Daniel P. Staats, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC Cert SMT

Left: Dr. Staats with his children in the NY Mets dugout; Top right: Running for Special Olympics of NJ (Half Marathon); Bottom right: Catching waves in Bay Head, NJ.

Left: Dr. Staats with his children in the NY Mets dugout; Top right: Running for Special Olympics of NJ (Half Marathon); Bottom right: Catching waves in Bay Head, NJ.

Daniel P. Staats, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, Cert SMT, is a PPS member and owner of Staats Physical Therapy in Brick, New Jersey. He can be reached at staatsphysicaltherapy@yahoo.com.

Practice, Location: Staats Physical Therapy, Brick, New Jersey. One location, seven employees, 11 years in practice, and eight years in private practice.

Who has been the most influential person in your career? The most influential person in my career has been Dr. Mitch Maione. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Maione for 12 weeks in the spring of 2004 as I fulfilled my internship. I still to this day have never seen anyone treat like him. His manual skills, his intuitiveness, his creative thinking were unparalleled. He is the reason that I decided to pursue advanced certifications in manual therapy and orthopedics. I now teach my students the same techniques he taught me 11 years ago. His passion for the field of physical therapy has rubbed off on me and because of him, I strive every day to perfect my clinical skills and advance our profession. Dr. Maione currently is the director of the physical therapy assistant (PTA) program and university department chair at Keiser University in Florida.

What does your average week look like? I treat on average 12 to 18 patients per day with a two-to-three hour window set aside for administrative duties. I work 45 to 55 total hours per week.

What is your business philosophy? Strive for excellence and surround myself with people who do the same.

What has been your best/worst/toughest decisions? My toughest decision has always been and continues to be whether to outsource the medical billing or to keep it “in house.” I decided at the inception of my business that we would do all our own medical billing for ourselves. Some days I think we made the right decision and other days I feel outsourcing would be the best decision. Some days my staff and I grow tired dealing with all the delays of the insurance companies regarding reimbursement. Hopefully the reimbursement process will become simplified in the future.

How did you get your start in private practice? My first two jobs were working for corporate physical therapy companies. I was the clinical director for the second company and was performing most of the duties of an owner already. After I established a solid patient following, I decided to open my own practice.

How do you stay ahead of the competition? I focus on advanced evidence-based learning. I am constantly taking courses on the latest evidence-based medicine. All medical professions, physical therapists included, are constantly evolving and the clinician needs to stay up to date with latest advancement in his or her field. Physical therapy is a career that warrants a dedication to lifelong learning.

What are your best learning experience/s (mistakes) since the inception of your practice? The billing end of private practice was definitely a learning curve for me. I did not get much education on this in school and have had to learn mostly through experience. Physical therapy is a service-based industry. You provide the service and you get paid. Sounds simple, but with a third-party payer involved things get complicated. Staats Physical Therapy, LLC, has come a long way since its first year of private practice and rightfully so as the insurance reimbursement/ medical billing is as complicated as ever.

What are the benefits of PPS membership to your private practice? The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is a great organization, but they represent all aspects of physical therapy. The Private Practice Section is solely responsible for the advancement and professional protection of physical therapists in private practice. They are the only group that takes the time and puts forth the effort to fight for us on Capitol Hill and protect us from practice infringement. Supporting the Private Practice Section (PPS) is vital to the advancement of physical therapy private practice as a whole. I like the message boards and the online and paperback resources. They are usually filled with applicable material to my practice that I can implement immediately. I also like the emails that inform us on the latest political actions regarding physical therapy. I especially like the links that assist us in contacting our local representatives and senators regarding current issues facing physical therapy

What is your life motto? Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life.

What worries you about the future of private practice/What are you optimistic about? Every time one of my employees calls on an outstanding claim my bottom line is affected negatively. I worry about the declining rate of reimbursement and the increasingly arduous process of getting paid. The entire reimbursement process needs to be simplified.

What new opportunities do you plan to pursue in the next year? I will be moving my practice to a bigger location this year and plan to finish my musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging certification this spring. I will sit for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) exam this summer. I hope to finish and submit for publication a correlational study on the cross sectional area of the multifidi that I am working on with Dr. Mitchell Maione. Finally, I hope to get my dry needling certification. It should be an exciting year.

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