By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT
This month’s topic focuses on payment. Much of this issue was already put together before the COVID-19 pandemic which changed how we are used to running our practices.
That being said, we have added several pieces that address challenges or issues we may be facing now as we work to keep Impact relevant to you, our members.
As I am writing this, I am hearing that several practices woke up to money in their bank account from Health and Human Services under the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. I know others have been approved for their Paycheck Protection Program loan. I also know practices who are still trying to navigate the waters and are waiting for word from their bank to apply. Many practices are relying on this funding to offset the decrease in revenue resulting from COVID-19.
Additionally, many practices have added telehealth as an option for physical therapy delivery. This is new territory for a lot of people, including many of our funding sources. We find ourselves in uncharted territory; in addition to learning a new way to provide care to your patients, you are learning how to bill for it and who will pay for it. Because many payers are making rapid adjustments, their claims processing systems may not be ready to accept these changes, which may result in denied claims and the need for resubmission. This can further impact the financial outlook for a practice with payment delays that increase your typical timeline for outstanding accounts receivable.
There are so many new things to navigate currently. Please make sure you are regularly checking the PPS website for their up-to-date information about the constantly changing landscape as well as the resources they have been providing to help us all navigate safely. There may be potential silver linings to this pandemic like widespread use of telehealth or the reinforcement of physical therapists as musculoskeletal primary care providers. Despite all of the upheaval, I challenge us all to find the opportunity and new perspectives that rough times bring.
Take care out there and be safe!