Modify your business model to remain effective and dominant in your market
By Kristen Wilson, PT, DPT
Private practice physical therapy must be nimble. With continuous changes in payment, staffing, inflation, and regulations, the practice owner who is slow to move with the times will find himself unable to meet the needs of his team and clients. Given our superpowers of innovation and flexibility, shapeshifting to meet the needs of the future allows our practices to remain viable, successful, and relevant. Check out how these five practice owners modified their business model to remain effective and dominant in their markets. How will you innovate in 2024? Shapeshift your way into a successful future.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS:
- John Kowalski, PT, DPT; Co-Owner, Longview Physical and Sports Therapy; Longview, Washington
- Kahl Goldfarb, PT, DPT, OCS; Owner, Water and Sports Physical Therapy; San Diego, California
- Cynthia Gormezano, PT, MPT; Owner, Cynergy Physical and Occupational Therapy; New York, New York
- Lauris Ridgon, PT, MPT; Owner, Onondaga Physical Therapy; Syracuse, New York
- Jeff Salade, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS; Co-Owner, 3DPT; Medford, New Jersey
How have you changed your business or treatment model to be more adaptable with the times?
This year we made all appointment times (follow-up and evals) the same length for scheduling efficiency. We also joined an independent provider agreement for more access to payer contracts and have a person actively working to improve our contacts. As a result, we are experiencing better efficiency with our schedule and better payment with our contracts.
We are currently utilizing virtual front desk assistants from the Philippines. They can do everything that a patient care coordinator can do at half the cost. We no longer need to worry about labor laws, breaks, or PTO. They are motivated and intelligent and want to work and are appreciative of the job that they have.
Instead of doing payroll in house and contracting to buy health insurance and benefits, we switched to a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) to outsource our human resources needs for increased savings and better benefits including desirable PPO plans with low in and out of network benefits and well-priced and managed 401k plans. Additionally, the benefit of a large PEO is that it offers life insurance, disability insurance and group HR management.
We switched to uniform 40-minute appointments for all visits. This allowed us to maximize our revenue per visit as well as improve our productivity significantly. It made it easy to put any patient in any slot and improved our ability to use online scheduling as every slot was the same. Our staff became quickly accustomed to a standard flow which allowed them to manage their day with more uniformity and consistency.
We have determined that manual hands-on treatment is what sets us apart from other practices/other treatment disciplines. Our younger therapists felt like they didn’t get enough training with manual therapy, so we dedicate one hour per week where we shut down all of the offices and someone leads a “mini-continuing education” where the focus is some type of manual therapy so everyone gets to learn and practice.
Kristen Wilson, PT, DPT, is an APTA Private Practice member, Impact editor, and owner of Action Potential in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.