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Here, we answer the most common questions from our ICD-10 webinar.

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Best-of-Breed Solutions vs. Jack-of-All-Trades Software

After nearly ten years in sales and marketing, I’ve heard—and probably used—every figure of speech imaginable. Whether we’re advising to not count your chickens before they hatch or imploring that you not cry over spilled milk, we use these phrases to succinctly make our points. Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing a debate unfold in our industry pitting “best-of-breed” solutions against “jack-of-all-trades” software. And with our very own Heidi Jannenga deeming 2015 as “the year of the EMR switch,” this debate has never been more timely. Let’s delve a little deeper:

What’s the Difference?

In the physical therapy industry, clinics primarily rely on two software solutions to do business:

  1. EMR, which provides documentation and scheduling
  2. Revenue cycle management (RCM), which handles accounts receivable (AR) and payable (AP).

With the jack-of-all-trades scenario, a vendor attempts to offer both of the above solutions within one software. With the best-of-breed scenario, EMR and RCM vendors integrate their individual softwares to create one merged solution.

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The Case Against Jack-of-all-Trades

A jack-of-all-trades software requires you to use its EMR and RCM. It’s one entity, and regardless of which individual features you like, you’re stuck with the whole package. That’s why the phrase “jack of all trades” is so fitting: The vendor will claim to do it all, and it may be able to, but how well? Remember, the old “jack-of-all-trades” saying ends with “master of none”—and this often is the case with a jack-of-all-trades software. It’s a generalist—enough to get by, but not specialized enough to exceed any expectations.

A jack-of-all-trades vendor will boast that it’s an “all-in-one solution,” but “all-in-one” doesn’t mean it’s all that good. Why else would so many jack-of-all-trades vendors give aspects of their software away at no cost? (For example, “You buy our software, and we won’t charge you for the documentation portion of the software.”) To use another figure of speech, you get what you pay for, and if you’re not paying anything, then, well, you get my point. To make matters worse, according to tech site Dr. Chaos, “Most of these complimentary products do not make any…industry-accepted lists…for quality of technology” and “have major gaps in development and features that often lead to gaps in security and compliance.” Talk about disaster waiting to happen.  

The Case for Best-of-Breeds

You found an EMR you love; it does everything you need, and then some. You also found a RCM you love; it maximizes your revenues like nothing else. Now, here’s the best part: The EMR and RCM integrate, which means:

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Coming Soon: The New WebPT Website

Here at WebPT, we like to keep things fresh (see “Be Minty” in this blog post). As such, we decided our website could use a little sprucing up—to make it simpler, cleaner, faster, and more representative of the WebPT brand. When you visit WebPT.com next week, you’ll definitely notice the new design, but don’t let it throw you for a loop. Even though we’ve enhanced the visual appeal of our website, nothing about the WebPT application is changing. The login and contact us buttons still appear in the exact same spot—the top-right corner of the site. Once you log in to WebPT, you’ll see that the application in itself looks exactly the same.

Now, we know that many of you simply visit WebPT.com, click the login button, and get right down to business within the app. However, once we launch the new site, we encourage you to take a few minutes to explore it. We think it’s pretty darn cool—and we have a feeling you’ll think so, too. We’re particularly stoked about our revamped, easier-to-access blog. Of course, as the blog writers, we might be a teensy bit biased.

As always, please share any and all feedback or questions you have. Simply post them in the comments below or click the contact us icon.

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Making the Most of WebPT’s Webinars

By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about WebPT’s super informative, spectacularly relevant, and extremely educational webinar series. We’re pretty proud of them. That’s why, today, I’d like to take a few moments to answer some frequently asked webinar questions. 

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a seminar that takes place over the Internet (a web-based seminar = webinar). Unlike a traditional seminar, you can participate in a webinar from anywhere you’d like as long as you have a web-enabled device (i.e., desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone). 

How do I attend WebPT’s next webinar?

To learn the topic of WebPT’s next webinar—as well as the date and time—check out this page or watch for WebPT’s monthly newsletter to arrive via email. (If you’re not receiving the newsletter, click here to subscribe.) Find a topic you’re interested in? Great. Simply register for the webinar by completing the registration form. 

What if I can’t make the scheduled date and time? 

No worries. Register anyway, and we’ll email you a recorded version of the webinar within a week after the webinar airs. Or you can view recorded webinars here

How do I join the webinar that I’ve registered to attend?

The day of the webinar, you’ll receive an email from WebPT Co-Founder Heidi Jannenga containing a link you’ll click to access the webinar through GoToMeeting. If it’s your first time attending a WebPT webinar on the device you’re using, you may need to download the GoToMeeting software—but you’ll receive prompts to do so along with instructions. Then, just make sure your computer speakers are turned on and the volume is up. You’ll be able to listen to the webinar directly from your web-enabled device. If you’re unable to download GoToMeeting or wish to listen to the webinar on your phone instead, you may do so by calling the number on the webinar email. 

How do I ask a question during the webinar?

Because WebPT webinars typically have a very high attendance rate, it’s often difficult for the hosts to take questions on air. So, if you have a question during the webinar, please type it into the GoToMeeting text box. The webinar moderators will answer your question via text in real time, pass it on to the webinar hosts to answer on air, or provide you with an answer via email following the webinar. 

Now that you’ve got the answers to these frequently asked WebPT Webinar questions, get a to watchin’. Click here to register for the next WebPT webinar.

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Get Involved: Help the APTA #StopTheTherapyCap

Stop the Therapy Cap

In 1997, Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act, which led to the creation of the sustainable growth rate reform (SGR) formula as well as the Medicare therapy cap. According to the APTA—and Congress—these measures were meant to save money. However, there are some serious flaws in both. As a result, every year, Congress has acted to address said flaws and stop the implementation of a hard cap. (For more information on the therapy cap and how it applies to you, check out this blog.)

This year, Congress hopes to permanently reform the SGR so that they no longer need to perform these annual fixes—and the APTA hopes to convince legislators to include a “full repeal of the Medicare therapy cap” in the 2013 SGR reform package. So why is this so important? Because according to the APTA: “If Congress fixes the SGR formula before the end of the year but does not repeal the cap, it is likely that there will be a hard cap on therapy services in 2014.” In other words, there would be no exception process next year—and we certainly don’t want that.

The good news is that there’s hope. According to the APTA, Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA), along with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (HR 713/S 367) in both chambers on February 14, 2013. If it passes, this act would permanently repeal the physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology caps.

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