7 Easy Tips to Streamline Your Rehab Practice TODAY

What did rehab clinics learn from the pandemic? A lot! It became more important than ever to find new efficiencies, adapt to ever-changing contingencies, and find creative ways to deliver premium patient care – while dealing with skyrocketing healthcare costs. Here are seven key takeaways you can use today, to make your rehab practice more competitive and profitable.

1. Turn to telehealth

Just a few years ago, no one could have imagined we’d be using telehealth in a hands-on specialty like rehab. But now telehealth and hybrid solutions are becoming part of the landscape, allowing therapists to serve a much wider population and help patients who might otherwise be unable to receive care. This is reflected in APTA’s support for legislative and regulatory changes, such as the Expanded Telehealth Access Act.

Not all telehealth systems are created equal, though. Be careful to choose one that is simple to use (for both your staff and patients), and HIPAA-compliant for security. It should also fully integrate with your EMR or EHR, so that you can take notes directly in the patient’s file, document suggestions and outcomes, set up referrals, schedule follow-up visits and more. OptimisPT features OptimisMeet, their simple and secure Telehealth solution included in the standard OptimisPT package.

2. Scrap the paper

Speaking of clinical solutions, the industry has come a long way in recent years, making it easier to keep electronic records, organize them and store all information in one place. Most rehab practices already use an EMR or EHR, because of the undeniable efficiencies and return on investment. If you haven’t made the switch yet, consider a solution that is designed specifically for rehab practices, since it will better match your workflow.

The best options are cloud-based, so you’re not reliant on an in-house server or backup system. You can access records anytime, from anywhere, without having to be physically in the office. A rehab-oriented EMR like OptimistPT is tailored to match your daily workflow, and give you the metrics you need to manage your practice.

3. Free up the front desk with a patient portal

Opting for an EMR with an included patient portal will help your front office reduce paperwork and intake time, as well as increase workflow efficiency. By using the simple and efficient workflows included in a patient portal, you can decrease check-in times, eliminate paper and ink expenses, as well as reduce the need to scan documents. OptimisPT’s patient portal helps reduce errors by reducing data input to just a few clicks, and ensures that practices are easily able to manage signed and uploaded documentation. OptimisPT also empowers practices to manage patient entries through the portal queue, so staff will know who has filled out their information. Patients can also use the portal to update their personal information at any time and complete intake documents online.

4. Make better clinical decisions

Even the most experienced therapists can use a little help making accurate diagnoses, especially when deluged with new patients or facing unusual impairments. OptimisPT can help by giving you embedded clinical decision support based on practice guidelines. By recommending specific tests, measures and treatments, clinical decision support tools help ensure that you make the right diagnosis and cut down on the time you spend doing documentation. The result is more accurate care programs and better patient outcomes.

5. Beef up your billing

Chances are that your revenue could use a boost. The best way to do that is to select an integrated solution that empowers you to submit clean claims on a daily basis, collect patient copays and deductibles efficiently, and follow up on late accounts.

Check out the billing features built into your practice management solution. An easy-to-use dashboard puts reports and analytics at your fingertips, so you can see a snapshot of your billing progress with a single click. The system will scrub your claims to avoid rejections and related payment delays. You can use powerful analytics to watch trends in the practice, and see where you can make changes for improvement. OptimisPT also lets you create customized fee schedules for different payer groups, and provides a special tool to assess Medicare claims.

6. Go mobile

Everyone lives on their phone these days. So why not give patients the information they need in the palm of their hand? An app like optimumMe makes it easy for patients to access and be reminded of their prescribed exercises, track their progress, ask questions, complete their outcome measures electronically and receive appointment reminders. You stay on top of their efforts through the app, and can send push messages or assign new exercises automatically. That means that you stay more engaged with your patients, keep motivation high, and align with their technology preferences – a real competitive edge.

7. Take notice of the numbers

Outcome measures evaluate how well your patients are attaining their goals, and help you comply with Medicare’s value-based care standards. But many practices lack a consistent way to collect and store data. Valuable information falls through the cracks.

Having a good clinical solution makes it simple. OptimistPT, for example, will send patients an outcome measure survey by email or through its integrated patient engagement app. It can distribute surveys prior to the initial visit and at predetermined intervals during the treatment journey. The system scores results and saves a PDF in the patient’s record. You can tell at a glance whether a particular treatment is working, and compare providers within your practice to improve results.

Other numbers are important too, including practice management data. How many patients are you seeing? What is your no-show rate? How long is it taking for claims reimbursement, or for patients to pay their portion? Knowledge is power – and having exact figures on current performance lets you pinpoint areas for improvement.

The bottom line is that having the right technology can streamline every aspect of your practice. Time saved in documentation, intake, follow-up, scheduling and billing adds up to more opportunities for focusing on patients. Better patient relationships lead to improved retention and overall practice growth. A rehab provider-specific solution like OptimistPT was created with your needs in mind, and is now a fully integrated partner to Kareo’s suite of best-in-class solutions.

About the Author

Alesa Lightbourne is a prize-winning author, professor and former dean of an international business school. As a freelance writer, her clients have included Fortune...

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