No EMR system is right for every therapy practice.
This post is to help you discern which documentation and billing software system is right for your occupational therapy, physical therapy, and/or speech therapy business.
In the end, WebPT may be right for you – or perhaps you'll find another option.
We'll begin by comparing the cost of WebPT to other EMR/billing prices. (You should definitely look into multiple EMR companies.)
Then, we'll look at crowd-sourced questions that you can ask during demos. WebPT has already provided the answers to accelerate your research.
If you end up requesting a demo with WebPT, you can use my custom link to receive a $100 discount on WebPT if you then decide to subscribe.
Disclaimer: I have a partnership with WebPT, but, please know that being helpful to my readers is my first priority.
Overview of EMRs for OT, PT, and SLP (Includes Pricing!)
When searching for a software solution, I know for many of you the first question is this:
"How much does it cost?"
The table below gives you a starting point to finding those answers for your practice. It will help you filter which systems are designed for your type of practice AND which ones are in your financial wheelhouse.
I wanted to make the table simple to navigate, and to do so, I did not include all of the specific features included in each system.
A huge thanks to the OT Entrepreneurs FB Group for their input into this list! All of the EMR companies were highly recommended in this group or on Capterra, with the exception of Planet Rehab, which I found through my own research; I wanted to show you the cost to license software outright versus the subscription model.
EMR/Billing Cost for 1 Practitioner at 1 Location
Basic EMR: "About $30/Therapist for 1-5 Employees" (You will need to request a quote.)
Additional Costs: A La Carte Options
Designed for: ABA Practices (Behavioral Health, Speech, Multi-Speciality, School)
EMR: $500 - $150,000 Stand-alone Software Purchase
EMR with Billing: 7% of Collections
- $1,500 Billing Set-up
- Support: $100-150/hour (Basic EMR Plan only)
- Training: "Varies" (Basic EMR Plan only)
- Yearly Maintenance Fee: "Varies" (Basic EMR Plan only)
- Upgrades: "Discounted Price" (Basic EMR Plan only)
Designed for: OT, PT, SLP
Questions for WebPT (These Are Also Good Questions to Ask Any EMR Company)
After finding 3-4 EMR options you want to explore further, I suggest compiling questions you want answered about each system.
Ask a lot of questions!
Of course, ask them during the demo. But, also don't forget to reach out to fellow therapists who are using the systems.
These questions were collected from the OT Entrepreneurs FB Group. Paul Potter, a private practice startup coach, also helped me fill in some gaps!
The questions are divided into 5 categories for your navigation enjoyment:
- Saving Time
- Saving Money
- Improving the Patient Experience
- Accommodating Different Practice Areas
- Accessing a Private Practice Community
EMR Questions from Fellow Therapists:
1. SAVING TIME
"Are you tracking the average time therapists spend on each note? I’m curious how long it will take me to document and bill with this system."
WebPT: Yes, we do track this data. Therapists typically keep their evaluative notes open during patient exams, which is why we see an average open time of around 40 minutes.
Daily notes, on the other hand, are typically open for around 5 minutes, as most data carries forward from one note to the next. So, therapists are simply accounting for visit-to-visit updates.
"I’ve been seeing 10 private pay patients and am currently using paper-based notes and giving my patients a superbill. Can you walk me through (an approximate) step-by-step time investment for getting set-up with WebPT/Therabill?"
WebPT: The amount of time it takes to get totally set up varies by practice, but we do have a clear step-by-step checklist for new members to follow. And we offer tons of support along the way. Most clinics are up and running in a few weeks.
"Figuring out HIPAA compliant email/fax/texting has been a huge time-suck for me! Does WebPT offer a solutions/support in communicating with patients, payers and physicians?"
WebPT: We offer secure electronic faxing directly from the application, and we also have a document portal that allows Members to securely share files via email. This gives the clinic total control over who is allowed to view any particular document, and the clinic can revoke access to that document at any time.
"My EMR and billing company are currently not integrated. How would switching to WebPT save me time?"
WebPT: When your EMR and your billing software are not integrated, you’re forced to perform double data-entry.
Talk about a waste of time and money—not to mention a much higher likelihood of making a transcription error that could lead to a claim denial.
With WebPT, you have numerous integrated billing options, including our robust Therabill integration. With integrated billing, all of the patient and visit information you enter into the EMR automatically flows into your billing system—which means you can get claims out the door faster—and with fewer errors.
2. SAVING MONEY
"My therapy practice startup has been utilizing the HIPAA Compliant Google Suite to meet many of our needs. What are some signifiers that could indicate we are ready to invest in an EMR?"
WebPT: Google is no match for the compliance power of WebPT.
Our built-in HIPAA and Medicare compliance safeguards ensure your claims meet every regulation—and as rehab therapists know all too well, there are quite a few of them!
Plus, our system is tailored to rehab therapy workflows, which means intuitive documentation, integrated scheduling, and easy-to-use clinical and business performance reporting.
So, if you’re tired of receiving compliance-related claim denials or payment reductions—or if you’re looking to streamline all functions of your clinic, from appointment-scheduling to treatment to billing—then it’s definitely time for you to look into a therapy-specific software platform.
"My practice is currently cash-based, but I am thinking of expanding. How would WebPT help me stay compliant with Medicare?"
WebPT: We’re constantly updating our system to ensure total compliance with complex Medicare rules like functional limitation reporting, the 8-minute rule, and the soon-to-be-introduced MIPS and MACRA requirements.
Plus, we build all of those compliance features directly into the normal documentation workflow to ensure minimal disruption to your documentation and treatment processes.
"My unpaid claims are piling up. How would WebPT help prevent this?"
WebPT: When you use our documentation and billing software together, you can easily create and send claims. In fact, you can release entire batches of claims with just a few clicks. Plus, claims undergo multiple rounds of scrubbing, resulting in cleaner claims and faster payments.
3. IMPROVING THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE
"Are there any features to ease out of network submission on the client’s behalf?"
WebPT: Providers can verify benefits for some insurances directly within Therabill, which can help expedite the cost estimation and claim submission process.
"What patient engagement features does WebPT have?"
WebPT: WebPT allows providers to send automated appointment reminders; distribute patient satisfaction and patient-reported outcomes questionnaires (both of which can be filled out via email); and create and send customized home exercise programs. Additionally, our billing software, Therabill, includes a patient portal where patients can log in and pay their bills.
4. ACCOMMODATING DIFFERENT PRACTICE AREAS/MODELS
"When I think WebPT, I think adult outpatient ortho. Could you give any insight into how therapists from more niche practice areas are using the service? (I’m thinking: pediatrics, lymphedema, pelvic health, hand therapy, OP mental health, EI, low vision). Are there any OP therapy practice areas WebPT simply is not built for at this time?"
WebPT: We know there are a lot of niches in the world of therapy. That’s why we offer specialty-specific documentation modules, including speech-language pathology, pediatrics, occupational therapy, vestibular, and pelvic health. We also serve some chiropractic practices. While WebPT isn't tailored to mental/behavioral health practice, the Therabill standalone product can accommodate these specialties.
"I own a hand-clinic and want to expand to include additional revenue streams (such as wellness visits and UE massage). I still want to document and schedule these visits, just not as extensively as my traditional therapy services. How does WebPT accommodate hybrid practice models such as this?"
WebPT: Our SOAP notes are pretty flexible—meaning users can pick and choose which fields they'd like to complete. Alternatively, therapists can simply create case notes, which are essentially free-form text notes.
5. ACCESSING A PRIVATE PRACTICE COMMUNITY
"I have questions on other parts of setting up my private practice . What support and community does your platform have to assist me with this? "
WebPT: For compliance and WebPT app-related questions, we have a searchable online community as well as the WebPT University, which is our on-demand training module. We also provide a public-facing, regularly updated blog with information on business best practices, compliance and billing, and industry news.
"Ok. Let me get even more specific. Here are 4 private practice questions I have. How can WebPT help me find the the answers?"
1.) "Where can I get help with the process of obtaining a business NPI?"
WebPT: We’ve published an entire blog post dedicated to frequently asked questions about NPIs. You can check it out here.
2.) "Can anyone help me with Medicaid enrollment?"
WebPT: WebPT does not assist with Medicare and Medicaid enrollment. Because each state oversees its own Medicaid program, we recommend reviewing your state’s Medicaid website for more information.
3.) "Any advice on the application process to be in network for insurances?"
WebPT: We’ve published several resources dedicated to helping therapy providers better understand the private insurance enrollment and billing process, including the following:
- How Does Insurance Work from a Private Practice Perspective?
- The Startup Clinic's Guide to Private Practice Billing
- In-Network, Out-of-Network, or Cash Based: Which Model is Right for Your Practice?
- Conquering Credentialing: What PTs, OTs, and SLPs Need to Know About Insurance Enrollment
4.) "What support could I get for negotiating insurance reimbursement?"
The Bottom Line
There is much to consider when searching for the right therapy practice management software, but research and support from fellow practice owners will go a long way in helping you decide which EMR is right for your therapy practice.
Again, if you decide to explore WebPT, you can sign up with my link for a demo and then receive a $100 discount on WebPT if you decide to purchase.
I have a partnership with WebPT. However, this post was fully initiated by myself and the opinions are my own.