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Physical Therapy Billing: Using Revenue Cycle Management Software
An integrated electronic medical records system includes revenue management software that can streamline your physical therapy billing.
Nitin Chhoda explains why this type of software can be a critical component of the ‘big picture’, allow your entire physical therapy billing process to become streamlined and profitable.
The first step toward solving a problem is always acknowledging that a problem exists. In physical therapy billing, this means evaluating the revenue cycle and the staff that is responsible for billing.
Nobody likes to have their job evaluated, especially when the goal is to find inefficiencies and problems.
Revenue cycle management software allows the practice to evaluate and make the necessary changes to physical therapy billing processes at the same time as the billing staff gets exciting and powerful new tools.
Giving the Staff Reason for Optimism
Start the process of evaluation of the revenue cycle with one question in your mind: which tasks could the right software take from the billing staff?
In other words, don’t look for what the staff is doing wrong, look for the places where their jobs could be made easier if you implement physical therapy billing software that includes revenue cycle management improvements.
If the staff feels they are being evaluated, you will have a harder time identifying problems, and making improvements will be more of a challenge.
But if the staff understands that the process of evaluation is impersonal, that the hope is that their physical therapy billing job will get easier, then they will cooperate and be upfront about the problems they experience.
It will be easy to get the staff to talk about problems with duplicate entry. However, physical therapy billing staff members will be protective about admitting to error frequency and revenue recognition delays and errors. The best way to get everyone on board is to make sure they don’t feel threatened.
There is a lot of good news in the EMR world these days. New physical therapy EMRs provide revenue cycle management solutions that are very successful at improving efficiency.
In particular, you will find that duplicate entry is eliminated and not just within the physical therapy billing department.
With a fully integrated and mobile EMR, you can reduce the entry of patient information to a single occurrence, and it will happen when the patient picks up the tablet computer and enters their information.
Of course the real time saver will be software that handles recurring billing in a streamlined and intuitive way. Physical therapy billing staff still needs access to each claim that is being submitted, so they can review and make changes based on the actual visit.
But if the treatment plan is set and pre-approved, the entire billing schedule can be set up to generate claims automatically. The biller only has to enter the information once, and then their job is to check for errors or inconsistencies.
Changing the job of physical therapy billing staff should be a priority for every physical therapy private practice manager or owner. Even if you hire a billing company, there are incredible advantages to planning and preparing so that each time the company sends a claim, you are much more likely to receive the payment in a timely manner.
Managing the revenue cycle will bring more visibility, make compliance more simple, and make the physical therapy billing team more productive.