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Physical Therapy Software | Improve Productivity

Physical therapy billing | task manager

A physical therapy practice management system downloads free-floating, uncompleted tasks  that may be clogging your brain and turns them into an effective framework of action items. In other words, it’s a system that pushes action items to you to free your mind from minute details while allowing you to focus on the big picture and important ideas.

As case in point, do you ever wake up at 2 a.m. and remember that you forgot to do something important at work? What are your chances of being able to go back to sleep?

“Centralized task management not only affords my staff and I the ability to track things in one place, it allows complete transparency to who is getting the job done for our clients,” says Jason Barnes, COO at Vericle, Inc. “You know who is sitting on tasks and who is actually completing them.”

Sixty percent of voters in a recent LinkedIn poll agreed with Jason. Only eleven percent use memory or paper to manage their tasks, while the remaining 29 percent use email.

What are the specific benefits of a centralized task management system?

David Allen, a management consultant and the author of “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity,” provides insights into attaining maximum efficiency and at the same time relaxing, to focus energies strategically and tactically without letting anything fall through the cracks. His workflow management plan has two basic components: capture all the things that need to get done into a workable, dependable system; and discipline yourself to make front-end decisions with an action plan for all inputs into that system. In short, do it (quickly), delegate it (appropriately), defer it, or drop it.

Teamwork

The most basic aspect of any physical therapy practice management system is task capture, or documentation. An undocumented task is not worth tracking or talking about. Unless we capture all the tasks in a single system, we will have to rely on multiple tools, hurting our efficiency and efficacy. A centralized task management system also enables transparency. If your documented task ticket is placed in a central task repository then every member of our team sees its status.

That level of transparency across the board creates peer pressure and offers an opportunity to build a framework for formal accountability. If you have to attend regular meetings with your team to review your backlogs, your entire reputation and credibility hang on the timely completion or update of every task that was assigned to you.

These two features, transparency and accountability, formalize the concepts of teamwork and of team player. In an organization that uses a centralized task tracking system, teamwork means eliminating backlogs and a best team player is the member with a smallest backlog. Additionally, when a team member fails to complete a task, the other members know precisely who and when needs help. Teamwork takes specific meaning in terms of helping a specific member accomplish a specific task at a specific time. A centralized ticketing system eliminates the fluff that is usually associated with the word “teamwork” and offers a simple way to measure the degree of teamwork.

Patient Relationship Management

“If you really want to get things done I recommend you go to IQtell” says Bryan Koslow, MBA. “The best task management system that is integrated with email, calendars, and Evernote.”

There are two kinds of task management systems:

  1. General-purpose: a system integrated with email and calendars but not directly integrated with your existing practice management solution.
  2. Specialized: a task management system integrated with a patient appointment system, EMR system, and billing system, which turns your ordinary practice management system into a patient relationship management system.

To be operational and meet customer requirements, both kinds of systems must maintain a high degree of integration. The difference between the general-purpose and the specialized task tracking systems is defined by the sort of systems integrated with your task tracking system.

Getting back to practice management systems, a task tracking system integrated with patient appointment system, EMR system, and billing system, turns your ordinary practice management system into a patient relationship management system. How? The tickets can be automatically generated upon encountering a problem and directly attached to the patient records.

With a specialized system, every patient has a set of tickets distributed across multiple team members. The backlog pertaining to any particular patient defines the relationship management risk, while the backlog associated with every team member defines that member’s teamwork quality. The total of all backlogs across all patients defines the current practice risk. The task of practice management is reduced to ticket prioritization and to driving the ticket backlog to zero.

Pull versus Push

If you use a physical therapy practice management system you should receive tickets on your workbench that pertain to your responsibilities. You do not depend on outdated reports and statuses. So if a patient owes you a balance, an integrated ticketing system will let you know about it when that patient is in front of you and without having you looking up her balance in the system. In other words, a centralized ticketing system turns your practice management system into a Just In Time Information System. The ticketing system flips the information delivery mechanism from Pull into Push, when the system is Pushing information on you instead of making you Pull it from the system.

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Welcome new Physical Therapists to the bestPT Billing Team!

physical therapy billing team expansionWe have added new bestPT users to our system.  These additional sources of input dramatically increase our Network Effect.  Welcome to the team!

Medical Billing Book Review: If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently

Fred Lee, the author of If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9.5 Things you would do differently, has great story-telling talent and a unique combination of first-hand experience working at hospitals and Disney. This book compares the workflows and cultures at both and teaches us how to design modern hospital patient interactions for success. It turns out that his lessons are directly applicable to my physical therapy billing software business.

Whenever a medical billing service owner comes to me for “billing software” they usually mean software to manage what they had. I, on the other had, want to understand how their service is designed and delivered and what the practice owner (their customer) and the patient (their customer’s customer) would expect. It seems to me that if the billing service is sub-par, outdated, or not profitable, we should consider redesigning it before automating it. I believe that the worst you can do to a poorly delivered service is to scale it up and exacerbate an already negative customer experience by delivering it faster to more customers. This often does not sit well with billing service owners who see my expertise limited to selling my software and see my questions about their business approach and growth, compliance, and convenience as needlessly intrusive.

You would think that a billing service owner has a much more difficult customer than Disney; the risk of client loss is higher; the medical billing environment is much more complex with many more non-standard situations. At Disney, the customers start our happy and excited instead of upset and underpaid. They stand in lines but not worried about their insurance claims, patient referrals, or compliance. They take a ride that’s duplicated a million times while every new payer is a unique experience. Meanwhile practice operations, technology, and legal costs are growing. Disney looks like a picnic compared to the nightmare the billing and practice managers face every day in a hostile payer environment over which we have very little of the kind of control we would have at Disney.

This book is practical and profound. Instantly useful.

Physical Therapy Billing | Track claims to improve cash flow

physical therapy billing payment performance“With bestPT I can track claims by payer or by patient. I can track by almost anything you can think of.”

– Dr. Kevin McGovern, DPT, McGovern Physical Therapy Associates

North Shore, Massachusetts

 

My name is Dr. Kevin McGovern. I’m a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach. I own McGovern Physical Therapy Associates. We have four locations in the North Shore of Massachusetts, we have 35 employees. We are averaging about 725 visits, and we’ve been in business since March 15 of 2000.

 

You know my goals are to certainly make an efficient physical therapy practice where people want to come to work at and certainly improve my cash flow. Where we have the most difficulty in terms of Physical Therapy Billing is with the liability insurance companies, motor vehicle, workers’ comp. Since going to bestPT, who is now billing stuff electronically, I got an automobile check within fifteen days, which is like winning the lottery. I have never seen that in ten years of practice.
Well we had an archaic system before. We had many different Physical Therapy Billing systems blending into one that allegedly talked to one an other, but sometime that didn’t always happen, and the tracking of a claim was next to impossible.

 

With BestPT Physical Therapy Billing Software I can track claims by payer, I can track them by patient, I can track them by almost anything you can think of. So being able to go in and see problems even before they’re happening, or you can see it getting to a point where we may want to check on this, is invaluable. As we have been working together, the problems with Physical Therapy Billing claims have been severely diminishing, so most of them have been going out. Our cash flow is up $10,000 a week, so something is going right.

Physical Therapy Profitability | Staff Compensation Strategies – Part I

physical therapist billing strategyBy Yuval Lirov, PhD, Dave Macolino, and Kevin McGovern, DPT

“It’s ten minutes past eleven at night…Where is Peter?” Alicia asked herself as she woke up from dozing in front of the TV with their daughter, Jessica. She was pleased to hear the sounds of an unlocking door and Peter walking in. He looked exhausted but was happy to carry Jessica to bed. After all, it was a Saturday and he should have had the day off.

Alicia was proud or her husband. He worked tirelessly without counting hours, evenings and weekends, so that he could accomplish his goal of owning his own physical therapy practice and give Alicia the freedom to dedicate herself to raising their two children and continue pursuing her MBA.

Peter opened his physical therapy practice two years ago and built his business from the ground up. Referrals were growing rapidly and he was now seeing 100 patient visits per week. He recently hired a PTA in addition to his administrative staff to help him with his growing case load. His passion was treating patients but his current priority was building his practice and achieve physical therapy profitability. Peter was telling Alicia that in a year or two, he could pull in more than $600,000 a year, perhaps making $6,000,000 over ten years.

“Pete, Jessica was really upset that you missed her soccer game again. All of the other Dads were there.” Alicia said disapprovingly. Peter worked every evening and weekend over the past 3 months. “I don’t understand why you spend every night and weekend in the office,” she said. “Isn’t your staff supposed to be doing most of this work while you are treating? Do they stay late to help you?” she asked.

“I really don’t need this extra stress right now,” he replied. “I can’t pay them overtime to help, and I really can’t sit there and watch what they’re doing all day.”

“You know, Peter,” pressed on Alicia, “It’s clear to me that you’re not managing your staff properly.”

Peter felt like he was punched in the stomach. He wasn’t going to challenge Alicia. For the past two years, she managed to take care of Jessica while pursuing her MBA. Peter started getting a headache.

“You are heads down all day treating patients and not paying attention to what is going on with your staff.” she added. “Last month, you had to replace both your front office person and two months ago, you replaced your biller.”

“You’re paying your administrative staff $12 and hour and you just hired a PTA for $45,000 a year but you’re doing most of the work anyway.” Alicia continued, getting more agitated. “You have to be losing money because of the turnover and salaries and on top of that, you’re never home anymore. If you are going to see 100 patients a week and then spend every night and weekend doing business administration, why have staff at all?” Alicia asked.

“Good question, I don’t know” Peter reluctantly replied.

“Katherine called the other day.” Alicia said.

** to be continued :  Physical Therapy Profitability | Staff Compensation Strategies – Part II

Physical Therapy Billing | Practice Growth

physical therapy billing | practice-growthAn Interview with Shaun Kirk, President of Measurable Solutions
BestPT Physical Therapy practice management software partnered with Measurable Solutions to help clients grow their practices, manage staff and improve overall efficiency and net profits. Dave Macolino reached out to Shaun Kirk, President and Co–Founder of Measurable Solutions. Shaun wanted to know more about our products and services and presented his methodology. We were pleased to discover how Measurable Solutions is a perfect fit for BestPT Physical Therapy Billing Software. Read the press release of the partnership here. 

Dave: What is “Measurable Solutions?” 

Shaun: Measurable Solutions is a management training company. We train private practice owners to better manage their practice, increase their referrals and ultimately their overall net profit. 

Dave: Shaun, you’re a physical therapist, is that right?

Shaun: That’s right. 

Dave: How does being a physical therapist give your company an advantage when working with private practitioners? 

Shaun: We understand this profession. When I first started out as a private practitioner I was a complete failure. I thought that if I kept adding initials after my name my practice would grow. It did not. I realized that the problems I experienced in private practice were not related to treating “Bob Smith’s” back condition. The problems I had were related to getting more new patients, hiring or firing staff, getting paid, billing correctly and more. Clinical skills were not my problem, my lack of administrative skills were definitely creating all my problems. I had to dig myself out of it. I was able to grow my practice by 9–fold and ultimately worked 18 hours a week in my practice. Measurable Solutions takes the knowledge that I gained in growing my practice and we use that knowledge to help other practice owners. 

Dave: You’ve got a line you said when we first met that made me laugh. It’s something like, “When the going gets tough, the owner treats patients.” What do you mean by that? 

Shaun: People are like water. They tend to run in the path of least resistance. The easiest thing to do when all else fails is to go with what you know. What most private practitioners know is how to treat patients. 

It’s like a captain of a ship who is a passionate well–trained chef. He knows how to cook 5–star meals and prefers to do so as his ship runs aground. A practice owner who is also a clinician MUST man the helm of his or her ship if one intends to right that ship. 

Dave: That makes sense. It’s tough to handle office problems when you are treating patient morning to night. Let me ask you, when you begin working with a practice owner to make him or her into a better “captain”, is there a particular format you follow?

Shaun: Sure. We first help the owner drive patients to his or her door. The first part of our Executive Training Program has this as its primary focus. The second step of our Executive Training Program is designed to show you how you can get other staff to get their statistics up. The third step of our Executive Training Program will show you how to get distance from the practice. 

Dave: What do you mean by “distance from the practice?” 

Shaun: Once you have systems in place to drive in new patients, get patients to become more compliant with their treatment program regardless of out of pocket expenses and are able to get large percentages of your new patients referring their friends and family, you’ve really got the results of the first step. 

In the second step, you now have intelligent statistical management throughout your organization. You have an organizational structure and staff who know who does what. You will know who to hire when and for what position and most importantly how to get them as productive as possible in the shortest period of time. The net profit begins to soar. This step is vital. If you have done step one very well and have more new patient rolling in but failed this step, you could have all your profits eaten up by inefficient staff placed into the wrong position, even with a great rise in patient volume. 

In the third step, “distance from the practice”, we focus on financial and remote statistical management so you can find precise problems in your practice without having to be there to “e;put the fire out.” Distance from the practice means the ability to expand the practice without having to be there. At this point the practice owner has a machine that can operate without his direct supervision. 

Dave: Wow! Ok, here’s a tough one: bestPT works with practice owners all the time and many are just plain buried with patient care and fires to put out. What you just covered here seems like it would just overwhelm many practice owners. How do you get all this put into their practice? 

Shaun: When a new client comes into our Executive Training Program the MOST important thing we ask them to do is find a 5-hour block of time during the work week to EXCLUSIVELY work on our Implementation Programs. 

Upon completion of any executive training course at Measurable Solutions, a client is put on an Implementation Program that lays out step–by–step what needs to be put into the practice when he returns home. These Implementation Programs are kept on–line with the client having a login and password to his Implementation Programs. We find that when a client puts in 5–hours a week on the programs the practice begins to run more efficiently, the owner’s time is freed up even more and he or she will begin to find even more time to implement the programs or maybe take a day off. 

Dave: How do you follow up with a client once they return home from your training?

Each client is assigned a consultant. The client’s consultant has a dashboard of all his or her clients and their progress on their Implementation Programs in real–time. If their client is behind schedule the consultant will nudge them along. The emphasis is to push the client to implement the programs. We know that in the beginning, most clients have many “fires” to put out and the consultant really rolls up their sleeves and helps the client. As time moves on the consultant pushes the clients to implement his or her training and the consulting time is more focused in that direction and the client’s need for regularly scheduled consulting reduces and the client becomes his own consultant to their own practice. 

Besides the managing of the clients’ Implementation Programs on–line we also have a cloud-based statistical management program where the consultant can help the client manage by statistics. Their consultant can view the client’s weekly statistics in real–time. There is accountability with our program. This method has produced multi–million dollar growth in many of our clients. Paying for a program and not doing it is a waste of money. We work to ensure your return on investment and pushing you to implement. 

Our “consulting” is mostly geared toward getting the client to implement the tools necessary to better manage their practice. We find that when our consultants spend too much time trying to help a client deal with “Susie” who runs with scissors or doesn’t play well with others, time is lost on implementation and the implementation alone most likely would handle the problem with “Susie.” 

Dave: This was educational. If one of our bestPT clients wanted to work with you guys, how would they go about it? 

Shaun: They would take our New Patient Course. The New Patient Course shows you how to make your practice broadly known for its results in a way that doctors use to evaluate a patient’s results. The course then shows you how to take the conditions you treat the most and make you broadly known as the best in town in the treatment of those conditions. The New Patient Course doesn’t require an owner, who does not have any time anyway, to have to go out and knock on doors to get referrals. 

The New Patient Course stands separate from our Executive Training Program. Someone can do the New Patient Course, apply its Implementation Program and get new patients without doing our Executive Training Program. 

Dave: Can my clients skip the New Patient Course and go straight to your Executive Training Program? 

Shaun: No. Our Executive Training Program is for those who have attended the New Patient Course, have bigger goals and want to grow their organization and have a life and would like our help. The New Patient Course is a requirement to be considered for acceptance into our Executive Training Program. 

Dave: So what’s next? How can our clients contact you? 

Shaun: They can schedule a webinar with one of my New Patient Course consultants. Our consultants can go over the subjects of PR and Marketing as it pertains to the individual’s practice and go over how the New Patient Course could help the competent clinical practice increase its market share and referrals. 

Dave: Thank you Shaun.

Shaun: Thank you.

Physical Therapy Billing | Networks and processes

physical therapy billing

A Must Read for Every Owner of a Rehab or Physical Therapy Practice

Yaffa Liebermann (Prime Rehabilitation Services, Inc. 220 White Plains Road, Suite 550, Terrytown, NY 10591)

This review is from: Medical Billing Networks and Processes – Profitable and Compliant Revenue Cycle Management in the Internet Age (Hardcover)

Physical therapists have a strong background and foundation in clinical orthopedics, physics, biomechanics, anatomy, neurophysiology, physiology, medical diagnostics for physical therapists, histology, and all other related subjects. That is the knowledge that we acquire when preparing for our profession.

But, the physical therapy education programs do not prepare us for the harsh realities of daily physical therapy billing struggles with insurance companies in order to get our services paid in full and on time. The physical therapy program graduates lack basic knowledge about payer-provider adversity, HIPAA compliance, audit mechanics, SOAP note management, reporting tools, practice profitability metrics, and outsourcing opportunities. Additionally, the programs do not teach us how to use modern computer technology to leverage our collective health care and practice management knowledge.

Nobody is better positioned to close such a major knowledge gap than Dr. Yuval Lirov. As CEO of Vericle, a leading-edge medical billing and practice management technology vendor, Dr. Lirov has a unique opportunity to implement state of the art methodologies and test them on both small and large-scale PT practices. Dr. Lirov delivers an easy to read and highly informative expertly written book. Medical Billing Networks is a must read for every owner of a rehab or physical therapy practice.

Yaffa Liebermann, PT, GCS, CEO

Prime Rehabilitation Services, Inc.

Physical Therapy Software | Customized Reports

Physical Therapy Software 40_plus_charts_and_graphs“And you have that flexible report generator, which is super, so that different people and different levels of need and sophistication in managing a physical therapy billing system can get what they want out of the system.” – David Alben, Clinic Director, Axiom Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Tuckahoe, New York

Axiom PT & OT sees 850 monthly visits and has 6 full time PTs, 2 OTs, and 6 administrative staff. David Alben tells us how bestPT helps Axiom meet all of their objectives.

[youtube_video] JcheU7ZiPYI [/youtube_video]

I’ve done medical collections and insurance work for more than twenty years, going back to paper claims. To be able to see a summary report for physical therapy billing by payer, and then to drill into that to see the specific claims that are open, and the status of the claims, who’s touched them, what bucket are they in, as a claim moves through the billing and collections process, is the critical factor.
Patients say “I’ll pay you Tuesday, I’ll pay you next Wednesday, I only want to write you a check once a week, I forgot my credit card,” there is always a long list of excuses. With bestPT physical therapy billing software you can track that very easily.
And you have that flexible report generator, which is super, so that different people and different levels of need and sophistication in managing a billing system can get what they want out of the system. They don’t have to involve you or the team, just sit there at the computer, say I want to see this and this, lets take a look at how December fared against February. Let’s look at that by payer source, let’s look at that by referral source. To have that powerful tool, that you can just sit there and say “Well this is what I feel like looking at right now” is great!
You guys are not the first company that has tried to solve these problems, even in this practice. And once we realized where they were going, we were delighted. We were delighted to see how you integrate the entire process, from the front end gathering of information, through the actual scheduling and treatment of patients, the notes, the billing, and the collections. And having a system to track all of that, and present it to me in a way that I can manage it easily, it’s great!

Physical Therapy Billing | 2012 – L Codes (DME Braces) Analysis

During 2012 we have seen growth in the usage of L-codes in physical therapy billing , the overall contribution of L code to the total collections is still negligible.

rehab, PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notes, SOAP notes, EMR, rehab-software, rehab-billing, rehab-notes, rehab SOAP notes, rehab-EMR, PT-software, PT-billing, PT-notes, PT SOAP notes, PT-EMR, Physical Therapy software, Physical Therapy billing, Physical Therapy notes, Physical Therapy SOAP notes, Physical Therapy EMR

Only 10% of physical therapy practices have used L codes in their physical therapy billing during 2012, for these practices the overall L codes related revenues averaged 0.9% of all collections.

rehab, PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notes, SOAP notes, EMR, rehab-software, rehab-billing, rehab-notes, rehab SOAP notes, rehab-EMR, PT-software, PT-billing, PT-notes, PT SOAP notes, PT-EMR, Physical Therapy software, Physical Therapy billing, Physical Therapy notes, Physical Therapy SOAP notes, Physical Therapy EMR

The following bubble graph is a representation of the above table where the center of the bubble indicates the pay per visit, the radius of the bubble indicates the relative % and the specific code is mentioned above the bubble.

rehab, PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notes, SOAP notes, EMR, rehab-software, rehab-billing, rehab-notes, rehab SOAP notes, rehab-EMR, PT-software, PT-billing, PT-notes, PT SOAP notes, PT-EMR, Physical Therapy software, Physical Therapy billing, Physical Therapy notes, Physical Therapy SOAP notes, Physical Therapy EMR

Caps on Physical Therapy Sessions Detrimental to Business Growth

This year has been a year of many changes to the medical system. While some of these changes have been beneficiary, a few have been detrimental to professions such as physical therapy. Many physical therapists are facing tough times today. The market is saturated with physical therapists but not enough patients. Laid off physical therapist Jessica Summers explains why.

A few years ago, patients had a cap on how many sessions were covered by their insurance. Medicare made exceptions for patients that suffered from physical ailments such as osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke victims and granted them extensions because they were more likely to need more physical therapy sessions. However, as of October 2012, this is no longer the case.

On October 1, 2012, The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (H.R. 3630) amendment was passed which states:

In applying this paragraph with respect to a request for an exception with respect to expenses that would be incurred for outpatient therapy services (including services described in sub- section (a)(8)(B)) that would exceed the threshold described in clause (ii) for a year, the request for such an exception, for services furnished on or after October 1, 2012, shall be subject to a manual medical review process that is similar to the manual medical review process used for certain exceptions under this paragraph in 2006. Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012

Because of this new amendment, patients that previously had extensions on their therapy sessions were cancelled and their insurance would no longer cover it. Additionally, patients who had exceeded their session limit had to be denied treatment because they could not afford the care.

According to Summers, patients can file an appeal to extend their coverage but because filing the claim and getting it through takes so long, most have been denied. Additionally, there is a typo in the law that makes Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy share a budget. This places a lot of physical therapists and patients in a tough situation. Summers posed the example of a stroke victim who can have multiple issues such as swallowing, walking and speech deficits. Because of the limit, she has to restrict which therapies she can provide and would have to decide which of these would be priority. Based on the previous example a patient would receive treatment for swallowing problem, but the walking and talking deficits would have to wait for another year.

Fortunately, the amendment which enforced the cap is up for vote in January. Jessica, along with many others in the medical profession are hoping for an extension. This would help bring more patients in and create a bigger demand and more jobs for physical therapists.