In this quick little article, I just wanted to take a minute and address something that many physical therapists face when they are trying to optimize cash flow and profitability.
We are going to talk about lost income.
This is one of those areas that practice owners often overlook or just don’t want to even get into.
The truth is there are a couple of simple things you can do and help your staff do to really generate additional income for your practice.
First, what is lost income?
When we talk about lost income at Jet PT Billing, we are referring to income that is never going to be seen or recaptured.
We are not talking about billing errors or incorrect claim filing.
If from a billing standpoint, a claim goes out incorrectly, that claim can ultimately be corrected.
You can refile with the insurance carrier and have that claim adjusted to reflect the correct amount.
This income is not lost. It’s just making its way into your bank account as quickly as you’d like. We can help you with that too.
What I am referring to is actual lost income. This is money that you will never receive and cannot be recovered.
There are two big ones and they have a super simple solution.
Your Percent Arrivals
Just to be clear, when we use the term percent arrivals, we are referring to the percentage of your patients who show up for their already scheduled appointments.
Your goal for percent arrivals should be around 90 percent.
If you are lower than this there’s some steps you can take to pump that number up and capture lost income.
You may think your practice and front desk team is doing a fine job with patient interaction but this area tends to take most operators by surprise.
Let me give you an example. If one of your patients has three appointments to see you scheduled for the week and only shows up for two, it is tempting to think, well two out of three isn’t too bad.
It was only maybe 30 minutes of your time?
In reality your percent arrival is only 66% and you can never get that money or time back. If that continues unchecked and you apply that percentage to your potential number of appointments it is costing you some real money.
The second area…Percent Prescribed
Percent prescribed can give you some insight into how close to your practice’s current potential you are.
A simple definition of Percent prescribed is the percent of appointments your team books with a patient versus the number of appointments a provider authorizes.
Again, if an insurance company approves 4 visits for a patient per week to remedy their problem and you and your team are only scheduling 3, you are creating lost income.
Some other points to consider:
If a patient is not showing for all of his or her appointments or not receiving all of their benefits in the form of appointments for treatment, they are not going to recover as well.
Your patient satisfaction is dependent upon their outcome. By ensuring that they are receiving their full allotment of visits and are showing up for them, you can really influence their outcome.
The best way to do this is to employ a simple three prong approach.
First, you need to work with providers when they are creating the plan of care.
By emphasizing that providers can be a major influence when it comes to instilling the importance of complying with the plan of care, your percent prescribed can improve significantly.
If your patient is trying to reach a specific functional physical goal we want to make sure that we and the original provider do everything we can to actually get them to completion.
We do not want them dropping off the schedule after 6 visits when they were prescribed 12 visits.
Second, we need to train ourselves and out teams to reinforce the importance of completing the plan of care.
Some patients do not see the benefit right away and get frustrated and drop out.
We need to help them enjoy the small wins and stress that they continue to reach the big win of hitting their goal.
This helps them see the value of physical therapy and look forward to their visits.
Third, we need to train our front desk team to be proactive when working with patients.
They are the first and last impression a patient has of out practice.
You can share you percent prescribed and your percent arrival numbers with your team and set goals for them as well.
Are they confirming all appointments?
Do they ensure that all patients know when their next appointment is?
Often times a few simple reminders is all that is needed to get these numbers up and prevent you from suffering from lost income.
Our numbers may never get to 100% but a little training and attention can bump them up and create much needed cash flow to your bottom line.
The best part, it costs you no out of pocket money to fix this.
You are going to vastly improve your performance in real dollars with a little effort on your part.
You won’t need any additional investment, there’s no marketing money spent, no additional software to buy.
It’s simply an investment of your time to help those staff members better understand what we’re all trying to do and help patients fulfill their dreams and goals. That’s really all there is to it.
If you would like to learn some other tips we have put together, be sure to check out all our articles and videos.
Remember we are only a phone call away and can help you build a practice that makes sense financially.Tags: Billing service, physical therapy billing, PT billing