It’s a heck of a job to run a physical therapy office, and that’s why having the right practice management software is so helpful. But you’ll need to find a solution that can handle the complex, interrelated web of tasks that are highly specific to PT. These include:
Once you start searching for practice management software, you’re faced with several options—all claiming to offer the ultimate ‘all-in-one’ solution. They all highlight the same features, but rarely do they share real-world data on the results they drive for PT clinics.
In this article, we’re going to look at the most important functions your practice management software needs to have, with a detailed breakdown of how our solution, StrataEMR, helps you manage your practice, including real-world data on the results you can expect.
There are a couple of routes that PT practices tend to go down when it comes to physical therapy software and practice management:
1. Using a collection of different applications and plugins. An improvement on doing things manually, but using different tools for different purposes (e.g., one for billing, one for documentation, and one for patient engagement) poses its own risks and problems. Not only will you be paying for multiple tools, but they won’t speak to each other seamlessly—causing errors, duplicate information, and extra work.
Note: We’ve spoken to many PT clinics using a physical therapy EMR system with a billing bolt-on; a widget, plugin, or integration with third-party billing services. Their EMR works fine for documentation, but the data isn’t being fed through to their billing system. This means the information needs to be re-entered manually or tweaked to be compliant with ever-changing health insurer rules, and they don’t have visibility into why certain claims are likely to be denied or delayed until it’s too late.
2. Using a heavy-hitting EMR software or EHR platform. These are often packed full of features and functionality, but they’re built for large hospitals or for generic healthcare providers. Getting access to all the customizable modules you need is costly, and they tend to miss the nuances of what physical therapists actually need from their software—for example, keeping track of the certification period and remaining visits to meet your plan of care, or the authorized number of visits and CPT codes for your authorizations.
The best practice management software will be catered to the needs of your physical therapy practice, giving you everything you need without becoming bloated and unusable.
(As just one example, California-based PT practice Genesis Physical Therapy cut down its documentation time by 30% while growing profits by 20% with StrataEMR.)
We developed StrataEMR after having first-hand experience of managing a physical therapy practice. We noticed that existing practice management solutions contain a lot of shiny features, but less thought goes into how one function impacts another.
For instance, most PT practice management platforms don’t include real-time Medicare eligibility to automatically identify active Part-A home health cases or Medicare replacement plans. Failing to identify these things prior to submitting claims will result in denials or retractions.
That’s why we decided to build StrataEMR as a billing-first solution for PT practices. All of our features work together to achieve the same goal—to get you paid.
As just one example, generic task management software lets you track priority tasks and set reminders, but we recognized that PT billing is directly affected by hiccups, delays, and blockers in people’s daily processes. To combat this, we introduced:
This single point of focus allows PT practices to operate more efficiently. As Sonia M, co-owner of Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, says:
“Having a system that encompasses everything from scheduling to billing to patient intake to documentation has made our practice be more productive and it has made it a more well-rounded and complete business.”
Making everything easy and transparent keeps patients happy and connected. StrataEMR gives your patients a personalized portal where they can answer health questionnaires, upload documentation, and sign forms for privacy and consent.
The patient portal makes the onboarding process incredibly smooth for everyone involved.
StrataEMR’s patient appointment scheduling functionality is designed to make sure your clinicians stay booked up and your appointments flow as smoothly as possible.
StrataEMR makes documentation efficient and pain-free. It integrates with patient onboarding and uses health questionnaires and registration forms to automatically populate patient report data. You can create and use document templates to save time on paperwork.
Our task management functionality is built to simplify and automate your workflows. Tasks are automatically sorted into administrative, billing and clinical buckets, with clear lines of responsibility and alerts on tasks that go uncompleted for too long.
StrataEMR is built to facilitate clean claims, which is why we’re able to guarantee industry-leading reimbursement rates of >99%. (That’s well above the industry average of ~80%). And providing an incredibly simple billing process is key to this high number.
1. The billing process starts when the front desk enters the patient information into StrataEMR. The patient receives an email or SMS link they can use to upload their documentation before their appointment, and/or make a copayment. Once your front desk confirms the patient’s arrival, it’s time for the clinician to take over.
2. The clinician starts the appointment and records the treatment, activities, exercises and units in StrataEMR as they take the patient through their session. The system automatically flags potential reimbursement issues in real-time, for example when a combination of services cannot be included in the same insurance claim.
3. As soon as the clinician saves the report, StrataPT’s billing software takes over. We make sure the claim is completely accurate, up-to-date and compliant. If there are any rejections or denials (honestly, that’s rare), we’ll chase them down for you.
It’s that simple. No need to stay on top of codes or modifiers. Effortless.
StrataEMR’s billing ledger keeps a timeline of everything that happens with a claim, and our analytics give you a complete view of your revenue breakdown—all the way from the insurer level right down to the individual patient and CPT code.
StrataEMR’s analytics provide insight into how your practice is performing, highlighting the sources of waste and inefficiency that are holding you back. You get:
One of the things we often hear from customers who join from different software providers is the poor customer service they’ve experienced. In some cases, queries about rejected or delayed insurance claims would go unanswered for three weeks or more because teams are stretched too thin and choose to prioritize the high-ticket cases.
We take a different approach. You’ll get a dedicated account manager who serves as your point of contact for all queries. Our average response time through secure messaging in StrataEMR is just 22 minutes.
We also handle the whole migration process, with zero downtime for your practice. Plus, we’ll train your team for free and get everyone up to speed within hours.