It’s important to assess your physical therapy practice’s billing process regularly to ensure that your private practice runs smoothly and is financially healthy. While both in-house and outsourced billing can have their problems, the quicker these issues are addressed and managed, the better. With an efficient system in place, your clinic can get back to what is most important: patient care. Here are three factors to consider when evaluating your billing procedure:
Has your physical therapy practice been having trouble with its financial software? If so, the issue could be related to the capabilities of your system. Regardless of whether you use a completely electronic system or just an automated solution, if the technology struggles to finish basic functions like updates to client records and the completion of invoices, it is probably time to upgrade your software.
If your practice already has already outsourced its billing and the technology your provider uses isn’t compatible with your own, you will need to find a new billing vendor or update your system to match. Either way, automated systems that consistently encounter issues will only harm your practice in the long run.
“Give clients the option to pay the day of service to avoid delayed invoice return.”
2. Billing knowledge
Does your front office staff know to collect a copay before treatment is given? Do employees know the additional trouble the billing team has to go through if it has to also verify insurance and patient information? It’s vital that your workers who operate the front desk know the payment policy and procedure for your physical therapy clinic. Stress the importance of collecting all important elements: copay in the form your practice accepts (cash, credit, check) and critical patient information for insurance verification.
Without this data, your billing team will be less productive. Instead of working to get your practice its payment, the collection group will spend more time gathering materials that should have been compiled when the client visited.
If your practice constantly waits for invoices to be returned due to slow payment or incorrect address, your entire billing procedure can suffer. Since these claims are integral to your clinic’s accounts receivable procedure, it’s important that you have a strategy in place for when you send invoices out and when they’re sent back. There are a couple of ways your practice can speed up the accounts receivable process. First, give clients the option to pay the day of. This eliminates having to send an invoice on your end and the stress of having to pay for a service after the fact for a patient. If a client doesn’t want to pay the day of, send the claim out within 24 hours. This tactic creates a sense of urgency and reminds patients right away of the charges they owe. Lastly, don’t wait three months to remind a customer of a bill that needs to paid. Send monthly or semi-weekly reminders of the invoice so that patients are aware of the claim’s due date.
Your physical therapy practice’s billing process can be subject to long delays of payments, struggles with proper information retrieval and technology issues. To ensure that the procedure is as efficient as possible, evaluate your policy regularly and perform the proper updates to your protocol.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.