Posts by Charlotte Bohnett

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3 Key Action Items from Ascend 2016

The word “Texas” is from the Caddo Indian word “teyshas,” meaning “friends” or “allies”—which explains why the Texas state motto is simply “friendship.” It was fitting, then, for the friendly state to serve as the location of the third-annual Ascend conference. The camaraderie at the two-day event was contagious, with speakers rallying all attendees to unite behind the overarching goal of advancing the entire rehab therapy profession.

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The Complete PT Billing FAQ

Over the years, WebPT has a hosted a slew of billing webinars and published dozens of billing-related blog posts. And in that time, we’ve received our fair share of tricky questions. Now, in an effort to satisfy your curiosity, we’ve compiled all of our most common brain-busters into one epic FAQ. Don’t see your question? Ask it in the comments below. (And be sure to check out this separate PT billing FAQ we recently put together.)

Questions related to:

• WebPT
• Modifier 59
• Other Modifiers
• Coding
• ICD-10
• Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) of Noncoverage
• Claims
• Contracts and Fee Schedules
• 8-Minute Rule
• Functional Limitation Reporting
• Cash-Pay Patients

WebPT

How does WebPT help me bill better?

WebPT prompts users to apply modifier 59.

When WebPT detects that you have billed two codes that form a CCI edit pair, the system will alert you and ask whether you performed these services separately and distinctly of one another—and, therefore, should receive payment for both. If you attest that this is the case, WebPT will automatically apply modifier 59 to the appropriate code.

For WebPT Members

To activate this feature, please follow the steps below. Note that you’ll need to complete these steps for each insurance plan. We recommend applying this to commercial and government plans only (i.e. no workman’s compensation, legal/lien, and auto liability policies).

  1. Select “Display Insurance,” located on the left side of the WebPT Dashboard.
  2. Click “Edit” on the individual insurance for which you want to activate the feature.
  3. Once the insurance editing screen opens, check “Apply CCI edits”; then, select “Save.”
For Non-WebPT Members

If you’re not yet a WebPT Member, you can see this functionality and an array of other awesome features in a free, live online demonstration. Request one here.

WebPT tracks the therapy cap.

WebPT offers the Medicare Cap Report, which enables you to view Medicare beneficiaries’ progress toward the therapy cap and see whether therapists have affixed the KX modifier for those patients who have, in fact, exceeded the cap. In addition to tracking the therapy cap, WebPT alerts providers when a patient is:

  • approaching the cap
  • exceeding the cap (time to attach the KX modifier!)
  • approaching the manual medical review threshold ($3,700)
  • exceeding the manual medical review threshold

To learn more about the Medicare Cap Report and WebPT’s other compliance reporting and tracking capabilities, check out this blog post.

WebPT calculates the 8-minute rule.

As this blog post explains, “WebPT automatically double-checks your work for you and alerts you if something doesn’t add up correctly. All you have to do is record the time you spend on each modality as you go through your normal documentation process, along with the number of units you wish to bill. If those two totals don’t jibe, WebPT will not only let you know something’s off, but we’ll also tell you whether you overbilled or underbilled. That way, you can quickly identify and fix the problem—and thus, ensure accurate payment. Plus, you’ll have a detailed record of the services you provided on each date of service—something many local MAC auditors request to substantiate billing claims and processes.”

WebPT handles PQRS reporting.

WebPT is a certified PQRS registry. This means we collect PQRS claims data and submit it to Medicare on your behalf. We also have all the PQRS reporting requirements in our system, so depending on the Medicare beneficiary and visit, we’ll prompt you to complete the appropriate measure. Learn more about PQRS with WebPT.

What diagnosis code flows over from WebPT into my billing?

When you use WebPT, your treatment diagnosis is the one that is billed—not the medical diagnosis.

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Do You Know Your PT Billing Blunders? [Quiz]

Billing for physical therapy services is tricky, time-consuming, and nerve-racking. After all, there are so many rules you have to follow, and it seems like those rules are constantly changing. That makes mistakes tough to avoid.

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5 Things Physical Therapists Need to Know About Modifier 59

Today's blog post comes from Geoff Elledge, WebPT Billing Specialist. Thanks, Geoff! 

One of the primary reasons medical providers depend on certified coders is for their ability to maximize practice revenues. To do so, certified coders must understand how and when to use modifiers—and there are a lot—from the common sides of treatment, like right (RT) and left (LT), to the more challenging modifier 59. 

The CPT Manual defines modifier 59 as the following:

“Under certain circumstances, the physician may need to indicate that a procedure or service was distinct or independent from other services performed on the same day. Modifier 59 is used to identify procedures [and/or] services that are not normally reported together, but are appropriate under the circumstances. This may represent a different session or patient encounter, different procedure or surgery, different site or organ system, separate incision/excision, separate lesion, or separate injury (or area of injury in extensive injuries) not ordinarily encountered or performed on the same day by the same physician. However, when another already established modifier is appropriate, it should be used rather than modifier 59. Only if no more descriptive modifier is available, and the use of modifier 59 best explains the circumstances, should modifier 59 be used."

Got that? Yeah, we know. It’s a bit dense and doesn’t seem the most relatable. But that’s because modifier 59 is intended mainly for surgical procedures, so the definition leans a great deal that way.

So how does modifier 59 come into play in the therapy setting? If you’re providing two wholly separate and distinct services during the same treatment period, it might be modifier 59 time! The National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) has identified procedures that therapists commonly perform together and labeled these “edit pairs.” Thus, if you bill a CPT code that is linked to one of these pairs, you’ll receive payment for only one of the codes. It’s therefore your responsibility as the therapist to determine if you’re providing linked services or wholly separate services. This will determine whether modifier 59 is appropriate.

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Outcomes and OMT FAQ

In January, we hosted a webinar focused on the importance of outcomes tracking in physical therapy. In addition to explaining why it’s absolutely critical that therapists collect objective data on patient progress, we highlighted a few of the reports available in WebPT Outcomes. With the move to a value-based payment environment already in full swing, outcomes tracking is a hot topic in the physical therapy space, and that meant lots of thoughtful question from our webinar audience.

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