Pandemic Sets Off EMR Shock Waves in Rehab

Outpatient rehab is fighting an “inch by inch” battle, back towards normalcy. Nationwide, May treatment volume is 61% lower than normal. But the good news: May treatments per day are 23% higher than they were in April. Industry experts forecast that June treatment volume will improve to 50% of normal, nationwide.

While outpatient rehab is climbing out of the hole, two well-known EMRs are pulling out of the market. The pandemic’s economic realities are beginning to accelerate consolidation. And there’s more to come.

As expected, the number of practices researching EMR has dramatically increased. Systems4PT inquiries in May are 60% higher than the prior 10-year average. Practice owners tell us that seven factors are pushing them to research technology improvements:

  • Most practice owners aren’t happy with their EMR’s slow documentation
  • Many practices are furious, stating that their EMR is “MIA” as it relates to getting paid for telehealth.
    • Cheat sheets just don’t work. Telehealth billing webinars are a joke as every day they offer new, completely different advice
    • Practices are realizing: It’s my EMR’s job to get the telehealth claims paid. Our job is to treat the patient! Watch our telehealth video
  • Telehealth aside, EMR companies who have invested in technology are demonstrating higher collections per claim, while non-integrated billing companies complain about continually declining reimbursements
    • Practice owners get it: You can’t afford to be using the wrong billing system that leaves about 10% on the table Watch our Billing Video.
  • While there has never been time to research EMR, today staff can research EMR online during unfilled appointment slots
  • Most practices are fully staffed, (because of the Payroll Protection Plan which pays 2 1/5 months of salary) but they are treating only 40% – 50% of normal volume.
    • These practices are assigning therapists to research technology improvements.
  • Converting EMR today is easier and less stressful because practices have fewer active patients than ever.
    • Right now, there is less data to convert
  • EMR websites have so many videos, it’s easy to identify efficient systems without the hassle of interacting with salespeople. Watch our overview video

Practice owners recognize that unfilled appointment slots provide a unique, short term opportunity to improve the practice.

EMR research is up 60%.
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