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Physical Therapy Business Control | How Do You Get What You Want in Your Own Clinic? Part 1

Chris Martin interviews Diane McCutcheon

Chris: In your experience, what are the top 3 reasons for sub-optimal practice performance, Diane?

Diane: Any service has 3 key components: process, people, and technology. When the practice owner neglects any one of them or fails to operate all three of them correctly, the practice starts operating sub-optimally, or bleed cash.

The cost of doing business will increase without a concerted effort on the part of management and staff to focus on the company’s mission and vision by working smarter not harder.

Steps to developing a well-organized and seamless operation will take time and effort on the owner’s part to learn signs and symptoms that are indicative of problems or concerns. This skill is key to insuring that matters are handled immediately – before they get out of hand and begin costing the practice money.

Let me give a few examples for typical reasons for sub-optimal performance:

  1. Processes not conducive to a seamless operation – for instance, no set procedures in place that commit to follow through.
  2. No system to set goals, lacking understanding what outcomes help to identify deficiencies in the system, e.g., denials, referral and authorization management.
  3. Untrained or incorrectly incentivized staff – Staff is “shown what to do” instead of being trained on the methodology behind the processes in place.
  4. The staff and owner not understanding what is needed to run a seamless operation.
  5. The staff receiving a flat hourly salary regardless of practice collections or their performance.
  6. Weak technology – out of date hardware and software. Staff fear of moving from paper to electronics.
  7. Insufficient software functionality, or conversely, multiple systems instead of an integrated approach that eliminated redundant data entry and identifies errors.

Chris: Diane, you said there are three parts to any service: process, people, and technology. Let’s talk a little about the people component. Isn’t this kind of obvious: we just look for nice and diligent people who work hard and accept low salaries? What else do we need to know about hiring the right staff?

Actually, the people component of the service starts with the practice owner. Again, control is key aspect. The question is: how to set their incentives and how to select your personnel in such a way that you can make adjustments midstream, every time when you discover that you are going to miss your goals?

Hiring the right staff is a major component to success. You can hire anyone to perform functions but if they are not performing functions that result in quality work then you don’t need them as they will cost you money. An owner has to know what function each staff member is performing, how long it should take to perform tasks, and what constitutes success. If staff is aware that they know much more than the boss at some point they will take advantage of that – it happens all the time.

Training must be part of orientation, standards must be set and staff must be held accountable. You cannot control what you don’t know. You cannot manage what you don’t know.

Chris: What would be the ideal way to align your staff incentives with your own?

Have them work on commission. Is it easy? Well, in some cases, yes.

Some incentives are based on percent of arrival, minimizing cx and ns, keeping slots in the schedule full. If they are doing in-house billing staff may be incentivized on keeping all accounts under 120 days or less. Sharing profits with staff on any one of these things is an excellent way to keep them motivated. If your staff is working hard to keep slots filled, reduce cx/ns and make sure the schedule is maximized more profits will come in to the practice – if staff is not motivated to do this revenue will be lost. Sharing profits is more cost effective in the long run.

And in those other cases, when it’s not so simple, think out of the box. Why do you need staff who refuse to align their incentives with yours?

Staffs who refuse to align incentives with owners (which happens all the time) is almost 100% because the owner is not an effective leader, they do not understand the value of the incentives and present a “look what I’m doing for you” attitude and do not promote a team environment.

Physical Therapy | Brain Injury Prevention Program

PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notesThe initiative was developed to raise awareness about preventing, recognizing, and responding to fall-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) in older adults. The Help Seniors Live Better, Longer: Prevent Brain Injury initiative reaches out to children and caregivers of adults 75 and older with messages to help them understand ways to prevent falls, the leading cause of TBI among older adults, learn the symptoms of TBI in older adults, and how to respond to a TBI should one occur.

TBI is a special health concern for older adults. People ages 75 and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalizations and death. In addition, they recover more slowly and die more often from these injuries than do younger people.

Nationally

  • More than one-third of the adults 65 years and older in the United States fall each year.
  • Twenty to 30 percent of people in this age group who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to move around and limit independent living. They can also increase the risk of early death.
  • Falls are the most common cause of TBI. In 2000, TBI occurred in 46% of fatal falls among older adults.
  • Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
  • Approximately 85% of deaths caused by falls in 2004 were among people age 75 years and older.
  • People 75 years and older who fall are 4 to 5 times more likely than younger people to be hospitalized in a long-term care facility for a year or longer.

Article Source; APTA, Geriatric Section

The CDC launched its - Help Seniors Live Better, Longer: Prevent Brain Injury - communication initiative in March 2008.

Physical Therapy Billing | Win the Reimbursement Battle and Increase their Patient Visits in the New Year

PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notes

Bellmore, NY (PRWEB) November 5, 2010

Measurable Solutions, a management training and consulting company, and bestPT a physical therapy billing service network, are joining forces to provide practice owners with needed tools to improve their reimbursements and expand their practices.

“I hired my second PT in 3 months! My third PT after 7 months! I am still hiring and growing. I love how my own personal economy is indifferent to whatever else is occurring!”

~Dr. Lisa J. Allen, PT, owner of BioMechanic Physical Therapy in Leesburg VA, and a client of Measurable Solutions.

“We invited Measurable Solutions, a management training and consulting company, to teach our growing network of practice owners the needed tools to expand their practices in a turbulent economic environment,” says David Macolino, President of bestPT, a platform for physical therapy practice management, documentation, and billing.

“The first most important aspect of managing your own practice is to maximize all activities that generate revenue and minimize the time you have to spend on any activities that cost you resources or time,” says Shaun Kirk, physical therapist and President of Measurable Solutions. “So that means that if more people knew about how good you are at what you do, then your practice expands. But if you spend lots of time documenting your visits or following up on billing instead of marketing or caring for your patients, then your practice will stagnate and you will drive yourself sick working too hard for too little.”

“Healthcare cost reduction will continue to be the mantra of our economy,” says David Macolino. “But we want our clients to continue to grow their profitability. So our answer to declining reimbursements and increasing regulatory scrutiny is patient growth and office management automation. Measurable Solutions helps build thriving practices by turning clinicians into effective executives.”

“We discovered that bestPT is especially effective in reducing practice administration costs and increasing its revenue. It’s unique all-in-one automated solution covers every aspect of profitable practice management from patient loyalty management, to rapid and compliant documentation, and to disciplined, 100% transparent, and accountable billing,” concludes Shaun Kirk.

About Measurable Solutions

Measurable Solutions trains private practitioners to become executives in their practice. The primary focus is on applying an effective public relations and marketing program that increases patient volume. Their simple step-by-step program called the New Patient Course has helped nearly 2000 private practices expand without the owner having to leave the office and visit physicians. It works for the big and the small practices alike.

BestPT unites hundreds of physical therapy and rehab billing systems nationwide on a single system. By consolidating operations, bestPT tracks payer performance from a single point of control, shares payer compliance rules globally, and continuously matches its physical therapy and rehabilitation billing rules to evolving payer’s environment. Every provider on the network can view in real-time, the status of every single claim in process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Physical Therapy Business | 20-Step Plan for Opening Up a Private Practice

This is an overview of the 20 Step Plan for opening up a Private Practice that is available to members of the Private Practice Section of the APTA.
The entire 20 Step Plan for Opening Up a Private Practice is available to members under the Practice Management section by visiting the APTA web site. This overview of the 20 Step Plan is a chronological timeline that is intended to be used as an overall guide during the process of opening a practice. While this timeline is not meant to be comprehensive and set in stone, it is intended to be customized to your own individual practice and unique situation.
StepActionHow-to-Manual Chapter Reference

Article Source: Private Practice section of the APTA

Be sure to continue your success with implementing an all -in-one EMR and medical billing program such as bestPT. Keep your hands on the patients and not fighting with insurance companies for payment.

NDT – Neurodevelopmental Theory and Treatment

PT, physical therapy, software, billing, notesBy Gerilyn M. Gault, BSPT

NDT or Neurodevelopmental Theory and treatment is a functional approach to treating and handling clients with a neurological disorder. The approach is based on the understanding and philosophy that clients who have sustained a neurological insult have the ability to improve their posture and movement over a long and sustained period of time. This in turn leads to better positioning, breathing, improved functional mobility and a better quality of care.

Alignment of your body is vital to the execution of normal, functional movement. In order to have good alignment and posture, you must re-establish or re-set your body’s biomechanical alignment. This includes:

  • Which muscles are lengthened/shortened?
  • Which non-contractile tissues (joints, ligaments) are tight/lax?
  • A normal length-tension muscle relationship must be re-established

Therapists trained to provide NDT based treatment programs are able to offer extensive hands-on direct treatment programs in order to address and prevent overstretching of tissues/ligaments, guide soft tissue work, and abate the possibility of further dysfunction! As an NDT trained therapist you believe “The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can treat it!”

Treatment must be aimed at improving trunk stability and mobility with the ability to maintain a balance between flexion and extension. The need to maintain balance and to keep the rib cage stable will improve breathing and lung function vital to a recovering individuals overall health and well-being. Control at the trunk results in increased overall potential as seen by improved function of the arms, better quality walking, overall confidence in mobility, better voice quality and improved quality of respirations.

When providing a client with Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), it is important to remember that normal function is an option! With an emphasis on early intervention from all disciplines who each develop and establish a baseline for how a client will perform a function, a recovery plan of care is established. With the introduction of normal movement patterns from the beginning of the injury and by putting tasks into the context of function with select, appropriate feedback to achieve carryover, recovery of function is attainable!

Gerilyn M. Gault, BSPT, is co-owner of the rehabilitation company GandETherapies.com and PT Billing Specialist for bestPT. Gerilyn is an advanced neurological clinician with years of experience in professional staffing, contract and fiscal management.

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bestPT Mission Statement

Our mission is to help you build your dream practice and focus on your patients by providing you with the most effective billing service and the best software for Physical Therapy practice management, patient education and practice marketing. -bestPT Team