.

The combination of the In Touch EMR and an iPad eliminates the need for scanning, photocopying and uploading information to patient files.

The EMR stores data quickly, safely and securely in the cloud where it can be retrieved any time it’s needed.

Office processes are greatly improved for better efficiency, and clinicians have the ability to create a photographic profile of their patients using In Touch EMR, allowing them to bill quickly and reduce turnaround times on reimbursements.