Physical therapy billing is an aspect of your practice that cannot be taken lightly. Billing is responsible for generating cash flow in order for your practice to run smoothly, therefore, it is very important to have an organized system for billing in place. Understandably, most physical therapists lack billing skills because they are usually focused only on therapy. This must be corrected to ensure a thriving practice.
A disorganized system for billing leads to delayed or possibly lost revenues from paid accounts. This is because of ignorance with respect to billing and coding rules and regulations. For instance, some insurance carriers cow providers into accepting lower rates for services rendered. There are also instances where carriers delay reimbursement by claiming they need more information or they haven't received the claim yet or even claim unnecessary treatment! This results in a further waste of your time and resources sending appeals and filling out more reports for reimbursement.
To better streamline your practice, it might be an option for you to outsource your billing, that is, you can hire an independent billing contractor to take care solely of delinquents, receivables, and problem accounts. This takes the hassle and headache off of your shoulders and allows you to focus more on treatments. However, you should ensure that whoever you hire must be very experienced, knows all the current ins and outs of state laws, billing codes and rules, and your rights as a provider.
A second option can be hiring a billings company to do your billings for you. Look for a company who has been around and has good moral integrity. They will have the experience to handle most situations that arise from your practice's billings' activities, however, be prepared for them to not do appeals for you if you are a client with only a small practice.
Your third option is to train a staff member to solely take care of billings in your clinic. Purchase special billing software that is designed to organize and automate your billing processes. This professional grade software can mean the difference between your making a profit or your having to close down your practice.
Good software should feature meticulous documentation procedures, data entry, progress notes, an electronic billing system that automatically sends reports to carriers, diagnosis codes, tracking system, reimbursement rates, etc. Once you and your billings person are familiar with the ins and outs of this software, billing should be a breeze and productivity and cash flow can increase.
It is important that you are personally handling and informed about all aspects of your practice's billing. Always make sure that you know the status of all your billing and keep track of any denials or unpaid bills. A good software can help you keep track and make sure that you are following up on your income. If you don't keep track of it, nobody else will and if there is no income, your business will not last for very long considering there are salaries, expenses and overhead that always need to be paid.
So stay on top of your billings and you will ensure the success of your clinic.