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Account Matters Blog:

The Importance of the First Phone Call

Posted by Diane McCutcheon on October 9, 2019

During our Administrative Power Center (APC) training sessions with rehab private practice owners and their front desk staff I always ask, “How do you answer the phone?”

Surprisingly, I have never had an entire staff, in one or multiple sites, all say the same thing. ‘Hello, thank you for calling APC Physical Therapy how can I help you?’ ; or ‘APC can I help you?’ ; how about – ‘APC Physical Therapy hold please.’; or ‘Hi, APC Physical Therapy, we are happy you called, this is Diane, how can I help you today?’; or how about, ‘APC Physical Therapy, if you want to schedule an appointment press 1, if you want to speak to a therapist press 2, if you want to discuss your bill press 3…’

Short, long, name, no name or a recording – what do you want every caller to hear every time they call your office? 

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Topics: Front Desk

RCM Software is Only as Good as the People Using It

Posted by Stacey Fitzsimmons on September 17, 2019

Over the years I have had the privilege of using or at least viewing over a dozen different Medical billing software systems.  Some I liked, and some I did not.  Some were general medical software’s and some specific to Rehab Therapy.  As good or as bad as I thought a system was, not one of them could actually make more revenue for a company.

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

7 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Rehab Billing Without Even Knowing It!

Posted by Daniel Ramsey on September 10, 2019

Rehab billing is difficult to say the least. There are several pitfalls that you need to watch out for in order to “get paid right the first time”. Here are the top 7 most common mistakes you may be making: 

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

5 Tips for Increasing Patient Collections During Tax Season

Posted by Daniel Ramsey on January 23, 2019

According to a survey conducted by GoBankingRates, 27% of respondents plan to use their 2019 tax returns toward their debt.  Our experience as a billing company has proven that tax season is a great opportunity to collect overdue patient balances. While it is recommended to collect all money at the time services are rendered, we realize that isn’t always possible.  Use the following 5 tips to increase your patient collections.

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

The 5 Most Important Questions to Ask When Checking Benefits

Posted by Daniel Ramsey on November 26, 2018

Checking your patient's insurance benefits BEFORE the patient is seen should be a fundamental part of your practice's administrative process. Otherwise, you run the risk of claims being denied and left unpaid. You don't always have the right to appeal or bill your patient which is why it is so important to know the patient's insurance benefits before treatment begins.

When checking benefits, be sure to ask the right questions. Here at Account Matters, we had our administrative experts come up with the top 5 questions you should be asking every time. We highly recommend sharing this information with your front desk staff to ensure they are receiving the most accurate information possible.

Let's jump right in to the 5 most important questions:  

1. "What is the patient's financial responsibility?"

Informing the patient of any co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance upfront will guarantee a better patient experience. Not only will the patient know what is expected from them financially, your front desk staff will also feel more confident when asking for payment at time of service.  This decreases the chance of a nagging patient balance and can reduce the number of patient statements that you need to send each month.

Routinely checking benefits can also reduce the amount of refunds to the patient or insurance company due to over-payments. 

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Topics: Front Desk

10 Steps to Assess Your Physical Therapy Practice

Posted by Diane McCutcheon on August 22, 2018

I have assessed hundreds of Physical Therapy private practices in my career and I could tell you hundreds of different stories but instead, I am going to tell you about some of the most common stories I hear in just about every practice I have been in. 

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk, Management

Data Entry and Clean Claims

Posted by Stacey Fitzsimmons on July 18, 2018

As a billing company we estimate that at least 80% of the denials we see can be traced back to data entry/accuracy errors.  These errors occur on all types of insurance claims. 

Here are some examples:

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

5 Rules for Getting Paid

Posted by Diane McCutcheon on July 18, 2018

The process of taking a new patient, providing services and getting paid sounds so simple.  I mean, why shouldn’t it be?  Why is such a simple concept so complex? It all comes down to understanding the rules and regulations of each insurance carrier, knowing how to comply and implementing operational systems that will support your ultimate goal - getting paid from insurance and patients.   

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

3 Reasons Why Billing Staff Relies On Accurate Information from the Front Desk

Posted by Diane McCutcheon on July 18, 2018

The front desk is a biller’s biggest asset when it comes to getting paid for all the hard work you put in with your patients. Understanding this relationship and how these two roles work with one another is crucial for a successful practice.  

There are many things a front desk must do before the patient’s information gets to the biller. This includes providing benefit checks, entering patient demographics and managing referrals and authorizations. If any of these essential functions are not done accurately and timely, major problems will arise when it comes time for the biller to submit claims and get paid right the first time.

Benefit Checks

The front desk must check each patient’s insurance benefits before their first visit.  We also HIGHLY recommend that your front desk encourage the patient to check their benefits as well.  This helps to avoid getting conflicting information. If there is an issue, it can be addressed immediately.

There are many easy ways to get this job done fast and correctly.  In most cases you can go through the insurance portal or clearing house but there will be times when you just have to pick up the phone and call.

We have seen many denials that could have been avoided if a benefit check had been done.  For example, some of these denials might include patient’s insurance was terminated, the therapist is not in network with patients carrier and the patient has no out of network benefits.   If treatment begins before these issues are addressed, there is a good chance that the biller will not be able to send a successful claim and get payment for that visit. 

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

Billing Challenges- Why is it so Hard Getting Paid?

Posted by Diane McCutcheon on July 18, 2018

As a consultant I am called in to practices to evaluate the billing function and to answer questions like why are we getting so many denials, why aren’t our payments consistent, how do we know we are charging correctly, are we in compliance and most of all where is my money?  And this is on the heels of investing in and implementing a new billing system. 

We have all read articles on choosing the right system and they all promise that you will get better payments, stay in compliance, and your ability to charge and document will be enhanced, but the truth is, in order to get paid and get paid right the first time you need a competent, well trained staff and processes in place to support your goal – payment for services rendered. 

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Topics: Billing, Front Desk

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