Leveraging Specialty Practice: Gaining Higher Reimbursement and Accessing Closed Networks

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Strategic solutions that create unique treatments and gateways

By Janet Shelly, PT, DPT

In today’s dynamic healthcare environment, where patient needs are diverse and complex, specialty practices within the field of physical therapy have emerged as strategic solutions. These focused practices cater to specific conditions or demographics, offering not only unique treatments but also the potential for enhanced reimbursement rates from insurance providers. Moreover, they serve as gateways into closed networks, allowing physical therapists to tap into markets that might otherwise be restricted.

You Can Start an LGBTQ+-Friendly Niche Practice

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How to engage the community effectively and empathetically

By Lizzie Bellinger, PT, DPT

In March 2023, I turned the key in the door of my new private practice. I moved in my treatment table and waiting room chairs — and also a sheet of pronoun stickers and a Pride Flag.

Building a Gold Mine


A unique and unconventional journey from clinical physical therapist to concierge champion

By Joey Jackson, PT, DPT

Adopting a unique business style that will thrive in your desired location and target a specific population is as good as gold. Bringing physical therapy services to people’s doorsteps seemed like a no-brainer and something that had been a dream since early days in residency. Living in a dense metro area with high disposable incomes created the perfect canvas for this hard thought business plan to come to life. Transitioning from managing other clinicians to becoming a solopreneur was a leap, but I had a plan to create a business to provide a higher quality of patient care and create a better work-life balance for myself.


Just because you have a golden plan doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen the way you expect it to. The initial business goal was to solely provide orthopedic in-home services, but that’s not exactly what happened. In 2016 while working as a staff physical therapist at an outpatient clinic in San Francisco, a local surgeon group approached the clinic owner with interest in seeking out physical therapists to provide care for their surgical center total joint program. The clinic owner wasn’t interested at the time, but I saw it as a golden ticket. After consulting with the clinic owner, I developed a plan to fulfill the total joint program contract while still maintaining hours at the clinic. Once the contract was negotiated and additional therapists were hired, my journey as a business owner began.

Over the next several years I fostered relationships with surgeons and offered private services for VIP clients. Gradually a small but very loyal client base began to form. During the same time as my journey in ownership began, I was also interested in getting involved in the world of performing arts physical therapy. My passion for performing arts had begun years earlier while working with a ballet company in Chicago. Due to my lack of experience in performing arts physical therapy, I failed to secure any jobs but rather than dismiss another dream, I modified the plan. So instead of accepting defeat, I began volunteering at dance companies around San Francisco. This boosted my reputation while gaining expertise in the performing arts world. Shortly after, I was introduced to a Broadway producer for a show coming to town that was in search of a physical therapist. Through that connection, I was able to provide physical therapy services for multiple Broadway shows visiting the San Francisco area.


In February of 2020, I decided to go all in on my business and quit the clinic job. A decision that was unknowingly made just a few short weeks before the world was cast into chaos with COVID-19. What was crippling for some at that time was an opportunity for me. People quickly feared and avoided crowded clinics due to uncomfortable and dangerous proximity to other patients, and I quickly began to see my private client numbers grow — rapidly. Not long after, I was re-introduced to a company that provides physical therapists for touring Broadway shows, who years earlier wouldn’t have given me a thought due to lack of experience in the performing arts industry. I now have several years of Broadway and dance company experience. I have been enjoying consistent coverage of shows ever since.

In 2022, I concluded that the contract with the surgery center was no longer serving my best personal interests, so I transitioned the contract over to a colleague and guided him into starting his own journey of business ownership. Although this contract was an excellent steppingstone to launch my dream of concierge ownership, I realized that it was no longer serving a fulfilling purpose in my journey. Visceral Physical Therapy was finally living as it was originally intended, to provide concierge outpatient care in clients’ homes. The name originated through thoughtful reflection, meaning all about body, essence of being, and instinct.


Having a fool-proof plan doesn’t guarantee that the journey will unfold how you expect it to. If things don’t go as planned don’t be so quick to trash your original blueprint. Strategize and modify and be OK with taking mini detours along the way in order to fully achieve your long-term goals. Although success in any concierge service heavily relies on location and socio-economic factors, these principles can apply to anyone looking to make the transition to ownership. One of the beautiful things about this profession is that there is an abundance of specialties that exist. Be persistent, work hard, and keep your eye on the prize. The return on your time and investments will be worth its weight in gold. 

Joey Jackson, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist

Joey Jackson, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist, is the founder of Visceral Physical Therapy based in San Francisco. He can be reached at joey@visceralpt.com.

Social Media and Physical Therapy

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Educate, entertain, and excite

By Val Ngo, PT, DPT

One of the most appealing aspects of the physical therapy field is that you can always learn and grow as a therapist, no matter how many years you have been treating patients. Whether you’re in physical therapy school, starting your first job, or passing your 20th year as a licensed physical therapist, there is still so much to learn because the field is constantly changing.

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