Buena Vida Physical Therapy & Wellness Success Story

Phyllis Duran had worked in medical billing for years before taking a front-desk job at Buena Vida Physical Therapy & Wellness. Yet when she was offered a promotion to “abundance specialist”, Buena Vida’s term for billing expert, she panicked. The problem? She would have to learn to use an electronic billing system, something that had long terrified her.


Challenge: Fear of Failure

“I told my boss I was afraid of messing everything up, and she just smiled. She had experience with Kareo and reassured me that they would give me all the support I needed,” Duran says.

“I didn’t believe her at first. But she was right. Kareo has the greatest customer support I’ve ever seen. Within a month, I could send claims and receive payments with confidence. Now I couldn’t imagine doing this job without Kareo!”


Solution: Super Support

Duran’s nervousness led her to call Kareo’s customer support team frequently, sometimes 10 times a day. “I asked every stupid question in the book – about a million different ones,” she jokes. “Because I didn’t know the terminology, I often didn’t even know what to ask.”

After a while, the Kareo reps recognized Duran’s voice on the phone, so she felt like she was dealing with friends. “They just kept walking me through each new scenario until I understood how things worked. They were so patient with me, and really put me at ease.”


Easy Interface with WebPT

Today, Duran feels in her element, using Kareo Billing software (PM), Patient Statements and Patient Payments to run the practice’s Abundance Department. The system integrates seamlessly with WebPT, software designed specifically for outpatient rehab services like Buena Vida.

“When a new patient comes in, we enter all the demographics through WebPT. The information crosses over automatically into Kareo and creates a profile. We use Kareo to look up ICD-10 codes. Therapist notes get tracked in WebPT, and then a superbill transfers to Kareo, generating a claim for me to review. When I approve it, Kareo sends out the bill,” Duran says.

“Because the therapist notes are right there in Kareo, it’s easy for me to make sure a claim is clean before I send it,” she adds. “I hit ‘submit’, and the claim goes to the clearinghouse. I get a report of everything that has been billed and wait for an electronic remittance notification. Then Kareo sends me a report detailing exactly what was paid or denied.”


Reimbursement and Reporting

Duran was surprised at how quickly reimbursements arrived with Kareo. “With paper systems, I was accustomed to waiting 30 to 45 days for checks to come in from insurance companies. With Kareo, we often receive payment within a week. It transforms a practice’s cash flow. And clients are happier, too, because the process creates fewer complications.”

When it’s time to bill to a patient, Buena Vida uses Kareo’s Patient Statement services, which prints and mails easy-to-understand invoices to patients. The statements give a patient the option to pay online in the Patient Portal, which helps speed payments. Patients can see the cost of services, how much insurance has paid, what they themselves have previously paid, and the adjusted amount. This cuts down on the amount of questions the practice receives, trims postage costs, and expedites payment.

Duran likes the robust reporting features too. “Kareo has so many reports you can run. I don’t use even a fraction of them. For example, with the click of the mouse, I can find out how many patients we’ve seen, categorize them by insurance or run aging reports. If we need to do a patient refund, Kareo figures it out for us. As an extra benefit, with Kareo Patient Payments, we can accept a credit card payment in the clinic and on the patient portal, while keeping the patient’s credit card information on file for future use. I post the payment with a single click, without looking up the patient’s ID. It’s so easy.”


Easy Enrollment

Duran especially appreciates the system’s enrollment capabilities. “Kareo’s enrollment group helps me navigate the processes of diverse insurance companies, which all have their own requirements. I honestly wouldn’t know what to do without them.”


Amazing Efficiencies

When Duran worked for a residential treatment center, she generated bills manually once a month for each patient. At Buena Vida, she bills each time a patient is seen – easily 10 times the volume of invoices.

“We see more than 30 patients every single day,” she explains. “Thanks to Kareo, we’re handling everything with no problems. If we didn’t have Kareo, we’d need to hire several more people to do all our billings.”


Growing – Without Pains

Duran credits the vision and leadership of Stella Burciaga, Buena Vida’s founder and owner, for implementing Kareo and powering the practice’s explosive growth. Just five years ago, Burciaga opened the clinic in Las Vegas, New Mexico with one physical therapist and an assistant. Today, the practice boasts two PTs, five PT techs, two massage therapists and four front-office staff, plus yoga, acupuncture and shamanic healing practitioners – for a total of 21 employees.  Housed in a historic brick building, it’s a completely renovated space of 5,000+ square feet and includes a state-of-the-art physical therapy gym, yoga studio, and private treatment rooms for physical therapy, massage and body work.

"Because of Kareo, we’re better able to deliver on our mission – providing wellness solutions for people of all ages and needs,” says Duran.


  • Reimbursement time cut 75%

  • 1 biller handling workload of 3

  • On-boarding in just a month



  • Reimbursement time cut 75%

  • 1 biller handling workload of 3

  • Onboarding in just a month

If you are interested in finding out how Kareo can help your practice with streamlining your billing efforts, give us a call at (866) 219-2321 or visit us here. 


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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