Are You Risking Reputation and Finances by Not Utilizing Your Need To Schedule Report?

Physical Therapists routinely track cancellations and know the goal is to keep it below 10%.  But what about tracking patients who aren’t completing their full course of treatment?  Or what about patients that aren’t completing their program in the prescribed time frame? There are so many reasons this is a very important metric to monitor.

In very controlled environments, studies have been done that are the basis of our current Evidence Based practice of medicine.  In these studies, the patients are closely monitored and encouraged to complete their sessions. Those that drop out are statistically removed from the results of the study.  Based on those studies payors determine the amount of treatment they will pay for.  Physical therapists with their knowledge of disease, physiology, tissue trauma, tissue healing, surgical procedures, and comorbidities, determine a plan of care that incorporates all of this and the restrictions of the payor.  If the patient doesn’t complete the plan of care and the results are less than ideal, it is the physical therapist who is held liable for the lesser outcomes and has their reputation affected and possibly in the near future, their participation and re-imbursement from managed care payors.  This is one of the very important reasons to monitor for patients who aren’t following their plan of care and make efforts to improve compliance.

Reason number two is financial.  There are statistics that anywhere from 50 – 70% of physical therapy patients do not complete their full plan of care.  If your clinic sees 300 new patients per year and each plan of care is for 10 visits.  Supposed 50% of those patients don’t attend their final two appointments.  That is 300 appointments that you budgeted for income you will not receive.  If you average $100/visit that is $30,000!  Try running the formula for your own clinic and see how much it is costing you to not actively manage this metric.

Annual new patients * % dropout * # visits not completed * avg per visit reimbursement = Lost $

The final part is monitoring that the patient is completing their program at the prescribed frequency.  A patient cancels an appointment early to mid-portion of their program and says they will just add the visit to the end.  They need that visit when it was prescribed to progress ROM, influence tissue healing, improve balance, etc.  At the “end of the treatment” they no longer “need” the visit and are much more likely to cancel and not reschedule or just not show up.  If it is a managed care payor, there is frequently a time frame to use the visits and you run the risk of not getting re-imbursed for visits that get pushed to the end of treatment.

Systems4PT makes it very easy for your Front Desk to monitor and actively work this metric with the “Need To Schedule” (NTS) report.  Working this report will improve your patient outcomes and your bottom line! Chat with us now for a demonstration.

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