Physical Therapy: A Bird in the Hand!

By Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!” is an old saying that applies well to service-based marketing. When you provide a great service and ensure a great customer experience, you should be looking for other opportunities to expand on the loyalty you have created in your customer! To prioritize where to begin building on current customers, look at those people who will provide the foundation for securing better financial out- comes for your practice.

Let us examine what those opportunities might be in a simple format following a Deloitte formula for success.

According to Deloitte:

“Before you get too far with new products, services, channels, or markets, make sure you have invested in profitably growing the customers you already have!”1


1. Straight Talk Series Book No. 4. How to Get the Most Out of That Bird in Your Hand. Published by Deloitte 2003.


Lynn Steffes, PT, DPT, is president and consultant of Steffes & Associates, a national rehabilitation consulting group focused on marketing and program development for private practices nationwide. She is an instructor in five physical therapy programs and has actively presented, consulted, and taught in 40 states. She can be reached at

The Best of The Best


The best practices of the best practices.

By Dr. Laurence N. Benz, PT, DPT, OCS, MAPP, and Dr. David Browder, PT, DPT, OCS

One of the most important challenges physical therapy practice owners face is the decision about where to put their time and energy. Which decisions we make every day are the most important? What strategies are most likely to lead to excellent financial performance? Where should practice owners focus their attention? Said differently, what best practices should be adopted?

A best practice is the process of finding and using ideas and strategies from outside your company and industry to improve performance in any given area. Big business has used best practice benchmarking over decades and realized billions in savings and revenues in all areas of business operations and sales. Small business can reap even greater rewards from best practices. But what are the best practices in private practice physical therapy?

The Art of Compromise

By Terry C. Brown, PT, DPT

There has been—and continues to be—debate over payment reform with the main controversy centered on coding reform. There is also much disagreement on the best way to proceed on coding—and for any of you that follow various social media outlets, this discourse has been publicized. It has created a divide within our profession that troubles me.

If together all things are possible, then compromise is the art by which we can get things done. Unless one ideology triumphs over all facets of physical therapy, then compromise is necessary to govern for the benefit of all physical therapists. To reject compromise is to allow the status quo to persevere and change fall to rejection. We must not allow this to happen in our approach to payment reform.

Each of us looks at how we are paid for services through our unique experience. In private practice we may believe that the present system is working reasonably well or we may think the system and our businesses are on the brink of disaster. Some of this is based on geographic location, scale of practice, and style of treatment. Some is based on our ability to thrive in the present environment. Imagine the diversity when we look at payment through the lens of the nursing home or acute care therapist. Is it any wonder that agreement on the perfect payment system for our services is controversial?

So how do we agree on what is best for this profession? I believe that it is through open, honest engagement with all stakeholders. Each of us must stand up for what we want, what is important, make our case, and encourage others to do the same. Listen to someone else’s side, and we sidestep the potential power struggle. Finally, negotiate the compromise. If all of us put aside our personal bias and focus on what increases access to our services and simplifies our regulatory burden, then our compromise has the potential to lead all of us forward together as a strong and unified profession. If we splinter and go off in pursuit of our own best interests, then the status quo is the best we can expect.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has opened the dialogue and shown true leadership in their willingness to listen and negotiate through honest discussion with all stakeholders. The Private Practice Section (PPS) has taken a leadership role in standing up for what we want, listening to other sides, and leading the art of compromise. Other stakeholders have shown a willingness to work together to do this the right way. I applaud all of those who have stepped up with honesty and transparency. Together we can, and will, move our profession to its rightful place as the entry-level provider for movement dysfunction.


New Non-Niche

By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS

As I was reading over the articles for this month’s issue of Impact, I came to “The New Non-Niche” by Scott Spradling and found myself asking the question, “What is a niche practice anyway?” It was a little odd that this question popped into my mind, since I have always identified myself as a niche practitioner. That being said, I also decided to look up the definition of niche. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary the definition is:

  1. A job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone
  2. The situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people1

A Focus a Day

As business owners and administrators, we have a lot on our plate.

By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

One day to the next poses challenges both foreign and familiar, and within just about any domain under the sun. From marketing to finance, operations to recruiting, and more, the demands on those running the business are great, and they do not trickle in one by one.

Challenges rear their head when least expected, and opportunities fall into our laps even when we do not have the time necessary to devote fully to them. All the while, the day-to-day operations of the business must take priority to progress.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.