Dr. R. A. Foxworth, FICC, MCS-P

Dr. R. A. Foxworth, FICC, MCS-P

Countless thought leaders from Einstein to Stephen Covey have touted the benefits of simplicity. But if you’re like most DCs, your practice responsibilities likely feel far from simple. After all, you’re juggling patient care with paperwork, not to mention the very real wish to give your patients a way to afford the care they deserve with what feels like countless rules, regulations, and requirements restricting your ability to do just that.

Simplicity probably doesn’t even seem like an option.

But that’s where we can help. We’re ChiroHealthUSA, a Network that works in conjunction with a Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO). Becoming a ChiroHealthUSA provider costs you nothing, but it means that you can offer your patients safe, legal discounts on maintenance and preventive care, based on your practice’s actual fee schedule.

No more worrying about whether your coupon could be considered an inducement (it can be). No more stressing about whether it’s okay to give your senior patients a break and waive their co-payments (it isn’t). No more agonizing over how to help your uninsured, underinsured, or partially insured patients afford care.

ChiroHealthUSA costs each patient and their families just $49 fee per year which is an affordable membership fee easily recovered in the first patient visit. ChiroHealthUSA providers also have access to free webinars on topics vital to the profession such as reimbursement, documentation, coding, patient finances, staff scripting and training, and billing and collections.

Here are some helpful suggestions for improving documentation in your clinic:

Lean on Your EHR System

Most EHR systems have built-in features to help you with your documentation, including templates for common conditions and prompts that remind you of documentation requirements. Let the software do its job by helping you do yours. Be sure, however, to customize those templates so that patient records aren’t “cloned.” That’s red flag behavior that could get you audited. Also make sure you have a system in place for verifying the accuracy of your information for every new patient encounter. Like any computerized system, the data out will be only as good as the data you put in.

Use Your SOAP

SOAP notes provide a structure that makes it easier to ensure your notes about each patient visit are complete, and that you’ve provided sufficient documentation. That initial patient encounter will, of course, require more notes than future follow-up visits, but if you focus on getting this right the first time, your SOAP notes will tell a clear and compelling story to third-party payers that tracks the beginning, middle, and end of each episode of care. Take SOAP notes with the idea that at any point, they might be reviewed as part of a records request. With practice, you can learn to make these notes while examining and treating the patient, instead of having to wait until the end of the day to write it all up.

For Medicare, Mind Your PQRS

Medicare’s Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) gives you two measures to work with: Pain Assessment and Functional Outcome Assessment. A basic numeric scale of 1 to 10 is reliable and easy for patients to understand, and with practice, is easy to incorporate as a required part of each Medicare patient visit. The Functional Outcome Assessment measures the function of the spine and establishes clinical efficacy. But here again, making this a routine part of each patient visit helps both you and your staff become faster and more accurate. A practical alternative to using multiple forms is to use one instrument, the Functional Rating Index (FRI). This instrument can be used with cervical, thoracic or lumbar conditions eliminating the need for multiple instruments for spine-related conditions.

When you simplify your financial and documentation systems, your life and your practice both have room to breathe and grow. Stay in compliance and streamline your work even further by becoming a ChiroHealthUSA provider. Find out more by checking out our information-packed short videos on how we can help you grow and protect your practice.