As the Covid-19 public health emergency continues to unfold, the demand for remote and home-based health services is unprecedented and will likely persist as referral patterns reflect this new patient preference. Outpatient (OP) therapy providers have seen their home-based patient volumes rise, and there is a strong trend towards providing services in Senior Living communities (both Independent and Assisted Living). Operating in these environments present a new set of challenges. In response, outpatient rehabilitative therapy providers across the country are looking for better ways to serve more patients with less, manage regulatory requirements, and optimize reimbursement revenue
From Paper to Paperless
While electronic health records (EHRs) are a given for a majority of providers, paper still exists. Unlike a traditional OP physical therapy clinic, when providing therapy services at a patient’s home or senior living environment, getting documents back to the home office and into the EHR can be a real challenge. Finding the nearest fax machine or hand-delivering ABNs, intake forms, consent, signed plans of care (POCs) or insurance forms is stressful, inefficient and risky. Worst of all, most often these types of administrative activities are being conducted by treating clinicians, cutting into their patient care time.
Mobile devices are now allowing therapy administrative and clinical staff to capture and easily route documents for processing and attachment into the patient chart in near real-time. This eliminates compliance risks and expedites the delivery of needed patient care, while allowing the central business office to obtain all the necessary documentation needed for billing and compliance.
No More Company Phones
Everyone has a smartphone. Issuing company-owned phones, cameras, and document scanners is a thing of the past. In addition to being expensive, cameras and scanners can’t easily be secured and have the potential to cause HIPAA violations.
Sharing Clinical Information
These same secure messaging and document management applications allow therapists to easily share clinical information with the home office or other clinical disciplines and attach it to the patient chart quickly and securely. For example, using a secure video feature, therapists can provide supervisory oversight for assistants in the field, or provide real-time updates for employees who are rotating among several different care settings. Notes from patient visits can easily be added into the EHR and free employees from having to return to the office with this sensitive and crucial documentation.
Do More with Less
In order to survive in today’s healthcare environment, clinical organizations need to find a way to compete. Having an efficient referral management process can result in your business becoming the provider of choice for referring clinicians. The use of mobile devices in the referral process enables organizations to eliminate paper and all the associated costs and inefficiencies associated with faxing. In the OP at-home setting or senior living communities, employees can capture ABNs, consent forms and state required documents at the patient’s side and securely transmit them to their administrative support team for processing. At the same time, outbound documentation such as signed POCs and patient recertifications can all be seamlessly managed electronically so that both field operations and the central office are on the same page.
While the use of mobile applications in these scenarios is not necessarily all that different from what other industries have been doing for a decade, it is a tool that is enabling rehab therapy providers to reduce administrative expenses, expand capacity, reduce compliance risk, expedite patient care and realize a greater ROI on their EHR investment.
At Forcura we are committed to helping rehab therapy providers deliver better patient care through connected communication. Our integrated document workflow and communication platform supports automating the referrals process, tracking plans of care and recertifications, mobile document capture, secure messaging and analytics to give you insights on bottlenecks or staff performance issues. While we build great technology, we are a service company at heart. We work with all our clients to implement the Forcura platform in the way that best meets their business objectives.
With Forcura, your therapy practice can work smarter, not harder. Contact us today to learn more.
As Chief Strategy Officer, Annie Erstling is responsible for driving growth at Forcura. She oversees the company's strategic planning, product innovation, marketing and strategic partnerships. She has experience launching new brands, products and companies across the healthcare and technology sectors.