Medical billing software for physical therapy has become a crucial piece of efficient physical therapy practices, but it can be difficult to find one that checks the right boxes. There are many specialized physical therapy billing services, but these might not have all of the capabilities and transparency that one can expect from other platforms. However, that should not deter you from seeking out medical billing and coding software that lets you spend more time providing physical therapy treatments than you do billing for them.
Medical billing is complicated, but with the right software, it doesn’t have to be. This article examines several aspects of high quality medical billing software that can guide your search, including electronic health record integrations and the benefits of a revenue cycle management option. Take a look at these recommendations, and consider how they align with your practice’s needs.
There simply is not enough time in the day to be toggling through a variety of different EHR, practice management and medical billing applications, so physical therapists should prioritize finding an integrated medical billing software. With your medical billing software integrated into your EHR, you can streamline data entry across platforms, eliminating many opportunities for human error in your billing process.
You should be able to enter patient information once and see that data passed through to the billing side as well. Though seemingly pretty straightforward, this is the kind of feature that can save physical therapists time when working through their busy schedules. That is why an EMR system can be the billing company that you’re looking for.
Automatic Claims Submission
At the end of the day, physical therapists need to get their claims out in a timely manner, and one of the best ways to do that is through medical billing software with automatic claims submissions. Ideally, your billing software will be able to send out claims on a daily cadence to ensure that your PT practice is maximizing revenue. For some clearinghouses, this process can even be done twice daily. Physical therapists may want to work with clearinghouses that specialize in things like workers compensation and other physical therapy specific claims to ensure the best results.
In addition to automatic claims submission, your medical billing software should allow you to quickly correct coding errors before filing, enabling a faster claims process. This capability working in conjunction with automatic claims submission can make billing and coding much easier.
Transparency and ease-of-use are paramount in a billing software. If you are performing your billing in-house with a medical billing software, you need to be able to track the success of your billing processes in that software. Billing analytics dashboards will provide you with visualizations of your billing and revenue results, so that you can understand what is working and what needs to be improved upon. These real-time insights will help you stay on top of revenue issues and stomp out potential problems before they get out of control.
Library of Billing Codes
Your chosen medical billing software should come with a large library of CPT codes, ICD-10 codes and more to cover the various physical therapy treatments you render. These should be readily accessible, and ought to be easily input into patient charts as needed. Whether that be through a drop down or a quick search, it should not take much time to get the codes you need.
Billing profiles are a physical therapist’s best friend. This feature can save you a significant amount of time on the busy work of entering and reentering the cpt codes for procedures and treatments you deliver every day. Depending on your practice, you may be constantly filling out the billing information for therapeutic exercises, electrical stimulation, mechanical traction, massage therapy or other common treatments, but with billing profiles, the relevant information and codes can be loaded into your patient’s note with a click during appointment setup. Think about how often your practice delivers specific therapeutic activities. How much time could billing profiles save you?
Revenue Cycle Management Options
Finally, it is worthwhile to consider medical billing software vendors that are set up to grow with your physical therapy practice. Though you can handle the billing workload as of today, you may find that your patient volume grows beyond a point where that workload is still reasonable, and your medical billing processes can suffer for it. Therefore, physical therapists should look into medical billing software vendors that offer revenue cycle management services.
RCM might be a prohibitive cost for your practice at the moment, but that may not always be the case. Once you have grown to a point where outsourced medical billing makes sense, you will want to know that your vendor has a team of certified billing professionals who are well versed in physical therapy billing and coding. They should be able to properly code for your PT evaluations, and if you treat Medicare patients, they should understand the 8 minute rule for physical therapy treatment units. That team should also prioritize transparency in their billing practices, so that you can always understand what they are doing every step of the way.
High quality RCM services can be a revelation for busy physical therapists, and it can certainly improve the efficacy of a practice’s revenue processes. This is why when considering a medical billing software, you consider what your practice will look like as you grow and how your needs may evolve. If you can seamlessly transition from in-house billing to RCM when the time comes, it will make scaling your practice much less stressful.
Not all physical therapy practices are the same, but they do all need to efficiently and effectively bill for their services. Using a quality medical billing software can get you on the fast track to cleaner revenue processes and hopefully fewer nights spent catching up on claims and denials. Physical therapists work hard to diagnose and treat patients every day, so they should not have to struggle through an immense amount of administrative work as well.