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Physical Therapy EMR for Growth | Get The Do-Re-Mi In Place

Physical Therapy EMR for Growth

Is growth on your agenda? More clinics. More disciplines. More patients. More locations. Are you looking at growing your practice into an enterprise?

Start at the very beginning | Know the notes to sing

Making sure that the right processes are in place would be a good place to start. At a high level, we could sum up our priorities as:

  • Securing qualified patient appointments and providing a seamless, connected experience.
  • Efficiently onboarding and processing patients and providing quality care to them.
  • Improving efficiency and growing profitability by optimizing operational and clinical workflows.

Getting into some more detail, we would need to cover some of the basics:

  • Obtaining patient information on arrival like authorizations, eligibility, and co-pays.
  • Keeping a close watch on the arrival rate to keep patients on their plan of care.
  • Documentation/notes that is tightly integrated with appointments and with billing.
  • Reviewing and following up on delayed or denied claims.
  • Upfront claims review and scrubbing to lower denials and increase collections.

Finally, some key metrics to watch out for:

Referral Metrics

  • Total referrals
  • Top referrer
  • Referrals by type of insurance

Productivity Metrics

  • Patient arrival rate
  • Total number of new patients per day/week/month
  • Average/total new patients per therapist
  • Average visits per patient/per therapist
  • Total number of patients seen per location

Billing Metrics

  • Total charges billed
  • Collections per visit
  • Average charges per visit/per therapist

Tools to build the process | Sing most anything

What if some of the processes are manual? For example, manually entering charges and applying payments that are received.

Enter the integrated EMR/practice management system. Here are some of the basic features that the platform should bring in (at a minimum).

Patient Appointments

  • Scheduling patients by therapists or by the front desk team.
  • Inviting patients to the patient portal to fill out information that imports into the EMR.
  • Scheduling patients from a waiting list after matching criteria for open calendar slots.
  • Reviewing therapist schedules in a single view or zooming in on individual therapist views.
  • Generating documentation and claims/billing from the scheduler.
  • Checks and balances for example needing an appointment to generate a clinical note.
  • Tracking patient cases for different disciplines benefits, diagnosis, and authorizations.
  • Setting up timesheets for therapists and applying them to the scheduler using templates.
  • Handling of different types of appointments eval, follow up, and so on visually for tracking.
  • Setting statuses like canceled, canceled under 24 hours, rescheduled for the cancellation policy.
  • Customizable appointment types, appointment statuses, and warnings during check-in.
  • Reports like a list of patients who are going to become unauthorized in the next two weeks.

Clinical documentation

  • Fully customizable clinical note templates that are built into the system.
  • Documentation that is accessible from the scheduler or from the clinician dashboard.
  • Reviewing status of notes and accessing unsigned notes and any missing charges.
  • Marking notes as ready to review for supervising therapists by assistant therapists.
  • Tests built into the system along with scoring tables.
  • Summarized patient information cards including authorizations and missing certifications.
  • Charges baked into clinical templates (flowsheets/SOAP notes) after tracking minutes and units.
  • Flexibility to generate the claim, adding notes later. Or tying the claim to a signed off note.
  • Rolling forward previous daily notes and charges with filled out sections for printing.
  • Enforcing clinical compliance through required questions.
  • Automatically faxing case information to the referring doctor, case manager, and PCP on file.
  • Goal tracking including templating and customizing goals with data points and text.

Billing and Collections

  • Configuring the billing rules engine for each payer.
  • Reviewing charges and identifying any problems like missing diagnosis pointers, eval codes.
  • Grouping claims by therapist, account type, patient etc. and creating claims batches.
  • Catching any additional charge or claim issues, and validating claims.
  • Transmitting finalized claims batches to the clearing house.
  • Following up with payers per a predefined schedule for collections.
  • Importing EOBs/ERAs from the clearing house, auto posting payments, patient statements.
  • Reports including therapist productivity, facility summaries, and audit reports.

Reports and KPI dashboards that provide detailed insight on current business processes would provide a pathway to continuous business improvement.

Once, we have the tools in place to build the processes, we could address hundreds of different scenarios by mixing them up. Do-re-mi, the first three notes just happen to be!