Guide to Physical Therapy Billing Software
Learn what to look for in a physical therapy billing software. Discover how EMR and billing software can be customized for your PT practice.
Are you looking for a physical therapy billing and practice management software, but feel stuck and don’t know what to look for? If that is the case we are here to help!
We know that looking for physical therapy EMR, billing, and practice management software can be a time consuming process. Prioritizing what to look for and what will be best for your clinic can become confusing.
In order to save you time, money and lead you toward success we have created a checklist of the top criteria physical therapists should take into consideration when looking for a practice management software. This list is not limited to but can act as the foundation for you when you are choosing a physical therapy billing software that fits your physical therapy clinic’s needs.
The Starter Checklist for Physical Therapy Practice Management & Billing Software
✓ Documentation and Billing
Due to the differences in reimbursement rates for CPT codes, visit types and insurances, having a physical therapy billing software that is linked to your documentation system can relieve physical therapists from having to perform these extra steps in their day to day documentation.
By using a digital electronic medical record (EMR) billing system that is linked to documentation and includes drop down menus and auto filling information, physical therapists can spend less time on billing and more time on patient care. Some physical therapy EMR and billing systems will even highlight when a large enough error is made, to help guide physical therapists prior to submission to insurance companies.
By having your PT billing software linked to your documentation, physical therapists can document the activities and types of services provided with the time or units spent and the system will calculate the value for you. Some EMR systems will notify you if the units do not match up with the services provided, or deny you prior to your submission that there are inappropriate codes being billed.
Digital billing that is linked with the documentation system can decrease the time spent on billing and mistakes made and increase patient treatment time that can ultimately increase the financial status of a physical therapy practice.
✓ Scheduling and Insurance Billing Integration
Staying organized with scheduling and maximizing on your billing is a key aspect when running a successful physical therapy clinic. It is essential that when choosing a physical therapy billing software, you look to see if they have billing and scheduling integration.
By utilizing a system that is integrated, you will be able to schedule your patients while also taking into account the complexity of the case, type of insurance they have, and the different requirements needed. For example, your clinic would not want to overbook or schedule more than one patient who has Medicare at one time.
By having a physical therapy billing software that is linked to scheduling, you can more easily maintain the financial health of your clinic. Some benefits of an integrated billing & scheduling platform for physical therapists include:
- Easy documentation of patient benefits & patient-owed responsibilities
- No missed claim submissions
- Claims reconciliation, eliminated unpaid client owed-amounts
- Avoidance of overbooking patient sessions
To ensure that your clinic maximizes on billing and decreases claim denials it is essential that your billing software has integration with a healthcare clearinghouse. As described by SmartData Solutions “a healthcare clearinghouse is essentially the middleman between the healthcare providers and the insurance payers. A clearinghouse checks the medical claims for errors, ensuring the claims can get correctly processed by the payer.” Integrating your physical therapy billing software with a direct submission to your clearinghouse will decrease the amount of time and involvement you as the provider will have to devote to the billing process.
Now more than ever, it is important that you choose a clearinghouse that is reliable and right for your clinic. With recent decreases in reimbursements rates and constantly changing laws and regulations, having a reliable clearinghouse can help diminish the confusion and stress behind insurance claims. This will ultimately lead to increased insurance reimbursements and overall revenue.
A safe and reliable clearinghouse we use at Healthie is, Office Ally EHR. Healthie's physical therapy billing software syncs with Office Ally EHR enabling you to electronically submit CMS 1500 claims from Healthie to Office Ally. This eliminates the need to manually export claims from Healthie and upload them to Office Ally. Moreover, claim statuses will automatically update within your Healthie account as information is received from Office Ally, for a seamless and automated tracking process.
A feature that many practice management software companies offer is the ability to organize your data and track your key performance indicators (KPI’s) in order to see trends within your practice and make improvements and changes where necessary.
So the big question is: what are KPI’s?
KPI stands for key performance indicator, and is defined as “a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.” The focus of KPIs can range from individual goals all the way up to company goals. Utilizing KPI’s is a great way to display areas of strengths and weaknesses within your clinic, and can keep you and your staff on track toward accomplishing your goals.
When choosing a physical therapy EMR and billing software it is important to take into account outcome and KPI tracking services. Having a system that offers KPI tracking as a part of its package will lessen the time that you have to spend transporting data from one location to another. With it all in one place, physical therapists can spend more time on patient care and achieving their KPI’s and less time organizing and tracking them.
When dealing with payments outside of insurance reimbursements (ie. copay, deductibles, self-pay etc.) it’s important to understand how you will identify, and collect, these payment amounts. Even more, having a way to securely store your patients financial information is critical, so that you may collect these payments for subsequent visits. As your patient load increases, it can quickly become difficult to keep track of the amount owed by the patient, and ensure that the proper amounts were billed and collected from patients.
Using a PT billing software that allows you to see a patient's copay amount when you check them in for their appointment is a great way to remind you and the patient of the payment due. Being able to keep a patient's credit card on file can improve patient satisfaction by not having the inconvenience of having to remember to go through the payment process at each visit. Providers can simply give them an invoice of charge that was billed to their credit card directly. This can help prevent miscommunication surrounding past due payments and increase the rate of payment on the day of service.
Knowing if a patient is self-pay is also important when checking them in, because as a provider you will not be billing insurance and waiting for reimbursement. The patient is responsible for paying you on the date of service, and if they chose to bill their insurance it is their own responsibility.
Having a PT billing software that integrates payment processing with scheduling is a great way to keep your clinic gain revenue and keep your doors open.
What Is the Best Fit For Your Company?
As you begin to research physical therapy billing software, you’ll quickly realize that most systems offer a host of features, capabilities, and cater to different specialities.
To help you get started, we’ve listed out important features and considerations for your organization. As you review this list of features, sit down and think of what is essential for your wellness practice. Highlight the features that your team needs, and then mark off the ones that would be convenient add-ons.
Healthie offers a cloud-based EHR and telehealth platform that is quick to implement while supporting compliance with HIPAA regulations — while being customizable to meet your business needs. In addition, the Healthie platform integrates with insurance billing tools, so that you can quickly create Superbills and CMS 1500 claims, send invoices, and collect payments for out-of-pocket services.
Here’s what you gain when working with your physical therapy or occupational therapy clients via Healthie:
- Insurance Billing
- Online scheduling
- Anatomical Charting and document library
- Patient Engagement
- Reporting and KPI tracking
- And much more
We have seen physical therapists and occupational therapists find success using Healthie within their practices. Whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a multi-provider group or organization, our flexible membership plans adapt to meet your business needs. Let us help you launch your practice.
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