|December, 2017 Newsletter
|November, 2017 Newsletter
Let’s welcome bestPT Billing’s newest members!
Industry leaders unveil tested strategies to increase office compliance and save health care practices time and money in this short webinar.
BestPT’s new short webinar reveals three effective methods to increase compliance in the office, thus saving physical therapy practice managers time and money. The webinar is available online and can be watched or listened to at any time – request access below.
“Ninety healthcare providers were charged with compliance violations reaching $260 million in billing in May 2014. A growing number of practices are subjected to audits and penalties.” says Reuven Lirov, Chief Practice Growth Officer at Vericle. Physical therapy practice owners too struggle to maintain compliant practices against a tangled web of regulations from insurance companies, the government, Medicare, and Medicaid.
According to Lirov, mistakes and oversights in the office are a regular occurrence in most healthcare practices. “Physical therapy practice managers face severe problems posed by compliance issues such as the increased risk of audit failure, growing compliance complexity, and lack of time to learn and implement new procedures based upon new rules.” says Lirov.
Lack of compliance is a serious issue that can lead to substantial loss of revenue and fines. For example, a practice might see 100 patients a day, or approximately 25,000 patients a year. Suppose just 0.4% of those visits (100 visits) are undocumented. Each of those unbilled visits would be marked as a “fail” in the audit, with a resulting penalty of $10,000 per line item — or $1 million in audit penalties.
“Better compliance liberates physical therapy practice owners from worrying about fines and audits, and lets them get back to treating patients. “ says Lirov. “Physical therapy EMR software helps practice owners stay compliant and grow. Our average clients have seen substantial growth in their practices including an average revenue growth of 186%, patient growth of 141%, and patient lifespan increase of 86%.”
|According to Dr. Amy Vant, DPT, BestPT has built in safeguards that help maintain a more compliant office and simplify physical therapy practice management. “As therapists, we are continually looking out for the best interests of our patients. We don’t really have the time to review our daily notes, evaluations, and billing documents to ensure that we have checked all of the right boxes and marked all of the right codes. We need a double-checker because we certainly don’t have time to do it. With Best PT, I have found that everything I need in an evaluation or daily note is available and the system even cues me to testing items that I may have forgotten.” says Vant in her article about physical therapy EMR onboarding experience.||Physical Therapy EMR Compliance
Physical therapy practice managers face severe problems posed by compliance issues such as the increased risk of audit failure, growing compliance complexity, and lack of time to learn and implement new procedures based upon new rules
Continuously increasing compliance requirements and lack of time do not excuse physical therapy practice owner during a practice audit. A short thirty minute webinar teaches the three most important practice management skills to save a physical therapy practice and avoid audit failure penalties. The webinar includes a demonstration of bestPT physical therapy practice management software. It contains automated features to discover the most frequent documentation errors that lead to compliance issues, such as undocumented visits, unsigned notes, and late billing. The software is also browser-based, so it can be changed as the law changes without inconveniencing the practice owner. Click here to sign up for the free webinar and find out more information.
About bestPT and Billing Dynamix, LLC
bestPT by Billing Dynamix, LLC is a comprehensive cloud-based Practice Management system that includes intuitive EMR, effective billing, scheduling, and powerful yet simple workflow management. Save documentation time and keep legible and compliant documents. Automate claims and leverage over 2.5 million coding rules spanning 2,500 practice-years of experience. Reduce administrative overhead and foster staff teamwork. bestPT is the ONLY PT clinic solution that reduces administrative time by 70% compared to industry averages, GUARANTEED. Complete practice management consulting and a rich array of integrated products and services round out bestPT product and service packages. Register for a private Demo+, and review our industry-leading guarantee at http://bestptbilling.com
Perhaps the most common thread across all physical therapists (PT) regardless of practice setting and specialty is that each of us became a PT with the intention of helping others. The process of deciding to become a physical therapist may have began at a young age (such is the case with myself at the tender age of ten years old), or perhaps for some this is a second career, but each one of us set out with the intention of participating and guiding people in healing and rehabilitation. The common thread of wanting to provide the highest level of care to our patients tends to drive us to continuing education courses, to certifications, and the most optimal practice settings. This hard work and attention to detail is reflected in the improvement of our patients. More importantly, and more concretely, this attention to detail is reflected in the thorough documentation of our treatment and plan of care.
Those of us who grew up without a cellular phone, laptop computer, or Netflix may have envisioned spending the working day one on one with patients, and quickly knocking out our written evaluations and SOAP notes before leaving at a reasonable hour each day. Or perhaps my ten year old vision of my future professional life was a little too rosy for my own good. As difficult as it can be to recognize, our ability to continue to practice in the manner we see fit is dictated by our ability to receive reimbursement for our work. In order to help others, our clinic’s lease must be paid and our lights must remain on.
Herein lies the struggle to maintain a healthy business in a phase of history where insurance requirements for reimbursement and Medicare laws are changing at the speed of light. We must reconcile the fact that there is no returning to a more simple time, and that reimbursement is most likely going to continue to become more complex. Thankfully, with every problem there comes an opportunity for growth.
A screenshot depicting the ease of Physical Therapy documentation by clicking through pre-programmed evaluation templates made unique for each Physical Therapy clinic. bestPT programmers are able to create unique specialty templates as well for various clinical specialties.
Several months ago our clinic underwent a significant change in how we document. Prior to this change we wrote daily SOAP notes in paper charts, and wrote initial evaluations and progress reports in PDF templates. We saw patients one on one for forty five minutes, and utilized an additional thirty minutes built into our clinical day for documentation. These initial evaluations and progress reports were typed into the PDF form and then printed by the therapist during designated charting times outside of patient treatment hours. Once printed these documents were manually faxed to the referring physician by front office staff. Prudent therapists know that medicare documentation as well as other third party payers mandate that documentation be completed within twenty four hours of patient contact. This expiration date made for a very long evening if a therapist experienced day with several evaluations and progress reports on the same day.
Once all staff members were trained in the use of bestPT electronic health record system, laptops were implemented by physical therapists to utilize for documenting during treatments. Returning to the initial rosy vision of altruistic patient care wherein we provide best services possible, there was initial worry by the staff that documenting into a computer in front of the patient would detract from building patient rapport. Some therapists worried that the time they spent documenting during treatment times would detract from actual treatment times. In reality once the system was put to the test, staff found that the easy clicking capabilities offered in the system expedited documentation time. Faster than manually writing in tests and measures, the electronic record allowed for concise documentation of all components of care from subjective report to plan of care.
Perhaps the most interesting finding throughout this transition has been patient response: there really wasn’t one. Patients were generally unphased by this transition because every other healthcare provider under the sun is already using electronic medical records. I asked a 65-year old Vietnam War veteran to Please pardon the computer as reviewed his prior medical history and he replied Oh honey you all do what you gotta do with those things, it don’t bother me none. A sweet gentleman to be sure, but truly we did not receive a single complaint during the initiation of the system.
Recording prior medical information is easy with the template. It is easy to return to this screen from others in the electronic medical record, and leads to easier continuation of care from one therapist to another as it offers a thorough and easy to read format.
Therapists now are able to complete an entire document as they treat for each and every patient. Upon completion of an initial evaluation the report is quickly sent to the physician for approval, eliminating several steps in our prior system. This has eliminated the need for additional paperwork time and actually freed up all of our schedules and allowed us each to see one additional patient per day with some remodeling of our scheduling template.
From a business perspective this has resulted of course in increased revenue. We are able to offer our services to more patients, and the turn around time on reimbursement is significantly decreased. We can all rest assured that we complete our paperwork on time, and indeed get home at a reasonable hour. This is how we have managed a win-win scenario in our clinic. We are able to provide the high quality services, still one on one, that we envisioned when we commenced physical therapy school, bright eyed and ready to heal the world. We are also able to maintain a healthy business without compromising or cutting corners. I believe that my ten year old self would be impressed.
-Amanda Olson, DPT
-Kathleen Pegues, MS, OTR/L
Bit-By-Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
Pompano Beach, Florida and Davie, Florida
My name is Kathleen Pegues I’m an occupational therapist and the CEO of Bit By Bit Therapeutic Riding Center here in South Florida.
Our practice specializes in hippo-therapy, which is a medical session where the horse is used as a tool in physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions.
One of the difficulties I’m finding as a CEO of a large nonprofit organization here in south Florida is that the changing health care arena is forcing us to adapt very quickly in order to get reimbursed for services. We have to adapt our paperwork, our documentation, the way that we do our billing. We have to adapt the way that we actually interact with our patients in many areas in order to be reimbursed for services.
We had attempted to do our billing internally for a few months and we recognized very quickly that was a complete disaster. The reason was very simple. That when we spend time training one individual all of our hopes and dreams rested on that one individuals shoulders. When that one individual went on vacation or, God forbid, left our organization, then our billing and collections ceased at that moment.
We recognized quickly that we needed to work with a larger organization. Are practices very fragmented. We had one system for scheduling, one system for note keeping, quite a different system for billing and collections. There was no central place that we went to for all of these processes.
“bestPT has essentially saved our organization.”
“Because of our partnership with bestPT we are now able to focus more on patient care, more focus on growing our business, less focus on administration and billing and paperwork.”
Kathleen Pegues, Occupational Therapist and CEO of Bit by Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, says “Because of our partnership with bestPT, Bit by Bit is nowÂ able to concentrate on patient care. More focus on growing our business; less focus on administration, billing and paperwork.”
That’s why Kathleen has recently implemented her PT/OT Evaluation form design and her Plan of Care notes in xDocs, a new tool that allows clinicians to create their own forms, instantly tied to their patient database. Now Bit by Bit is able to concentrate on their patients clinical success without having to worry about missing any information during their physical therapy billing process.
Client Testimonial by Shecanna Seeley, DPT
Patients come to Indiana State University because they expect more. In fact the tag-line at ISU is “More. From Day One.” That’s why Shecanna Seeley, Director of Rehab Services at ISU chose bestPT. In her words:
â€œOur experience with bestPT has been very positive.
The ability to obtain instant, real-time data regarding patient account information via the internet-based billing software has been especially helpful. We are able to focus on patient care knowing that billing and collections are being handled properly. The bestPT staff members are knowledgeable, helpful and quick to respond.
We would recommend bestPT to other providers without hesitation.â€
Shecanna Seeley, DPT
Director of Rehabilitation Services
Sycamore Center for Wellness and Applied Medicine
Indiana State Unitversity
College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services
“My name is Joe O’Connor, I’m a physical therapist. I’ve been the full owner of this practice for upwards of about 15 years now. Over time we just grew because we developed relationships with the local health centers, and some of the local orthopedic surgeons.
You have to have a clerical end as well, and that was something that we learned through trial and error. Having an internal billing source sometimes you don’t have that followup like you should, and the recommendation was made and I investigated bestPT, and I’m glad I did. The physical therapy billing company that I used prior to that just didn’t have the same communication ability with us that you guys have.
You have to have somebody that really knows how to deal with insurance companies and how to understand the physical therapy billing codes and what to do and what not to do. The thing that I enjoy the most is the better cash-flow, that’s really the bottom line. I see more money coming in and it’s nice to see the bank account going up.”
– Dr. Kevin McGovern, DPT, McGovern Physical Therapy Associates
North Shore, Massachusetts
“Once you get the hang of it, to open a ticket and send it where on your team it needs to go and just watch how quickly you guys respond back is great.”
– David Alben, Clinic Director, Axiom Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy,Â Tuckahoe, New York
David Alben:Â “The system is really only as good as my ability, or the therapist’s ability, or the receptionist’s ability to use it. And the deeper you get into it, the more you realize what you don’t know and you need to know. The tickets have been a very easy way to learn those pieces.
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Clearwater, FL 33762
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PT Billing Software Blog
- Fall, 2018: What Is “Defensible Documentation?”
- Summer, 2018: Is Physical Therapy the Worst Kept Secret in HealthCare?
- May 2018: Imposter Syndrome in Graduate Students
- March 2018: Graded Imagery & Advanced Technology in the Treatment of a Patient Post-Stroke
- Feb 2018: Avoiding PT Burn Out While In School
- Jan 2018: Importance of Developing Mentor-Mentee Relationships During PT School
- Dec 2017 Newsletter: What to Expect When Starting PT School
- Nov 2017 Newsletter: Teaching Documentation in a DPT Program
- Oct 2017 Newsletter: How the Cloud Protects Your Practice in a Disaster
- Sept. 2017 Newsletter: 7 Ways to Build a Sales Culture Within Your Practice