The Best Physical Therapy EMR Software of 2023: A Comprehensive Review
What makes a system “The Best Physical Therapy EMR”? Is it Documentation? Compliance? What about billing?
“A software that lets you focus on what matters most, providing high-quality care to your patients”
How often have you heard that played-out line? Just to find out it was all a lie!
Historically, every physical therapy EMR software claims “more time with patients” and “speedy documentation” but few rarely deliver on the promise.
Inefficient and clunky EMR software has plagued the physical therapy industry for years, causing a cascade of problems that negatively impact business operations, staff morale, and ultimately, revenue!
With reimbursement rates in decline, PT businesses must be more efficient and productive than ever if they hope to maintain a healthy profit margin. For practices that want to THRIVE, not just survive in 2023, we break down what makes the Best Physical Therapy EMR Software.
Key Features Billing Eligibility and Benefits Scheduling Intake Forms Documentation Reporting
Attributes & Methodology Physical Therapy Specific Patient Engagement Therapy Documentation Revenue Cycle Management KPIs and Insights
Differentiators Customization Customer Support Billing Services
Key Features of The Best Physical Therapy EMR Software
Integrated Billing and Collections
Integrated billing is a crucial feature for any physical therapy EMR software. It allows clinics to streamline their revenue cycle and ultimately increase revenue.
Without integrated billing, clinics had to rely on separate software or systems to manage their billing processes. If you have ever uploaded a list of claims to another system, this is a red flag. This often resulted in redundant data entry, uploading files, and increased risk of errors. Moreover, this type of disjointed approach often results in a more labor-intensive and error-prone process.
Integrated billing solves these issues by allowing clinics to manage their claims and collections in a unified system. This means that all charges, balances, and payments are in one database. This can decrease the time in A/R and increase the amount of patient responsibility collected.
By using an physical therapy EMR system with integrated billing, clinics can streamline their billing processes, reduce errors, and improve their revenue cycle management. This can result in faster payment processing and improved cash flow, which can help clinics to better manage their finances and invest in their business growth.
Insurance Eligibility and Benefits Checks
The most common denial reason is due to eligibility issues—meaning that the beneficiary wasn’t eligible for insurance coverage at the time you provided the servicesIt's frustrating, isn't it? Well, one of the main reasons this happens is because of insurance eligibility.
Now, when it comes to eligibility, there are a lot of terms thrown around, like verification of benefits, coverage, eligibility checks, and more. But really, they all mean the same thing. Essentially, what we're looking for is to confirm whether or not the patient is eligible and covered by their insurance plan.
It's important to remember that just because a patient presents an insurance ID card, it doesn't necessarily mean they have the necessary benefits. As healthcare providers, it's our responsibility to verify a patient's current enrollment status and benefits details before providing any care.
But here's where it gets a little more complicated: Verification of Benefits (VOB) is where we can really dig deep and find out exactly what's covered by the patient's insurance plan. This helps us determine which specific services and benefits we can provide to the patient that will be covered by their plan. However, it's important to note that benefits can vary from plan to plan, so it's crucial to verify that a service is actually a covered benefit before providing it to the patient.
By having an integrated billing and eligibility system like PatientStudio, you can easily verify a patient's eligibility and benefits with just a few clicks. This not only saves you time, but it also ensures that you're providing the right services to your patients and avoiding any claim denials due to eligibility issues.
PT’s looking to thrive need an EMR software that provides you with the best scheduling tools. To be the best physical therapy EMR software, you can easily schedule appointments, manage cancellations, and even reschedule appointments with just a few clicks.
It's essential to have an intuitive scheduling system within your physical therapy EMR software because it helps your clinic run smoothly. An easy-to-use scheduling system can help you avoid double bookings, appointment conflicts, and missed appointments, ensuring that you can provide the best care for your patients.
A modern physical therapy EMR software can help you maximize your practice's efficiency by automating appointment reminders and confirming appointments with patients via email or text. This feature can save you valuable time and resources, as you won't have to manually call or email each patient to remind them of their appointment.
But scheduling isn't just about avoiding missed appointments or double bookings. It's also about creating a better patient experience. With modern physical therapy EMR, like PatientStudio, patients can book appointments online, from the comfort of their own homes, and receive automated reminders before their appointments. This not only reduces no-shows but also improves patient satisfaction.
Customizable Intake Forms
Online patient forms are becoming the standard in physical therapy. Choosing the best physical therapy EMR software with integrated online forms technology is crucial for your practice's success.
Online patient forms are HIPAA compliant, mobile-responsive, and should be fully customizable to fit your office's unique needs. The ability to customize patient intake forms and make them specific to your practice is crucial to increasing efficiency and reducing manual data entry.
The best physical therapy EMR software should leverage digital patient intake to streamline the office workflow and increase efficiency. Patient data will be automatically synced with all other applications, including scheduling systems, clinical notes, and billing software, saving your staff precious time and reducing the likelihood of errors.
When patients complete an integrated intake form, certain fields (like date of injury, medical conditions, pain location and type, current medications, and therapy goals, to name a few) will automatically populate in the patient’s initial evaluation. Patients appreciate the convenience and ease of use, while staff members can spend more time building relationships with patients and less time on monotonous paperwork.
Fast, Defensible Physical Therapy Documentation
In the current high volume climate of physical therapy, time is always of the essence. The more time you spend on documentation, the less time you have to focus on delivering care to your patients. Time is literally money. This is where the best physical therapy EMR software can be a game changer, offering fast, defensible documentation that saves you time and helps ensure you get paid for the services you provide.
So, what makes documentation defensible?
Describing the patient’s medical history and diagnosis, and using your findings to communicate the necessity of your care
Observing and documenting your patient’s responses to treatment
Using action words to describe your treatment and the patient’s goals
Producing legible documentation
Incorporating standardized tests and measurements
Speed is critical when it comes to documentation. Ways to speed up documentation:
Building and using custom patient profiles- By creating profiles for the types of patients you typically treat, you can streamline your documentation process and reduce errors.
Creating templated activities and interventions - Templated activities and interventions can be connected to specific CPT codes, helping you bill for services accurately and remain compliant.
Use shortcuts - save you time by automatically pulling in patient demographics, past medical history, and past surgical history
To be crowned The Best Physical Therapy EMR, you must have Fast, defensible documentation. Why defensible PT documentation matters:
It helps you communicate with other providers about the patient’s care and treatment outcomes.
Compliance with regulations set by local, state, federal, and payer authorities. (Make sure claims are paid in case of an audit of documentation request.)
Documentation with standardized measures and test can be used to demonstrate outcomes, which can help when negotiating reimbursements rates in payer contacts
As a physical therapy business owner, it's important to have a clear understanding of your practice's financial health in order to make informed decisions and plan for future growth. This is where reporting comes in, and why it's essential to have a modern physical therapy EMR software that provides you with the necessary metrics and KPIs. Here are some of the most important metrics to keep an eye on:
Cost per Visit: This metric provides a rough estimate of how much it costs to treat each patient. It's important to account for every expense that goes into treating patients and keeping your doors open, including payroll, benefits, equipment and supplies, electricity, insurance, and technology systems.
Profit per Month: Measuring your profits and losses on a monthly basis is critical to monitoring your practice's financial health and gaining a clearer picture of its growth trajectory overall.
Revenue per Visit: This metric helps you understand how much money your clinic earns from each patient visit, which can be useful in determining other important benchmarks.
Business Operations Metrics
Vacancy Rate: This KPI measures the percentage of open, unscheduled time on your therapists' schedules that should be dedicated to patient appointments. A high vacancy rate generally indicates lost productivity.
Cancellation and No-Show Rate: Patient cancellations and no-shows can have a major impact on your therapist's daily productivity, your clinic volume and overall revenue, and your clinic's footprint and future growth. Implementing a 24-hour cancellation or no-show fee can help reduce this overall percentage.
Percentage of Receivables Over 120 Days: This KPI measures the timeliness of your collection processes. Ideally, you want your clinic's receivables to process in fewer than 120 days.
Daily Sales Outstanding (DSO): This useful collection metric measures the average amount of time it takes for you to collect payment from an insurance carrier or patient. You should aim for a benchmark of fewer than 35 days.
Net Collection Rate: This represents the effectiveness of your practice's collection processes and how often you make adjustments or write off patient balances. Your goal should be to keep your rate between 50% and 60% each month.
Denial and Rejection Rates: Your practice's denial and rejection rates represent the percentage of claims that your payers either reject or deny. Your target denial and rejection rate should fall below 10%.
By keeping an eye on these metrics and KPIs, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your practice's financial health and future growth. To be considered The Best EMR for Physical Therapy it is essential that you can easily access and track these metrics.
Attributes of The Best Physical Therapy EMR Software
Physical Therapy Specific
As a Physical Therapy business owner, you know the importance of providing the best possible care to your patients. The Best Physical Therapy Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software Should be tailored specifically to the needs of Physical Therapy. This is particularly important when it comes to documentation and note-taking.
A Physical Therapy EMR should include PT-specific measures, interventions, and note templates. This not only streamlines the documentation process for therapists but also enables them to spend more time treating patients. With a tailored PT EMR, therapists can quickly and easily record patient progress and create comprehensive treatment plans. This results in more efficient workflows, better patient outcomes, and increased revenue for your business.
Using a general EMR that's not specifically designed for Physical Therapy can result in wasted time and reduced productivity. Therapists may spend too much time navigating through irrelevant templates and measures, ultimately resulting in less time treating patients. This can lead to missed opportunities to document progress, update treatment plans, and ultimately impact patient care.
A PT-specific EMR software also provides benefits in other areas such as billing, scheduling, and analytics. It should include features such as PT-specific billing codes, modifiers and fee schedules. This can save time and effort when managing financial and administrative tasks.
Improved Patient Engagement
One of the most critical components of any successful physical therapy practice is patient engagement. By keeping patients informed, involved, and empowered throughout their care journeys, you can help build stronger relationships with them and ultimately help them achieve better outcomes. That's why the best physical therapy EMR software should offer a suite of modern patient engagement tools, including online scheduling, digital patient intake forms, and online payments/invoices.
Online scheduling is a must-have feature for any physical therapy EMR software. With the ability to schedule appointments online, patients can easily book and manage their appointments without having to call your clinic or leave a message. This not only saves them time, but it also reduces the administrative burden on your staff, allowing them to focus on more important tasks.
Online Patient Forms
Digital patient intake forms are another essential feature that should be included in the best physical therapy EMR software. With digital intake forms, patients can fill out all of their necessary information online prior to their appointment, saving them time and hassle during their visit. Plus, with electronic forms, you can easily capture and store patient data in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner, streamlining your workflows and minimizing errors.
Online payments/invoices is a key feature that the best physical therapy EMR software should offer. With online payments, patients can easily pay their bills and invoices online, without having to mail in a check or visit your clinic in person. This not only improves the patient experience, but it also helps you get paid faster and more efficiently, reducing the administrative burden on your staff and improving your overall revenue cycle.
Patient engagement is critical to the success of any physical therapy practice. Online scheduling, digital patient intake forms, and online payments/invoices are three essential features that should be included in any top-tier physical therapy EMR software, enabling you to better engage with your patients, streamline your workflows, and ultimately deliver better care.
The documentation process can be one of the most time-consuming tasks for physical therapists. It's essential to have an EMR software that streamlines the documentation process, making it more efficient and user-friendly.