Chris Doblar, PT, Owner
Perfect Balance Physical Therapy – My Story
My career as a physical therapist, which began in 1990, has been a rewarding and satisfying journey. I’ve worked in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, homes, functional restoration programs, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation departments, and a few others in between. All of these settings have shaped me into the therapist I am today.
The past few decades of health care have seen dramatic changes – from the onset of managed care through the cumbersome and struggling healthcare system of today. It’s an age of high premiums, high deductibles, low reimbursements, high out-of-pocket costs, and third-party payer automation. There’s no longer a solid baseline of insurance coverage among our patients and they are paying more than ever out of pocket while our incomes are hindered by standard treatments being deemed “NOT usual and customary,” or “NOT medically necessary.” In what other respectable business transaction can the service be rendered in good faith, then not be paid in full, at the discretion of a party who wasn’t present at the time? In other words, the insurance industry machine is crushing the private practitioners without the support of a state of the art EMR and reliable billing services.
These dramatic changes in health care have been changing physical therapy into a business driven by volume rather than by clinical excellence. Insurance companies are paying far less to providers or avoiding payment at all, without consequence. As a result, deductible amounts and out-of-pocket costs for clients continue to climb. Most outpatient clinics have been forced to have therapists treating 2-3 patients per hour, with the assistance of support staff. Patients spend far too much treatment time with aides and unlicensed professionals. Limitations of therapeutic time with patients in the high-volume treatment model impedes rehabilitation progress. At Perfect Balance Physical Therapy, we have moved away from the high-volume model of health care and have created a clinically effective therapeutic service thanks to Systems 4PT!
Since 1990, I have used a variety of different billing methods. I have done it all myself, with paper and snail mail. I have contracted out to billing professionals. I have used large billing companies, and I have tried hiring software geniuses to build an EMR and billing system that could keep up with the automated insurance industry. I spent thousands of dollars and millions of hours writing reports, sitting on hold with insurance companies, and banging my head against the wall trying to get reimbursed for services already rendered. In 2015, I was struggling with 50% of my charges uncollected and was desperate to find a way to get paid for the work I was doing. Even after providing superfluous paperwork to the insurance companies to prove that I was taking great care of my patients, I was repeatedly being denied payment. I thought being in network was going to be beneficial, but I actually signed myself up for receiving as little as $25 per treatment. The first payment I received for an ACA-covered patient was $8.06 on a $300 charge. I was in a panic trying to find a way to get paid properly for my services. If I didn’t, I was going to have to find a job as an administrator in order to take care of my family. That would mean that my dreams of a private practice career would end. Then, on January 1, 2016, Perfect Balance Physical Therapy went live with Systems 4PT and their collections services.
Systems 4PT has not only saved my business, it has helped it thrive and grow. After looking at a variety of different software programs over the years, it became abundantly clear that Systems 4PT is the best choice available in the market today. It is created specifically for physical therapy (it’s not just a medical practice EMR altered slightly to fit PT). Systems 4PT utilizes a user-friendly format that ensures a complete registration for every patient as well as guaranteeing complete billing information and documentation prior to the bill being sent out to the clearinghouse. This means that the list of reasons that the insurance company can deny payment does not exist. The System guides the user to create complete and accurate files. In addition, the System will not send bills out until the clinical documentation has been completed. The huge, pre-loaded document library makes documenting a breeze. I have been adding to, and continue to add to, the customized drop- down verbiage to create professional and clinically relevant reports. I feel proud to send out top-notch communications to my patients’ referring physicians.
Systems 4PT’s collection services are complete, thorough, and rock solid. In 26 years in the business, I have never had such clear insight to my finances. In the past, I would send bills off into cyberspace with no guarantee that I would actually receive payment, much less knowing when I would receive it. Systems 4PT allows visibility into each and every account. Billing is done daily, and the payer-approved amounts are available within days. I am typically having payments direct deposited into my bank account within 10 days. If it is not approved, we know immediately and can rectify the issue blocking my payments. This is a vast improvement over waiting 120-160 days for a possible payment of unknown amount.
Though I have fond memories and valuable experiences throughout my career, I am currently experiencing life in my dream job! I now have a small clinic treating one patient each hour, one-on-one. I have the experience, time, and tools to truly evaluate and develop effective treatments. I am thrilled to have access to Systems 4PT’s technology and the tools it affords us. I have run far larger businesses over the years, but none have shown the capacity to streamline, organize, and ensure accuracy like Perfect Balance Physical Therapy does. If you have ever used an EMR, you may have painful memories of learning a system with awkward outlying rules that defy reason. Systems 4PT has the best support program in the business. Their support staff are well trained in all aspects of the System and they understand my business, as well. And even though they are based on the east coast, Systems 4PT has extended their support hours to match our pacific standard time business hours.
I’m so grateful to be able to finally deliver high-quality care, with sound ethics, and be reimbursed for my work. In Systems 4PT and their collections services, I have found a great team to help me figure out the mysterious insurance matrix, while I focus on the clinical needs of my clients! None of us went to the trouble of going to PT school to spend all of our days documenting and billing. We are clinical people at heart. Get back to treating your patients and let Systems 4PT empower you to manage the insurance companies. Earn a great living without sacrificing your standards of care with Systems 4PT.
Christine Doblar, PT, of San Jose, California owns Perfect Balance Physical Therapy. She is determined to maintain high standards of physical therapy care in a climate of managed health care. Chris brings over 26 years of experience to her diverse patients, treating athletes of all ages, and neurological, orthopedic, chronic pain, and complicated medical history patients. In 2007, she opened a private practice in order to have the freedom to provide quality, customized one-on-ne care to every patient. She helps clients achieve maximal health and helps them solve complex medical puzzles. Chris provides symptom relief as well as easy action plans to help patients get to where they want to be and keep them moving toward an optimal state of wellness. Chris offers a practical action plan to help clients fully recover and reach their full potential. Relief, combined with practical tools, helps patients regain and maintain their best quality of living. Awesome results and empowering information for a healthy and balanced life!