Medical Team – Your Typical Healthcare Team and How it Works

Medical Team – Your Typical Healthcare Team and How it Works

A practice that runs smoothly requires a variety of trained and experienced professionals. Medical insurance billers (MIBs) are an important part of any medical team and in this article, Chhoda familiarizes billers with the individuals they will encounter and how the typical practice functions.

medical teamMIBs are individuals of the medical team that are responsible for preparing and transmitting reimbursement claims that enables funds to flow into the practice.

There are many individuals that MIBs will work with to assemble the crucial information needed to file claims, all of whom contribute to the process.

Billers may also be asked to wear multiple hats, depending on the size of the practice.

The following are the common and yet very important members of the medical team:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistant and nurse practitioners
  • Nurse
  • Technicians
  • Medical assistants


The managing practitioner in a multi-physician practice is responsible for hiring staff, purchasing equipment and setting salaries, along with awarding promotions, approving vacations and a wealth of other details. They are always the first part in the medical team.

These practitioners diagnose and treat patients for illnesses, injuries and a host of medically related conditions. They refer patients to specialists when needed, prescribe medication and identify any tests that need to be done.

Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

A physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner has advanced medical training, a four-year degree, and work under the direct supervision of a physician. Inside the medical team, they perform many of the same services as a licensed physician, from writing prescriptions and ordering tests to conducting examinations and requesting referrals.

Depending on the patient’s complaint, a physician may provide a perfunctory assessment or choose to approve the PA or nurse practitioner’s diagnosis and recommended treatment.


The backbone of any private practice or medical team is the nurses. These licensed professionals assess, observe and record patient symptoms and complaints. They’re qualified to assist in medical procedures, provide guidance about a doctor’s diagnosis and dispense medication.

In addition to nurse practitioners, there are licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN).


There are many specialties within the profession of medical technicians. They perform advanced diagnostics, lab tests and treatment procedures that most of the time, are part of the medical team procedures. They’re the individuals that take x-rays, draw blood and operate medical equipment for procedures that include ultrasounds and dialysis.

MIBs may also work with registered health information technicians who are in charge of patient records. They’re charged with maintaining patient medical charts to ensure all information is current and accurate.

They may be responsible for entering the appropriate codes for a patient’s treatment that will be used to reimburse practitioners.

Medical Assistantsmedical team in a practice

The duties of a medical team assistant are many and varied. They may be called upon to schedule appointments and act as a receptionist to greet patients.

Other responsibilities can include gathering insurance information, escorting patients to the examination room and transcribing doctor’s notes.

An efficiently operated medical practice requires the knowledge and skills of many individuals working together toward the same outcome.

The medical team is comprised of professionals in a variety of specialties to maintain patient records, ensure that clients receive the best care available and act as liaisons between patients and other medical staff.

Billers of healthcare practice management are an integral element of the medical team, maintaining the flow of revenues for the benefit and profitability of all concerned.

Every member of the medical team are important. Each of them must always take their responsibilities seriously so that the practice is more effective — giving the best services to clients.

Physical Therapy Documentation: The Importance of Operational Analysis For Your Practice

Physical Therapy Documentation: The Importance of Operational Analysis For Your Practice

Sometimes, more patients is not the answer, especially if the clinic is not sound from an operational and financial standpoint. To succeed as a practice, it’s important to work ‘smart’ and not just work ‘hard’, and enlisting your staff in your vision is a key component of the process.

In this article, Nitin Chhoda will teach how to improve your practice, operationally and financially by enlisting the help of your most valuable asset – your human capital.

physical therapy documentation operationsBefore you can step into the fray with staff and ask for a change of pace or even different physical therapy documentation procedures, a lot of operational analysis should be completed.

This involves reviewing reception staff efficiency as well as reception area capacity.

The physical therapists may be able to handle higher productivity, but without operational and financial analysis, you may be adding to the workload of other staff and decreasing productivity and efficiency in those realms.

Improving your bottom line should never get in the way of common sense when it comes to managing staff needs and expectations. Billing staff must also be evaluated and consulted about potential changes.

Managing Staff Correctly

If you want physical therapy documentation and billing staff to be able to bill more frequently, maximize claim acceptance, minimize errors, and collect payment more often and at a faster rate, overwhelming them with additional work will not get the job done. What will an increase in weighted procedures mean for coding and billing?

Every physical therapy documentation and management professional who is considering implementing a physical therapy documentation software solution has plenty to think about.

From the cost of the EMR to the implementation of policies and procedures that will actually make the practice more efficient, the job of transitioning a physical therapy practice over to electronic medical records is not simple.

The Staff Can Help

The truth is that physical therapy documentation and management is often quick to take on too much when the staff really can be helpful.

In terms of operational analysis, it will be the staff that bears the burden of operational changes. So it follows that the staff should be part of the process to make those changes logical, effective, and realistic.

Before implementing a new physical therapy documentation solution, the staff should be prepared sufficiently for their new responsibilities. Every staff member will need training to be able to use any new software.

But they will also need to know that the software is meant to make their jobs easier in the long run. The only way you can ensure that the EMR works in this way is to find out what the staff thinks will make their jobs easier.

Communicate Well With Your Staffphysical therapy documentation importance

It may take a one-by-one approach to determine where your operations are sufficiently prepared and where changes need to be made.

The conversation you have with physical therapy documentation and billing staff will be very different from the way the reception staff feel about changing work modes.

Will the reception staff feel good about handing patients an iPad rather than a clipboard? If the task of filing and pulling files is taken out of the job, will they appreciate and use that extra time sufficiently? How many tablet computers do they need?

Even simple questions about the number of clipboards they have now and how often they use them all can give physical therapy documentation and management insights into how the day-to-day tasks in the practice can be better managed using physical therapy documentation software.

Operational analysis is the process of identifying just what you have and what you will need to make things work well with your new system.

Healthcare Practice Management: The 4-Prong Approach With An EMR

Healthcare Practice Management: The 4-Prong Approach With An EMR

Scheduling, marketing, documentation and billing are the most important parts of the whole physical therapy business. Nitin Chhoda discusses the flow and importance of this 4-prong approach and how it plays a role in a successful practice.

healthcare practice managementA medical EMR opens doors for healthcare practice management that are non-existent before.

Many managers find that once they implement and adjust to practice management software, productivity improves, inefficiencies are identified, and the practice becomes more financially stable.

Making sure that the practice functions at it’s best will include integrating the four major systems within the practice: scheduling, documentation, billing, and marketing.

Scheduling and Marketing Integration

Why is it important for healthcare practice management to know how efficient the scheduling system is? When taking the big picture view, which is the responsibility of management, you have to know how things are going on inside the practice to know when to reach out.

Healthcare practice management and marketing is an ongoing job that involves many more subtle things than just advertising, but if you don’t know how well the schedule is being filled, you won’t know if your marketing strategy is doing any good or if it is overwhelming the practice.

The big advantage that an EMR gives to healthcare practice management is reporting capabilities. In terms of scheduling this means that with a few clicks you can find out just how often patients cancel or re-schedule appointments, how often appointments are left open when cancelled, and how many more patients your practice can handle.

Documentation, Scheduling, and Billing Integration

From the documentation standpoint, EMRs present a lot of advantages. No more time will be wasted pulling and re-filing medical records when the healthcare practice management has access from their office or on a tablet computer.

They also have access to their schedule, which means they know exactly what to expect without anyone briefing them on their day or week.

EMRs also leave clinicians to make their notes about each visit in a quick and efficient manner. The previous notes are also viewable in an intuitive format. And most importantly, once the appointment is complete, the billing staff can be alerted automatically to changes to the record and further billing requirements.

Scheduling can be handled in the same way, with the reception or healthcare practice management staff having access to the results of the visit immediately and being able to schedule the next appointment for each patient.

health care practice management approachIntegration and Reporting

For healthcare practice management, the benefit that has never existed before in a fully integrated EMR, will be reporting capabilities that can transform the practice.

Billing staff can run reports to find out just how often certain insurance companies reject claims.

Healthcare practice management can then determine which insurance companies are worth working with and which should be dropped. Scheduling issues can be identified and rectified, and a marketing plan can be developed for attracting new patients if necessary.

All documentation can be centralized and made conveniently available to the staff members who need the information.

Billers can find the information they need to get claims out the door faster, scheduling can be done to ensure that each patient is back in the healthcare practice management when they need to be, and clinicians can review and edit patient records quickly and simply using an intuitive system.

Malpractice and Negligence Prevention to Your EMR Practice

Malpractice and Negligence Prevention to Your EMR Practice

Although malpractice and negligence are common in a private practice, there are certain measures you can take to prevent them from occurring in your business. Nitin Chhoda discusses several options and how they protect your physical therapy practice.

malpractice and negligence preventionThere has been a lot of discussion and concern over the implementation of electronic medical records in a physical therapy management system with regard to the safety of patient information so as to avoid malpractice and negligence.

Even though we are getting used to using credit cards online and often we transmit very private information through email, when it comes to transmitting a patient’s private information electronically, things still feel a bit more precarious.

But the truth is that there are many ways that you can protect your practice from malpractice and negligence, and your patients from unintentional and potentially damaging information leaks.

Online Information Protection

Now more than ever, protection of online information is a huge priority for all kinds of businesses. As a result, there is a huge market of software developers dedicated to creating security solutions for all kinds of software systems.

That includes EMRs and other medical software. Today, you can purchase an EMR solution that protects the information of patients with the top levels of security.

malpractice and negligence

The important thing will be to make sure you get a high quality EMR and that you transfer your medical records in a secure way, preventing you from possible malpractice and negligence.

Negligence is Negligence

The legal definition of negligence sounds more complicated than it needs to. Broken down to simpler terms, a practice can be accused of negligence if they made a mistake, knowingly or unknowingly, and patient information was compromised as a result.

So how can you avoid negligence with committing malpractice? On the one hand, there may be some unavoidable mistakes that have to be accepted as the fault of the practice. On the other hand, there are some fairly clear lines in the sand when it comes to not protecting your patient files from exposure.

Malpractice or negligence concern, there are very specific rules today about how EMRs can be designed, maintained, and operated so that they will protect patient data.

How to Avoid Malpractice and Negligence?

The first way to avoid malpractice and negligence is to ensure that you purchase a high quality EMR that has security built in that stands up to legal standards.

The next important thing to remember is that incorrect medical records of any kind can have disastrous consequences. Malpractice and negligence is an example.

Whether your records are on paper or in the computer, if a note about patient allergies is not included or highlighted in some way, that patient is at risk of being treated incorrectly.

The potential for an allergic reaction to medication is high and the outcome can be severe. This may lead to malpractice.

Transitioning your records from paper to electronic files is going to be very important, and ensuring that no mistakes are made and nothing important is overlooked is a very big job.

But the cost of overlooking details in a paper medical records are much higher than the cost of taking the time to transition the files completely and correctly.

Stay Vigilant

The best anyone can do is to stay away of the risks of malpractice and negligence and to avoid rushing through the process of adopting an EMR. When you know the risks, you know what to do to avoid making mistakes.

Malpractice and Negligence in EMR Defined

Malpractice and Negligence in EMR Defined

Nitin Chhoda differentiates between malpractice and negligence. They may seem connected to each other but they can be experienced by the practice individually, and it is important to avoid these two lawsuits from occurring.

malpracticeAlready, there have been significant malpractice and negligence legal cases demonstrating the necessity for a cautious and thorough transition process from paper to electronic medical records.

Physical therapy healthcare practice management is no exception.

In the year 2000 in South Carolina, Smith v. United States established that the type of liability a hospital or medical practice can be held accountable for when transitioning to medical records only includes negligence and not malpractice.

However, the point is well taken; your transition to a medical EMR should be done with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Smith v. United States

The legally significant decision in the case of Smith v. United States determined that hospitals can be held liable for malpractice and negligence in the case of mismanaged electronic medical records.

That means that when you transition from paper to electronic records, it is the responsibility of the hospital or practice to ensure the patient information is handled carefully and responsibly.

However, it is unlikely that the mishandling of patient information will be deemed medical malpractice. Malpractice refers to the incorrect treatment of patients by a medical practitioner.

This can be improper, negligent, or illegal professional activity, but it applies to the clinician rather than the hospital or practice, unless the practice is aware of the malpractice and does nothing to stop the clinician.

Responsibility for Patient Information

Electronically stored information is already fairly standard in most medical practices. Even without an EMR, it is likely that you keep all client details on a computer and even use the system for scheduling and other routine tasks.

However, it is also likely that the program and system that the information is stored on is not accessible from the Internet. The difference with most modern and effective EMR systems is that you will be able to access sensitive patient information from anywhere, as long as you have a mobile device and an Internet connection.

It is the responsibility of the practice to protect delicate and personal patient information. If that information is stolen or accessible by individuals who are not authorized to view patient information, the practice must demonstrate that all reasonable precautions were taken to avoid the problem or they will be liable for negligence.

Malpractice and Negligence

If a clinician willfully misuses the EMR, it may be considered malpractice and negligence and if practice management are aware of the misuse, the practice may also be liable for malpractice.

malpractice and negligence definedHowever, the primary concern for clinicians as well as practice management is the potential for malpractice and negligence within the new system and during the process of transitioning from paper to electronic medical records.


Not only are the clinicians and practice liable for negligence if there is a leak of information, but they are also responsible for providing the necessary documentation to determine guilt or innocence.

If the practice believes that necessary malpractice and negligence precautions were taken, they must also demonstrate that those precautions were taken. It is on the charged party to prove there is no cause for a legal suit.

Physical Therapy Marketing: Identifying and Contracting With the Best Payers

Physical Therapy Marketing: Identifying and Contracting With the Best Payers

Searching for the best insurance companies maybe hard to find, but it doesn’t mean that they do not exist. NItin Chhoda exposes simple techniques on how to identify and contract with the best payers so that your practice will have continuous income.

physical therapy marketing identificationA huge decision that will need to be made by the private practice managers and owners, that will affect physical therapy marketingis determining which insurance companies to work with.

The process of establishing relationships with insurance companies can be exhausting and time consuming.

The last thing that a business and physical therapy marketing manager wants to do is find out that the insurance companies they work with are bad payers. So how can you find the best payers?

Communication is Everything

When you start to look into insurance companies for your physical therapy marketing plan to work with, the first thing you will do is get in touch and find out how to negotiate a payment schedule and the rest of the details you’ll both need for the relationship to work.

Some insurance companies will essentially send your business through a completely automated physical therapy marketing system, lining you up with alongside everyone else who comes to them. You could never even have a conversation with a human before entering into a contract.

This kind of induction process is a red flag. If they don’t want to talk to you now, they are not going to want to talk to you when you are having trouble with a rejected or denied claim.

Build a Good Relationship

As a practice owner, you need to work your physical therapy marketing plan with companies that want to build a relationship with you. You want to have a conversation about their pricing allowances and you want them to hear your rates before agreeing to pay your claims.

It’s likely that you’ll run into a lot of insurance payers who are expecting and hoping to reject or deny as many claims as they can. If they are not even willing to communicate with your physical therapy services about how the process will work, you can bet that they will never pay a claim without a battle.

One of the ways that these companies make money is by wearing down the people who try to collect from them with a lack of communication and rejection after rejection.

Keep Tabs and Don’t be Shy

You may be able to avoid some of the worst offenders, but it’s likely that even some of the friendlier companies will treat you the same way as the bad ones. The best way to improve in your physical therapy marketing is to keep track of what has been happening.

Make sure that your physical therapy marketing strategies and medical billers know how to track the claims with each company and notify you if a particular company is bad at paying their bills. A particularly high rate of rejections and denials from one company out of a few may signal that it’s time to drop that company.

physical therapy marketing best payersDo Not Be Afraid to Take Risks

You don’t even have to do it all at once. Many practices are hesitant because they don’t want to drop patients just because their insurance company has some bad paying practices.

That’s probably a good physical therapy marketing  idea. But as you go, don’t be afraid to stop taking new patients with that insurance policy. If the insurance company doesn’t pay, you shouldn’t take the risk.