The Dangers of EMR

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Does the use of an electronic medical record system have a negative impact on our patient care?

By Dena Aitken, PT

Over the last 10 years, electronic medical records (EMR) have become commonplace in all aspects of health care and physical therapy. With today’s increased regulations and coding requirements, good software that guides and assists is essential.

However, I would like to caution all providers on allowing our EMR systems to replace our professional skills and knowledge. I see this repeatedly in health care, when doctors go through a list of questions, and based on the answers to the prompts the computer produces, they generate a diagnosis. As a patient, you might leave thinking, “Did the doctor really listen to what was actually going on with me or did I just conveniently fit into one of their computer based categories?”

Manage Your Practice

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Utilizing an electronic medical record system and practice management software can dramatically save time while providing powerful and useful statistics.

By Jerry Rush PT, MPT, OCS, CEAS

Successful private practice owners understand that there is one thing that they need to have a profitable business: data. Data has been important for practice owners to see the performance of their businesses and identify areas that need to be improved or changed. Traditionally, the data needed contains certain critical statistics and information about their practice. However, it is becoming more apparent that practice owners also feel increased pressure to supply data about their practices to insurance carriers for payment negotiations. Further, companies that utilize physical therapy practices for ergonomic, worksite rehabilitation, or contracting services require data about quality, cost, and bottom-line savings up front. Data collecting and analysis can require considerable time and energy. However, utilizing an electronic medical record (EMR) system can save time and provide powerful statistics. An EMR also allows you to put stream-lined operations in place.

BioZen Smartphone Application

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By Jean Darling, PT, LAT

According to InMedica, the telehealth market is predicted to grow by 55% worldwide in 2013.1 This growth rate is based on the number of devices available to individuals and on service revenues. These facts can be difficult to swallow by someone like me, who did not grow up with a computer, did not use one during college, and did not even use one during my first 10 years of practice. With the continual barrage of new applications and technology that are conducive to improving our daily efficiency as physical therapists, I now find that I am unable to ignore these technological developments as they relate to our profession. I am forced to go along for the technological ride or abandon ship!

Billing 101

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The tools you need for managing your billing process to maximize cash flow.

Tricia Morgan Putt

Managing billing and cash flow begins with your clinic’s first contact with the patient. In that first call from a patient, the front office team should be setting the expectation for payment. You can create this expectation by having your front office team discuss payment options from day one by asking for billing information at the time of scheduling the first appointment or directing the patient to your website for “online” registration. Once your office receives the insurance information from the patient, it is important to verify those benefits and review them with the patient.

In or Out

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Take the steps to help your practice decide whether to outsource billing.

By Craig Zettergren, PT

Staffing and managing the billing process and staying on top of reimbursement can be both labor-intensive and costly for any size of physical therapy practice. Keeping staff current about regulatory changes and commercial payer requirements is a major challenge. At the same time, billing staff must constantly monitor for and re-bill any dropped charges. Hours can be spent re-filing charges missed by the payer, and more time is spent determining the cause of rejected claims. In a busy clinic, staff can commonly let dropped charges or rejected claims slide, which can have a significant impact on a clinic’s bottom line.

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