Starting your physical therapy practice can require careful consideration of various aspects, including billing and reimbursement processes. Preparing for your billing system is an effective way to prevent financial issues in the future. Here are some key points to know about physical therapy billing before starting your own practice:
Bill For Certain Things
Physical therapists can bill for specific services like face-to-face and secondary patient care. You can bill for:
Physical therapy billing can include assessments of your patient. These include:
- Performing physical exams
- Evaluating the past medical history
- Creating a treatment plan
- Identifying the issue
You can bill your patient for a second assessment if they have a new treatment plan.
Secondary Patient Care
In the physical therapy industry, secondary or indirect patient care refers to activities performed by physical therapists that are needed for patient care but do not involve direct interaction with the patient. You can bill for things like documentation and charting, coordinating care, research, or continuing education.
Administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, managing patient records, handling billing, insurance-related tasks, and maintaining compliance with regulations can be billed. Be sure to research what you can and cannot bill regarding secondary patient care.
Face to Face Patient Care
Physical therapists can bill for time spent giving their patients care directly. Hands-on interactions can include treatment interventions, therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques, gait training, balance training, functional training, and patient education. You can have a set amount for face-to-face appointments or bill by the hour and treatment. Be sure to set these billing expectations into place so your patients know what to expect when their bill is sent.
You can bill a patient for time spent assisting them with modalities. This can include hot or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, and traction. Some modalities can be done without assistance from a physical therapist. Modalities that require a physical therapist can be billed. Research what modalities you can bill for to make sure accuracy when you bill, or you can ask other providers what they recommend.
Follow Specific Steps
Physical therapists should follow specific guidelines when they bill their patients. Here are a few steps to take before, during, and after billing your patients:
Find Billing Software
Before you start your physical therapy practice, consider finding billing software to help streamline the billing process. This software can help track, manage, and control each step of your billing process. By using billing software, you can reduce errors made by handling the billing process alone. Find a software company that has customer service representatives to help with any questions as you are beginning your practice.
Register Patient Information
Before your patient comes into their appointment, gathering and verifying their information is key to billing them. Insurance, personal, and payment information should be registered to make sure billing goes smoothly. You can use billing software to verify this information. You can determine whether your patient’s insurance asks for preauthorization and other key insurance information before treatment begins.
Use Correct Coding
Physical therapists have specific coding they use for billing their patients. All services may require a specific code. A physical therapy billing software or provider can help you understand these codes and make sure to add them in the correct places.
Once all documentation is filed correctly, you can submit the billing. After you gather co-payments or cash payments made by patients, your claim can be sent to their insurance company. Avoid incorrect claims by hiring a billing company, as they can help find the error.
Research Credentialing Requirements
Before you open your physical therapy practice, there are credentialing requirements to adhere to. Some insurance companies ask physical therapy providers to go through credentialing processes before your services can be reimbursed. Credentialing may include meeting specific criteria and submitting applications as well as documents. Begin your credentialing requirements with several insurance companies before offering your services to make sure you receive payment without delays.
Physical Therapy Billing Processes
Consider doing the research before opening your physical therapy practice on different billing software. You can increase your revenue cycle management by hiring experts in physical therapy billing processes. Contact a physical therapy billing company to learn more.