Physical Therapy Software : Helping Staff to Value Time Stamping

Physical Therapy Software : Helping Staff to Value Time Stamping

Generating reports to review your non-clinical staff and therapists’ productivity is now possible with the use of EMR system. 

Nitin Chhoda explains the value of relaying these changes to your staff, making it possible to discover productivity issues together and solve them immediately.

physical therapy software staffNot every staff member is going to feel good about clocking in and out each time they come to work.

If your staff already does that, then a physical therapy software and EMR with time stamping will be ideal for improving productivity over time.

But if the idea of clocking in and out will be new to the staff, it may take some careful and patient explanations to help them understand why practice management is now going to track their hours.

Remember to Engage Staff with Responsibilities

Recent research has shown that one of the ways to improve productivity among staff, within any field, is to empower staff by giving them important responsibilities such as handling physical therapy software.

When employees feel they have no important role to play, they become apathetic and lose initiative. In a physical therapy setting, the introduction of physical therapy software should happen with the help of the staff.

Staff members should feel that the physical therapy software is going to improve the quality of their job by helping them to reach their goals. One of those goals should be to optimize productivity.

Be Up-Front About Reporting

If physical therapy software is going to start measuring productivity, the staff should know that these kinds of reports will be generated. Consider this: if you do find out that one physical therapist is much less productive than the rest, how will you improve their productivity?

If they know you’ve been tracking performance, you can have a conversation about the number of patients they see per day and talk to them about why they think it is lower than other physical therapists in the practice.

But if you’ve been secretly monitoring productivity using physical therapy software system, when you confront the staff member they may feel caught off guard and singled out, not to mention spied upon. They will tell their co-workers and a rift between physical therapy software management and staff will start to form.

If you don’t trust your staff to do a good job for the practice, then how will they trust you to have their best interests in mind?

Do Not Threaten Punishment – Be Inclusive

physical therapy software valueAlthough the staff should know that you will be using the physical therapy software to track productivity, they should not feel that they are being monitored and threatened with punishment.

Let everyone know that you don’t expect them to do their jobs differently right away.

In fact, physical therapy software and practice management should be able to communicate to staff members that the purpose of reporting and productivity management is to improve the productivity of the entire practice.

Everyone who works in a practice will have certain aspects of the job that they like and certain aspects that they dislike.

Perhaps they are frustrated with the way their days are scheduled, or they don’t feel like they get enough time with each patient. In a lot of cases, these kinds of frustrations or problems will cause inefficiencies and decrease productivity.

By implementing a physical therapy software and EMR that helps to identify where problems may be, the staff and practice management can discover together where there are productivity issues. And then everyone can work together to find solutions.

Physical Therapy Software: The Relationship Between an EMR, Payers, and Your Wallet

Physical Therapy Software: The Relationship Between an EMR, Payers, and Your Wallet

Know how the EMR system, payers, and your physical therapy business’ income are intertwined with each other. This will ensure you have a productive practice and meet your income goals.

physical therapy software relationshipsPhysical therapy software is a tool. And like any other tool that we employ, it should make the job you do easier and more efficient.

Of course, there are plenty of tools out there that do not work the way they’re supposed to, or that make the job even harder than it needs to be.

But if you can find the right tool and right physical therapy software for the job of managing your physical therapy practice, the benefits will affect your bottom line just the way you want them to.

Billing Staff Appreciate Physical Therapy Software

The fact is that all accountants and financial analysts use a lot of computer programs already. Accounting without a computer is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Medical billing staff members are often using complex physical therapy software systems already to handle the work they do. But all too often, that system is completely cut off from the rest of the practice.

How does your billing staff know what to bill? Do they review paper documents and input information into the computer? Or is there a medical coder or even a receptionist who has that job? The way most physical therapy practices do this part is very inefficient.

The clinician documents an appointment, makes notes, and submits that information, usually on paper, to a receptionist. The receptionist makes sure to file the patient file, but must also communicate the information with a medical coder or biller.

The coder or biller will receive the information either on paper or via email. The coder or biller then has to input that information into their system or onto paper claims to be submitted to the insurance company.

There Is A Better Way

The simple information that the physical therapist communicates has to be repeated three times. What if the physical therapist could input that information once using a physical therapy software program and everyone else in the office received an alert and had access to that information?

The receptionist knows to schedule another appointment, the coder and biller can simply use that information from within the physical therapy software system they are using, and billing happens more quickly and accurately. And most importantly, time isn’t wasted sending one message through three different forms of communication.

The Product and Your Wallet

In the end, when you use a systematize physical therapy software program, everyone in the office has more time to improve their workflow, attend to patients, or review insurance claims before sending them to the insurance company.

physical therapy software EMRIf things could be done more smoothly because of the new physical therapy software, it’s likely your billing staff will get better responses from payers.

They will have time for follow-ups and reviews of aging reports. For medical billers, time can slip away fast with a never-ending stream of responsibilities.

And it is the biller that is responsible for bringing cash to the practice. No matter how important it is that patients are treated well and physical therapists do a good job, if the insurance company doesn’t pay claims, or takes a long time to pay claims, the practice will suffer financially.

Anything that helps medical billing to go more smoothly by using physical therapy software will ensure that the practice profits the way you want it to.

Physical Therapy Software: EMR Implementation Checklist

Physical Therapy Software: EMR Implementation Checklist

As you plan to change your manual system to an automated one, always keep in mind that you must communicate with your staff prior to the changes.

In order to have a smooth implementation of the EMR system,  Nitin Chhoda shares a few important steps to take note of when including your staff in the process.

physical therapy software EMRImplementation of physical therapy software is a daunting task. Even before you have experience with the process, you’ll know that productivity will drop during the learning period.

You know that your staff will be frustrated at times and things won’t run more smoothly right off the bat. But you can take steps to make implementation easier and smoother.

  • Plan Carefully 

A critical step will be to make a physical therapy software plan. Include the staff in your planning process. Let them know what to expect, both from the training side and from the implementation side.

Set dates for certain milestones and make sure your staff members are aware of the changes. When everyone knows what to expect, they will be much less likely to be surprised and distracted by the changes that happen.

  • Select an Implementation Manager

Someone will have to be in charge of the physical therapy software implementation process. They will be responsible for drafting the plan and getting buy-in from staff. They will schedule training sessions and be the point person when anyone has a question.

They will also be the person responsible for interfacing with the staff at the software company. In many cases, this is the person who vets and chooses the physical therapy software you will adopt.

  • Training, Training, and Training

Do not even think about implementing physical therapy software without first training your staff sufficiently. Any software solution you consider should have an extensive training program that includes organized training sessions before implementation, and resources that staff can use on their own time, before, during, and after implementation.

Give your staff time to make the adjustments they will need to make.

Give them time to go over training materials. A little bit of time spent training now will make physical therapy software implementation go faster, saving you time in the long run.

  • Inventory of Resources

physical therapy software implementationAnother task of the implementation or office manager will be to inventory the current resources.

Will the physical therapy software solution you choose work on the existing computers?

Will you need a faster Internet connection? Are you going to use mobile devices like tablet computers? How many will you need to be optimally efficient and effective?

This is a frequently overlooked step that doesn’t get done until it is suddenly time to implement the physical therapy software. Hopefully you will be working with a company that recognizes how important this step is, but you may want to do this even before you select an EMR.

  • Give Everyone Time and Space

The entire process will need to be heavily incentivized from the start. Your staff needs to know that the learning they are doing and the work they put in will ultimately benefit them and make them better at their jobs. Hopefully, that will be enough to inspire everyone to be enthusiastic.

But no matter how much you plan and train there will always be a few bumps and roadblocks. Schedule plenty of time in your physical therapy software implementation schedule so that you can adjust without causing disappointment, neither for you nor for your staff.

Physical Therapy Billing: Revenue Cycle Management and Profitability

Physical Therapy Billing: Revenue Cycle Management and Profitability

Receiving payment from insurance companies and payers does not always translate into a profit for a practice owner. In order to generate income, a revenue cycle management system (software) managed by billing professionals (in-house or outsourced) should be in place.

Nitin Chhoda explains what to look for in a revenue cycle management and how to increase profitability in your practice.

physical therapy billing codingThe revenue cycle is the process of bringing in revenue, starting from the sale and ending with revenue recognition, or the receipt of payment.

In a simple café setting, the revenue cycle starts when the guests order their food and drinks and is completed when they pay their bill.

Revenue Cycle in Physical Therapy

In physical therapy billing and management, the process is much more complex and can be drawn out over much longer periods of time. Any time your practice is waiting for money, you are losing money.

Revenue cycle management is the process of looking closely at your revenue cycle and determining where there are problems. The most obvious kind of problem is errors in physical therapy billing, but there can be much more subtle problems which pose similar threats to the revenue cycle.

Problems with contracts, recurring billing issues, and regulatory compliance problems can also pose a threat to the practice’s ability to collect the revenue that is due.

Evaluating Issues Within the Revenue Cycle 

The first place to start if you want to improve the efficiency of the revenue cycle is with time management.

Many of the tasks that physical therapy billing staff completes are quick and simple. A few clicks here, check the numbers there, print and send.

But it is precisely these kinds of tasks that can take up more time than is necessary if an employee is not managing their time well. Here are a few questions that will start the process of improving both time management and efficiency within the revenue cycle:

  • How much time does it take to fix mistakes?
  • What percentage of revenue is not reported just in case?
  • How much time does it take to compute physical therapy billing revenue?
  • Are staff members forced to do a lot of duplicate entry?
  • How confident are you that you can find mistakes?
  • Are you taking risks by reporting inaccurate revenue?
  • How realistic are your recognized revenue numbers each month?

physical therapy billing softwareImproving Profitability

There are many ways that evaluating your revenue cycle can improve profitability, but the process will require that your physical therapy billing staff make some changes.

Problems with revenue mistakes are a big one for physical therapy billing, because a tiny mistake can cause a huge delay in revenue recognition.

But another way that the system can be improved for physical therapy billing is to remove the duplicate and sometimes triplicate entry that staff members perform.

Avoid Redundancy

Redundant tasks are almost as bad for the revenue cycle as errors in physical therapy billing. For many billing departments, the process of eliminating duplicate entry can add hours to each day in free time. And free time is time that can be spent on other tasks, otherwise known as an increase in productivity.

Evaluation and action are essential if your practice is going to improve productivity in the physical therapy billing process. But the real benefit to the staff and the practice will come when you introduce revenue cycle management software.

Physical Therapy Software 2020 – What Lies Ahead

Physical Therapy Software 2020 – What Lies Ahead

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) had set a goal called “Vision 2020” to help improve awareness of physical therapy in the patient community. Nitin Chhoda explains how this vision will open new horizons for patient–physical therapist interaction.

physical therapy software for EMRThe Vision 2020 goal set by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is alive and well.

The professional achievements to be accomplished through Vision 2020 are well on their way to implementation and open new horizons for patient–therapist relations.

It’s imperative that practice owners realize that physical therapy software will play a significant role in the future of the profession and achieving the goals of Vision 2020.

What are the APTA’s goals?

APTA’s goals seek to increase therapist knowledge and provide them with the same rights as other medical professionals, while increasing access to physical therapy software and services for all.

Therapists across the nation are advocating strongly for themselves, their patients and the profession as a whole. Significant inroads have been made, but insurance providers have been slow to adopt necessary change.

Vision 2020 sets forth the following goals to be implemented by 2020:

  • Grant physical therapists the same privileges as other medical practices, with the ability to be assisted by appropriately educated and licensed staff;
  • Physical therapy software direct access to patients without a referral from a medical doctor;
  • The ability to practice autonomously and collaboratively;
  • Recognize that physical therapists require doctoral level studies;
  • Allow patients to choose their practitioner of choice
  • Establish core industry standards and professional values.

Two of those goals have seen dramatic progress in the right direction.

Forty-four states now allow patients to see a physical therapist without first obtaining a physician referral.

The Status of Physical Therapy Programs 

Eighty-eight percent of physical therapy software and programs at universities are now doctoral programs. Advances in physical therapy treatments and technology require ongoing education and programs are advancing to offer therapists the specialized training they need.

The value of physical therapy software and services has often been highly underrated by those in the medical profession and insurance providers. Instead of referring patients to therapists, many have chosen to medicate and treat symptoms.

The Insurer and Insurance Providers

Insurance providers limit or cap reimbursements and refuse to compensate physical therapy assistants, effectively prohibiting access to those who could benefit the most from treatments.

physical therapy software programsAPTA is working closely with insurers to educate them about the savings in healthcare costs provided by therapists and their assistants.

While 44 states don’t require patients to obtain a physician referral, most insurers still do, even when there’s no evidence to support the visit is necessary.

Vision 2020 goals will save on healthcare costs, lets patients begin treatment sooner, and allows therapists to manage physical therapy software client care more effectively.

The Important Role of Physical Therapy Software

Transitioning to physical therapy software will play a major role in assisting therapists meet the goals of Vision 2020. Electronic medical record (EMR) systems will help physical therapy clinics provide an advanced level of managed care for patients, while electronic billing provides the means for practices to obtain quicker reimbursements.

They offer a more efficient means of managing all facets of practices, from physical therapy software staffing to purchasing new equipment.

All aspects of a physical therapy practice will be impacted by EMRs and provide the tools for therapists to advance the standards and goals of Vision 2020. Physical therapy software contains an extensive array of benefits for private practices.

It integrates easily with existing systems to save time, control healthcare costs and provide opportunities to physical therapy assistants. The goals of Vision 2020 are already being realized and changing the physical therapy profession forever.

Physical Therapy Software: The Benefits of EMR in a Physical Therapy Private Practice

Physical Therapy Software: The Benefits of EMR in a Physical Therapy Private Practice

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are becoming a commonplace in all private practices. Nitin Chhoda shares the benefits of using EMR, how to find the right one that can save time, improve quality of patient care and help the practice owner live a life of freedom and independence.

physical therapy software documentationMuch has been written about the benefits of physical therapy software automation, but the advantages extend far beyond savings and increased efficiency for private practice owners.

Electronic medical records (EMRs) provide the technology for patients and therapists to connect and manage care no matter where they travel.

Veteran’s hospitals have been using a form of EMR for years to coordinate patient care more effectively and physical therapy practices can now share in the bounty.

The Advantages of EMR

EMRs offer electronic billing options that can make the difference between a practice thriving or simply surviving. Therapists will see a quicker return on reimbursements for greater cash flow with electronic billing, allowing them to manage their clinics with greater physical therapy software accuracy and profitability.

Practice owners can easily ascertain where the bulk of their revenues are originating, allowing them to contract with the best payers.

While the majority of physical therapists won’t see a natural disaster on the scale of raging wildfires, deadly twisters or Hurricane Katrina, all those events amply demonstrate the need for physical therapy software automation. There’s no need to rely on a patient’s traumatized memory to recall injuries, medications and past procedures.

EMRs can be used to access essential health information from anywhere an Internet connection is available. They effectively speak for patients when they’re unable to communicate for themselves.

EMRs provide continuity of physical therapy software service in the event that a therapist retires, moves or dies. Paper records can become lost, misplaced or destroyed, but electronic data provides a permanent record that can be accessed anytime.

More Benefits of EMR Defined

An EMR patient portal gives clients access to their personal health records and test results, allowing physical therapy software clients to take a more active role in their health care.

Therapists that employ an EMR will quickly discover the savings available with physical therapy software automation. They save on paper and folders, space requirements for housing reams of documents, and the time necessary for staff to file them. EMRs can be established to operate from laptops or tablets for maximum efficiency.

Cloud-based EMRs enable multiple healthcare providers to view a patient’s record at the same time for coordination of care. An EMR for physical therapy software can be used for educational purposes to explain procedures and impress upon clients the importance of their treatment and the intricacies of their condition.

Prescriptions and refills can be submitted online, appointments scheduled and forms completed.

Automation Can Save You Time

Physical therapy software automates many of the tasks that can take hours to complete by hand. Therapists can include notes within the EMR, eliminating the need to decipher handwritten notations made on the fly, reducing the possibility of errors, reimbursement denials and paybacks.

physical therapy software EMREMRs integrate easily with existing office systems for communications and marketing, including Clinical Contact and Therapy Newsletter.

Physical therapy automation software streamlines office processes and procedures, allowing practice owners to offer an elevated level of care and access to patients.

The adoption of an integrated tablet-based EMR will make physical therapy practices more efficient and profitable. They open up numerous possibilities for the future, from online diagnostic software to specialized apps.

Physical therapy software automation will facilitate research and collaboration among professionals. EMRs are setting the standard for a new age of patient care and the way medicine is practiced.