Is your relationship with billing complicated at best? I get it. Figuring out how to bill insurance companies for private practice physical therapy can seem daunting, especially in light of ever-changing regulations.
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.
Most physical therapists chose this profession to help people—not to become the world’s greatest biller. And yet, in order to stay in business long enough to truly make a difference for your patients, you’ve got to know how to make a profit—and that requires a solid understanding of PT billing.
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.
Of course, you got into physical therapy to help people—not to rake in the dough. But in order to do the former well, you’ve also got to know how to make a profit—and that requires billing for your services. If you’re new to physical therapy, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect, so here are a few things to remember about billing for physical therapy services—the basics, if you will.
’Tis the season for reflection. Here at WebPT, we like to spend some time at the end of every year appreciating the highlights—and learning from the lowlights—of the year before. Luckily, we’ve had a lot of wonderful things to celebrate in 2016, including publishing a whopping 221 blog posts for the nearly 6,000 rehab therapists who subscribe to our blog (and for even more providers who read our blogs but aren’t yet signed up for our weekly email digest).
Here are answers to every question you’ve ever had about Medicare Part B for outpatient rehabilitation services.
If you have a physical therapy software that’s going out of business or is unreliable, then you face several problems as many regulatory changes hit.
As healthcare providers say “goodbye” to the month of September, they’ll have to say “hello” to more than just cooler temps and the beginning of a new season. That’s because, as of October 1, 2016, Medicare’s ICD-10 grace period is officially over. That means if providers continue to submit unspecified codes when other, more specific codes exist, Medicare will start saying “no” to paying for those claims. Feeling a bit underprepared for this change?
Read this post to find out if you should use a billing software or an RCM service.
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 related to:
• Modifier 59
• Other Modifiers
• Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) of Noncoverage
• Contracts and Fee Schedules
• 8-Minute Rule
• Functional Limitation Reporting
• Cash-Pay Patients
How does WebPT help me bill better?
WebPT prompts users to apply modifier 59.
When WebPT detects that you have billed two codes that form a CCI edit pair, the system will alert you and ask whether you performed these services separately and distinctly of one another—and, therefore, should receive payment for both. If you attest that this is the case, WebPT will automatically apply modifier 59 to the appropriate code.
For WebPT Members
To activate this feature, please follow the steps below. Note that you’ll need to complete these steps for each insurance plan. We recommend applying this to commercial and government plans only (i.e. no workman’s compensation, legal/lien, and auto liability policies).
- Select “Display Insurance,” located on the left side of the WebPT Dashboard.
- Click “Edit” on the individual insurance for which you want to activate the feature.
- Once the insurance editing screen opens, check “Apply CCI edits”; then, select “Save.”
For Non-WebPT Members
If you’re not yet a WebPT Member, you can see this functionality and an array of other awesome features in a free, live online demonstration. Request one here.
WebPT tracks the therapy cap.
WebPT offers the Medicare Cap Report, which enables you to view Medicare beneficiaries’ progress toward the therapy cap and see whether therapists have affixed the KX modifier for those patients who have, in fact, exceeded the cap. In addition to tracking the therapy cap, WebPT alerts providers when a patient is:
- approaching the cap
- exceeding the cap (time to attach the KX modifier!)
- approaching the manual medical review threshold ($3,700)
- exceeding the manual medical review threshold
To learn more about the Medicare Cap Report and WebPT’s other compliance reporting and tracking capabilities, check out this blog post.
WebPT calculates the 8-minute rule.
As this blog post explains, “WebPT automatically double-checks your work for you and alerts you if something doesn’t add up correctly. All you have to do is record the time you spend on each modality as you go through your normal documentation process, along with the number of units you wish to bill. If those two totals don’t jibe, WebPT will not only let you know something’s off, but we’ll also tell you whether you overbilled or underbilled. That way, you can quickly identify and fix the problem—and thus, ensure accurate payment. Plus, you’ll have a detailed record of the services you provided on each date of service—something many local MAC auditors request to substantiate billing claims and processes.”
WebPT handles PQRS reporting.
WebPT is a certified PQRS registry. This means we collect PQRS claims data and submit it to Medicare on your behalf. We also have all the PQRS reporting requirements in our system, so depending on the Medicare beneficiary and visit, we’ll prompt you to complete the appropriate measure. Learn more about PQRS with WebPT.
What diagnosis code flows over from WebPT into my billing?
When you use WebPT, your treatment diagnosis is the one that is billed—not the medical diagnosis.
Before we belt out our best renditions of “Auld Lang Syne,” light off fireworks, and make some new resolutions, let’s take a moment to look back at the top WebPT Blog posts of 2015. Grab a glass of sparkling cider, kick back, and relax—because you’re in for a treat. Here are the WebPT articles that rehab therapists read the most this year (based on page views). This list includes blog posts published between January 1 and December 21, 2015: