Switching your EMR and/or practice management software is scary and can be difficult. However, failure to switch from a legacy, non-integrated platform harms your clinic in terms of patient satisfaction, accounts receivable, and more. We discuss the primary concerns with legacy, non-integrated EMR systems and how modern solutions solve this problem.
Problem 1: Legacy EMR systems cause accounts receivable to grow
The major issue caused by clinics running one system for their documentation and another for billing is that accounts receivable grow. Several factors create this issue, highlighted below.
First, documenting on legacy EMR systems is challenging, causing therapists to get behind on their notes, delaying the claim submission process. Prompt worked with dozens of therapists to determine why they cannot complete their notes during the course of a visit. The primary complaints were:
- EMR system does not work on a tablet
- Documentation on the EMR system is primarily free text-based and therapists do not want to type while with their patients
- The digital flowsheet on the EMR system is difficult to use and less efficient than paper
- The EMR system suffers from a load screen timer frequently and makes documenting on the fly impossible
Unfortunately for physical therapy clinics, legacy EMR systems suffer from these issues and it causes physical therapists to spend up to 2 hours per day after work catching up on notes. Many therapists try to rush through notes after work, causing less accurate and robust documentation and leading to increased denials and decreased payments when the claims do finally get submitted.
Claim submission and posting delays
The second issue that causes accounts receivable to grow on legacy systems is that claims get delayed on both submission and posting. Our research showed that for physical therapy clinics that handle billing in-house, there is an average delay of over 7 days from the time the note is completed to the time the claim is submitted. Secondly, our research showed that over 30% of claims that have received a response go over 14 days without being posted into the system. These issues create delays in terms of reporting on revenue and accounts receivable, with clinics often going 2+ months after a visit prior to getting paid. Finally, our research showed that up to 5% of claims never get submitted within the timely filing windows, an issue that creates up to $40,000 a year in lost revenue.
Problem 2: Legacy EMR systems have reporting issues
Running two (or more) systems and operating on a legacy EMR system creates a major issue in reporting on key clinic metrics. Clinic owners and managers often need to check multiple systems to get reports on clinic success and, on a legacy system, these reports are not useful, visually challenging to interpret, and do not facilitate a clinic manager helping his or her staff improve.
Problem 3: Data errors
The third major issue with legacy EMR systems is the data entry issue. Running two systems which do not communicate well with each other requires clinic staff to enter data twice. Entering data multiple times starts with the patient onboarding process, when patients fill out paper forms and the front desk electronically enters them into the EMR system. This can cause HIPAA issues, as well as errors that can cause claims to be denied, such as entering an incorrect member ID number or date of birth. The second point of data entry errors are when the biller submits a claim and manually types in data that was already entered in the EMR system. Often, physical therapists will email the billing information to the billing manager, which is another HIPAA violation created by legacy, non-integrated EMR platforms.
The Prompt solution
Prompt Therapy Solutions has solved these issues by creating a fully-integrated EMR and practice management software platform. The platform has click-based documentation, AI-enabled billing, and a modern user interface that makes it easy for all users to operate. Patient-facing intake forms improve patient retention and the solution will help grow your clinic revenue and efficiency rather than harm it. Schedule a demo today to see how it can work for your clinic!