The secret to Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio’s success

In a previous therapy-focused blog post, I shared the Top 5 Q&A for HIT partners. Now I’d like to introduce you to a practice that took my advice to heart, found a world-class therapy solution, and is changing how it treats patients for the better.

Recognized as an expert in its field, Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio (SMASA) provides accessible, patient-centered care. In addition to treating athletic injuries or chronic problems, the staff also educates patients to help prevent future injuries.

First, I’d like to refresh your memory on those top five considerations regarding HIT partners, and then run through how SMASA therapists and administrators tackled each of them, and share with you some of the improved outcomes they’re enjoying as a result.

1.  SMASA found a solution that enables billing directly from the software

SMASA can schedule, document, and bill from one system – without separate logins or interfaces. With only one database to manage, SMASA is seeing huge productivity improvements. Additionally, a single database reduces the cost of maintaining separate and disparate systems.

Billing Manager Terry Garcia likes the new solution because of the ability to perform claim edits. The practice can easily identify what’s coming in and what needs immediate attention, resulting in reduced A/R days.

“[We have the] ability to modify each payer by financial class, whether it’s Medicaid, commercial insurance, or worker’s comp,” she said. “[Our solution] automatically helps reduce A/R days and recuperate revenue a lot faster because we can make modifications by payer. We’re able to manage payers differently so, if one payer takes longer to pay versus a Medicare payer, [our solution] allows us to alter the settings so we can recuperate our money faster.

2.  SMASA found an intuitive software solution that’s easy to learn and implement

SMASA chose an enterprise solution, tailored for therapy, that’s very intuitive – one where therapists developed the workflow. SMASA therapists are using a single-template workflow in SOAP note format. This makes documenting like second nature from the first click.

What’s more, SMASA has a dedicated project manager who oversaw its implementation project, ensuring SMASA met all milestones and timelines.

Liz Nunez, EHR Director at SMASA says: “The new suite is very user-friendly and allows us to work with our patients more efficiently and with fewer errors, such as documentation details we may have missed during intake.”

3.  SMASA’s software speeds efficiency and reduces “screen time” so caregivers can focus more on patients

SMASA clinicians say they have increased efficiency because the intuitive workflow of their new system uses a single template for documentation of all visit types. Also, they can populate templates using past data from any encounter.

The clinical staff at SMASA readily appreciated the templates and content because it effectively aligned the workflow with their needs from the time of implementation. “[Our users] easily move from each tab, from vital signs to the intake, ordering X-rays and more,” explained Nunez.

4.  SMASA is ensuring payer compliance

SMASA staff can set payer-specific billing and coding rules to ensure they get paid. Their solution came pre-set with Medicare documentation requirements, which are updated, as needed, automatically.

“[Our new solution] gives us the ability to modify each payer by financial class, whether it’s Medicaid, commercial insurance, or worker’s comp,” says SMASA’s billing manager.

5.  Today, SMASA can track the plan of care.

Finally, SMASA’s chosen solution tracks the plan of care electronically inside the system. Its users can add notes about phone calls, faxes, and emails sent to follow up on the plan of care. Once approved, the plan of care updates with the approved information.

According to Nunez, physical therapists are saving as much as six hours a week treating their patients. In addition to the time savings, they like having all functionality in a single template because it’s easier to find their modalities and see what they need to order.

“We’re able to see the patient’s progress in their chart as well as the physical therapy notes,” said Nunez. “We don’t have to wait to request records from other facilities because we’re all on the same system. What better way to treat a patient than to have an easy workflow from Point A to Point B from documentation and intake, all the way through the actual PT treatment plan? With [our new] solution we can see everything that the patient is being treated for. The accessibility of their charts, their labs, their X-rays, their previous history; it’s there at your fingertips.”

Read more about Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio’s chosen solution – and improved outcomes.

Questions about finding an HIT solution that delivers? Contact us at therapy@nextgen.com.