Robot to the Rescue?

Physical Therapy Software improves office workflowRobot to the Rescue?

Automating processes can help ease office tension

What would a tech solution look like?

Shannon took a deep breath. She had gathered her team again, and this time she had everyone’s attention.

“I know yesterday’s meeting didn’t go that well,” she started, “and I appreciate everyone’s coming back today. I want us to approach the issues differently.”

The faces in front of her were wary.

“Instead of looking for who’s at fault, let’s imagine a tool that would be perfect for us.”

“How ‘bout a robot that would do all the office work for us?” suggested Tana.

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“Don’t try to put me out of work,” Theresa objected. “You’d miss me!”

Shannon was glad that the team was taking a lighter tone. “We would definitely miss you. So not a robot, but what if there were some way to use technology to help? What would it have to be like?”

“Easy to use.” “Easy to learn.” That came from all over the room.

“We can learn to use software,” Theresa said, “but it would be great if there was just one thing to learn, not a whole bunch of different things that only sort of work together.”

Shannon wrote on the markerboard. “So, an integrated, turnkey solution.”

“It should be set up so we can all use it,” Roger said. Shannon knew that Roger ended up doing most of the billing. The better he got at it, the more others relied on him. “If one person answers the phone, they should be able to find the information and answer a question. They shouldn’t have to send the call to someone else.”

Shannon heard muttering from some of the others, but Theresa jumped in. “I agree! I hate it when I can’t find the information to answer a question. I don’t like to look incompetent.”

“It reflects badly on the practice,” Tana agreed. “It shouldn’t be like the days when we had to look on every desk to find the folder. Everyone who needs the information should be able to find it, and it should be hard to make a mistake.”

There was laughter at that remark, but Shannon wrote it on the board. That made sense.

“I want to be able to use my phone, too,” said Tana. She was getting excited. “I’m in the room with the patients. There’s no reason I should have to go to the office and borrow a computer for every little thing.”

There was a lot of agreement at that. “I don’t like to have to come in just to get information to solve someone’s problem,“ Shannon chimed in.

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“All of that’s good,” Roger said, “but we have to get back to ‘easy to use.’ And we have to admit that one person’s idea of easy might not be another person’s easy.”

Shannon frowned. Roger was right. With people of different ages and backgrounds, just looking for something easy to use might not really be the solution. “Maybe we need training.”

“And coaches!” added Roger. As laughter filled the room again, Roger insisted, “I’m serious. Why can’t we have somebody who can help us learn it? Or help us get the most out of it.”

“Or help us when we’re about to tear out our hair,” added Tana.

“Okay,” Shannon beamed. “We know what we’re looking for.”

She thanked everyone as they gathered their cell phones and coffee cups and got to work. As usual, Theresa was the one who stayed to help her clean up, but they were happy as they pushed in chairs and picked up paper napkins.

“We might not be able to get a robot,” Shannon said, “but the right software really could make a difference.”

What would a tech solution look like?

Want to know how to improve your own practice workflow? Register for our Webinar ‘4 Steps to Stop Your Staff from Fighting.’

Time for a New Recipe?

workflow issues at PT practice call for a new recipeTime for a New Recipe?

Quality ingredients don’t guarantee success

Does Shannon need new workers, or a new approach to practice management?

Mike set a dish before his wife with a flourish. Shannon eyed it uncertainly. “It looks like chocolate mousse,” she said, “but I thought you said you were working on healthy new dishes at the restaurant.”

“Absolutely!” Mike agreed. “When people find out that I’m married to a physical therapist, they expect my menu to include all those gluten-free, dairy-free, heart-healthy paleo vegan things, and I’m trying to accommodate them.”

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“So the super-cheerful voice is designed to make me like this better?” Shannon asked, dipping a spoon into the concoction. “I don’t think that works. I tried it at the practice this morning and you should have seen how flat it fell.”

Mike sat down at the table with Shannon and took her hand. “I thought you had a great plan for getting everyone together to work on the problems with practice management that you’ve been dealing with.”

“I thought so, too,” said Shannon, with a spoonful of Mike’s mousse paused halfway to her mouth. “Instead of banding together to brainstorm solutions the way I thought we would, everybody turned on one another. You’ve never heard such a blamefest!”

“That’s a new word for me,” Mike teased, “but I know what you mean. Everyone passes the blame along to everyone else.”

“Exactly! We already have high turnover in the front office as it is, not to mention absenteeism, and now it seems like nobody wants to accept responsibility for anything. How can we make changes when they’re all convinced that they’re already perfect?”

“Speaking of perfect, how about actually tasting this scrumptious new dessert?”

Shannon peered at the spoon. “It looks creamy and delicious, but there has to be a catch. What did the kids think?”

“The kids wouldn’t eat it,” Mike admitted. “They watched me make it, and I guess I faced the same kind of bad attitude you faced at the practice. Except that I can’t fire the kids and hire new ones.”

“If firing people and hiring new ones would help, I’d do it,” Shannon laughed, “but I don’t think I have bad workers.”

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She tasted the dessert. “Hmm… this also isn’t bad. Chocolatey, but there’s something else in there I can’t quite identify. Some kind of vegetable, maybe?”

“Avocado! Instead of cream and egg yolks with all that saturated fat, I went with avocado.”

“Avocado is delicious on its own, but if there were some way to keep the texture and make the flavor a little less vegetable…”

Mike frowned thoughtfully. “Shannon, maybe that’s what’s going on with your practice, too. It’s not that the ingredients are wrong — you’ve got good people — but the recipe needs tweaking.”

Shannon nodded. “That makes sense. But where can I find a good recipe for practice management success?”

Does Shannon need new workers,

or a new approach to practice management?

Want to know how to improve your own practice workflow? Register for our webinar ’4 Steps to Stop Your Staff from Fighting.’


Prickly Issues

Physical therapy practice performance | TeamflowPrickly Issues

Bringing up concerns results in pointing fingers, casting blame.

How can Shannon improve performance in the office without losing workers or hurting morale?

Shannon looked around the conference room. She had borrowed the room from a neighboring office and called all her staff in early, hoping it would seem more official than if she just brought up her concerns during the regular workday. On the contrary, two of her team members were busy with their phones and most of the others were chatting.

“Okay, people!” she said, worrying that she sounded too perky. “We have a problem, but I think we can all work together and make things better.”

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Definitely too perky.

“We need to step up our game in the office,” she continued. “When we have mistakes in billing it costs the practice money.”

The office staff looked offended and the trainers looked bored, but Shannon soldiered on. “Payments get delayed, claims get denied, and we can end up with interrupted care plans and unhappy patients.”

“I am meticulous about paperwork,” Theresa objected, “but I can only do so much with what I’m given.”

“Like what?” one of the assistants chimed in. “I’m meticulous, too!”

“Everybody might be meticulous,” put in a young man in orange scrubs, “but I know I got some notes last week that said, and I quote, ‘Back pain.’ What am I supposed to do with that?”

Shannon waited for the outcry to settle down and continued. “We’ve had claims going in with incorrect diagnosis codes, we don’t always collect the co-pays, and we have some documentation issues that could get us in trouble.”

Team members began talking again, each one seeming to blame another until it was time to open the physical therapy practice.

“Well, thank you all,” Shannon concluded. “I know we can all work together to solve this problem.”

“I don’t know where you get that idea,” Theresa said, helping Shannon put the room in order as the last worker left. “We just spent nearly an hour listening to people say it wasn’t their fault. What makes you think anyone is going to make changes?”

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“You did the same thing the rest of them did!” Shannon protested.

“And so did you!” Theresa snapped. “We’re all doing our best already. You didn’t give us any new ideas. You just said we were messing up. No one is messing up on purpose.”

Shannon sighed and walked back to her office in silence, a few steps behind her office manager. Theresa was right. She hadn’t made things better — in fact, she might have made them worse. The excuses and defensive accusations made in the meeting replayed in her mind as she got ready for her first patient. Turnover was high enough already, and now everyone would be grumpy.

“I don’t have time for this,” Shannon muttered to herself.

How can Shannon improve performance in the office without losing workers or hurting morale?

Want to know how to improve your own practice workflow? Register for our webinar ’4 Steps to Stop Your Staff from Fighting.’

The Right Combination

physical therapy workflow The Right Combination

Work with patients and office management is like PB&J

How can Shannon get her practice back on track?

“I feel like all I ever talk about nowadays is work,” Shannon sighed. “Am I getting boring?”

“I’m your husband,” Mike pointed out. “You don’t have to entertain me.”

Shannon smiled. “I can’t decide whether that was a romantic thing to say or not,” she teased.

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“I’m serious. We have good times, but I’m here to support you just the way you support me — with the kids, with the restaurant, with everything.”

“In that case, let me tell you about my day.”

“Shoot!” Mike settled back and sipped his coffee.

“First Theresa set up a speaking engagement for me –”

“That sounds good!”

“It’s great; it lets me reach lots of new doctors who might choose me next time they make a referral. But it involves travel time, and she didn’t consider that at all when she scheduled it. To make it work with the rest of the day would require teleportation.”

Mike rolled his eyes.

“Then we got a bunch of unpaid claims back from one of our payers. Lots of different reasons, from coverage that had lapsed to errors in the filing, and the worst thing is that the claims had been sitting around for ages. They all got filed at once, and now they’re all coming back, and that’s money I thought was already in the bank.”

“Sounds like your staff needs to step up their game.”

“Theresa’s great –”

“You always say that,” Mike interrupted her, “but I know how it is with employees. You hire someone and you think that doubles the amount of work that can get done. In reality, you’re adding management time to your own workload, and all the work your people do is still your responsibility. No matter how great they are, employees equal problems.”

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“I can’t agree with you there, Mike,” Shannon protested. “Anyone can make a mistake, including me. And the person who does most of the billing was out of the office with a family emergency, so things got backed up.”

“Nobody else can do that?”

“Not really. Everybody else has work of their own to do. The guy who does the billing is also the guy who calls and reminds people about their bills, too. Nobody else wants to do that, so that also got backed up while he was gone.”

“So everybody has to pitch in and catch things up. That’s how it is at the restaurant. If we get too busy and the service is slowing down, I help the waiters or we pull in the front of house manager to peel potatoes — whatever it takes.”

“That’s how you get mistakes, Mike. Maybe not at the restaurant, but in my physical therapy practice there are compliance issues, complicated billing issues, and patients we have to keep happy. Accuracy suffers when people try to hurry too much or try to fill in on things they don’t really understand.”

“Try switching out salt and sugar in a recipe and see how important accuracy can be in a restaurant,” Mike growled playfully.

Shannon laughed. “Okay, I’ll quit complaining. But I hope you can spot me lunch at the restaurant until I get some of these payments in.”

How can Shannon get her practice back on track?

Want to know how to improve your own practice workflow? Register for our webinar ’4 Steps to Stop Your Staff from Fighting.’

Right on Target

physical therapy billing | ICD-10 Right on Target

Narrower focus makes it easier to hit the bull’s eye with ICD-10
How will software help Shannon make the reporting code changes right on target?

Mike leaned back in the bleachers, laughing helplessly. His wife, Shannon, tried to glare at him, but she couldn’t keep from joining in. They were watching their youngest child’s soccer game, and it was clear that the players had a lot to learn.

“You shouldn’t laugh at them, Mike!”

“How can I help it? They run off in all directions, like they don’t really know where the ball is or what they’re supposed to do with it. It’s hilarious!”

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“They’re little. By the end of the year they’ll be exactly on target.”

Shannon put her arm through her husband’s. She was feeling more relaxed than she had in a long time.

“What are you thinking about?” Mike asked. “It looks like you’ve gotten past your worries over the insurance code reporting.”

“I’m thinking about targets,” Shannon said, surprising Mike. “I’m still a little worried about the reporting code changes, but I think I’ve found a solution.”

“Don’t tell me — you’ll put the new regulations up on the wall and throw darts at them.”

“Not that kind of target.” Shannon rolled her eyes. “A big part of the problem was how complicated the changes are.”

“I remember — 70,000 new codes, right?”

“Yes, but with bestPT I don’t have to sift through all of them. We can update the software now with the new ICD-10 codes, and they’ll be grouped in clusters that will allow us to start in roughly the right area and then drill down to the right codes.”

“Like a target, with the rings narrowing down to the bull’s eye.”

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“That’s how I’m seeing it. Right there on the billing screen we’ll get a crosswalk — like, I can put in 346 and see all the choices for migraine headaches, and then narrow in to the most appropriate code.”

Mike’s attention was drawn to the field and he and Shannon both cheered as their daughter jumped up and down in triumph.

“I feel a little bit like that right now,” Shannon said when the game resumed. “I guess I was imagining myself leafing through a thousand pages in the new code book every time we needed to file a claim. It doesn’t have to be that way. bestPT calls it their three magnets: assessment, documentation, implementation. And it all happens right there on the billing screen.”

“A target with a magnetic bull’s eye?” Mike teased. “Sounds perfect.”

How will software help Shannon make the reporting code changes right on target?

Want more information on ICD-10? Watch our ICD-10 webinar recording!

Recipe for Disaster?

ICD-10 changes are a recipe for disasterRecipe for disaster?

ICD-10 carries the ingredients for a perfect storm

Why won’t the reporting changes be a piece of cake?

Mike looked for Shannon as soon as he stepped in the door. The dinner service at the restaurant he owned had been busy and it was late, but his wife had been upset when he left, and he had a feeling she’d still be up, waiting to talk.

He was right. Shannon was staring blankly at the TV, but she brightened when she saw him.

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“Want to talk?” he asked softly. He thought he saw unshed tears in her eyes. “Come on, honey, you’re not getting weepy over a change in government regulations. There must be more going on.”

Shannon rubbed her eyes. “Mike, do you remember how excited we were when we both finally were our own bosses?”

“Of course! I worked as manager at that steak house while you got your training –”

“– and then I worked at the hospital while you got the restaurant going –”

“– and then I opened the practice and we both were doing what we really cared about, and doing it the way we believed it should be done.”

“That hasn’t changed.”

“Not yet!” Shannon’s smile faded. “But Mike, I just can’t see how I’m going to come up with the time or the money to meet the new insurance reporting requirements. The AMA is estimating that it’ll cost small practices $83,000. I can’t help thinking about how hard I’ve worked to build up my physical therapy practice, and I can’t stand the thought that all that work could be for nothing.”

“You know what this makes me think of?” Mike asked, putting an arm around his wife. “Cake.”

Shannon’s eyes grew large. “Cake?”

“Remember how, when I first opened the restaurant, I wanted to serve amazing, unique desserts, but I couldn’t afford a pastry chef?”

“I remember! You practiced baking cakes for weeks, getting everyone we knew to taste all the trials –”

“– and the errors!”

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“And finally you created the perfect cake.” Shannon frowned. “That’s nothing like my situation, though. I can’t do trial and error. We have to be using the ICD-10 codes correctly as of October 1st, and that’s all there is to it.”

“But you’re only remembering the cake, not my brilliant process,” Mike  said playfully. “I identified the obstacles. In my case, those were things like how to make a really special cake without all the special training a pastry chef usually has.”

Shannon perked up. “You’re right. I remember now… Well, in the case of the changes in reporting codes, the biggest issue is the sheer complexity of the new codes.”

“I know you told me they have more digits than the old ICD-9 codes, and that can be an issue for software and filing.”

“Absolutely. The 7-place codes also allow a whole lot of new ones. ICD-9 has about 15,000 codes and ICD-10 has almost 70,000.”


Shannon grew thoughtful for a moment. “I think my favorite is the new code for being struck or bit by a turtle.”

“Struck or bit.” Mike made a thoughtful face, too. “Why not one code for being bit and one for being struck?”

“You see what I mean, though.” Shannon began to show excitement. “It’s not just one to one mapping of old codes to new ones. It’s the complexity of the new codes that makes it such a big deal. That and the urgency — on October 1st, the old codes just won’t work any more.”

“So it’s a complicated system, and you have to get it right first crack out of the box on October 1st,” Mike summed up. “Very much like my cake situation.”

Shannon laughed. “You’re goofy! But you’re also right. Identifying the reasons that this is challenging does help. I think I’ll be able to sleep tonight after all.”

Why won’t the reporting changes be a piece of cake?

Ready to face the impending ICD-10 changes head on? Attend our free Continuing Education Session ICD-10– 100 Times More Complicated. Register now!

Preparing for the Worst

physical therapy billing_ICD10 part2Preparing for the Worst

Without proper implementation, ICD-10 could spell disaster

How will the change to ICD-10 codes affect Shannon’s physical therapy practice?

Shannon was in a bad mood. Mike could see it on her face as she came through the door, even though she tried to greet the kids in the usual way and show excitement over their news. Mike was able to leave his restaurant for a while in the afternoon so he could be home when the kids got back from school, but they always crowded around Shannon when she got home, eager to tell her about their school days and to show her their homework.

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“Okay, kids, that’s enough,” Mike said, stepping in to hug his wife. “Give me a minute with Mom, and set the table for dinner.”

As the children ran off to the kitchen, Mike smoothed Shannon’s hair. “What’s going on?”

Shannon slumped onto the sofa. “I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the upcoming changes in insurance reporting,” she began.

“Oh, of course,” Mike joked. “I’ve been thinking about insurance reporting a lot lately, and it’s completely stressing me out, too.”

“Mike, this is serious. I’ve just spent almost the whole day researching this.”

“I’m listening.”

“We have to switch to new codes on October 1st,” Shannon explained, “or we don’t get paid at all. The new code book has 1,107 pages — they don’t all apply to my physical therapy practice, but it’s not like the ones that affect me are sorted out for me. We can’t transition or try it out ahead of time, and the new codes may allow the payers to cherry-pick reasons to deny a claim based on the severity of the condition.”

“Slow down! I’m not getting all of this, and I’m sure there’s more coming, but you might be getting worried before you need to,” Mike suggested. “Everybody has to do this, right? There must be some plan for how to make the change smoothly.”

“The AMA estimates that a practice the size of mine will spend $83,000 to make the changes. They’ll affect billing, scheduling, the way we make notes in patient files… everything, really. And they’ll increase our chances of being audited, too, because the changes in workflow and reporting requirements will create disruptions.”

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“You’re always telling me how great Theresa is,” Mike pointed out. “Maybe she can–”

“Theresa’s a great office manager,” Shannon interrupted, “but these changes aren’t just her problem. Our whole billing system will have to change, and that means extra time and money, and extra chances to make mistakes.”

“I know you always hate software upgrades,” Mike teased, but Shannon wasn’t in the mood.

“Mike, I’m really worried about this. It’s not as though I was looking for a new challenge. I have to keep my equipment and my skills up to date and run my business, on top of taking care of my patients.”

“I’m sorry, sugar,” Mike sighed. “I have to get back to the restaurant to oversee the dinner service. We can talk more when I get home. Dinner’s in the oven.”

“Thanks for listening,” Shannon said, taking off her coat. “I’ll try not to cry in front of the kids, but no promises about you. You might have to listen to more complaining. I don’t know where the extra time and money to take care of this will come from.”

How will the change to ICD-10 codes affect Shannon’s physical therapy practice?

Want more information on ICD-10? Watch our ICD-10 webinar recording!

Breaking the Codes

physical therapy billing_ICD-10Breaking the Codes

For physical therapists, ICD-10 coding changes are fast approaching

How should Shannon prepare for the switch to ICD-10 reporting codes?

“I think you’ll find that the exercises will really make a difference for you,” Shannon told her last patient of the day. “But only if you do your part. You come in a couple of times a week, but you need to do these exercises every day.”

Her warm smile took any sting out of the words, but she shook her head as she carried the patient’s file to the office.

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“You know, Theresa, my work would be a lot easier if everyone followed through on their programs,” she said. “It’s human nature, though — the temporary pain of doing the exercises is much stronger than the long-term pain of lessened mobility, even though that’s much worse. than having to do the exercises.”

Theresa agreed. “Procrastination is normal. And speaking of procrastination…”

“Don’t give me that look! I know we have to switch to the new ICD codes, but the deadline is not till October 1, 2014. We have time.”

“Let’s see… eight months. So how long have you been thinking about redecorating the practice?”

“Fair point,” Shannon laughed. “It’s probably been close to a year. But that’s not just a little update. I have to make a lot of decisions, come up with the funds, get input from a bunch of people –”

“I have a feeling this reporting change is going to be like that, too,” said Theresa. “I’m not sure exactly what’s involved, but the other office managers have been talking about it and it sounds major.”

“How many different codes do we use?” Shannon asked. “I noticed that the new codes include laterality, but we’re performing a limited number of procedures, right?”

“I get what you’re saying, but one thing I know is that the new codes have seven digits instead of five. That’s a change that will affect everything — scheduling as well as billing. I don’t know if the software we’re using right now can handle it.”

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Shannon frowned. “I see what you mean. This change might have more implications than I’ve been considering. Okay, we’d better carve out some time to go over the regulations and figure out what needs to be done.”

Theresa pulled a calendar over to her. “That’s part of the problem. You don’t really have any time — our new push for profitability is a great thing for the practice, but it hasn’t freed up any hours in your schedule. Nor in mine.”

The two women stood and looked at one another for a moment.

“I guess it’s a good thing that we have till October,” Shannon said ruefully. “It may take us a while just to get a handle on how the reporting change will affect us.”

How should Shannon prepare for the switch to ICD-10 reporting codes?

Want more information on ICD-10? Watch our ICD-10 webinar recording!

The Roller Coaster of Collections | Where is My Money III

physical therapy billing_roller-coaster-of-collectionsThe Roller Coaster of Collections | Where is My Money III

The Ups and Downs of Cash flow Give a PT Practice Owner Anxiety

Which areas of Shannon’s practice are most difficult to track?

Shannon was sick of the roller coaster. The ups and downs of her practice’s revenue – hurtling ahead from month to month, without knowing what was around the next corner – left her stomach in knots. She’d been planning a vacation to the Florida theme parks with her family, but kept putting it off because she couldn’t get off the wild ride of unpredictable cash flow. The irony was not lost on Shannon and her husband, Mike.

 The revenue issue was negatively affecting how Shannon felt about her physical therapy practice, and was starting to spill over into her home life.

 “I don’t get it,” she said one night as she pulled a container of leftover chicken from the fridge. “Back in January, we were averaging around 80 patient visits per month. Over the summer, we hit 200, and for the last few months, we’ve been averaging around 175. Yet over that same time period, our collections… This month’s number is almost identical to January, but there’s no predictability. Sometimes it’s thousands of dollars less; other times, I’d swear I’d won the lottery.”

 “It would be nice if you could simply take a steamroller and make it a smooth ride,” Mike said while cutting up vegetables for salad. “Instead, you’ve got potholes. It’s not really any different at the restaurant. We’ve got customers, and have to meet their needs in order to keep them coming in the door.”

 “Yeah,” Shannon said, “but your customers pay you right away. Could you imagine waiting two, three months to get paid for a bowl of pasta?”

 “Hmm,” Mike said, sliding the veggies into a bowl. ”My suppliers might extend me a little credit, but no way we’d survive if we were stretched that thin.”

 “Yet thanks to the insurance companies, that’s what I’m supposed to do, month after month.”

 After dinner, once the kids had cleared the table and settled into their evening routine of TV and computer games, Shannon and Mike picked up their discussion.

 “You ever think about your menu?” Mike asked, as he poured his wife a cup of coffee.

“My menu?” Shannon asked with a smirk. “Aren’t you the one in the food biz?”

Mike stuck his tongue out at her. “Your menu of services, Shannon.”

“What about it?”

“Let’s put it this way… how much do you make each time you see a patient?”

“You mean what makes it into my pocket? About 90 bucks per. Why?”

“When my partners and I developed our bill of fare, it wasn’t just about what we like to serve. We also had to take into account the cost of ingredients, the time it takes to make each dish, and the likelihood that people are going to order it on a regular basis.”

“So, you’re talking about sticking to the most profitable options.”

“More or less,” Mike said. “If you think about it, some of your services take longer and require special equipment, and for some things, there’s a lot less demand. If you go back and look at your practice, I’m sure there are services which really aren’t worth it for that 90 dollars — especially given how long some of them take to get reimbursed.”

“And you think I should cater my practice that way?”

“Now you’re talking,” Mike said with a wink. “And speaking of catering… you ready for dessert?”

Which areas of Shannon’s practice are most difficult to track?

Ready to tackle your own cash flow problems? Attend our free Live Training Session Seal Your Revenue Leaks and earn your PAHCOM CEU. Register now!

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?

Ready to tackle your own cash flow problems? Attend our free Live Training Session Seal Your Revenue Leaks and earn your PAHCOM CEU. Register now!