Resource Corner Blog

Progress Notes and Bank Checks Have More in Common Than You Think

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What happens when you combine old banking terminology and a community based behavioral health treatment organization? You get “Progress Note Float!”


Last year I was talking with TenEleven customer Community Alternatives, Inc. (CAI) (a community based BHRS provider) about what was making his new mobile program so successful, and our discussion centered on how their solution had reduced CAI’s documentation time so that they are able to bill for services faster and more frequently. Read more about CAI’s mobile success here.

We were talking about how important it is to shorten the time period between beginning and completing documentation, in particular progress notes. The conversation reminded me of the concept of “check float” from my days working in banking. “Check Float” is the length of time between when a check is accepted as payment and when that money is actually deposited to the account by the bank.

In additional to this bank processing time, checks often sit idle on accounts receivable desks for days waiting to be taken for deposit. This is known as “Desk Float” and when added to the regular bank check float, you get the amount of time that money could be yours, but really isn’t.

When you apply this concept to behavioral health, the amount of time that a progress note goes incomplete is the amount of time that money could be in your agency’s account, but isn’t.

Download the Progress Note Float Calculator to find out the impact of reducing your agency’s PNF.

Get the PNF Calculator

That’s when we at TenEleven coined the terms “Progress Note Float” for unnecessary delays in completing documentation – and “Car Float” for progress notes that ride around in cars! The time between when a visit takes place and when the next required action is taken on a progress note is critical. Whether your process has a supervisor collaboration or it goes straight to billing, reducing Progress Note Float is a great way to shorten your documentation time and get you billing sooner.

Ask yourself if your organization can measure how long it takes from the time you see a client to the time a claim is created, if so, is that an elapsed time you are happy with?

If you don’t like the answer, download TenEleven’s Guide to Combating Progress Note Float, to learn how you can take steps to improve your documentation time.

Combat Progress Note Float

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