Medicare Therapy Cap Forecast Report

Chart Links, the providers of rehabilitation workflow management software, is pleased to announce availability of the Medicare Cap Forecast Report.  The purpose of this report is to aid outpatient rehabilitation facilities in managing the CMS Medicare Part B Outpatient Therapy Cap and Exceptions Process.

The Medicare Cap Forecast Report allows Chart Links Rehabilitation Software users to generate a list of patients who may be nearing the therapy cap threshold.  The report displays amount and visit utilization for occupational therapy services as well as physical therapy and speech-language pathology services combined.

To learn about the Medicare Cap Forecast Report, please contact the Chart Links Helpdesk at (877) 701-9191.

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services Implements Chart Links Rehabilitation Software

Electronic therapy documentation and scheduling software from Chart Links is now being used by more than 40 therapists in four locations at Scottsdale Healthcare, a community-based non-profit healthcare system in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services is a leading provider of therapy related to orthopedics and sports medicine, balance and vestibular disorders, swallowing and voice disorders, pediatrics, geriatric disability, neurological disorders, work-related injuries and total joint replacement, as well as hand therapy, aquatic physical therapy and audiology evaluation. In 2010, approximately 5,300 evaluations and 42,000 visits were processed across four Scottsdale Healthcare locations.

“We chose Chart Links due to the flexibility of its clinical documentation design,” said Therapy Services Manager Melinda Richardson, PT, MA. “We see patients of all ages across a variety of rehabilitation disciplines, so we require a high level of specificity in our therapy documentation to individualize patient care. Our clinicians didn’t feel that the fixed templates offered by other products allowed for easy modifications based on patient need. With Chart Links, we got the flexible documentation we needed without sacrificing compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

“Electronic access to our patient records has made us much more efficient,” said Richardson. “Before Chart Links, we used transcription along with handwritten documentation and had a scheduling system that was separate from our billing system. We were constantly handling and hunting down paper charts, and were tracking and reporting information manually. The electronic integration of Chart Links into our existing systems makes for a more productive and seamless management of information from start to finish. We’ve eliminated our transcription costs and resources, and we document in less time. We’ve also cut out labor and paper intensive processes like chart management, faxing and manual charge entry.”

Chart Links is capable of interfacing in a Health Level 7 (HL7) format to inbound Admission/Discharge/Transfer (ADT) for patient registration data and to outbound billing systems. Interfaces also exist for inbound scheduling, outbound scheduling, outbound results, and customized ADT or billing, among others.

“Moving forward, we are poised for sharing information electronically across care settings, for example, with home health systems or accountable care organizations,” Richardson said. “It’s that kind of connectivity that will enable healthcare as a whole to deliver a higher quality of care with less administrative cost.”

About Chart Links, LLC
For more than 16 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visit
http://www.chartlinks.com

About Scottsdale Healthcare
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. Arizona’s first and only multihospital health system to earn Magnet recognition for its nursing care, Scottsdale Healthcare is a leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit shc.org. For information on Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services, visit
http://www.shc.org/therapy/

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services Implements Chart Links Rehabilitation Software

Workflow management software enables more than 40 therapists in four locations to manage therapy documentation, scheduling, referrals, insurance authorizations, charges and more.

Electronic therapy documentation and scheduling software from Chart Links is now being used by more than 40 therapists in four locations at Scottsdale Healthcare, a community-based non-profit healthcare system in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services is a leading provider of therapy related to orthopedics and sports medicine, balance and vestibular disorders, swallowing and voice disorders, pediatrics, geriatric disability, neurological disorders, work-related injuries and total joint replacement, as well as hand therapy, aquatic physical therapy and audiology evaluation. In 2010, approximately 5,300 evaluations and 42,000 visits were processed across four Scottsdale Healthcare locations.

“We chose Chart Links due to the flexibility of its clinical documentation design,” said Therapy Services Manager Melinda Richardson, PT, MA. “We see patients of all ages across a variety of rehabilitation disciplines, so we require a high level of specificity in our therapy documentation to individualize patient care. Our clinicians didn’t feel that the fixed templates offered by other products allowed for easy modifications based on patient need. With Chart Links, we got the flexible documentation we needed without sacrificing compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

“Electronic access to our patient records has made us much more efficient,” said Richardson. “Before Chart Links, we used transcription along with handwritten documentation and had a scheduling system that was separate from our billing system. We were constantly handling and hunting down paper charts, and were tracking and reporting information manually. The electronic integration of Chart Links into our existing systems makes for a more productive and seamless management of information from start to finish. We’ve eliminated our transcription costs and resources, and we document in less time. We’ve also cut out labor and paper intensive processes like chart management, faxing and manual charge entry.”

Chart Links is capable of interfacing in a Health Level 7 (HL7) format to inbound Admission/Discharge/ Transfer (ADT) for patient registration data and to outbound billing systems. Interfaces also exist for inbound scheduling, outbound scheduling, outbound results, and customized ADT or billing, among others.

“Moving forward, we are poised for sharing information electronically across care settings, for example, with home health systems or accountable care organizations,” Richardson said. “It’s that kind of connectivity that will enable healthcare as a whole to deliver a higher quality of care with less administrative cost.”

About Chart Links, LLC
For more than 16 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visit
http://www.chartlinks.com

About Scottsdale Healthcare
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. Arizona’s first and only multihospital health system to earn Magnet recognition for its nursing care, Scottsdale Healthcare is a leader in medical innovation, talent and technology, founded in 1962 and based in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit shc.org. For information on Scottsdale Healthcare Outpatient Therapy Services, visit
http://www.shc.org/therapy/

Physical Therapy Workflow Software and Documentation

March 15, 2011 · Posted in Documentation, physical therapy, Workflow · Comment 

Chart Links offers physical therapy documentation software designed to match the workflow of a physical rehabilitation facility.

In addition to administrative and financial features like patient registration, referral management, insurance authorization, cross-discipline scheduling, charges, reporting/analytics, and outcomes, Chart Links offers the following physical therapy-specific features.

  • PT Evaluations. Standard physical therapy documentation and evaluation forms library (i.e., cervical spine, shoulder, ankle). Contains numerous sections with the ability to customize into sets and forms.
  • PT Flow Sheets. Electronic management of daily flow sheets (i.e., shoulder therex, exercise) with ability to analyze progress over time. Ability to link flow sheets to progress notes.
  • Scheduling. Ability to schedule patient with PTA and PT in one easy-to-use feature.
  • Patient Arrival Notification. Using our physical therapy documentation software, PT may receive a page on his/her beeper to be notified when a patient has checked in at the front desk.
  • Wireless Access. Allows for un-tethered documentation (i.e., document in a wireless gym setting with hardware on a rolling cart, or, use a handheld wireless tablet PC).
  • PT Patient Education. Print-on-demand patient handouts (i.e., home programs, exercises). Instructional and educational materials are available for customization and distribution. Ability to scan-in existing sheets or create-your-own. Ability to interface to third-party electronic formats.
  • Authorizations. Monitor authorized visits for PT evaluation and follow-up visits.
  • Compliance. Support of compliance efforts with JCAHO, CARF, HIPAA and other rehabilitation professional standards. Helps ensure compliance with Medicare CCI edits, modifiers and time tracking while documenting.

For more information, visit Chart Links at www.chartlinks.com

Tuomey Healthcare System’s Outpatient Rehab Services Implements Chart Links Rehabilitation Software

Chart Links, a provider of rehabilitation workflow management software, announces the implementation of its electronic therapy documentation and scheduling by 15 therapists at Tuomey Healthcare System’s Outpatient Rehab Services.

Rehab Services is a leading provider of outpatient physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, developmental pediatrics, audiology and speech therapy in South Carolina. Located in the Tuomey Medical Park, Rehab Services includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapy assistants, certified athletic trainers, therapy technicians and administrative staff. The facility treats 150-200 patients per day.

“We researched systems for about a year,” says Jerry Shadbolt, M.Ed., ATC and Outpatient Clinical Manager. “We found Chart Links to be the most user-friendly and modifiable to meet our needs. Our goal was to make our clinicians as efficient and productive as possible by ridding ourselves of the paper. Chart Links is a flexible program offering us a variety of documentation templates — from pediatrics to ortho to spine.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence, and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

“From a management perspective,” says Shadbolt, “Chart Links keeps our clinicians compliant and accountable. We now have fewer incomplete documents at the end of the day. And, when it comes to reporting, there will be less of a ‘beastly effort’ to gather data and measure productivity. Overall, I give the product a high grade.”

Affiliated with 301-bed hospital Tuomey Regional Medical Center, Rehab Services has also implemented an interface from MEDITECH, the hospital’s information system, to Chart Links. Components of the interface include registration and billing data.

“Management of authorizations is one area that has greatly improved,” says Renee Brown, Office Manager. “We used to depend on the manual tracking efforts of our therapists and staff. Now, authorizations are automatically tracked in the system.”

About Chart Links, LLC
For over 15 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, visithttp://www.chartlinks.com

About Tuomey Healthcare System’s Rehab Services
Tuomey’s Rehab Services team works every day to deliver personalized rehabilitation plans to help patients optimize their potential for good health. With an on-site physician, complete range of rehab services, world-class equipment and a team of rehab specialists, the rehab program is recognized as the finest and most comprehensive in the region. Tuomey rehab programs include physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, developmental pediatrics, audiology and speech therapy.  For more information, go to http://www.tuomey.com/facilities/tuomeymedicalpark.aspx

TherapyTimes.com Features Margaret Mary Community Hospital’s Implementation of Rehab EMR

In a recently-published article entitled “Providing a New Connection: Margaret Mary Community Hospital (MMCH) Launches Innovative EMR Solution,” TherapyTimes.com featured the success story of one of Chart Links’ customers from Batesville, IN.

MMCH runs an off-site Outpatient Rehabilitation Center that handles more than 15,000 patient visits annually. The rehab facility employs 21 therapists providing physical, occupational, and speech therapies.  The story covers their transition from paper-based to electronic therapy scheduling as well their transition from and existing therapy documentation tool to Chart Links.

MMCH currently uses Chart Links Rehabilitation Software as its end-to-end, niche-specific software solution that ensures documentation accuracy, improves workflow, saves time, streamlines scheduling and generally makes life easier for a totally rehab-focused facility.

Read the full article at TherapyTimes.com.

Providence Speech and Hearing Center Implements Chart Links Electronic Therapy Documentation

Patients and Staff at Providence Speech and Hearing Center embrace and applaud the new and efficient electronic system

Chart Links, a provider of rehabilitation workflow management software, announces the implementation of its electronic therapy documentation and scheduling system by a team of 25 audiologists, speech therapists and pediatric occupational therapists at Providence Speech and Hearing Center, a not-for-profit and leading provider of services to the speech and hearing impaired of Orange County, California.

“The government is promoting the advancement of information technology to cut costs in the healthcare industry,” says Linda H. Smith, CEO of Providence Speech and Hearing Center. “By implementing Chart Links’ electronic medical record at Providence, we’re an active participant in that cost-cutting initiative. As healthcare continues to reform, Providence will be technically equipped to better service its patient population.”

Providence served over 29,000 appointments in 2009 to over 5,659 unique patients.

“The implementation has allowed Providence to gain efficiencies and see more patients, as well as to gather and monitor our clinical outcomes,” says Smith.

“The staff here at Providence has responded well to the transition and is looking forward to even more advantageous results in the coming months.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visits. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, progress notes, patient education, clinical correspondence, and plans of care. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

About Chart Links, LLC
For over 15 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue. For more information about Chart Links, you may access their web site at: http://www.chartlinks.com

About Providence Speech and Hearing Center
Founded in 1965 by Sister Margaret Anne Inman Ph.D., Providence Speech and Hearing Center is the leading service provider to the speech and hearing impaired of Orange County, California. With over 40 years of experience, Providence has grown from a one room house to a multi-million dollar non-profit organization. Providence served over 21,000 appointments in 2008 to over 3,200 unique patients. They offer a full array of speech and hearing services for children and adults alike; and, because they believe everyone deserves the gifts of speech and hearing, they accept most major insurance companies and medical groups as well as providing grants, scholarships and financing options for patients from low-income families.  http://www.pshc.org

Therapy Scheduling in Outpatient Rehab Facilities

March 7, 2010 · Posted in Scheduling, Workflow · Comment 

The day begins and ends with a simple appointment. But, in outpatient rehabilitation facilities, the therapy scheduling process is not always so simple, is it?

You know what it takes — scheduling across multiple locations for multiple days with multiple providers often in multiple therapy disciplines. You need not only to book, but to double book and triple book when things get a little hectic – not to mention staggering, recurring, canceling, and re-booking missed therapy appointments.

From bump lists to wait lists – you see it all. Let’s face it, rehabilitation scheduling is complex.

The Chart Links Scheduler — complete with rehabilitation templates — is built to ensure that patients are appropriately slotted to see who they need, when they need them, with the right resources, in the right place. Scheduling activities for patients and classes/groups with providers, equipment, locations and user-defined resources are supported.

Unlike other general medical schedulers, Chart Links has designed its scheduler around the needs of medical rehabilitation facilities. Inherent in the scheduler is the ability to schedule by cross-discipline. There is also an ability to schedule the patient with multiple therapists or resources in one easy-to-use feature (i.e., PTA with PT, OTA with OT, speech therapist with audiologist, or audiologist with hearing/screening booth and with audioscope).

To learn more about therapy scheduling through Chart Links, click here.

Implementation Services for Electronic Therapy Documentation

When it comes to implementing an electronic medical record for your outpatient rehab facility, Chart Links provides clinical and work flow expertise.

We employ a team of software development, implementation and support experts that have dealt with the electronic documentation of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy evaluations for years. Our team can work with your therapists and staff members to determine how best to link an electronic patient chart to each critical resource in your rehab department.

Some of the services Chart Links offers includes:

  • Engineering the system and designing the network
  • Identifying and coding hospital system interfaces in HL7
  • Prepare your therapists and office staff for implementation
  • Applying technology to your current workflows with the least disruption to staff
  • Writing customer reports that will help you best manage your facility

Contact a Chart Links representative today to learn more about how our rehab software can automate therapy documentation and scheduling for your outpatient rehab facility.

Spartanburg Eliminates Transcription Costs, Improves Clinician Productivity and Documentation Consistency Using Chart Links

Spartanburg Regional Rehabilitation Services is a division of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, which is based in South Carolina and was named one of the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals in 2007 by Hospital & Health Networks magazine. Spartanburg Regional Rehabilitation Services focuses on physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology, and includes 68 clinicians and 10 support staff across eight locations.

At the time that Spartanburg Regional Rehabilitation Services began evaluating electronic charting solutions, the organization’s use of paperbased patient charts required advanced planning to ensure that the chart was available at the location where the patient was visiting. In addition, Spartanburg maintained the majority of its paper-based charts older than one year at an off-site storage location. As a result, the office often had to retrieve records from offsite storage before patient visits.

“One of the many disadvantages of using paper-based documentation was that the therapists had to complete a billing sheet with every patient encounter, which was time consuming, and on some occasions, was not completed in a timely manner,” said Kelly Sheppard-Fowler, Practice Manager at Spartanburg Regional Rehabilitation Services. ” Another challenge with our manual processes was the lack of electronic scheduling, which makes it all too easy to encounter scheduling errors when coordinating across different sites.”

“The other solutions evaluated didn’t have the rehabilitation-specific functionality that we needed, such as specialized reports and templates, as well as a way to link clinical documentation with scheduled appointments,” Sheppard-Fowler said. “Most importantly, the solutions didn’t track insurance authorizations for patient visits, or notify the therapists when additional visit authorization was needed for the patient. Chart Links had all of these capabilities, plus much more.”

Spartanburg went live on Chart Links electronic documentation in August 2006 following a six-month implementation that included the creation of an interface to the organization’s McKesson Star billing system. “The implementation of Chart Links was successful due to the extensive planning and knowledge of the Chart Links staff. It was very helpful that the implementation staff included a therapist from Chart Links that could relate with our clinical staff,” Sheppard-Fowler said.

Users quickly adopted the solution because it mirrored the organization’s workflow. “Illegibility problems were immediately eliminated and the accuracy and thoroughness of our documentation improved drastically,” Sheppard-Fowler said.

Using Chart Links, Spartanburg clinicians no longer have to fill out billing sheets for each patient, since the system automatically completes the task. Edits within the system check that charges are compliant with private insurance and Medicare requirements, and that any charging errors are routed into a queue for review. To further prevent errors, the interface with the McKesson Star system allows Chart Links to confirm that patient information is consistent between the two systems. Additionally, Chart Links alerts therapists if Medicare modifiers are missing, and the system tracks patient visits that count toward insurance authorizations, automatically notifying clinicians when additional visits will require reauthorization. Chart Links also allows the clinical staff to fax plans of care directly out of the system to referring physicians, and has a tracking system to ensure compliance.

Since using Chart Links, reimbursement has increased due to more accurate documentation and the ability to track insurance authorizations that help avoid lost charges. Chart Links’ edit capabilities that catch errors before claim submissions have enabled Spartanburg to decrease its error rates significantly, which has reduced accounts receivable days.

In addition, Spartanburg eliminated its $10,000 per month transcription costs since all documentation is now electronic. “Chart Links helped make our documentation consistent across all our sites, and it’s easy to access a patient chart from any of our locations,” Sheppard-Fowler said.

Spartanburg implemented the Chart Links electronic scheduling module one year after going live with electronic documentation. “Initially, we utilized the hospital’s centralized department/software to handle our scheduling needs but the existing system did not accommodate our different sites, clinicians and specialties. As a result we encountered extensive scheduling errors. Most of these errors were eliminated once we began using the Chart Links scheduling system,” Sheppard-Fowler said.

Another benefit of using Chart Links is the system’s ability to help track clinician productivity. “Although we haven’t changed our productivity expectations, we have noticed that more clinicians are meeting their productivity goals,” Sheppard-Fowler said. “Prior to Chart Links, clinicians would simply turn in productivity reports to their manager, who would only contact clinicians if they were not meeting their goals. Now, clinicians actively monitor their productivity using Chart Links, which promotes accountability and self-motivation toward obtaining productivity goals.”

www.chartlinks.com

Providence Speech and Hearing Center Selects Chart Links Rehabilitation Software for 25 Therapists

September 29, 2009 · Posted in audiology, Documentation, occupational therapy, Speech Therapy, Workflow · Comment 

Chart Links, a provider of rehabilitation workflow management software, announces the selection of its electronic therapy documentation and scheduling system by a team of 25 audiologists, speech therapists and pediatric occupational therapists at Providence Speech and Hearing Center, a not-for-profit leading provider of services to the speech and hearing impaired of Orange County, California. The software implementation will include functionality for electronic therapy documentation, cross-discipline therapy scheduling, referrals, insurance authorizations and charges. It also includes a patient demographic and billing interface to the existing practice management system.

“Our mission is to enrich life through the gifts of speech and hearing,” says Linda H. Smith, CEO of Providence Speech and Hearing Center. “Because of the efficiencies we’ll gain by automating our administrative and clinical workflows with Chart Links, we’re projecting an increase in patient load and a drastic reduction in our wait list of 1000 patients, all of whom are children.”

In 2008, Providence provided services to more than 21,000 people. Approximately 80% of Providence Speech and Hearing Center’s work is dedicated to low-income patients who are either uninsured or underinsured.

“We selected Chart Links over other systems because it was built for therapists practicing in an outpatient setting,” says Smith. “By enhancing their productivity, we expect to increase our time spent with patients and improve outcomes.”

Chart Links software streamlines all of the daily tasks associated with a patient’s physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, or audiology visit. The software manages adult and pediatric therapy treatment by automating evaluations, flow sheets, plans of care, progress notes, patient education, and clinical correspondence. It also manages payer compliance, provider reimbursement, outcomes reporting, administrative functions, business intelligence and enterprise productivity.

About Chart Links, LLC
For 15 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue.http://www.chartlinks.com?source=prweb

About Providence Speech and Hearing Center
Founded in 1965 by Sister Margaret Anne Inman Ph.D., Providence Speech and Hearing Center is the leading service provider to the speech and hearing impaired of Orange County, California. With over 40 years of experience, Providence has grown from a one room house to a multi-million dollar non-profit organization. Providence served over 21,000 appointments in 2008 to over 3,200 unique patients. They offer a full array of speech and hearing services for children and adults alike; and, because they believe everyone deserves the gifts of speech and hearing, they accept most major insurance companies and medical groups as well as providing grants, scholarships and financing options for patients from low-income families. http:// http://www.pshc.org

Therapy Scheduling in Outpatient Rehab

July 21, 2009 · Posted in Scheduling, Workflow · Comment 

The day begins and ends with a simple appointment. But, in outpatient rehabilitation facilities, the appointment scheduling process is not always so simple, is it?

Outpatient therapy scheduling often requires appointments across multiple locations for multiple days with multiple providers in multiple disciplines. You need not only to book, but to double book and triple book when things get a little hectic – not to mention staggering, recurring, canceling, and re-booking missed appointments.

At Chart Links, we understand rehabilitation scheduling. We’ve been there, we’ve done it, and we’ve built a tool that can manage it.

The Chart Links Scheduler — complete with rehabilitation templates — is built to ensure that patients are appropriately slotted to see who they need, when they need them, with the right resources, in the right place. Scheduling activities for patients and classes/groups with providers, equipment, locations and user-defined resources are supported.

For more information about our outpatient rehabilitation therapy scheduler, go to our scheduling feature web page.

Optimizing Outpatient Rehab Therapy Documentation with Software

July 7, 2009 · Posted in Documentation, Workflow · Comment 

The July issue of Rehab Management features an article written by Mark Finn that focuses on Software Solutions for Multisite Therapy Practices. 

Mark cites the following areas to automate in a multi-site physical therapy practice for gaining improved efficiencies:

  • Workflow Automation
  • Manual Documentation
  • Claims Processing
  • Reporting
  • Clinical Documentation

We encourage you to read the full article to learn some tips on how to spend less time dealing with paperwok, documentation and reports — and more time treating a greater number of patients.

If you need help evaluating electronic medical records systems for your multi-site outpatient rehabilitation facility, contact Chart Links.

Work Flow Software for the Outpatient Director of Rehabilitation

May 27, 2009 · Posted in Documentation, Workflow · Comment 

At an outpatient rehab facility, the work of a Director of Rehabilitation is never done. While information technology is only one piece of the puzzle – it’s critical for keeping team productivity high and providing insightful data that will support decision-making.

Rehabilitation work flow management software will automate processes like registration, referrals, scheduling, insurance authorizations, physician authorizations and charges.  It will offer comprehensive electronic documentation of evaluations, plans of care and progress notes.  It will interface seamlessly with other information systems to ensure the dependable and accurate flow of administrative, clinical and financial information.

What are the benefits of an outpatient rehab work flow management system?

  • compliance with therapy billing regulations
  • increased operational efficiency
  • a reduction in lost revenue
  • a potential increase in revenue

 Many outpatient rehab facilities still operate manually today, using paper charts to document care and route patients.  As the Obama Administration advocates for interoperability among healthcare providers, the time is right for Directors of Rehabilitation to take a look at work flow management software solutions designed with their needs in mind.  

For more information on work flow management systems for outpatient rehab, contact Chart Links.

Chart Links Automates Physician Authorization of Therapy Plans of Care at Carle Foundation Hospital

May 5, 2009 · Posted in Workflow · Comment 

Chart Links, a provider of rehabilitation workflow management software, announces the implementation of its physician authorization solution at Carle Foundation Hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation program which handles about 140,000 visits per year at 11 locations in east central Illinois. The solution eliminates the phone calls and faxing associated with authorizations by automating the process by which physicians approve therapist-generated plans of care for rehabilitative care.

Among other benefits, the solution

  • speeds continuity of care by automating responses to requests for authorization and eliminating the manual paper chase (printing, mailing, faxing, scanning, phone calls)
  • reduces billing delays by eliminating backlogs of unauthorized plans of care due to misplaced or overlooked paperwork that was mailed or faxed
  • offers referring physicians real-time access to therapy plan of care updates by consolidating past and present plans of care to the physician electronic medical record

Even though therapists and referring physicians at Carle both documented care electronically, the referral authorization process between the two systems required manual intervention with printing, sorting, bundling, sending, scanning and data input. The real-time interface creates efficiencies by eliminating the last bit of paper in Carle’s work flow and reducing phone calls to and from referring physicians. The solution also provides the physician with historical data related to the progress of a patient’s therapy.

“Plans of care can now be approved by physicians in minutes versus days,” says Stephanie Dotson, Supervisor of Therapy Services at Carle. “That expedites insurance authorizations and enables our office specialists to focus on revenue-generating activities for the one to two hours per day that were previously spent on the busy-work associated with plan of care certifications.”

Carle Therapy Services offers unique, specialty care across all settings- from acute care to outpatient therapy in multiple locations across east central Illinois. The staff is highly trained and has advanced certifications, focusing on developing an individualized treatment plans. Carle Therapy Services is owned and operated by The Carle Foundation, a not for-profit tertiary care facility, which is the regional Level I Trauma Center.  It also works closely Carle Clinic Association, one of the largest physician group practices in the United States.  Carle Clinic Association physicians practice in more than 50 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. 

For 15 years, Chart Links has developed rehabilitation software that automates workflow for referrals, insurance authorizations, cross-discipline scheduling, documentation, charges, and more. Chart Links allows medical rehabilitation facilities to be more efficient and to provide a higher quality of care by delivering results in the areas of compliance, outcomes, analytics and revenue.

Features and Benefits of Therapy Documentation Software

March 30, 2009 · Posted in Documentation, Workflow · Comment 

By trading in pens, papers, labels and folders for therapy documentation software, therapists can 

  • spend more time with their patients
  • monitor key performance measures
  • report on outcomes
  • save an enormous amount of filing space in their facility

Here are some of the areas that can become automated with the right therapy documentation software:

Patient Arrival Notification. For a busy outpatient facility to maintain its schedule, it’s critical to know exactly when patients arrive.  Look for a complete workflow management system that notifies therapists by pager when a patient has checked-in at the front desk.

Evaluations. A robust therapy documentation system will offer a vast array of discipline-specific evaluation forms.  Look for a system developed by therapists that contains an extensive library of numerous sections.  The system should enable the therapist to to customize the library of sections into sets and forms that meet the guidelines or preferences of his/her documentation approach.

Flow Sheets. A good therapy documentation system will provide electronic management of clinical data entry that allows for review of patient progress over time.  The automation of flow sheets should accommodate multi-disciplinary documentation requirements.  It’s also good practice to link the flow sheets back to a progress note.

Plans of Care. Look for a therapy documentation system that auto-generates plan of care reports directly from the evaluation.  The report should include recommendations, plans and goals for the patient. To help administrators effectively manage multiple clinicians, the system should notify managers of incomplete or overdue plans of care as well as physician approvals.  To save time and further streamline processes, look for a system in which plan of care reports may be electronically signed and faxed directly from the desktop.

Progress Notes. A good benefit of a therapy documentation system is its ability to track patient progress.  The patient shoud be monitored on the system from scheduling and check-in through the evaluation and on to discharge.  By automatically creating a daily progress note for each patient at check-in, the system is able to link documentation to billing and help eliminate lost charges. 

Clinical Messaging and Correspondence. It’s one thing to document INTO a system and another thing to get information OUT.  Make sure that your therapy documentation system can transmit authorized patient-specific information in a secure electronic format.  The system should provide customizable letters, forms and reports that streamline communications related to patient treatment and reimbursement.

Patient Education. Most therapy documentation systems print-on-demand patient handouts (i.e., home programs, exercises) or even interface to third-party electronic formats.  Many offer an ability to scan-in existing sheets as well as to make your own.  Make sure the system includes instructional and educational materials that may be customized prior to distribution. 

Therapist Productivity Management. With automation comes the ability to generate reports.  Reports become an effective tool to manage the facility more effectively.  Check to make sure that your therapy documentation system offers tracking mechanisms for therapist productivity by units, service analysis, billed time, total time spent, and other criteria.

For more features and benefits of a full rehabilitation workflow management system, visit our rehabilitation software website.

Therapy Documentation Software Return On Investment

January 5, 2009 · Posted in Compliance, Documentation, Reimbursement, Scheduling, Workflow · Comment 

When it comes to automating therapy documentation, funding is one of the biggest challenges outpatient rehab facilities face.

If you’re struggling to make a compelling business case for electronic medical records to your hospital board of directors, consider all of the operational areas that will yield quantifiable results.  As you build your case, marry up metrics to timeframes as a part of your formula for return on investment.

Efficiency Improvements

When you automate therapy appointments, appointment reminders, referral management, authorization tracking, evaluations, plans of care, progress notes,  flow sheets, and more; information can be called up and acted on almost immediately.  List out and quantify all of the administrative task time this saves.  Consider improvements in communications alone as it relates to time spent on referrals, authorizations and appointment reminders.    The staff productivity gained allows for major improvements in therapist work flow which, over time, allows more patients to be seen in the same amount of time.

Cost Savings

One of the greatest cost savings brought by electronic therapy documentation is the elimination of transcription costs.  Because therapists enter clinical documentation directly into the system, traditional paper-based methods are greatly reduced, if not eliminated.  Determine your current cost per therapist or per page for transcription.  Estimate, conservatively, a reduction in transcription costs.  This will likely be one of the most significant contributors to your overall cost savings with an electronic therapy documentation system.  Don’t forget to consider other paper chart costs in the ROI equation:

  • supplies for creating and storing charts (from folders, stickers and dividers to cabinets)
  • labor expenses for managing chart pulls, filing and audits
  • copying expenses for documentation to attorneys, payers and physicians

Revenue Enhancements

Electronic therapy documentation opens new doors for driving revenue that should be considered as a part of return on investment.  Consider how much more compliant, complete and accurate documentation becomes when it has the checks and balances of automation.  Coding levels and claim errors correlate directly to documentation of the encounter.  When therapy documentation occurs electronically, therapists report greater confidence levels as it pertains to Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) Edits, Medicare time tracking (or the eight minute rule), authorization tracking, and other compliance issues that can help or inhibit proper reimbursement.  Consider improvements in billing accuracy as a part of your ROI analysis.

Quality Improvements

Some of the less tangible returns of electronic therapy documentation include quality.  In most cases, electronic documentation allows for quicker, more legible, better organized and more comprehensive patient documentation overall.  Across the outpatient rehab facility, automation standardizes clinical documentation, reducing inconsistencies in structure,  poor handwriting, and lag time in documentation and approvals.  Patient education sheets are readily accessible and up to date.  Plan of care reports are auto-generated from the evaluation, able to be monitored, electronically signed, and faxed from the desktop.  These and many other improvements in quality should be considered in ROI.

Summary

In an outpatient setting, electronic therapy documentation impacts both the therapist and staff productivity.  A good business case for return on investment should focus on

  • efficiency improvements
  • cost savings
  • revenue enhancements
  • quality improvements

If you need help putting together your Return on Investment business case for an electronic therapy documentation system, please contact us.

Ann W. Kummer to Speak about Speech Therapy Software at ASHA

November 18, 2008 · Posted in Compliance, Documentation, Scheduling, Speech Therapy, Workflow · Comment 

We’re happy to announce that Ann Kummer, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA-F, will speak at the 2008 Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention on November 22, 2008 in Chicago, IL from 8-9am. The presentation, entitled “It’s Not IF You’ll Computerize, It’s WHEN and HOW,” will cover 10 things that speech-language pathology (SLP) clinics should consider when evaluating speech therapy software to automate their documentation and administration. Dr. Kummer is the Senior Director of Speech Pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

“More than a decade ago, we embarked upon a mission to reduce the documentation and administrative demands within our organization,” says Dr. Kummer.  “Today, we leverage information technology to automate our processes, streamline workflow, reduce billing errors, increase coding compliance, and improve the quality, consistency and turn-around time of our documentation.”

In 1995, Dr. Kummer chose Chart Links Rehab Software to meet the unique documentation needs of a speech pathology department that couldn’t be met with a generic clinical documentation or electronic medical records system. Within a year of launching the system, the Speech Pathology Department at Cincinnati Children’s started realizing the benefits of automation, which included:

  • 1-2 hours of increased billed time per week per full-time equivalent therapist
  • Increased reimbursement resulting from consistent processes
  • Decreased support staff costs
  • Improved net revenues
  • Improved staff and patient satisfaction

The cost reductions in computerizing the documentation and administrative processes continue to deliver a financial return to the organization each year.

Dr. Kummer’s department has been computerized with Chart Links Rehab Software since 1995. She is the author of Business Practices: A Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists published by ASHA.  She is also the author of Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies: Effects on Speech and Resonance published by Delmar Cengage Learning, 2 Edition (July, 2007).

To learn more about Chart Links’ Rehab Software, visit booth #962 at the American Speech-Language-Pathology Association (ASHA) Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois on November 20-22, 2008, call 888.369.0707, or visit our website.

Article: Chart Links online at Executive Healthcare Management

August 8, 2008 · Posted in Compliance, Documentation, Workflow · Comment 

Ron Miller, M.D., our President and Chief Medical Officer, and Betty Esposito, our Vice President, were asked to contribute an online editorial to Executive Healthcare Management magazine.    The article is entitled “Rehabilitation Clinics Can Level the Playing Field: Leveraging Electronic Charting Solutions to Improve Documentation, Coding Accuracy, and Billing Processes.”

The article covers the ways in which rehabilitation clinics can use software to track and bill for care in order to compete effectively and earn a profit in today’s market.  The article delves into how electronic charting solutions help therapists to comprehensively and accurately document patient care, reducing human error and complying with regulatory requirements. 

It covers four areas where electronic charting can help level the playing field with technology-enabled resources:

  • Correct Coding Initiative Edits (CCI Edits)
  • Time Tracking
  • Account Tracking
  • Authorizations

Article: Carle Clinic Ahead of Schedule

July 28, 2008 · Posted in Documentation, Scheduling, Workflow · Comment 

Lindie Peters, a physical therapist at Carle Clinic, was recently published in ADVANCE for Directors in Rehabilitation, Vol. 17, Issue 7, Page 60, Products At Work.  The article is entitled “Ahead of Schedule:  Chart Links improves efficiency and accuracy for busy clinicians.”

The article covers how physical therapists at Carle Therapy Services use Chart Links Rehabilitation Software to document evaluations, treatments, and plans of care for doctor authorizations.  The solution has allowed them to reduce errors and redundancy by interfacing scheduling, documentation and charge entry.

Carle  Therapy Services is affiliated with 305-bed Carle Foundation Hospital.  They have more than 120 clinicians generating up to 90 care plans each day.

To learn even more about Carle Therapy Services, read their Customer Case Study online.

Next Page »