A Job Well Done | Physical Therapy Billing, Software, Documentation, ICD-10

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Technology Holds Promise of Easing Office Tensions

Can the right technology solution get Shannon’s team back together?

“Thanks, guys!” The last kitchen workers called a goodbye and headed out the back door, talking and laughing together.

Mike tossed a towel over his shoulder and sat back in a chair in the darkened restaurant. He often took a few minutes to decompress at the end of the dinner service, sitting in the silence and appreciating his restaurant. When it was empty like this, clean and neat and ready for the excitement of the next day, it seemed filled with promise. When it was filled with people, with the scents of cooking and the clatter of pans and shouts across the kitchen, Mike couldn’t really feel it. Things were happening too fast then.

With a satisfied sigh, Mike stood, dropped the towel into the laundry, and headed home.

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Shannon was still up when he came in. “Tough day?” he asked her. He knew things had been tense at work recently.

“In parts,” she said. Mike could see from her smile that she was having the same satisfied feeling he was. The feeling that came after all the hard work, when things had gotten cleared up and settled and the problems had been overcome. “I think we’ve got a solution for the clinicians,” Shannon continued. “The new software we’re looking at has an internal auditing process that’ll show us where our current documentation is working, and where it needs work.”

“That sounds like your style,” Mike said, taking a seat next to Shannon.

“Definitely. It’s not personal, it’s not about me complaining at them or the front office staff not being on their game. It’s just the space between where we are now with our documentation and the level of specificity where we need to be.”

“Nobody can argue with that.”

“I hope nobody will want to. We’re a great team when we’re all rowing the same direction. I think that seeing where we fall short and knowing what we’re aiming at will help us get together again.”

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Mike nodded. “For a while, it kind of seemed like everybody was blaming everybody else.”

“Or at least expecting to be blamed,” Shannon agreed. “I don’t know quite how we got to that point, but I think we’re going to be able to get past it.”

Mike heard a rustle from a bedroom as one of the kids turned over in her sleep. He leaned his head against his wife’s and she leaned back, and they sat together in the quiet, feeling satisfied.

Can the right technology solution get Shannon’s team back together?

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12 replies
  1. Yuval Lirov
    Yuval Lirov says:

    Shannon needs a solution that has a crosswalk from ICD-9 to ICD-10, enabling quick “translation” of codes from one system to another.

  2. David
    David says:

    And by automating matters, Shannon will hopefully be able to make her staff see that the required changes weren’t anything personal.

  3. Reuven Lirov
    Reuven Lirov says:

    The first one to think they are satisfied is the last to realize how behind they really are. It’s easy to feel “satisfied”, but it’s going to take consistent effort here to see results. Technology alone doesn’t solve problems, it takes people, process, and technology working together.

  4. Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes says:

    Shannon made a decision after she found out what her needs are. It feels good when you are headed in the right direction, but the preparations are not over. The next step is getting Shannon’s staff to buy in to the changes. They need to be coached and mentored to make this change and that has to happen now. October 1st is coming and they will need to know as soon as possible if their documentation is going to measure up to the changes.

  5. Amy
    Amy says:

    What technology and tools does Shannon and her team need to tackle the new ICD-10 requirements before the looming deadline? Do you have what you need to prevent possible disaster in your office?

  6. Naomi Perez
    Naomi Perez says:

    Previously, Shannon was taken aback by needing to be prepare and up and running before the ICD-10 deadline. Her staff and clinicians were bickering and had a negative attitude, team work was not being promoted. Since, it seems all are on board, clearly creating a better environment to go forward with much needed implementations.

  7. Michelle Corrigan
    Michelle Corrigan says:

    My biggest fear is that Shannon is experiencing a false sense of security. Auditing the notes without a plan to follow up and improve they will still be at risk. While the team is rowing in one direction, Shannon should take the next step of cross walking their codes and understanding how they relate to their documentation.

  8. Robin Kortman
    Robin Kortman says:

    How long will a practice be able to continue practicing without have a clearly defined plan in place to implement documentation changes that go into effect October 1, 2014?

  9. Heather Miller
    Heather Miller says:

    The right technology is a step in the right direction but it is just one piece of the puzzle. Shannon is going to have a rude awakening if she thinks that is the only thing that she needs to worry about. Without a clear plan of how she is going to make these changes she may not have a practice to worry about come October.

  10. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    One can obtain the right technology that provides all the tools the practice may need: however, the work that the staff produce is what will count at the end. If no one knows the right way to process bills or the rules put in place during implementations, then the same level of work will be produced.

  11. Thomas J
    Thomas J says:

    Can the right technology get Shannon’s team back together? No, but it can help. The most powerful systems available are still just a tool, it’s still critical that Shannon spend the time to learn how to use that tool effectively. The right technology will help, but ultimately everything still depends on Shannon’s leadership and preparation.

  12. Wendy Thorington
    Wendy Thorington says:

    The right technology may help, but in the end what they document may determine if they get paid for services. The need to be sure to follow though on auditing their notes and learning from the mistakes that are made.

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