Are you happy with your billing system? Would you recommend it to a friend? Those might be tough questions to answer truthfully, especially if you’re the one who chose your practice's billing software. Still, if your billing—or revenue cycle management—system isn’t living up to expectations, say, it doesn’t enable you to post payments in your practice management systemthen your practice may be due for a change. I know; change can be tedious, overwhelming, and disruptive. So, how do you know it’s truly worth ditching your current system and starting anew? Here are seven signs you need a new physical therapy billing system.

1. It lacks specialty or regional specialization.

Sure, medical billers are initially trained in most specialties, but coding and billing rules change every year. If the billing service isn’t current on the specifics and nuances of your specialty, then you can bet that your practice is suffering. The same applies if the billing service lacks regional knowledge—especially if it’s your region in question. The billing service may promise you that they’ll get up to speed on your specialty or region, but how long will that take? And if they’re primarily focused on physicians, will they really make that endeavor a priority?

2. It doesn’t integrate with EMR.

If you’re currently using an EMR or plan on using one in the future, it’s essential that your billing system can cooperate with it. According to this WebPT blog post on the benefits of integrated billing, PT billing and documentation were once separate processes, each with its own set of frustrations. “However, new integrated options dramatically streamline the EMR/billing system workflow, allowing you to run your clinic more efficiently and focus on patient care.” Benefits of a billing and EMR integration include increased front office efficiency, decreased coding errors, easily accessible documentation attachments, and improved access to financial data. I don’t know about you, but those seem like must-haves to me. Every practice should be able to post payments in its practice management system. (Click here to learn about all the billing services that integrate with WebPT as well as WebPT’s own billing service.)

3. It’s falling behind the compliance curve.

According to Power Your Practice, 2014 hit us with three major billing changes: healthcare exchanges, a new 1500 form, and revised CPT codes. Beyond these, we have the compliance beast that is Medicare: PQRS, functional limitation reporting, the therapy cap, and the 8-Minute Rule. And the pace won’t slow in 2015. Hello, ICD-10!

Whoever handles your billing should be an expert in all things compliance and should know every billing and coding regulation under the sun—specifically, how they all relate to your region and specialty. Not only should they be knowledgeable about those things; but they also should be prepared to handle any regulatory changes well before they actually occur. That way, you’re always ahead of the curve.

4. It’s unresponsive or buggy.

Claims failing. Software errors occurring. Both equal lost time and revenue. Technology isn’t perfect, but if your billing service is unresponsive or buggy more often than not, don’t stand for it.

5. It’s server-based.

Downloading software is for the birds. It’s 2014. We bank online; we shop online; we should be able to document, schedule, and bill online, too—meaning from anywhere, at anytime, and on any Internet-enabled device. The drawbacks associated with server-based EMRs exist for server-based billing software, too. You have to acquire and maintain the servers and hardware and tackle the IT issues. Plus, you can only use the software on the computers on which it’s installed, and every single time there’s a regulatory change (read: frequently), there’s another update to download. And, major changes like ICD-10 may require a whole new installation.

6.) It charges for things that should be included.

The customer service for your billing system should be rock solid—and it should be free. Upgrades should be automatic and at no charge to you. And there shouldn’t be annual renewal costs or hidden fees.

7.) It’s not making things better.

Any technology your practice adopts should help make your life easier—and your practice better. Otherwise, what’s the point? To that end, your billing solution should have a clean claims rate of at least 98%—so, you get paid faster with fewer denials that inhibit cash flow. It should also produce a boost to your payment per visit numbers. If it doesn’t, consider that a sign to find a better solution. (For reference, you can check out WebPT’s clean claim rate and payment per visit increase here. We’re pretty proud of both—as well as our 99% clinic retention rate.)

If you’re seeing any of these red flags with your current billing system, then it’s time for a change, because at this point, your billing system is negatively affecting your bottom line and your ability to provide patient care.

Ready for a change? Learn more about the WebPT Billing Service.

Knock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue - Regular BannerKnock Out Patient Dropout: 8 Ways to Increase Retention and Revenue - Small Banner
  • 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 …

  • The Complete PT Billing FAQ Image

    articleMay 24, 2016 | 25 min. read

    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 …

  • Top 3 PT Billing Software Must-Haves Image

    articleJun 13, 2016 | 4 min. read

    Top 3 PT Billing Software Must-Haves

    When I go clothes shopping, I usually head straight to the clearance rack (I love a good bargain), but—as my husband loves to remind me—there’s a solid reason some of those items didn’t sell for full-price. Sure, sometimes the manufacturer made too many—or a particular style didn’t sell as well as planned. Most of the time, though, the discounted items are simply poor quality—and that’s why it’s crucial to be able to spot the difference between cheap …

  • The Physical Therapist's Guide to Contract Negotiation Image

    downloadSep 15, 2016

    The Physical Therapist's Guide to Contract Negotiation

    As a PT, you put your heart and soul into your work. So, it’s only fair that you get paid what you deserve. Unfortunately, payers don’t often see it that way, which means that in order to get what you want out of your private payer contracts, you’ve got to negotiate. And to do so successfully, you need to know how to play ball. Enter your email address below, and we’ll send your free guide.

  • 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 …

  • The PT's Guide to Billing Image

    downloadJun 7, 2016

    The PT's Guide to Billing

    When it comes to physical therapy billing, you have to know your stuff—because even the simplest mistakes can cause denials. Of course, knowing billing backwards and forwards doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s why we created a comprehensive billing resource specifically for PTs. Take the guesswork out of billing. Enter your email address below, and we’ll send your free guide.

  • Denial Management FAQ Image

    articleMay 26, 2017 | 22 min. read

    Denial Management FAQ

    During our denial management webinar , we discussed the difference between rejections and denials, explained how to handle both, and provided a five-step plan for stopping them in their tracks. The webinar concluded with an exhaustive Q&A, and we’ve amassed the most common questions here. Insurance Issues Claim Quandaries Compliance Qualms Documentation Dilemmas Front-Office Frustrations Insurance Issues We’ve had issues with auto insurances denying 97112 (neuromuscular re-education) for non-neuro diagnoses, even in cases when the patient’s medical …

  • Last Legs: The Compliance Vulnerabilities of Dead or Dying Software Image

    articleOct 24, 2016 | 5 min. read

    Last Legs: The Compliance Vulnerabilities of Dead or Dying Software

    Rusty mechanical equipment. Creaky carnival rides. Wobbly chairs. People are naturally skeptical of things that are dilapidated, rundown, or slipshod—and with good reason. After all, that which is ramshackle usually isn’t reliable. Now, imagine it’s the physical therapy software you use everyday to run your rehab therapy practice that’s gone derelict. Take PTOS EMR, for example , because if you didn’t know, this therapy office software is going out of business, and it has ceased all updates …

  • The Dynamic Trio: EMR, RCM, and You Image

    articleApr 22, 2015 | 4 min. read

    The Dynamic Trio: EMR, RCM, and You

    If you’re currently shopping for physical therapy software, you’ve most likely seen a myriad of initialisms. But what does all that alphabet soup mean? Well, in the physical therapy industry, clinics primarily rely on two software solutions to do business: EMR, which provides documentation and scheduling. Revenue cycle management (RCM), which handles accounts receivable (AR) and payable (AP). EMR and RCM are the two initialisms you’ll see most as you shop around for your software. Sometimes, you’ll …

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