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 or service. Still, if your billing—or revenue cycle management (RCM)—system isn’t living up to expectations, then 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 10 signs that you need to move on to a new physical therapy billing solution:
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 your billing service or vendor isn’t current on the specifics and nuances of your specialty, then you can bet your practice is suffering. The same applies to billing services that lack regional knowledge—especially if it’s your region in question. They may promise to 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 your EMR.
In the early days of digitized healthcare tools, PT billing and documentation were separate processes, each with its own set of frustrations. However, times have changed, and integrated EMR/billing options have drastically streamlined the RCM process. As a result, integrated platforms have become the status quo. The 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. Luckily, WebPT not only offers its own billing software and service—which integrate seamlessly with its EMR—but also offers integrations with many other rehab therapy billing solutions. (Click here to learn about all of WebPT’s billing integration options.)
3. It’s falling behind the compliance curve.
Every year, there’s a deluge of regulatory and coding updates that PTs have to stay on top of—from modifier adjustments to quality reporting requirements. No matter which program you use to track your billing, it should be up to snuff on all things compliance and should align with every billing and coding regulation under the sun—especially as they relate to your region and specialty. Not only should it be ready to keep you compliant, but it should also be ready 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 so 2005. 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 may require a whole new installation.
6. The support team isn’t very supportive.
Can’t get anyone from support to call you back? Or when they do call you back, is pulling answers from support like pulling teeth? That might be a sign that it's time to say goodbye. If your RCM vendor’s support team isn’t empowering you to use their solution, it could mean they’re not very invested in their product—or their customers. Furthermore, if you don’t have a dedicated team or account manager who handles your business, it’ll be a lot harder to communicate about your account.
7. It charges for things that should be included.
In addition to being rock solid, the customer service for your billing system should be totally free. Also, system upgrades should be automatic and at no charge to you. And there shouldn’t be annual renewal costs or hidden fees.
8. It doesn’t work on Windows or iOS.
If your billing platform isn’t compatible with you and your staff’s computer operating systems, you may want to consider a program that’s more versatile. After all, your software shouldn’t inhibit you from using the tools you’re most comfortable with—and you certainly shouldn’t have to purchase a brand-new device or conversion software in order to use it.
9. You’re missing patient payments.
This is a biggie. With an RCM software, there should never be any question about whether or not a patient owes a payment. If you find yourself missing patient payments as a result of your RCM platform, it’s time to consider alternative options.
10. It’s not making things better.
Any technology your practice adopts should 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 boost your payment per visit numbers. If it doesn’t, consider that a sign it’s time to find a better solution. (For reference, you can check out WebPT’s clean claim rate and average 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 WebPT Billing.