Physical Therapy Billing Guidelines

A crucial component of streamlined revenue for physical therapy providers is accurate billing. Like any other medical billing process, physical therapy strongly relies on matching the standardized codes for the services rendered to better understand the treatment received and how much money a patient owes to the healthcare provider. Although physical therapy billing can be pretty challenging considering the many guidelines involved, it is essential to understand and adhere to the physical therapy billing guidelines.

This is why we’ll go over the most critical factors below, including understanding the billing process and the best practices. 

Physical Therapy Billing Guidelines

Understanding the Physical Therapy Billing Process

Physical therapy billing strongly relies on the standardized codes provided by the WHO Organization, which are classified under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD codes refer to the patient’s condition. However, the ICD code system is not the only one used in the physical therapy billing process. CPT codes are also included, and they refer to the treatment administered by the practitioner.

So, for an effective and proper medical billing process, healthcare providers need to include codes from the ICD system of codes and the CPT system of codes

Unluckily, there are thousands of codes, and it’s impossible to remember them all. One incorrect code can negatively affect the revenue cycle process and can lead to delayed reimbursement or worse– claim denial. 

For that reason, we are providing the steps needed for a good revenue cycle and some of the best practices for effective physical therapy billing.

Documentation Requirements

The first step in the process is to gather detailed patient documentation. It is essential to keep detailed and up-to-date documentation with all the necessary details to ensure accurate billing and high reimbursement rates.

To meet the legal and professional guidelines, the types of documentation required for billing include the following:

  • Patient information (DOB, full name, physician contact information)
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Medical and PT treatment history
  • Medication history
  • PT assessment and diagnosis  
  • PT treatment goals and plan of care 
  • Billing CPT codes

Insurance Verification

Another critical factor in understanding PT billing guidelines is knowing your patients’ insurance coverage plans

This means verifying patient insurance coverage to ensure accurate insurance information to reduce claim denials and receive timely reimbursement for the services provided. 

Moreover, accurately verifying insurance coverage before treatment allows therapists to learn about the policies, limitations, and reimbursement rates to ensure they get paid for their services.

Understanding the Physical Therapy

Claim Submission Process

Submitting claims for physical therapy services is essential in managing a good revenue cycle. But, to maximize revenue from insurance claims, physical therapy providers must ensure the submitted claims are accurate and filed in a timely manner. 

Once patient information and insurance verification are complete, the claim may be submitted to the insurance company.

The most common errors that lead to medical claim denials are coding mistakes or incomplete information. It is crucial to avoid these when submitting claims to ensure successful reimbursement. 

Reimbursement and Payment

Reimbursement and payment are calculated based on individual patient insurance policies. Depending on the patient’s insurance coverage plans, they may be responsible for copays, deductibles, or coinsurance

Physical therapy practices and providers must be reimbursed for the services they provide in order to keep growing and keep providing care. 

Compliance and Regulations

A crucial guideline in physical therapy billing is understanding regulatory requirements and ensuring compliance with them. This includes compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.

HIPAA regulations safeguard patient information and privacy, and their non-compliance may lead to legal trouble. Additionally, PT providers must be aware of and comply with local and state-specific billing regulations.

Best Practices in Physical Therapy Billing

Correct Use of Physical Therapy Codes

For accurate physical therapy billing, healthcare providers need to understand and use the correct physical therapy codes to prevent claim denials and maximize reimbursement. This not only includes the use of correct codes but also understanding how to use the necessary modifiers and other billing tools. 

To properly file a physical therapy bill, healthcare providers need to include codes from the standardized ICD codes and the CPT codes. As we mentioned, ICD codes refer to the condition the patient has, while CPT codes refer to the treatment administered by the practitioner. 

Effective Communication with Patients

Before treatment, it is essential to educate your patients about billing procedures and responsibilities. This kind of open communication allows you to practice full transparency and instill trust in your patients.

By educating your patients on the billing procedures, they will know what to expect, if their insurance covers their treatment, and how much they may need to pay out of pocket. 

Make sure to answer any queries your patients may have regarding the billing procedures and their treatment plan. 

Implementation of Technology and Automation

To optimize the physical therapy billing process and minimize human error, consider using physical therapy billing software. 

This software automates patient eligibility checks and code selection, enhancing the claim submission process. Additionally, it significantly reduces the time required for billing.

Staff Training and Education

When it comes to physical therapy billing, it is essential to invest in continuous training for billing staff. 

This is due to the ever-changing billing guidelines and regulations. Keeping staff updated with changes in billing regulations means they will be able to handle the complexities of the billing and reimbursement process.

Physical therapy billing staff should keep up with and understand the coding standards and payer guidelines to always improve the revenue cycle and minimize claim denials. 

Staff Training and Education

Outsourcing Solutions By CLICKVISIONBPO

Handling physical therapy billing comes with its complexities, which healthcare providers may find challenging to keep up with. Physical therapy providers need to dedicate themselves to providing optimal care to their patients without worrying about billing.

This is why many physical therapy practices outsource their billing and administrative tasks to seasoned professionals like us, CLICKVISION BPO. There are numerous benefits of outsourcing physical therapy billing services, including: 

  • Streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency
  • Outsourcing means getting specialized expertise in physical therapy billing
  • Billing staff well-versed in the complexities specific to physical therapy
  • Ensuring accurate coding, documentation, and compliance with regulatory guidelines. 

Outsourcing provides opportunities for scalability by allowing practices to focus on a patient-centric approach. This kind of approach can improve patient satisfaction and increase retention rates.

As an experienced BPO company, our staff is intricately versed in the evolving guidelines in physical therapy billing, ensuring our clients get reimbursed for their services.


Understanding physical therapy billing guidelines is essential for successful reimbursement for the services your practice provides. By adhering to regulations and submitting accurate claims, physical therapy providers can maintain a good revenue cycle.Moreover, outsourcing physical therapy billing can streamline the reimbursement process. Outsourcing RCM billing means getting specialized expertise in medical billing while focusing on patient care.