Physical therapy billing is a challenge for most physical therapy business owners . It’s easy to neglect professional billing services in favor of ‘in house’ billing options.
Even though this is one of the most time consuming and technical aspects of a physical therapy business, it must be the number one priority for all physical therapy management. This is due to the fact that regular and timely cash flow almost exclusively depends on how successful you are in collecting your billing claims from insurance companies or/and Medicare. After all, you need consistent cash flow to survive and fund your expansion, pay for staff and systems that will expand your physical therapy business.
If you own physical therapy private practice, you most likely already know that physical therapy billing system is very complicated and that your claims can be denied for the slightest error because each claim is carefully reviewed by people who are trained to look for mistakes. However, do not be too hard on yourself. All physical therapists face the same problems when it comes to medical billing and coding system because no one was taught how to deal with highly complicated physical therapy billing codes and much less how to avoid the errors that significantly delay the payment. The main difference between those who successfully collect their billing claims and those who get paid with a delay is the physical therapy billing system they use.
Physical billing therapy billing firm, software or ‘in house’?
You have three options when it comes to physical therapy billing. You can hire someone to do all the billing work for you, outsource this task to an external company that is specialized in physical therapy billing or do it on your own. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and there is no absolute winner. For that reason it is highly important to be well informed about all three options in order to determine which one meets your needs the most.
Having an employee to do the job in-house used to be the most popular way to avoid very common yet costly errors and have a direct control over the billing system at the same time. By having someone to deal with complicated physical therapy codes and insurance requirements, you can focus exclusively to your patients and spend your leisure time on the tasks you do best (patient care, marketing, hiring staff, managing staff) to grow your practice as opposed to filing paperwork and submitting billing claims. The main disadvantages of this option are employee wage and taxes, and continuous investment in staff education and physical therapy billing software.
The second option is to hire an external service that is specialized in physical therapy billing. This option enables you to avoid the costs of both an employee as well as the expenses of a physical therapy billing software. Finding a physical therapy billing company that adheres to the HIPAA regulations, has a very low claim denial rate and does not charge too much for its services, however, can be very challenging.
The third option – taking care of the billing on your own requires a good physical therapy billing software and sacrifice of your leisure time for submitting the claims and learning the tricks of successful billing. However, it enables your to increase your profits if you have a good physical therapy billing software and dedicate some of your leisure time to education.
Irregardless of the option you choose, it’s best if your physical therapy billing system is integrated with automated patient follow up and appointment reminder systems like Clinical Contact and automated physical therapy newsletter marketing systems like Therapy Newsletter.