Tracking the Variables | Where is My Money II

physical therapy billing_cash flowTracking 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 husband’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 wasn’t sure just what he could do for her.

 Steve came by after hours, and they sat in the waiting room of Shannon’s practice.

 “Give it to me straight,” Shannon said after a brief bit of small talk. “What am I doing wrong?”

 “It’s not quite that simple,” Steve replied. “But 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.”

 “So it’s not just me?”

 “Of course not,” Steve said with a laugh. “You’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.”

“So what can I do? Even when I’m crazy busy, it still feels like the money isn’t coming in like it should.”

 “You can’t be expected to keep track of it all and still focus on your patients,” Steve said. “Think of it this way: Imagine a man who hurts his back, but he doesn’t seek treatment right away. What can happen?”

 Shannon thought for a moment. “Well, 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…”

 “Now you’ve got the idea,” Steve said. It’s a domino effect. All of your billing issues stem from one basic problem – an inability to track and analyze all the variables that affect your collections. You need a powerful tool – personally, I recommend an advanced billing software package, one that’s customized for physical therapy practices – 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.”

 “And once we know what causes the delays or denials,” said Shannon, catching on, “we can make the necessary changes to improve billing performance.”

 “And then you’re on your way to building your dream practice,” Steve said.

What variables can affect how quickly and efficiently Shannon gets paid?

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4 replies
  1. Ashfaq Dafedar
    Ashfaq Dafedar says:

    Excellent practice management software plays a vital role in
    any of the practice success. Payers have developed a progressively complex and
    confusing set of rules and processes that lead to more denials, underpayments,
    and lost or ignored claims.

    It is very important to have a Practice Management
    Software with a proactive rules engine with few of the features mentioned below:

    One of the best ways for your practice to improve your
    billing efficiency is to catch potential denials before the claims are

    Your PM software should automatically compare the actual
    payments received with the payments specified in each payer contract and
    alerting them when discrepancies occur.

    Reporting Power: It’s
    important for your practice to be able to mine data for billing and collection
    trends to figure out where your practice can improve.

    A best PM software that allows you to schedule customized
    reports to be created at certain intervals for on-going analysis, as well as
    generate custom reports on the fly when specific information is needed quickly
    can make a tedious manual process automatic.

  2. Jason Barnes
    Jason Barnes says:

    To answer the question, teamwork! The best PTs that I know are passionate about their patient care so they team up to succeed. Collaborating with their referring physicians, their PTAs, and even with other specialists to make sure that their patients receive nothing but the best. Running a practice is no different. Teamwork is key, you have to work with the right people who understand insurance companies and you have to have the right resources to fight them. To work together though, you have to use a software platform that identifies who is supposed to do what so that nothing in your practice is missed.

  3. Heather Miller
    Heather Miller says:

    Any number of variables could be causing low payments. A complete practice management software would allow you to see where the problem is so that you can fix it before it creates even more issues.

  4. Reuven Lirov
    Reuven Lirov says:

    An enormous part of this process is the need to track practice success the way you track patient success. In other words, if your patients expect you to focus in on every area, you have to expect that your business will expect this from you as well. A deficit in any area will cause you to see the end result, or symptom, of low collections. Your practice is your biggest patient, as well as your patient most prone to re-injury. A lot like an olympic athlete, your practice requires constant monitoring and attention in order to continue performing at a top level for years to come.

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