Physical therapy billing codes (and an understanding of how they work) represent the ‘financial lifeblood’ of any physical therapy private practice. If you are facing problems with reimbursements from insurance companies, you or your office manager / physical therapy billing professional should consider some self training on physical therapy billing codes.
Without an effective physical therapy billing system you cannot assure yourself a consistent cash flow which can ruin even the most dedicated and talented physical therapists. However, you should first learn more about new and existing physical therapy billing codes and what are your options before making any radical changes in your existing billing system.
Physical therapy billing is a complex process. While the actual clinical process (treating a patient) is methodical and (to an extent) predictable, the claims process if anything but easy.
As most physical therapists, you most likely get the majority of your cash via submitting billing claims to insurance companies and/or Medicare both of which are very strict when it comes to physical therapy billing codes and incorrect keystrokes. What is more, advancements and new procedures introduced in medicine each year are accompanied by virtually continuous changes in the billing procedures and coding. Physical therapy billing thus gets more complicated each year and keeping pace with all the changes requires both highly educated staff and highly advanced physical therapy billing software.
Unless you prefer to do the billing work on your own, you can either outsource it to an external service that is specialized in physical therapy billing or hire a highly experienced person to do the billing in-house. Each of both options will enable you to collect more billing claims from insurance companies and get paid within a reasonable time period which is the key to stay in business and continue to invest in marketing, equipment, your own and your staff’s education, and other things that will make your practice even more successful. There are, however, several things you need to pay attention to no matter if you decide to hire someone to do the billing in-house or leave over the billing work to an external service that offers physical therapy billing and expertise in physical therapy billing codes.
If you decide to have someone to do the billing in-house, it is highly important to make sure that he/she is properly qualified for the job as well as to get a good physical therapy billing software. There are many software programs promising exceptional results but in reality, that is often not the case. In the first place, make sure that it is HIPAA compliant because improperly protected patient personal and health information is not only a breach of patient confidentiality but a source of tremendous legal liability. A good physical therapy billing software should be also always up-to-date with the latest physical therapy billing codes and regulations, automatically upgraded and easy to use.
You are also highly recommended to be very careful if deciding to outsource your physical therapy billing to an external service. The chosen service has to adhere to the HIPAA regulations but it also needs to be specialized in physical therapy billing because services that are not exclusively focused on physical therapy billing are typically less successful in collecting billing claims.