Physical rehabilitation practices have a lot on their plate. With the ever-expanding demands of documentation, keeping track of treatment plans, scheduling patients, managing billing & revenue cycle management (RCM), and staying compliant across the board, you’ll need help.
Relying on generic healthcare EMRs won’t ease the headache of doing everything manually, because many of these platforms are designed for hospitals or large medical facilities.
If you’re doing outpatient rehab, physical therapy, and/or occupational therapy, you’ll need specialist software to streamline your operations, document patient care, and get paid everything you’re owed by insurers, fast.
But how do you choose the right platform when there are so many options out there? In this post, we’ll explain the key features to look out for, and show how our platform, StrataEMR, helps physical rehabilitation clinics with billing, documentation, patient engagement, and much more.
What to look for in outpatient rehabilitation software
With outpatient rehab software, physical therapy practices should be able to provide better patient experiences, scale their business, and reduce stress and workload for staff members.
A helpful solution will include functionality that’s specifically catered to the needs of an outpatient rehab clinic like yours, helping you to:
Optimize the patient billing process to make it as easy as possible
Onboard new patients and boost referrals
Manage and track rehabilitation treatment plans
Track workflows, daily schedules, and to-do lists
Manage the practice on-the-go (via smartphone)
Get expert customer support when you need it
Most EMR systems claim to offer this functionality, but fall short for three key reasons:
They’re not designed for rehabilitation or physical therapy practices. So while they’re good for the basics of documentation, they won’t help you with rehab workflows. Plus, you’ll have to extend the software with various modules to suit your way of working.
Billing is treated as an ‘optional add-on’ by many EMR providers. Put simply, they don’t integrate your documentation and clinical workflows with billing and RCM processes, resulting in lots of medical necessity denials, delays, and lost revenue—leading to missed opportunities for growth and investment in your practice (and a lot of extra work).
Customer support is often an afterthought, resulting in slow response times and little-to-no follow-up on denied or delayed insurance claims. This is even more common when the claims are for small amounts, but these all add up to reduce your profitability.
Here’s what sets StrataEMR apart from other outpatient rehab software solutions out there:
Our platform has been built from the ground up for rehabilitation specialists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. You get customizable workflow templates, auto-updated payer requirements, and much more.
Billing and RCM is at the heart of our product and service. Practices who partner with StrataPT experience typically see a reimbursement rate of above 99% (yes, really—that’s 30-40% above the industry standard). Plus, we chase every penny in the case of insurance provider denials.
StrataPT’s support team is completely US-based. Our competitors keep their customers waiting days (sometimes weeks) for a response to their query—but our average response time through secure messaging is just 22 minutes, and our customers usually have 85% of their claims paid within 30 days, without a hitch.
For example, Genesis Physical Therapy—an established PT business of 15 years—signed up with StrataPT. Their clinic saw an immediate 20% increase in profits, with the team enjoying a 30% reduction in time spent on documentation.
Alternatively, keep reading to learn more about must-have functionality when it comes to outpatient rehab software. If you’re on the lookout for a full-fledged practice management system, we’ll make our case for why you should consider StrataEMR.
How StrataEMR helps your outpatient rehab practice
In this section, we’ll highlight four key features of outpatient rehabilitation software and explain how our platform helps you manage your practice, help patients, and boost reimbursement.
Our secure web-based EMR solution lets you document everything you need and manage every operational workflow for your entire practice from one intuitive dashboard.
With StrataEMR, you get digital documentation, storage, and retrieval of patient records (including evaluations, treatment plans, progress notes, outcomes, etc.). Plus you can save heaps of time by creating custom clinical protocols and simplifying your documentation process by auto-populating patient data (from health questionnaires and registration forms to evaluations).
StrataEMR removes the need to keep track of ever-changing payer rules and billing requirements (more on this in the next section), meaning you never have to worry about compliance. Our technology alerts clinicians in real-time as they complete their documentation, meaning:
They can’t finalize the documentation until the issue is resolved in their records, or;
They can’t finalize the documentation without getting a clear warning of the issue first.
These guardrails are completely customizable; you can decide what gets flagged and to whom. This is what we call our Billing Plan of Care, which can be set up per patient and/or per payer, making sure that your patient documentation is seamlessly integrated and payer-compliant.
With StrataEMR, your clinical documentation is a breeze—and it helps you get paid.
2. Billing and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)
Some offices are losing as much as 50% of their monthly revenue to billing problems. For a $200,000 per year practice, that’s $100,000! Some common issues include:
Unpaid reimbursements piling up over time, creating more and more work
Ever-changing modifiers, payer rules, and processes to keep track of
Lack of transparency about why claims are denied and what their status is
A vast range of different types of patient coverage affecting treatment plans
Incredibly long turnaround times on collections
Billing and RCM is central to how our platform and service works. We help practices reach a reimbursement rate of above 99% by doing the following:
Keeping your system up-to-date with the latest rules, codes, and processes for all US insurers and placing guardrails in your documentation from the moment a patient registers with your practice. Claims are clean, compliant, accurate, and ready to be paid.
Automatically submitting electronic claims to payers at the click of a button, with proactive alerts for clinicians when something isn’t quite right with the documentation.
Relentlessly pursuing payers for even the smallest denied or delayed claims. Our billing team chases every penny, with no exceptions. We do all the heavy-lifting to get you paid.
One California-based practice contacted StrataPT with more than $200,000 in receivables older than 90 days, totaling 65% of their accounts receivable (AR). After partnering with our team and using StrataEMR, this practice now has less than 4% of their AR older than 90 days. And we’re hunting down everything else that is yet to be collected.
We also give you:
A patient billing portal: Send patient e-statements via SMS or email, and process card payments online. Automated balance notifications often increase patient collections by 50% or more, while also minimizing queries for your front desk and admin staff.
Automatic Medicare eligibility checks: No need to log into Medicare’s portal or call their automated voice system. StrataEMR will check patients’ eligibility within seconds.
Strata Clarity: With our Clarity Panel, you can see:
Time and date that claims are submitted to a payer
Time and date that insurance and patient payments are applied
All follow-up actions performed by our billing team
Total insurance and patient balance on each account
Information about payer denials
All communication pertaining to a patient
Date, status, and value of all patient statements
Speak to an expert today to learn how you can boost your reimbursement rate to higher than 99% while reducing the workload for your billing team.
3. Patient Scheduling and Appointment Management
Having scheduling functionality in your EMR is crucial for your clinicians to manage their weekly workload. With StrataEMR, you get:
Schedule optimization and cancelation management, which gives you a lot more than a simple appointment scheduling software does. You can customize the process to suit your practice, deliver appointment reminders, manage patients on your waiting list, or dig into the analytics and make smarter decisions about reducing cancellations and no-shows.
Electronic patient intake and contactless check-in. Patients can register themselves electronically through the patient portal, completing intake forms, e-signatures, and questionnaires before they arrive at your location. And when they get to your office, they can check in via their smartphone. Patients show up on your dashboard in the virtual waiting room, so your team knows they’ve arrived for the appointment.
Our electronic visit verification (EVV) functionality means you can capture the patient’s arrival time, departure time, e-signature, and GPS coordinates to automatically verify the treatment location.
4. Tracking and Reporting
The more information you have at your fingertips, the better you can run your practice. With StrataEMR, you can track everything—broad trends and minute details.
As well as tracking patient outcomes and giving clinicians easy access to a patient’s progress report, StrataEMR can generate reports for internal or external analysis that demonstrate treatment effectiveness to stakeholders. And our platform makes it easy to gather and analyze patient satisfaction data—so you know where you need to improve to maximize patient retention.
We also offer Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting. (This is a program where you earn a payment adjustment for Medicare Part B-covered professional services based on evaluating your performance across different categories.)
And of course, our emphasis on billing and RCM means you get in-depth financial data, such as:
Accounts receivable (AR) metrics
Billed visits and billed units
Average units per visit
Insurance payments and patient payments
Average payment per visit, and per hour
Reimbursement averages by payer/insurer
You can even go deeper and see, for example, how certain CPT code combinations impact reimbursement (and much more). This can help you tweak your Billing Plan of Care as needed.
Bonus: Two more key features of outpatient rehab software
Two more must-haves to look for:
Responsive customer support in the case of general queries and payer issues (remember, our average response time is just 22 minutes via secure message during business hours), but also in terms of getting set up on your new platform. It can be pretty daunting to make the switch away from your current way of working, so the StrataPT team makes sure your team is fully supported at all times. We handle the whole migration process with zero downtime, importing all your data safely and securely so you can get started in just a few hours.
Mobile accessibility, so your clinicians can get on-the-go access to patient information, schedules, and documentation. Our Mobile Therapist solution gives you everything you need to manage rehab therapy from your mobile devices. It has route optimization with real-time driving data, patient communication, productivity tracking, EVV, and more.
Ready to speak to an expert?
By partnering with StrataPT, you’ll be up-and-running in no time, and on your way toward a reimbursement rate of above 99%. We work with all types of outpatient rehab clinics, PT offices, and OT clinics—from small family businesses to large multi-state practices with multi-million dollar revenues. And we chase every penny for every customer, regardless of size.
Physical Therapy Documentation Software: 3 Key Features: Too often, billing and documentation are treated as separate things. Clinics will stitch a billing software onto their EMR software and hope it reduces workloads and improves reimbursements, but find that there’s no meaningful change. StrataEMR is different: we make sure your documentation processes feed into billing and RCM effortlessly, so you can cut back on admin and push your reimbursement rate to higher than 99%. Read more here.