Tracking the Variables | Where is My Money II
Physical Therapy Practice Owner Must Address Billing and Payment Delays
What variables affect how quickly Shannon gets paid?
Shannon was nervous. At her husbandâ€™s suggestion, she was meeting with Steve, a profitability coach, in an effort to find and address the cash flow problems she was experiencing in her physical therapy business. Although Steve came highly recommended by her friend Ariana, Shannon wasnâ€™t sure just what he could do for her.
Â Steve came by after hours, and they sat in the waiting room of Shannonâ€™s practice.
Â â€œGive it to me straight,â€ Shannon said after a brief bit of small talk. â€œWhat am I doing wrong?â€
Â â€œItâ€™s not quite that simple,â€ Steve replied. â€œBut it starts with the fact that you trained to be a physical therapist, not a business owner. Not only that, but unlike other business owners, you have to rely on insurance companies for most of your income.â€
Â â€œSo itâ€™s not just me?â€
Â â€œOf course not,â€ Steve said with a laugh. â€œYouâ€™re hardly the only practice owner in this kind of situation. Ultimately, there are a number of variables that affect your billing performance and cash flow.â€
â€œSo what can I do? Even when Iâ€™m crazy busy, it still feels like the money isnâ€™t coming in like it should.â€
Â â€œYou canâ€™t be expected to keep track of it all and still focus on your patients,â€ Steve said. â€œThink of it this way: Imagine a man who hurts his back, but he doesnâ€™t seek treatment right away. What can happen?â€
Â Shannon thought for a moment. â€œWell, depending on the nature of the injury, it can affect his gait. He may start overcompensating, which can cause other problems, in his hips, in his neck…â€
Â â€œNow youâ€™ve got the idea,” Steve said. Itâ€™s a domino effect. All of your billing issues stem from one basic problem â€“ an inability to track and analyze all the variables that affect your collections. You need a powerful tool â€“ personally, I recommend an advanced billing software package, one thatâ€™s customized for physical therapy practices â€“ to do the work for you. After all, with each passing day, your chances of getting paid for an outstanding claim decreases by one percent. Software helps determine how each variable affects the timetable of your claims payments.â€
Â â€œAnd once we know what causes the delays or denials,â€ said Shannon, catching on, â€œwe can make the necessary changes to improve billing performance.â€
Â â€œAnd then youâ€™re on your way to building your dream practice,â€ Steve said.
What variables can affect how quickly and efficiently Shannon gets paid?