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Getting Started with Practice Management Software

images-17Today’s the Day

Should Shannon wait any longer before using bestPT practice management software?

Shannon strode into her physical therapy practice with a purposeful smile. Her office manager looked at her dubiously.

“Uh-oh,” Theresa said. “I know that look. You’re about to make changes.”

“Change is good,” Shannon said.

“Are we going to redecorate, the way you’ve been promising we would for months? That’s a change I could get behind. Otherwise, changes usually just mean more work for me.”

Shannon ignored Theresa’s banter. “You know that software we’ve been talking about?”

Theresa nodded. “bestPT.”

“Right. Today is the day.”

“Well, I’m very impressed by bestPT,” said Theresa. “It collects practice stats and makes them accessible and actionable, and makes it easy not only to track information but to translate it into work assignments so we get the follow-through we need.”

“That’s how it seemed to me,” Shannon agreed. “So many of the issues and problems we face day to day could be solved by the kinds of automated systems Vericle offers.”

“I agree,” said Theresa, “but can we afford it? We’ve just hired a new person and the holidays are coming up — you know that can be a slow time for us.”

“If it’s slow, we’ll have some time to get comfortable with the new system,” said Shannon. “If it isn’t slow, we’ll benefit from the streamlined workflow. And as for cost, I think it’ll save us money and help us make the practice more profitable.”

“I know that’s the idea,” Theresa said dubiously. “But what if it doesn’t work?”

“We’ve seen that it works.” Shannon thought about the demos they’d watched.

“I mean — what if it doesn’t work for us? What if we can’t get everyone to buy in or what if we’re too busy or it’s too hard and we don’t learn how to do it? Everyone I know can tell a story about some great new program that they sunk money into and then gave up on.”

Shannon considered. “Well, first of all, I think bestPT is different because of the kind of support they offer. They have lots of training materials, plus actual human coaches.”

Theresa nodded.

“Second,” Shannon went on, “we’re not just everyone. We’ve accomplished a lot already, building up this practice from nothing, and I know we can do this, too.”

Theresa smiled. “We are fairly amazing, aren’t we? I guess you’re right. I’ll call them today.”

Shannon smiled back. “I think we’re making the right decision.”

Should Shannon wait any longer before using bestPT practice management software?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.

I pulled something, the Bull said to the Physical Therapist

This Physical Therapist is having her skills challenged by a Water Buffalo.

Have a laugh with “It’s a Stretch,” our weekly cartoon for physical therapists. And be sure to let us know what you think in the Comments section. Share it with friends, colleagues and co-workers.

Improving Workflow in PT Practice


106-e1412777203600Wiping the Slate Clean

What combination of automation and human efforts will improve workflow in Shannon’s practice?

Shannon made a point of leaving work a little early and picking up the kids from school right on time. Amazingly enough, there were no after-school activities on their calendar, and by the time Mike got in from work, Shannon and the kids had dinner on the table and homemade cookies cooling on a rack.

“I’m sorry,” Shannon and Mike both said at the same time as their eyes met over the kids’ heads. Shannon could see the kids relaxing. She remembered that “Mommy and Daddy are fighting” feeling from her own childhood, and she was glad it didn’t happen very often at their house.

“Listen, Shannon,” Mike said as they took their places around the table, “I shouldn’t have –“

“Yes, you should,” said Shannon. “And I’d appreciate it if you’d talk more with me about this. I remember when you showed me the dashboard you use for the restaurant. I remember thinking that it would work better for the practice than what we have now.”

“I remember you said you collected lots of information, but it didn’t seem to lead to action items.”

“We don’t have a dashboard — we have to run reports. Honestly, I’ve never really learned how to make the reports include what I want,” Shannon admitted. “I haven’t had time to get control of it. Theresa runs some reports and I run some, and sometimes we argue about what patterns we think we see, but I guess mostly we just admire the numbers.”

Their daughters giggled. Shannon made a mischievous face for them. “It’s true,” she continued. “They don’t lead to action. Either we see good stuff and we’re happy or we see bad stuff and we’re sad, or we disagree about whether it’s bad or good.”

“Reports like that don’t give you quick insights into the things you need,” Mike shrugged. “I think in your case you need to identify the bottlenecks in your workflow.”

The little girls found this hilarious.

“I know what you mean,” Shannon laughed. “The reports we know how to run just focus on one aspect of the work at a time. In real life, the work the staff does overlaps among the different aspects of the practice. New patient flow, no shows, patients with no future appointments, billing, patient balances, inventory, third-party vendors”

Shannon’s voice had taken on a sing-song quality and the girls were wiping tears from their eyes because their mom was so funny.

Their son, on the other hand, jumped in and told them about the report he was working on for school.

After the kids had left the table, Shannon and Mike worked together to clear and do the dishes. The combination of their practiced routine and their automatic dishwasher made short work of the task, and Shannon pointed it out. “Theresa and I work together well, too. If things were automated at work they way your software at the restaurant is,” she said, “we could identify the issues and work together — and with the other staff — to solve the issues.”

“Instead of always being in crisis mode,” Mike agreed. He hugged his wife. “You’re a great PT, and you have a great practice. But it’s growing and you need to grow with it. Or at least your software does.”

What combination of automation and human efforts will improve workflow in Shannon’s practice?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.

The Best Dang Physical Therapy

The Best Dang Physical Therapy practice got that way using the bestptbilling.com Practice Management Software.

Dang-borders

The Best Dang Physical Therapy looks like they do a good job on Cowboys and their saddle sores! Does physical therapy actually help with saddle sores? LOL!

Have a laugh with “It’s a Stretch,” our weekly physical therapy cartoon. And be sure to let us know what you think in the Comments section. Share it with friends, colleagues and co-workers.

Physical Therapy Software Enables Scalability

DJI_SeptDoodlers_ABC_c-e1410525554690

Lesson 1

Does Shannon really have the basics she needs to run her physical therapy practice well?

Morning was always a rushed time at Mike and Shannon’s, but they were having an unusually tough morning. Their youngest child had mysteriously lost both shoelaces, the two oldest had been bickering since they got up, there was no milk for breakfast, and it was clear that either Mike or Shannon was going to be late to work.

“Someone has to pick up those cupcakes for the school party,” Shannon barked.

“Well, someone agreed to make them, and I don’t think it was me,” Mike shot back, pawing through a pile of papers in search of a permission slip.

“Why am I always the one who gets stuck with these things? They ask me because I’m the mom, but I’m also the business owner, so I’m working eleven hours a day and handling all kinds of crises — when am I supposed to bake cupcakes?”

“Both of us could say that,” Mike protested.

“It’s different for you,” Shannon said. “You’ve said yourself that your restaurant practically runs itself and you have plenty of people you can delegate to. You could have delegated the cupcakes, for that matter. You may work long hours, but I never see you dealing with a crisis.Things go more smoothly for you than for me, that’s all there is to it.”

Mike found the permission slip, signed it, and pushed it into a backpack — only to realize that he had put it in the wrong backpack. He fished it back out, found the right backpack, put it in, and distributed backpacks to the kids.

“Get out to the car, everyone,” he said. The kids trooped off, and he turned to his wife. “Shannon, every business has crises. If you spend all your time putting out fires it’s because you don’t do the things you need to do on the front end.”

“How could I possibly do more?” Shannon objected. “Between work and the kids”

“I’m not saying you don’t work hard. I’m saying that your practice has grown and your practice management skills haven’t kept up. You’ve made a few changes, but you don’t really have systems in place and as the practice grows, you just work harder. That’s not how business works.”

Shannon was shocked. Mike seemed to be saying things he’d been thinking for some time.

“You have staff,” he continued, “so why don’t you have people to delegate things to? You’ve looked at plenty of software packages, so why are you and Theresa still having to do everything by hand? Running a practice means running a business, and you didn’t learn how to do that in school. But maybe it’s time you learned.”

“It sounds like you’re saying I’m incompetent,” Shannon said, hurt.

“In this particular area, you are,” Mike agreed. “I’ll take the kids to school and get the cupcakes, and you go on and deal with the latest crisis.”

Mike stormed out and Shannon picked up her bag, feeling dazed. She might not be late to work after all, but she wasn’t sure she’d be able to concentrate on her patients, let alone on managing the practice.

Does Shannon really have the basics she needs to run her physical therapy practice well?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.

The pain’s mostly just in my knees. Physical Therapy for Bugs?

Is Physical Therapy for bugs on your list of things to do?

physical therapy for bugs

Would you do physical therapy on a giant bug with that many knees? Not me, but it’s a funny concept though.

Have a laugh with “It’s a Stretch,” our weekly physical therapy cartoon. And be sure to let us know what you think in the Comments section. Share it with friends, colleagues and co-workers.

Is Your Practice Ready for a Medicare Audit? – Part 8

In this eighth in our series of Blogs asking the question, “Is your practice ready for a Medicare audit?” We discuss Discharge Notes.

Though sometimes overlooked or hurried by clinicians, the Discharge Note is an important part of the overall documentation package. A thoughtfully prepared note can indicate to an auditor that the practice owner and management team fully understand that the medical documentation is more than simply a recording of exercises and modalities. Rather it is the bridge that connects the clinical aspects of patient care with the financial aspects of billing and collections.

The Medicare Program Manual states:

The Discharge Note (or Discharge Summary) is required for each episode of outpatient treatment… The discharge note shall be a Progress Report written by a clinician, and shall cover the reporting period from the last progress report to the date of discharge.

In the case of a discharge unanticipated in the plan or previous progress report, the clinician may base any judgments required to write the report on the treatment notes and verbal reports of the assistant or qualified personnel.

The Discharge Note should include objective tests and measurements to demonstrate the progress made toward the specific goal(s) established in the Plan of Care and support the clinician’s decision to discharge the patient. This documentation should also explain the justification for the final “G Codes” and Modifiers selected.

The APTA suggests the following elements be included:

Current physical/functional status.
Degree of goals achieved and reasons for goals not being achieved.
Discharge/discontinuation plan related to the patient/client’s continuing care.
Examples include:
Home program.
Referrals for additional services.
Recommendations for follow-up physical therapy care.
Family and caregiver training.
Equipment provided
CMS considers the Discharge Note to be of particular significance in the overall medical documentation of an episode of care. They see this as a final opportunity for the therapist to justify the case for skilled therapy services and a chance to explain any unusual circumstances that impacted on the treatment episode.

The Medicare Program Manual states:

The discharge note may include additional information; for example, it may summarize the entire episode of treatment, or justify services that may have extended beyond those usually expected for the patient’s condition.

Clinicians should consider the discharge note the last opportunity to justify the medical necessity of the entire treatment episode in case the record is reviewed.

The record should be reviewed and organized so that the required documentation is ready for presentation to the contractor if requested.

And in LCD L26884 they comment:

The discharge note may be considered the last opportunity to justify the medical necessity of the entire treatment episode. Therefore, if a discharge summary has been completed, it may be prudent to submit it with any request of records for medical review, even if the claim under review is for a treatment period prior to the date of discharge.

Genco Healthcare helps practices achieve and maintain a culture of compliance. We also assist Healthcare Attorneys in defending their clients who have been audited or subject to pre payment review. Consequently, we have our finger on the pulse of precisely what Medicare’s expectations are when it comes to medical documentation. Contact us by email David@Gencohealthcare.net or visit our website www.gencohealthcare.net.

Well, it’s definitely a pinched nerve

Is this Physical Therapy for the Fisherman or for the Crab?

physical therapy for him or the crab?

Have a laugh with “It’s a Stretch,” our weekly physical therapy cartoon. And be sure to let us know what you think in the Comments section. Share it with friends, colleagues and co-workers.

Let me guess, right foot red.

Our Physical Therapy cartoon is becoming very popular.

Have you ever needed Physical Therapy after playing the floor game called Twister?

physical therapy cartoon is popular.

Have a laugh with “It’s a Stretch,” our weekly physical therapy cartoon. And be sure to let us know what you think in the Comments section. Share it with friends, colleagues and co-workers.

Understanding Through Images and Animations

tablet

Plugging In

Will Shannon find her patient education solution in the cloud?

“Aren’t we the modern family!” Mike laughed, looking around the room. His wife was at her laptop and he was at his, their youngest daughter was playing a game on a tablet, and the other kids were texting friends on their phones. The TV was on, too, so there were more screens active than people.

Shannon looked at him doubtfully. “What do you mean?”

“Look at all these screens! We’re all plugged into our devices — together in the room, but each of us hooked up to our own electronic stuff.”

“You’re right. But I think I might have made a breakthrough on the patient education issue.” Shannon scooted closer and showed Mike her screen. “See these 3-D images and animations?”

The older kids came close to see. “Awesome!” their son said.

“It’s awesome, all right — the largest library of 3-D animations of medical conditions anywhere, and there are lots of exercise and rehab images, too.”

“So,” Mike said, “the idea is that you can show these to patients and they’ll understand their conditions better?”

“Their conditions, the treatments we want to use, the exercises they should be doing at home — everything! When they understand, they’ll be more likely to follow through.”

“Also,” their son put in, “you’ll be the coolest PT in town. They could make a game out of these.”

Shannon laughed. “They don’t have a game, but we can email them a custom report so they have the information they need at home in between visits. Plus, it’s browser-based, so we can use it all through the practice. That means we’ll all be giving them a consistent message, so there’ll be less chance of confusion — and less chance that they’ll feel they have to go somewhere else for information.”

“This is impressive,” Mike agreed. “I can see that this could be a selling point for you.”

“It’s also integrated with practice management software, so it can be part of our regular workflow, not more work for us.”

“It makes sense. This is clearly a good use of technology. Now maybe we as a family should unplug and do something together.”

Will Shannon find her patient education solution in the cloud?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.