How an EMR Aids in Compliance

Confidence and compliance are two words rehab therapists rarely put in the same sentence. Sure, they know that therapy cap requirements, functional limitation reporting, PQRS, the 8-minute rule, and MPPR are all Medicare regulations. But beyond that, memories get a bit fuzzy—and that’s understandable. It’s a lot to keep straight, let alone accurately follow. Yet, Medicare requires compliance; otherwise, they’ll deny payment or dole out fines. They don’t care that you’re busy treating patients, running your practice, and doing the best you can with what little time and resources you’ve got—they expect you to comply, no matter what. With this being the reality, it’s surprising how many practitioners are still going it alone, shouldering that compliance burden entirely on their own, especially when EMR solutions—like WebPT—can help.

Documentation Safeguards 
Each Medicare regulation has its own set of hoops to jump through. With WebPT, we’ve organized all those hoops and established alerts throughout the documentation workflow to ensure that our users never miss one. For example, functional limitation reporting requires therapists to document a patient’s primary functional limitation, the severity of the limitation, and the goal for therapy through the use of G-codes, corresponding severity modifiers, and therapy modifiers at a patient’s initial evaluation or re-evaluation (if applicable), progress note (at minimum every ten visits), and discharge. WebPT prompts the therapist to select G-codes and modifiers on the appropriate visit, and we carry any relevant information over to subsequent, applicable visits.

Another example: WebPT is one of only two physical therapy EMR systems that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have approved as a Certified Registry for PQRS. So, when you sign up for registry-based PQRS with WebPT, you choose your reporting measures, and then simply answer a few questions during documentation. We then collect, aggregate, and submit all the appropriate data to CMS on your behalf.

 We also have Medicare Plan of Care tracking reports and alerts, certification and recertification reminders, and 8-minute rule alerts. Furthermore, WebPT provides a streamlined SOAP-note process, which reduces the double data-entry and human error that could result in non-compliance. Lastly, our application allows you to go digital, thus reducing—and eventually eliminating—the number of paper files and storage cabinets cluttering your office. So, in the unfortunate event that an audit occurs, all your documentation will be neat, organized, and easily accessible.

Cloud-Based Convenience

 WebPT is a web-based—a.k.a. cloud-based—application, which means we update constantly. If Medicare creates a new regulation, we can adapt quickly, thus providing you with a more compliant and user-friendly application. Furthermore, upgrades to our application occur automatically and require no effort on your end. Upgrades to server-based programs, on the other hand, are much more complicated and time-intensive. There's also a great deal of risk associated with relying on outdated equipment. If something goes awry, there might not be anyone immediately available—and with the necessary knowledge or skills—to resolve the issue. Plus, at Medicare’s pace, a server-based EMR will be outdated about two minutes after your purchase.

 Knowledgeable Staff
Our job here at WebPT is to help you achieve greatness in practice. That includes staying up-to-date on all things Medicare. And while you can’t bury your head in the sand and stop paying attention to new legislation and regulations, an EMR does give you a serious leg-up. In addition to a knowledgeable support staff, we provide tons of great educational content—such as what’s available on functionallimitation.org and (coming soon) our ICD-10 help site—so you have all the information you need to feel confident about existing and upcoming requirements.

There’s a reason the government pushes EMRs so strongly: it’s easier for everyone—government agencies, healthcare organizations, and insurance carriers—to monitor compliance with electronic records versus paper records. And you as the practitioner can remain compliant much more easily using an electronic system. Today, Medicare regulations essentially demand defensible documentation. That is a heavy burden to bear on your own. An EMR (like WebPT), though, can be your quality control—your partner in compliance. With that load lightened, you can better focus on providing valuable and meaningful care.

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