Spring is finally here, and I for one, am not a big fan of the winter here in NJ.
I’m yearning for the day I can pull out the grill, have some friends over, and lock my sweaters in a closet.
Personally, I’m looking forward to the rest of 2013, because this is going to be a turning point in the history of private practice for several reasons; the upcoming Medicare changes being the biggest among them.
We need all the help we can get, and software plays a big part because it makes our lives so much easier.
When it comes to technology, a lot has changed in the past five years.
Do you remember laptops that used to look like this, and cost $2000-$2500?
Here’s how today’s laptops look. In fact, they are called ‘ultrabooks’. They are relatively less expensive; you can get an ultrabook for $1000-$1200.
The truth is, technology (hardware and software) should get cheaper, and more efficient as time goes by.
Software capabilities today are generations ahead of outdated software applications built 4-5 years ago.
For example, systems that are built in an old, outdated language called ‘PHP’ are inherently limited, and have a cluttered, confusing design.
Software systems that are ‘server based’ and require installation on your computer, in my opinion, are so outdated that they aren’t even worth mentioning.
I’ve been testing a brand new EMR system that’s fully integrated with billing and it’s mind-blowing. It uses cutting-edge technology and is engineered using an advanced, cutting edge technology like Java and responsive web design. It is, to physical therapy documentation, what gmail was to email. For you, that means a simple, sleek and clean interface and not the clutter and overwhelm you normally expect.
Here’s an analogy.
Remember the days of Hotmail and Yahoo mail? Well, there used to be a time before that.
It was called paid email.
Believe it or not, there was a time when people would actually pay to send and receive email because there were one or two companies that gave you the ‘privilege’ of sending and receiving email. To pay for email sounds ridiculous I know, but it was the norm back in the day.
If you compare this to physical therapy documentation, we are currently in the age of ‘expensive, confusing documentation systems’ led by a couple of ‘industry leaders’.
All that is about to change in 2013, and this is good news for your practice. You’ll have more choices, better software and your costs will go down.
In some cases, significantly.
- Old, outdated, expensive EMR systems with hidden fees will be a thing of the past. You shouldn’t be paying hundreds of dollars a month as a clinician and even more money each month for your staff to access something that’s essentially MS office on the web.
- Cutting edge billing software with ‘claim scrubbing’ capabilities will act like your 24/7 biller, automating most of your billing processes, allowing you to get paid more, faster.
- Patient relationship management (newsletters, mobile marketing, appointment reminders) will be fully integrated with online documentation systems and will make your life easier.
- Personalized alerts will intuitively tell you what you should be focusing on. You won’t be wasting time chasing new patients when your own internal referrals are dropping. The system will intuitively remind you to focus on the ‘low hanging fruit’ and give you specific action steps to create more ‘human billboards’. You’ll grow your practice with minimal anxiety.
- Automatic, recurring patient payments will post to your patient balances and improve cashflow. ERA’s from insurance companies will auto-post to your patient balances and improve your cashflow. The days of manually posting ERAs and spending several hours entering data into your practice management system are a thing of the past.
- Medicare cap tracking, PQRS reporting, Functional Limitation G code reporting, authorization tracking, certification tracking will be standard features.
- Documentation softwares will work on any computer, any device – Mac, PC, iPad, Android and will not require any installation. The one’s that don’t will fade away.
- They’ll be cheaper – There will be no setup fee, no hidden fees and they will be affordable to small to medium sized practices.
With future technology, all the following will be completely automated / delegated:
a) Patient relationship marketing
b) Appointment reminders
c) Eligibility verification
d) Patient intake
f) Claim scrubbing
g) ERA posting
h) Patient statement mailing
i) Online patient payments
In reality, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more automation that can save your practice time and money. Even if you had to pay a premium for software like this, it’s worth the money because it will make your life easier and reduce the workload on (and payroll associated with) your staff.
More importantly, you’ll be done with documentation faster, you’ll get paid more, faster and you’ll have happier patients.
If you’re paying someone $14 an hour, and you manage to save just 5 hours a week with software, that’s a savings of $70 a week, or $3,500 a year.
As a private practice owner you have a lot of options and it’s often hard to make a choice about which software is right for you.
If you are currently using a documentation and billing software solution, it’s entirely possible that you are already using a system that is too expensive and too cumbersome. You may be stuck in something that’s not quite right for you.
To help you figure out if you are making a blunder with your existing system and what you can do about it, I wrote a special report.
This executive briefing is called “The 5 Blunders of Physical Therapy EMR”. This was written with you in mind, and is a must-read if you are considering a new EMR (or switching over from your existing EMR) in your practice.
This is a special report that will be shipped to you. All you have to do is to pay the $9.95 cost of shipping and handling. Click here it you want this executive briefing shipped to you. Expect arrival in 7-10 business days.
Here’s what you can expect to learn in this executive briefing.
1) Why you should adopt an integrated, end to end system instead of an EMR
2) The importance of optimizing the practice workflow, specifically the patient encounter
3) What, how and why of measuring business metrics to boost staff productivity
4) The difference between a ‘mobile browser’ and ‘iPad app’ and why it’s critical to your documentation speed
5) Patient communication, patient payment collection and how it ties in with your software.
I think you’ll get a lot out of this report.
Good luck with your selection of the right physical therapy software in 2013.
The spring of software is here. It’s going to usher in some new interesting (and amazing) transformations for your practice.
Once you make these changes, and avoid these blunders, your practice will never be the same again.