Carrie Hall, PT, MHS, and Clinic Administrator Scott C. Spradling, both of Movement Systems Physical Therapy
Movement Systems Physical Therapy (MSPT), with clinics in Seattle and nearby Mercer Island, is led by two dynamos of the Private Practice Section: Carrie Hall, PT, MHS, and Clinic Administrator Scott C. Spradling. Carrie founded MSPT in 1995 with Scott coming onboard in 2010 as MSPT’s first Clinic Administrator. The view out the door of their shared corner office is of the large open treatment gym and to the front office waiting room, but their most immediate view is of each other across their facing desks. They are quick to laugh that while they do not agree on everything, they share a commitment and passion for promoting physical therapy through excellence of care, marketing, teaching, and articulating ways to address our profession’s identity crisis and need for leadership development.
Carrie Hall, PT, MHS
Carrie earned her undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University in 1983 and her graduate degree in physical therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 1986. While in St. Louis, Carrie met and began working with her longtime mentor Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA, and went on to become an advocate and instructor of Dr. Sahrmann’s movement system impairment syndrome theories, teaching more than 200 courses over the past 30 years. Carrie founded MSPT in 1995 with her mission/vision of a clinical practice with the examination and evaluation of the movement system as the foundation of patient management. The movement system approach integrates the body’s components from the subcellular to the total body level. The psychosocial elements of each patient are included in this approach, to formulate a comprehensive treatment toolkit for care. As she says, each patient is greater than the sum of their moving parts.
In addition, Carrie serves as the Professional Enhancement Director of the Physical Therapy Association of Washington (PTWA), is on the Great West Region Washington Advisory Board for the Arthritis Foundation, teaches physical therapists and doctors locally and nationally, and has a module on MedBridge’s online education platform with a current focus on the hip. She recently completed the fourth edition of Therapeutic Exercise: Moving Toward Function with coauthor Lori Thein Brody, PT, PhD.
Scott C. Spradling
Scott joined MSPT 7 years ago, after more than 20 years in physician practice management. He admits he did not know much about physical therapy when he responded to Carrie’s ad, but liked the people and opportunities he saw. His name is likely known to Impact readers from his monthly columns when he was on the PPS Administrators Council and liaison to the Impact Editorial Board. He earned his PPS Administrators Certificate the first year it was offered in 2011, has just completed a four-year term as president of the Washington State Physical Therapy Managers Association, and is currently the PTWA Payor Liaison. He also teaches clinic administration classes locally and nationally as well as virtually through MedBridge.
2 locations and 17 employees (12 physical therapists and 5 administrative staff)
What do you like most about your job?
Creating transformative change in people’s lives.
What do you like least about your job?
Public perception of physical therapy and poor reimbursement.
What are the benefits of PPS membership to your practice?
Resources, education, and networking.
Describe your essential business philosophy:
Advocate for success by hiring practitioners, not employees, and then provide them with the resources they need to succeed. Develop, promote, and maintain your message of one-to-one compassionate, skilled, and patient-centered care and success will follow.
Describe your management style:
Inclusive, attentive, compassionate, and empathetic; attract a high level of talent and let them do what they do best. Our staff are our colleagues not our employees. We serve them to allow them to do what they do best.
What was your best decision?
(CH) Opening my own practice with my mission and vision and inviting like-minded practitioners to join me. (SS) Joining MSPT and developing new opportunities. A clinic owner needs good business skills and the supports of a good administrator.
What was your worst decision?
(CH) Waiting too long to hire a top-notch clinic administrator and waiting too long to implement visit rate pay structure across all staff.
How do you measure your success?
(CH) One patient at a time. One day at a time. Grow and develop your clinical and administrative staff with mentoring and ongoing support to be the best they can be.
How do you motivate your employees?
(CH) Find out what they are passionate about and help them make it happen; mentorship, “Everybody is needed, everybody is valued.” Encourage them to consider what motivated them to become a physical therapist (PT) and how to create their own success.
Describe your competitive advantage:
Our long-standing and hard-earned, highly respected reputation. And by supporting collaboration among medical providers and businesses to promote health, fitness, and wellness—we play well in the sandbox. Try each day to be authentic, honest, caring, and compassionate, and promote physical therapy first and foremost—“Rising tides raise all ships.”
Describe your marketing strategy and highlight your most successful action:
Physical therapists are the experts of movement and therapeutic exercise as well as pain science, and we need to be actively promoting this to our patients, physicians, wellness community, and sports teams. We reach out by providing education at numerous levels, through bimonthly talks that include the physical therapist, physician, fitness and wellness community, and the general public. We promote physical therapy first and our clinic second. And we work collaboratively in the wellness community. We have a blog connected to our website as well as Facebook and Twitter with a PT in charge of monitoring these, and the rest of the staff is invited/encouraged to contribute. “Choose PT” and “GetPT1st” programs can promote physical therapy to the 93 percent of individuals that could benefit from PT but are not, and these are great tools for our profession.
What are you optimistic about?
Physical therapists taking on the role as the primary lifespan provider for the neuromusculoskeletal system. Pain science and the role of physical therapy, regenerative medicine and the role of physical therapy, prevention and the role of physical therapy, promotion of the movement system as the bodily system of which we are the experts. There are so many opportunities, and we need to stand up and stand our ground, and not dilute our message.
What worries you about the future of private practice?
Physical therapy is not going to go away, but our profession needs to overcome our tendency to be complacent. We will continue to have operational challenges with reimbursement and utilization management, which is why we need to find our voice, demonstrate our efficacy and value, and continue to be innovative and flexible.
How do you balance life with work?
(SS) Being available to help my aging parents is my current focus. (CH) My three children ages 15 to 21 keep me busy as they transition through high school and college. I have been recently inspired by the book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown and her encouraging words: “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand your sacred ground.”