Documentation Tips to Improve Approval Rates for SLP Services

Allison Vickery
Mar 23, 2018 4:40:33 PM

Would you like to write better patient reports that increase the odds your request for speech-language intervention services will be approved?

More and more insurers are requiring prior authorization so that they can deem whether or not therapy is necessary, and that means that documenting medical necessity is becoming increasingly important. Reviewers deciding whether or not to approve care make a determination in about 5-7 minutes.That means that you need to make sure your documentation clearly and concisely presents the need for skilled services.

This month, ASHA is offering a free CEU to help you do that. It's called Documentation Essentials for Pediatric SLPs: Articulating the Need for Skilled Services.

Presented by Shannon Butkus, M.S., CCC-SLP, Executive Director of Butkus & Associates, the course "discusses key aspects of the patient report and plan of care and provides examples of documentation that reflect the need for skilled vs. unskilled care."

Butkus' practice has a 98% approval rate thanks to the strategies she teaches in the course.1

Pediatric Therapy EMR

Here are a few quick tips from the course:

  • Don't cut and paste! Reviewers notice patterns and may deny authorization if they decide your documentation is not individualized to your patient's unique needs.
  • Set up your template or EMR to make sure you meet the requirements of your most restrictive payer.
  • Write SMART goals to reflect the specific needs of your patient and ensure a focus on functional outcomes.
  • Focus on functional impact and safety. This will ensure that you're justifying the need for skilled services.
  • Write goals with the endgame in mind. Payers want to know there's a finish line.

Check out the full course at the ASHA Store.

1 Butkus, S. (2018, March). Documentation Essentials for Pediatric SLPs: Articulating the Need for Skilled Services. On-demand webinar presented for current ASHA members.

SMART Goals Handout

Here's a handout to help you write better goals that reflect the specific needs of your patients and ensure functional outcomes.

SMART Goals Handout

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