We here at WebPT love people; in fact, putting people over profit—and everything else—is written into our company DNA. We believe that people are the greatest asset in any organization—big or small—in any industry, including rehab therapy. That said, people are complex creatures who need time off and make mistakes and—sometimes—gossip about their coworkers. And when those moments happen, your PT EMR could take the cake for employee of the day (or month)—if you’ve chosen the right one, that is. When used to its full potential, your EMR can help you reduce costs and improve billing efficiencies and cash flows. And you don’t have to feel conflicted about measuring its productivity. To ensure your EMR is worthy of such a high-designation in your practice, you’ll want to make sure it does all of the following:
All good EMR software check for missing digits in codes and alert you to other data entry mistakes before the claims goes out the door, thereby improving your first-pass claim acceptance rates. In other words, you should get paid more—faster.
Serves as a Revenue Watchdog
In busy practices, it can be tough for front desk staff to keep up with who owes what copay or coinsurance—and when. With a top-notch EMR, you’ll have all the help you need to keep track of outstanding balances. In fact, A fully integrated physical therapy software solution should alert your staff if a patient has checked in without having a payment on-record. That means, no more patients will walk by the front desk without paying for their services. And the more patient balances you collect at the time of service (aim for at least 90%), the less money you’ll have in your A/R.
Acts Like a Billing Rule Know-It-All
In our current healthcare environment, there are so many rules (e.g., Medicare coding regulations, payer contract billing rules, and state workers’ compensation billing rules). Who can remember all of them—let alone keep them all straight? Your EMR can. In fact, it should be a given that your physical therapy EMR software vendor is up-to-date on all billing rules and regulations that impact your specialty and region—and you should be able to add custom billing rules for your practice into the software.
Stores Data in a Secure Vault—and Then Helps You Access It
We all know that handwriting patient notes is a liability—and an accidental data breach could land you in hot water with HIPAA. That’s why a cloud-based EMR (as opposed to a server-based one) that has incredible data security is such a good idea for most practices—unless, of course, you’re willing to be your own security system. If that’s out of your scope of practice, trust your data with professionals whose reputation hinges on their ability to keep your data safe.
Creates Easily-Interpreted Reports
A good EMR should also be able to sort your data and deliver it at the drop of a hat. For example, say you want a list of all the patients who were treated for low back pain last year. Or maybe you need a list of all the patients sent to you from a specific referral source. It could take someone days to compile these lists by hand—but your EMR solution should be able to do this for you, literally, in a matter of seconds.
We know your practice is all about people: the people who make up your staff and keep your business going and the people you treat every day. Computers will never replace people, but they can certainly help those people excel. In fact, when you put the right technology in the right people’s hands, you may just unlock the key to launching your physical therapy practice to the next level.