Physical Therapy Documentation: Productivity Benchmarks in Your Documentation System

Physical Therapy Documentation: Productivity Benchmarks in Your Documentation System

If your practice is still using pen and paper, the thought of electronic medical records can be daunting.

Nitin Chhoda explains how to boost productivity using a web-based documentation system to make life easy for the practice owner, the staff and the biller.

physical therapy documentation systemsProductivity is a key element in all facets of a physical therapy practice, from obtaining vital patient information to receiving reimbursements.

For a struggling clinic, an increase in productivity can mean the difference between eliminating positions to hiring new staff that can help the practice grow.

Physical therapy documentation software provides automation of tasks for increased productivity for every member of a clinic’s team.

As new treatments become available and reimbursement regulations escalate, an EMR provides better and more elaborate coding and physical therapy documentation options to satisfy third-party payer provisions.

Physical Therapy Documentation

Every therapist has experienced the time consuming process of recording, rebilling and providing explanations to insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. EMRs offer multiple coding abilities for practices working with an extensive array of providers to ensure therapists are adequately paid and clients receive ongoing care.

Employee wages constitute one of the largest expenses for a physical therapy practice. Clinic owners can utilize their physical therapy documentation software to ascertain where the abilities of staff members can best be allocated. An EMR helps therapists ascertain if they’re overstaffed, identify time wasters, and where positions can be eliminated for greater overall productivity.

Patient Scheduling

A full patient schedule is one of the goals of a productive practice and a physical therapy documentation system provides essential information therapists can use to market their clinic successfully. Referrals can be monitored and marketing efforts tracked to ascertain methods that work best based on a variety of demographics.

physical therapy documentationAn EMR provides improved patient management, eliminating duplication of testing, prescriptions and treatments. Lost charts and missing information is never a problem with physical therapy documentation software.

A secure patient record is created that can be accessed by numerous medical professionals and quickly updated as surgeries, procedures, prescriptions and treatments are implemented.

Patient care can begin immediately instead of waiting for essential records to be transported by the postal service.

The Advantage of a Physical Therapy Documentation Software

Those in the medical professions have notoriously bad handwriting that’s eliminated with an EMR. Personal notes can be added with no loss of legibility.

Therapists work with a wide variety of incidental documents that includes work and school excuses, referral letters and requests for records. Physical therapy documentation software allows therapists to produce and transmit those and a myriad of other documents with just a few clicks.

There’s no need to maintain copious amounts of physical therapy documentation paper-based records, space to house them, or engage staff in the time consuming task of finding them with an EMR.

‘Patient information is available at a moment’s notice anywhere an Internet connection is available, reducing the time needed to implement a course of treatment. EMRs speak for a patient in an emergency, preventing errors or inappropriate treatment.

Clients like the convenience of patient portals with physical therapy documentation software, but patient portals save significant time and effort for therapists. Insurance information can be validated prior to services and a complete health history can be submitted, allowing practice owners to familiarize themselves with the client’s data and formulate possible options.

The highest level of productivity is necessary for clinics to survive and thrive and EMRs provide practices with the tools to achieve that, along with tools to analyze trends and the productivity of their entire business operation.

Physical Therapy Billing: On-Site Patient Credit Card Processing

Physical Therapy Billing: On-Site Patient Credit Card Processing

The ability to accept credit or debit cards as a form of payment for physical therapy services rendered can boost practice revenue.

Presenting patients with simple, convenient ways to make payments and recurring payments if necessary is a way for a practice to minimize accounts receivables and increase cashflow, according to Nitin Chhoda

physical therapy billing process

Credit and debit cards represent one of the most convenient and easy way for patients to pay their bills, while providing practices with a point-of-purchase solution to collect funds before the client exits the clinic.

Physical therapy billing allows patients to make one time and recurring payments at the office and online to boost revenues. Patients are much more likely to relinquish co-pays and fund their healthcare costs if all they must do is provide their credit or debit card information.

Ease of Access

Convenience is the keyword for the 21st century clinic. Today’s population is busy and mobile, with little time left after meeting, work, and family obligations. Few clients carry cash with them nowadays, but virtually everyone has a credit, debit or pre-paid card.

It’s a trend that therapists can utilize to their physical therapy billing advantage. For those who want to move into the electronic age of physical therapy billing,coding and collections, an EMR is the first step. Financial institutions have offered online payment options as a courtesy for their members for years.

EMRs provide the same service through patient portals where clients can make a one-time or recurring payment without the need to enter extensive billing information.

Payments Made Simple With the Help of EMR

EMRs allow patients to make physical therapy billing payments from home or from their mobile devices, and funds can be transferred into the clinic’s account in as little as 48 hours. Practice owners can offer a variety of incentives to patients who pay with their cards, from special discounts to membership programs.

Many credit card issuers offer their own incentives, and when combined with offers from a practice, it provides additional motivation to pay early and often. physical therapy billing patient cardA physical therapy practice is a business and clinic owners must look at every available avenue to collect for their services.

Therapists can immediately determine if funds from physical therapy billing are available so as to initiate a transfer if payments are made at the office.

An EMR with a patient portal allows individuals to pay their bills and manage their financial obligations to the practice more effectively.

The ability to accept credit and debit cards can increase revenue by as much as 23 percent. Instead of waiting up to 90 days for a check to clear, funds can be deposited directly into the clinic’s account for better cash flow. Credit card processing becomes an automatic physical therapy billing process for savings in time and effort.

The Convenience of Using Credit Card 

Accepting credit cards via an EMR is an environmentally desirable solution that saves natural resources and cuts costs for practices. The ability to accept credit cards provides a speedy, flexible and convenient means of delivering a superior level of customer service.

Clinics also gain credibility from established and potential patients. Therapists utilizing physical therapy billing software contained within an EMR are perceived as the most modern and desired therapists. An EMR with physical therapy billing capabilities provides convenience for patients and increased cash flow for clinics.

Credit and debit card processing for one time and recurring payments enables practices to collect quickly for their physical therapy billing services and are perceived better by patients, leading to clients who enthusiastically recommend the practice to family, friends and co-workers. Combined with real time, automatic claim submissions, therapists can significantly boost their cash flow, even in a vexing economic climate.

Physical Therapy Billing: Real Time, Automatic Claim Submission to Boost Cash Flow Reiterated

Physical Therapy Billing: Real Time, Automatic Claim Submission to Boost Cash Flow Reiterated

Paper-based physical therapy billing not only consumes a lot of time but is also prone to claim submission errors that will affect the practice’s revenue.

Nitin Chhoda shares how an integrated physical therapy EMR can produced automated claim submissions and boost cash flow for your business.

physical therapy billingA steady cash flow is a primary concern for any physical therapy practice and it’s one of the most difficult aspects for clinic owners to predict.

Coding errors, claim denials and time spent exchanging correspondence via the postal service reduce the turnaround time on physical therapy billing reimbursements and can quickly place a clinic in the red.

Billing with EMR

The future for physical therapy practices of all sizes is good physical therapy billing through the utilization of an EMR.

They offer superior coding options to reduce denials and errors, while providing paperless electronic claim submissions that reach their destination almost instantly.

Submissions can be transmitted individually as clients are seen or set for a batch submission at the end of the day.

One of the biggest problems facing practices is the need for proper coding and documentation in the claims process to ensure clinics receive the reimbursements to which they’re entitled. Information management is a hallmark of automatic claim submissions, providing crucial physical therapy billing and documentation to facilitate and accelerate the reimbursement process.

Paper Submissions are Reduced

Electronic submissions reduce the need for paper physical therapy billing and invoicing for significant savings and can reduce associated costs by up to 15 percent over traditional methods. Electronic submissions are environmentally friendly, highly efficient and enable therapists to collect for their services in hours instead of weeks.

Funds are automatically deposited in the practice’s account. Coding errors are the bane of a physical therapy clinic and electronic claim submissions offers a wide variety of options to accommodate physical therapy billing by the session, services rendered or treatment setting.

Electronic claim submissions via EMRs are secure and HIPAA-compliant. Claims can be sent virtually to any agency or payer with which therapists work, from private insurance, Workers’ Compensation and TRICARE for veterans to Medicare, Medicaid and clearinghouses.

Software for Physical Therapy Billing

physical therapy billing claims submissionPhysical therapy billing software can virtually eliminate coding errors and drastically reduces the number of denials, post-payment audits and requests for clarification.

When an instance does occur, disputes can be handled quickly and efficiently through electronic methods.

EMR documentation software provides a clear record of the patient’s visit so therapists don’t inadvertently submit claims that contradict coding and billing rules or lack specific billing codes.

Electronic claim submission capabilities allow clinic owners to file for reimbursement from any location with Internet access. The system enables payers to deliver crucial correspondence and responses through the same claim submission system.

Automated Physical Therapy Billing

An automatic physical therapy billing record is created of what was filed and when, along with the current status of the claim. Ceilings on payments and reduced benefits for employee insurance programs are costing practices dearly.

Physical therapy billing software enables clinic staff to verify a patient’s insurance eligibility and range of coverage before they arrive at the office. Therapists can utilize that information to develop a treatment plan that falls within the constraints of the client’s available coverage.

Automatic claim submissions provide enhanced coding options to boost reimbursement levels. Submissions can be set to send individually, or as a batch at the end of the day for added convenience.

Physical therapy billing allows therapists to receive payments in hours or a matter of days instead of weeks for better overall cash flow. Superior speed and documentation significantly reduces errors, denials and audits, while placing more cash in clinic coffers where it can do the most good for the practice and patients.

CPT Codes Defined

CPT Codes Defined

Along with ICD-10 is another term called CPT codes. Nitin Chhoda defines and differentiates these two terms, and explains the impact they will have on the whole physical therapy documentation process.

Practitioners must become familiar with the codes in order to minimize errors upon claim submissions.

CPT codesWhile owners of physical therapy practices are contending with the switch to ICD-10 coding, another term with which clinicians must be familiar with is current procedural terminology (CPT) codes.

CPT Codes

Every procedure, task, service, device and surgery a patient receives is associated with a specific numerical code. Insurance companies utilize CPT codes to determine the amount healthcare providers will be paid and CPT codes must be linked by medical necessity.

The American Medical Association (AMA) develops and copyrights CPT codes. They’re responsible for changing, revising, updating and discarding those that become obsolete as new technology and treatments become available. They encompass thousands of individual codes that are updated annually.

CPT codes, even when used in physical therapy documentation purposes, are uniform and apply to all clients except those with Medicare coverage. Medicare utilizes the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) that encompasses three levels of coding.

HCPS Levels

HCPCS Level I is maintained by the AMA and Level II consists of alphanumeric codes. Level III codes were abolished in 2003 and were state-developed for Medicaid and Medicare contractors. Therapists should be aware that the reimbursement amount for each code varies widely among insurers and assigning the correct code to the appropriate treatment is a complex endeavor.

An EMR facilitates the process, but clinic owners will want to ensure their coding and billing expert has the best possible training to manage CPT codes and the upcoming ICD-10 changes, along with a thorough knowledge and understanding of medical terminology. Entering the wrong codes will result in denials and delays in reimbursements.

It’s imperative that physical therapists use the code that most accurately reflects the service or treatment that was provided. It should match the current ICD coding and therapists must provide sufficient documentation to support the CPT code that was entered to avoid denials, audits and requests for more information.

CPT codes definedCPT Codes Standard

CPT codes allow for two-digit modifiers should they be required, but they must conform to standard definitions. Incorrect coding costs valuable clinical time, interrupts cash flow and can delay essential services to clients.

CPT codes provide the means for healthcare providers to communicate effectively with insurance companies about the services, treatments and procedures rendered to any given patient.

Using correct coding is essential if clinicians are to be adequately reimbursed for their expertise and ensures payments reach the clinic in a timely manner.

There is no uniform payment for specific procedures. Each insurance provider has its own fee schedule and reimburses according to the company’s guidelines. Proper coding ensures therapists are reimbursed at the highest possible level.

An EMR provides clinic owners with tools to monitor and track agencies that provide the best reimbursements, allowing them to make informed decisions about the best payers with which to contract.

The use of CPT codes in conjunction with ICD codes directly affects the profitability of practices. It’s a complex system that requires knowledgeable staff, careful attention to detail, and stringent documentation to support every diagnosis, treatment and procedure. An EMR makes the coding and billing process easier, and provides practice owners with the tools to track the best payers for increased revenues.

Insurance Eligibility and Claims Submission: Push-Button Type

Insurance Eligibility and Claims Submission: Push-Button Type

Years ago patients’ insurance eligibility took weeks or months to determine. Now, with the help of electronic medical records, verifying insurance claims happen at the touch of a button. 

Nitin Chhoda describes the push-button feature technology that EMRs are providing in order to streamline the physical therapy documentation process.

insurance eligibilitySubmitting reimbursement claims is one of the most important tasks in a physical therapy documentation process.

It’s also one of the most time consuming, fraught with multiple opportunities for audits, denials and requests for additional information.

Those who have implemented an EMR know first-hand that errors and mistakes can be virtually eliminated through push button claim submissions and insurance eligibility.

EMRs Role to Claims Submissions

EMRs offer the most sophisticated means available to submit claims and verify the insurance eligibility of any patient.

A tablet-compatible EMR allows clinicians to tap a button to submit claims singly or as a batch.

Therapists utilizing an EMR can verify the insurance eligibility and coverage of any client with push button functionality. They can also identify claims that could be red-flagged by insurance providers.

Push-button claims submission allows clinic owners to submit reimbursement claims to a wide variety of payers, from private insurance and military insurers to Medicare and Medicaid.

Physical Therapy Software

Physical therapy management software simplifies and expedites the claims process for reimbursements that are less likely to be questioned and payments that reach the practice’s account quicker. An EMR can be integrated into existing insurance eligibility office systems and streamlines the entire billing process and workflow.

Refiling claims, denials, and responding to requests for clarification and more insurance eligibility information cost practices untold hours of work, effort and lost or late revenues. EMRs use the power of the Internet to file claims in real time that arrive almost instantly, allowing the adjudication process to progress quicker for better cash flow to the clinic.

Push-button claim submissions provide the means for practice owners to send reimbursement requests from the office and any venue where clinicians provide their services.

HIPAA Compliant

The insurance eligibility systems are HIPAA compliant and offer an enhanced level of safety and security for sensitive information. EMRs make it possible to have a patient’s office visit ready for billing even before they leave the building. EMRs provide another essential service for physical therapy clinics.

insurance eligibility and claims submissionThey allow practices to verify a patient’s insurance eligibility and coverage for services with push button technology.

In a time of economic flux, insurance companies and other payers are examining claims closer than ever before.

Insurers are reducing available services to clients and placing monetary caps on the amounts for which they’ll pay. Many patients aren’t aware of the limitations associated with their insurance coverage and are taken completely by surprise when they find out.

Push-Button Feature

Practice owners with an EMR can utilize the push-button feature of an EMR to ascertain if a patient is eligible for coverage, if there are limits on services or monetary amounts, and required co-pays. That feature alone can save clinicians thousands of dollars each year.

People change jobs and lose their insurance, and healthcare coverage is at such a premium in the U.S., that there’s even an active market in insurance identity theft. An EMR provides the tools for clinics to immediately verify insurance eligibility and protect themselves from those who would obtain services to which they’re not entitled.

Push-button technology assists therapists verify a client’s healthcare coverage, and submit reimbursement claims with alacrity and ease for practice profitability. Push-button claims submission and insurance eligibility allows practice owners to submit billing in real time, virtually eliminate errors that slow down reimbursements, and increase cash flow.

That same technology helps therapists determine a client’s available coverage to provide better patient care, while protecting themselves from those that would cheat the system and therapists of their rightful payments.

Medical EMR: How It can Simplify Healthcare

Medical EMR: How It can Simplify Healthcare

Let’s face it. Healthcare is complicated. Nitin Chhoda explains how a good EMR system can simplify healthcare with simple and efficient data entry, better patient communication between provider and patient, and improved interaction between providers.

In this article, learn how to make scheduling, documentation, billing and even marketing simple and systematized in your practice.

medical EMRSpiraling costs for clinics and tougher reimbursement standards are two of the most pressing problems facing physical therapy practices.

An integrated medical EMR offers an elegant and efficient solution to provide an enhanced level of patient care, while facilitating collections and reimbursements.

A variety of individual office systems has been available over the years, but software creators and designers have raised the bar with electronic medical records.

The Best Tool

Today’s integrated systems provide a comprehensive array of tools for billing, scheduling, communications and marketing to keep practices profitable and maintain a superior level of patient care.

EMRs are available as web-based software systems that are compatible with a wide array of tablets. Medical EMR software can also be implemented via on-site servers, but require costly hardware and practice owners are responsible for maintaining their own security and remaining HIPAA compliant.

A web-based system is extremely fast and offers computing in the cloud that can be accessed from any venue where an Internet connection is available. The portability of a web-based medical EMR allows therapists to take advantage of new opportunities to increase their stream of revenue.

Clinicians can extend their services into an array of new avenues, from corporate wellness programs, senior facilities, in-home services and even spas. Modern physical therapy treatments and associated services aren’t just for those who require extensive rehabilitation.

Medical EMR

EMRs excel as a point of billing and coding, expediting reimbursement claims and allowing funds to be deposited directly into the clinic’s account. They significantly reduce errors and mistakes that result in rejections and denials.

If a claim is questioned, additional information and documentation can be sent electronically, via medical EMR, to insurance providers and clearinghouses in a matter of moments instead of waiting weeks or even months to cycle through the postal system. medical EMR

A patient portal is an important part of any integrated medical EMR. It provides the means to contact patients by phone, email, and voice and text messaging, and collect insurance information to verify eligibility before the client arrives at the office.

Patient forms can be offered online to eliminate long waits in the office, schedule appointments, post test results and offer pertinent information. A patient portal makes it easy for clients to make secure payments online.

Therapists alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for millions of clients each year and an integrated medical EMR allows clinicians to begin treatment sooner. EMRs enable therapists to access a client’s records to determine previous treatments and their success rate, along with other information pertinent to future services.

Updates Regularly

EMRs allow patient records to be updated immediately and accessed by multiple healthcare providers for the most current information available. A medical EMR is unparalleled as an advertising and marketing tool. Clinicians can easily ascertain where referrals are originating and identify patients that may self-terminate treatment or pose a financial risk to the clinic.

Marketing efforts can be tracked and monitored, and therapists can locate specific demographics on which to focus for future campaigns. An integrated medical EMR will affect every aspect of a physical therapy practice. A system designed specifically for therapy clinics allows users to customize forms and work smart, not hard.

EMRs are fast, efficient and increase the overall productivity of practices. Clinicians can begin treatment sooner for better patient outcomes, while ensuring a steady cash flow for the practice.