In every industry, some rules and regulations need to be followed to prevent issues like fraud, and waste, especially in the medical field.
As in the case with most practices, physical therapy has its unique coding and billing techniques and challenges. Not only is it a defensible documentation challenge but service providers also need to know the guidelines each client uses for time-based reporting, and they must count attentively.
As a physical therapy specialist, you do a lot of work, whether it’s treating patients and monitoring data to running a profitable and sustainable business.
So it comes as no surprise that you’ve got less time to keep up with all the processes of physical therapy medical billing service.
Talking about physical therapy we all hear about rules like the 8 minutes rule but are unable to understand them. In this article, we will not only tell you about physical therapy billing guidelines but also provide information on its functionality.
Tips To Improve Your PT Medical Billing
To get better billing results for your PT practice, you require tons of data. Not just any data, you need accurate data that directly relates to your revenue production. Here’s a shortlist of some of the most important factors suggested to track on your PT billing Dashboard
- Location Specific Reporting
The best dashboards allow practitioners to track success across multiple locations. If your practice is running in different locations, it’s a great practice to review your profits by location and analyze the performance in both locations separately. So, if your practice has multiple branches, regardless of your numbers, tracking them by location can be very handy.
- Number of Visits
Track the number of patient visits in your PT Clinic is one of the most basic and important tasks. High-quality dashboards give practitioners a detailed analysis of how the number of visits you experienced in the past few weeks and what you can expect in the future. Breaking down total visits and evaluations gives you great insight into your clinic’s performance.
For running a smooth business practice, setting goals is crucial. Tracking the number of office visits a month compared to the goals of the clinic helps you remain focused on achieving them.
Not tracking these data points? It’s a good idea to start doing so by building your billing dashboard to track your performance and general financial solidity. This gives you a chance to track some of the most critical information about your medical billing cycle that you need to see. Leading to you managing your PT Practice more efficiently.
Lag time is the delay from the Date of Service to the First Billed Date. Reduction of lag time is a great way to increase the quality of operations in your PT Clinic. Most practices experience lag times of 10-20 days which is not good enough as this is 100% in the practice’s control.
There are many aspects of your PT Billing Process that are not under your control, like the time it takes for the payer to process claims or the time it takes them to approve the bills.
Medical billing lag time is calculated like this: First Billed Date – DOS. Lag time can be reduced by billing your claims the same day the patients visit you.
Below are a few tips on how you can execute this more efficiently so that your medical claims get paid faster:
1. Let your Physical Therapists Chart on devices like an IPad
Documenting your patient visits on an iPad or a Tablet, the chances of billing your claims on the same day go up significantly as these devices are faster.
By billing your claims the same day, your lag time will be reduced significantly, and your revenue flow will be quicker. So introducing Tablets and IPads can give some major benefits in documenting Eval, Progress Notes, and Daily Notes.
2. Voice Dictation
Voice dictation accelerates the documentation process by charting your visits more quickly. Most PT Electronic Medical Records Software allows you to use voice dictation from your devices.
3. Track Lag Time
There should be a simple report running in your Management Software and Billing Software that allows tracking of lag time. Another way is to dump your e-claims and billing into a spreadsheet and apply the formula of lag time (First Billed Date – DOS).
Incomplete Patient Charts
Being a PT, you should not forget to complete patient charts on the same day, and if you are a clinic owner, make sure you review the work of all your therapists so completing all the charts and submitting them as claims are not forgotten.
PT is something that gets you busy, so therapists occasionally forget to complete charting their visits in their systems. The bottom line is that all charts must be completed in time ensuring speedy, efficient payment for all medical services. The best way to complete PT Documentation is a dashboard showing the following list of Charts:
- Missing Documents
This is a list of PT EMRs that contain a list of all patients with past appointment dates that have not been documented. This is a great way to ensure you document visits for every patient
- Open Notes
This is a list of all open progress notes that are started and not completed. Reviewing this list daily makes sure you complete all notes.
- Open Evaluations
Most evaluations occur on the patient’s first visit so it becomes critical to make sure you get paid for the evaluations you made. This can only happen when you send the evaluation through your clearinghouse as an electronic claim.
Schedule Patient Follow-Ups
Proactively scheduling patient follow-ups allows your practice to run smoothly, and makes sure the patients get the best possible care. The easiest way to achieve this is to schedule follow-up PT visits using EMR software.
If not available there is always an option to manually schedule the patient according to the duration of their plan of care. This will take a little longer to complete, but it creates some solidity in the process. Most PT clinics don’t have a great patient outreach program in place, so considering setting one up can help out a lot.
Here’s how you set up a proactive patient outreach program:
- Export all of your patient’s data into a spreadsheet.
- Create a script that your staff can use to call them to schedule a follow-up appointment.
- Most patients prefer to avoid going to see the doctor or Physical Therapist if there’s not a serious medical issue, so it will take some skills to make sure they come back to your practice. Some clinics use ways such as inviting patients for Yoga, free exercise classes, and personal training sessions. To increase follow-up visits, your staff can say something like: We haven’t seen you for some time! Did you know that we have been inviting patients into our clinic for a free one on one health assessment?”. These are just examples of questions or ways you might use.
Improve Your PT Practice Now!
Looking after your practice and your PT bills is a lot of work. Sometimes, too much work can cause your staff to enter bills with small errors or it can also cause them to give less attention to the patient and more to the bills. Which is of no help!
Well, don’t worry! As medical professionals here at Med-Miles are here for your assistance. We will give you professional advice on improving your PT Billing Practice so your work doesn’t get affected.