Advantages Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) Services Provide for Physical Therapists

Is RCM the right option for your practice? Check out this blog to see some factors that can help you decide the best course.

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Getting the Conversation Started

The average practice owner juggles hundreds of problems each day with little time to rest. Billing can represent one—or fifty of those problems. With an everchanging rulebook of physical therapy compliance and billing processes, you might be wondering,

"What advantages do revenue cycle management services provide?"

Outsourcing billing services can save precious time, bolster productivity, and increase profitability. RCM services aren't perfect, but they're downright essential for practices without the staff or expertise. In this article, you'll discover the advantages of RCM providers and how they can help your physical therapy practice thrive.

Reduce the Billing Burden and Time Requirements

Billing for physical therapy services is complicated. Eliminating the hassle of billing can help practice owners allocate resources to other essentials like enriching the patient experience, building new business through digital marketing, and increasing productivity in other areas. Outsourcing revenue cycle management frees up valuable time by leaving billing to the experts. An RCM provider should frequently update owners on their billing metrics and efficiency, eliminating the need for most additional management.

Take Billing Out of Practice Owner's Hands

If you have legal issues, you hire an attorney. If you have health issues, you hire a physician. So why do practice owners place their billing needs in the hands of anyone other than an expert? If you're willing to spend the time learning the billing process, front to back, by all means—conduct and manage PT billing yourself. Otherwise, practice owners don't usually have the experience to run a well-oiled billing machine. PTs go to school to provide care for patients, not to become billing experts. Besides, what happens when essential employees, especially in smaller practices, get sick or take a vacation? The billing process is ongoing and is usually not something an owner can step in and resolve when essential employees aren't present. Safeguarding against sick days, vacations, turnover, maternity leave, and other life factors is usually a wise business decision if the cost is right. However, having a general idea and setting goals is crucial. Humans tend to measure everything in life that is important; your business' financial health is no different. An RCM service can streamline your clinic, increase profitability, and make life easier.

Lower HR and Staffing Needs

The costs of a specialized billing department can add up with pay, training, and benefits. The switch to outsourcing your RCM can save you on the bottom line. Cutting the entire process involved with employee onboarding and training is also a massive relief for the human resources department—fewer employees in the pipeline require less training, oversight, and room for error. Simultaneously, while you lower these costs, you cash in on the advantages of hiring an RCM service provider. Exceptional companies stay current on the latest billing changes, maximize your ROI over time, and give frequent updates.

RCM Services Are Great for Small to Midsize Practices Without the Expertise

Large clinics that can bring operations in-house have the advantage of staffing many billing professionals. If you're running a small to midsize practice, staffing can be difficult. What smaller practices lack is numbers. If your dedicated biller is out of the office for a week or two, things could hit the fan. An RCM provider takes a large pool of experience and utilizes it to benefit their client. Most providers work with your in-house billing system to audit and eliminate pesky billing errors.

Increased Compliance

Staying on top of Medicare billing policies is tedious. Practice owners can benefit from hiring a dedicated billing team. RCM services use expertise to make fewer billing mistakes and usually work in conjunction with any EMR software. Enlisting the help of a professional billing team is a compliance-friendly solution for the busy PT practice owner.

Speedy Collections & Performance Tracking

A qualified RCM provider should solve 99% of your billing concerns. A team of billing professionals works with your best interest in mind scrubbing, sending out claims, rebilling, following-up, and combating denials. Outsourcing allows you to speed up collections and track your practice's performance over time by eliminating billing errors.

Billers Become Experts Using Your PT Software

Some practice owners fear that outsourced billing can conflict with the current system in place. RCM teams should be comfortable with or willing to train on your current practice management or EHR system. If you're already using a popular physical therapy software like MWTherapy, it's easy to integrate with RCM providers. This way, practice owners can also maintain oversight using a familiar system.

Mitigate Rejections, Combat Denials, and Increases Profitability

Experienced billers should eliminate most rejected claims and denials. Rejections happen when a claim is incomplete, illegible, or missing pertinent data. These occur before providers register the claim in their system. The payer normally establishes a timeframe to fix and resend the claim. Denials, while different than rejections, typically include errors. Denials are received by the payer. They sometimes involve issues with the claim, such as incorrect insurance information, data-entry mishaps, and missing information. When you tighten up the entire billing process, rejections and denials happen less, and you get paid faster. Additionally, in the unlikely circumstance of an appeal, billing teams will send over the necessary documentation in a timely matter—which is essential when appealing a payer's decision. An optimized billing workflow can enhance profitability through diligent data entry and timely amendments if a mistake is made.

The Bottom Line

Outsourcing revenue cycle management can help small to medium-sized practices that don't have the staff or billing expertise. You can supercharge efficiency and compliance by handing the baton off to professional billers who stay fresh on the latest billing changes. The decrease in staffing, training, and onboarding can improve profitability and make it easier to run a practice. Great RCM teams will keep owners current on operations without additional training. However, outsourcing is not a solution for everyone, as there's excellent billing software available to practice owners who would rather do it in-house. If you're looking for an all-in-one solution, try out a free demo of MWTherapy's software. You'll have the choice to complete your billing in-house or work with an RCM provider. Additionally, you'll gain access to an array of powerful tools to help you master the art of practice management.

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