We might not live in a post-apocalyptic world like the characters in the latest Mad Max film, but it certainly feels familiar in the world of physical therapy, where private practices fight to survive against ever-shrinking profit margins and federal legislation that threatens to erode bottom lines. Our weapon of choice in this furious battle? Increased efficiency. Here’s the strategy:

Medicare Open Forum - Regular BannerMedicare Open Forum - Small Banner



Paper claims process in six to eight weeks, while electronic claims process in about two weeks. It doesn’t take a beautiful mind to crunch those numbers; clearly, electronic claims are the way to go. (And for Medicare claims, it’s the only way to go.) But technology doesn’t just speed up your reimbursement process; it also catches billing errors that result in underpayment or outright claim rejection.

Payment Hunting

If you don’t use technology to follow up with patients regarding late payments, you’re likely putting a lot of time and money into tracking down those funds. What does it really cost you to manually collect late payments? Is it worth the man (or woman) hours? Probably not. Instead of wasting your human resources, leverage your technological options to:

  • Automate outbound payment reminders.
  • Inform your staff of patient balances.
  • Improve your patient payment process.
  • Update patient insurance records.


It’s not enough to simply provide the best technology to your staff. Your billing team plays a huge role in keeping your revenue stream rockin’, so they need to have the right stuff, too. Not sure if your team is a well-oiled billing machine? Here are some things to consider at the individual level: performance (which we’ll talk about more below), ability to perform the tasks of his or her role, and dedication to continuing education.

And when I say continuing education, I’m not strictly referring to CEUs. Have you established a training program to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest and greatest in physical therapy billing? If not, make it a priority. After all, you can’t expect your staff to maximize reimbursements if they don’t know how to do so. Educating your staff on proper policies and procedures can improve your first-round submission acceptance rate—and reduce the pesky billing errors that wreak havoc on your cash flow.


The first steps to holding your staff and billing practices accountable are:

  1. Determining your benchmarks.
  2. Setting goals.

You’ll need to consider key performance indicators—like AR aging, net collections per patient encounter, and average charges per specific provider—to get a good sense of how well your current billing processes are working. (While you’re at it, get to know your payers, too—especially your top five.) Then, establish realistic clinic and individual goals for maximizing reimbursements, and ensure you hold everyone—including yourself—accountable for meeting those marks.

Keep in mind that you’ll need staff buy-in to be successful, so don’t forget to clue your team in to the new goals, your plans to track progress, and each staff member’s adjusted roles or responsibilities. That way, everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals.


Like Mad Max, WebPT is here to help you safely cross the harsh reimbursement landscape. (Yes, that means you’re our Charlize Theron. You’re welcome.) It won’t be easy; it won’t be pretty; and it won’t be nearly as exciting as an action movie, but we know you’ve got this.

  • The Claim Game: How to Manage Overpayment Image

    articleApr 9, 2015 | 4 min. read

    The Claim Game: How to Manage Overpayment

    If you’ve recently discovered that a patient or insurance company overpaid you for services rendered, you might be tempted to consider it “free money.” It’s like you’re playing Medicare Monopoly, and you just pulled a Community Chest card that reads: “Insurance error in your favor. Collect claim overpayment.” However, overpayments give you an inflated appraisal of your total revenue and might even encourage embezzlement —both of which can wreak havoc on your balance sheet. Worse yet, if …

  • The Ultimate ICD-10 FAQ: Part Deux Image

    articleSep 24, 2015 | 16 min. read

    The Ultimate ICD-10 FAQ: Part Deux

    Just when we thought we’d gotten every ICD-10 question under the sun, we got, well, more questions. Like, a lot more. But, we take that as a good sign, because like a scrappy reporter trying to get to the bottom of a big story, our audience of blog readers and webinar attendees aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions—which means they’re serious about preparing themselves for the changes ahead. And we’re equally serious about providing them with …

  • articleMar 18, 2013 | 3 min. read

    Get Your Life Back: Billing Best Practices for Rehab Therapists, Part 4

    Billing is one of the most important aspects of running a rehab therapy clinic, aside from patient care. But it can also be one of the most challenging, especially if you’re working with a billing process that doesn’t suit your clinic. The right billing method should streamline your workflow, increase your profitability, and free up some much needed bandwidth. Just think, what could you do with some extra time? With that in mind, we’re going to devote the next …

  • ICD-10 Open Forum Image

    webinarOct 5, 2015

    ICD-10 Open Forum

    On October 1, the US officially said RIP to ICD-9 and brought ICD-10 to life. For some of you, the transition might’ve been all sugar and spice—a real treat. But for many others, the switch to the new code set might’ve left you feeling overwhelmed, tricked, or even a bit scared. At the very least, you might be haunted by some lingering questions. That’s where we can help. We’ve brewed a cauldron filled to the brim with …

  • Common Questions from Our PT Billing Open Forum Image

    articleAug 18, 2018 | 34 min. read

    Common Questions from Our PT Billing Open Forum

    Last week, WebPT’s trio of billing experts—Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, WebPT President and Co-founder; John Wallace, PT, MS, WebPT Chief Business Development Officer of Revenue Cycle Management; and Dianne Jewell, PT, DPT, PhD, WebPT Director of Clinical Practice, Outcomes, and Education—hosted a live open forum on physical therapy billing . Before the webinar, we challenged registrants to serve up their trickiest PT billing head-scratchers—and boy, did they deliver! We received literally hundreds of questions on …

  • End of Year Preparation Image

    articleDec 18, 2014 | 2 min. read

    End of Year Preparation

    That’s right, folks, the end is nigh—the end of the year, that is. The big, fat man with the long, white beard is coming to town—and for us here at WebPT, that means helping your practice prepare for the new year. Here are a few things to put on your grown-up Christmas list to keep your jingle bell rockin’: Wrap up Reporting Finalize all 2014 charges on a weekly—or even daily—basis. Identify incomplete documents and finish them before …

  • ICD-10 Crash Course: Last-Minute Training for PTs, OTs, and SLPs Image

    webinarSep 2, 2015

    ICD-10 Crash Course: Last-Minute Training for PTs, OTs, and SLPs

    It’s officially here: the last month before all HIPAA-eligible professionals must switch to the ICD-10 code set. As the regret of procrastination washes over many of those professionals, they’re scrambling to ready themselves and their practices for the big switch. If you, like so many other rehab therapists, find yourself asking, “ICD-what?” then you’re in dire need of straightforward training—stat! Otherwise, you could leave your practice vulnerable to claim denials after October 1. Join us at 9:00 …

  • Year-End To-Dos for Your Physical Therapy Practice Image

    articleDec 21, 2015 | 3 min. read

    Year-End To-Dos for Your Physical Therapy Practice

    The new year is a time to begin again with a clean slate—and to tackle all those to-dos you’ve been putting off. Before you pop the champagne (or pour yourself a large cup of coffee) to prepare for your New Year’s Eve celebrations, take some time to make sure your practice is prepared, too. This may be a busy time of year for you, as patients hurry to take advantage of their remaining benefits before insurance plans …

  • FAQ: Physical Therapy Billing Live Q&A Image

    articleAug 30, 2019 | 51 min. read

    FAQ: Physical Therapy Billing Live Q&A

    Earlier this week, Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC—WebPT’s Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer—and John Wallace, WebPT’s Chief Business Development Officer of Revenue Cycle Management, paired up to answer rehab therapists’ most burning billing questions during a live Q&A-style webinar . And, boy, did we get a lot of great ones. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t possibly get to them all live, so we created this massive post-webinar post (our biggest yet) with the most commonly …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.