Physical Therapy Software | How to get what you want in your own clinic Part 2

Chris Martin interviews Dave Macolino

Chris Martin: Let me guess, now…Any service has three components: process, people, and technology. Diane tells us that the people component is about control and it starts with the owner…Dave, are you going to tell me that control is the most important part of technology too and it too starts with the owner?

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Dave Macolino: Absolutely! Control is always about your ability to make changes to your process, people, and technology so that you are on track to accomplishing your long term financial goals for the practice.

If your technology does not support your processes and your staff, and if you are unable to tweak it every time you make a change to your processes or your staff, then your technology will be and impediment, and will prevent you from reaching your goals.

Let’s talk a little about goals. You need a system that helps manage

  1. Patient Growth – includes referrals and attrition which are largely no-shows and “self-discharges”
  2. Visit Documentation – needs to be compliant and as efficient as possible so that you maximize your hands-on time with patients and finally
  3. Billing – requires discovering and addressing every problem on every claim. It’s important to have the capability of accounting for every dollar on every claim.

Also, your system needs to be flexible, so that you can customize it and adjust it in step with every change you make to your processes and staff. And it also needs to be “drivable.”

Chris Martin: Drivable? What do you mean by drivable technology?

Dave Macolino: Think of driving your car. You do not need to think about the engine, the transmission, the tires, and the hundreds of thousands of components that come together to produce your driving experience. You just drive it. And when it needs adjustments or corrections, a mechanic makes them for you. That’s the level of the technology you need so that you can focus on controlling your processes and staff and drive them towards reaching what are ultimately your goals.

But if you have to spend time on backing up your system, or manually submitting claims, reconciling data between different parts of your system, or waiting days or weeks for information from manually compiled reports, how can you focus on your main goal?

So how would your system help you control your patient base growth? It must track your no-shows and you need to know the true cost of your no-shows. A no-show is much more than just the revenue you lost for that one visit. Think of how many patients you lose in your practice? Each attrition case starts always with a single no-show and if you add the potential loss of patient-to-patient referrals, the revenue loss adds up.

How would your system help you control documentation? Let me ask this question: how much money do you make with each completed SOAP note? Right, 0. Documentation is a cost of doing business. So the system must help you minimize that cost.

So how much does it cost to document your visits? Here’s a hint: it’s far more than the cost of the documentation system. Why? Because you are an integral part of the documentation process. You must document your visits yourself.

Think of it: you can have somebody else do patient scheduling and billing for you but you must treat the patient and document that visit. Only one of those actions actually generates revenue. Everything else is cost of doing business and it’s imperative to minimize and control those costs.