A Three-Part Series – Part 1
Private practice wound care clinicians are among the most dedicated caregivers. They provide much-needed services to patients suffering from severe wounds and often unable to visit provider offices or clinics in person. It’s a difficult job involving long hours of work and ongoing study to stay on top of the latest clinical advances.
And that’s just part of what these providers must do. The more difficult challenges they face aren’t often patient care – they know how to do that – it’s in running a profitable business.
The good news is there are some proven steps to take and resources to tap that can help independent and private practice wound care providers maximize their operations and profitability. In this first in a three-part series, we’ll look at the role workflow and a specialty EHR play in optimizing business operations for independent wound care practitioners.
Working on Wound Care Workflow
At its core, wound care workflow encompasses the services provided, processes involved, and the documentation of care. Often workflow is viewed as something we just do – we don’t give it much thought. But the workflow is important and the real question many providers need to ask is “why” certain steps must be taken.
One of the more time-consuming – and let’s be honest – frustrating parts of wound care is documentation. The “why” of documentation is that it drives billing and compliance. Why do you document that a patient is a smoker? Yes, because it’s a requirement but also because documenting influences outcomes reporting and billing.
Additionally, documenting specific points in a physical exam generates CPT codes. Understanding critical points to note in an exam helps to ensure the correct code is generated and that billing is accurate, meaning that claims are quickly adjudicated. More importantly, that means you’ll be paid promptly and without a lot of back and forth haggling with the insurer.
Your New Best Friend: A Good EHR
A good EHR is one of the more critical pieces of technology for wound care providers to invest in for their business. Your EHR drives everything from registration to getting paid to meet regulatory requirements. More specifically, EHR systems built for wound care ensure the right CPT codes are used and provide the backup needed for documentation and billing.
There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to wound care EHRs. Ours is a complicated industry with a myriad of clinical guidelines, requirements, and regulations. If you don’t partner with someone that knows the industry – you’ll end up educating them on coding, billing, regulations, and more. With all this on your plate already, look for not just the technology, but a trusted partner who can provide personalized support from people who understand the industry.
Don’t worry about relying on others; for busy wound care providers, it’s essential to “know what you know and what you don’t.” Do what you do best lean on your partner to fill in gaps.
In our next blog, we’ll talk about the need to “go slow to go fast” and the importance of building a strong foundation to improve your business.
Independent wound care providers have a difficult job. Learn how Net Health can help.
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