Physical therapy coding errors can hurt your reputation and the cash flow in your clinic if they are not handled properly. Data entry errors and minor errors in documentation and paperwork can result in claims getting denied by insurance companies, which can strangle the revenue generation capability of your clinic.
A physical therapist is trained to specialize in clinical skills. But once he graduates and starts building a private practice, he must be able to successfully market his skills and project himself and his services in the best manner possible. This requires a lot of practice and dedication as marketing and publicity is like swimming – you cannot learn it by reading books, you have to go there and do that and gain adequate exposure in order to get patient referrals through marketing. For those who are novices in this regard, there are certain physical therapy management and errors that you must avoid.
Old school ways of collecting and storing patient data
If you are keeping extensive paper records if your physical therapy coding procedures, you run the risk of loss, theft or damage to such records. It’s best to store records electronically, which is where you can use file sharing options in most physical therapy coding software.
You must make sure all your confidential patient records are organized effectively per patient. The records need to be checked and rechecked before they are dispatched to the concerned recipient. This entails the need for the operator to be doubly sure of the details. No one would like jumbled up files and end up receiving wrong reports and data. This could make you look amateur and worse, open you up for liability due to breach of confidential patient information.
Inability to follow up consistently with patients
No matter how good you are as a clinician, it is the patient who decides whether or not to continue with the treatment. Consistent follow up and customer support is critical to foster a relationship that extends beyond the walls of your clinic. Use an automated patient follow up software like Clinical Contact (which automatically integrates with most physical therapy scheduling and physical therapy coding systems) to stay in touch with different groups of patients and remind them to come back to your clinic. Most physical therapy coding software can be used in this manner, to help automate your practice and also serve your patients better.
It would be a mistake to neglect patient communication after the initial evaluation,and even after discharge. Your physical therapy coding system should be able to ‘trigger’ contact with them on a regular basis and entice them to come back to your clinic to try different preventive services and to refer their family and friends.
Your physical therapy coding program will be the glue that holds everything together in your practice – marketing, billing, claims, reimbursements and cash flow for your physical therapy business. When it integrates with systems like Therapy Newsletter and Clinical Contact, your physical therapy coding system can become a marketing powerhouse for your clinic. All you need to do is ensure that all the details of the customer is written precisely in the data entry form and select the kind of services they would be interested in. The system would keep sending them whatever alerts and messages need to be sent.
Neglecting insurance follow ups because you are ‘too busy’
You want to get paid as quickly as possible. In additions, patients would appreciate it if you are proactive in collecting the claim from the insurance portal rather than asking them to do the same. Always start the claims process immediately so that you get the claim on time. Enforce a policy to collect your copays in a prompt manner, and have policies for cancellations. Do not restrict the payment methods from patients to only one or two types. Have a range of options from which patients can choose – cash, check, credit cards, money orders.
A good physical therapy coding system will keep track of all patient payments and insurance payments for you from time to time.