As a physical therapist, you spend all of your time making other people feel better – but if you could improve the health of your physical therapy practice, you’d be able to help even more people.
In other words, if you wish your physical therapy business was making more money, that’s a worthy goal. Because the more successful your PT practice is, the more likely it is that you’re helping a lot of patients – and the more likely that your PT practice will be around for years to come.
It’s also a goal that should be within reach for any physical therapy practice run by a talented and skilled owner and staff.
But spoiler alert: We think making more money at your physical therapy business is easier when you’re a Hands-on Diagnostics member.
But more on that later.
In any case, if you aren’t considering these revenue-generating strategies for your PT practice, we think you should in order to help grow your PT revenue.
Offer More PT Services.
It stands to reason that if you have a physical therapy practice, you want to offer as many services as you’re able. The more services you offer, the more you can bill an insurance company.
Not that you need to be hit over the head by the concept, but think about it this way. Restaurants usually don’t serve one item. Even if you were a restaurant owner specializing in pizza, you probably would offer some other menu items, like chicken wings or salad. In fact, pizza places, for instance, started offering salad years ago when they realized that often a group of customers would sometimes not drop by because somebody would veto a decision to get pizza –if there wasn’t another healthy alternative for the non-pizza fan.
Your patients often come to a physical therapy practice in the same way. If you have somebody with a lot of health issues, are they going to choose the physical therapy practice that can only offer a few core services, or the PT that can do it all?
But what’s even better is when your services are good for the patient – and good for your practice. For instance, diagnostics equipment is one of those few services in which you can use, where the patient benefits greatly – and the PT is directly reimbursed by the insurer. When patients use a foot orthotics machine, it’s good for the patient, but it doesn’t really bring any direct income to the PT practice.
That’s the problem with many pieces of equipment in a PT practice. Utilizing them results in low profit margins. That doesn’t mean patients shouldn’t utilize the low profit equipment and services, like selling supplements, but if you can bring in more services that both help the patient and the practice, both the practice and the patients are going to be far healthier.
Offer Superior PT Treatment.
Easy to say, but not always easy to execute if you don’t have the staff you need and the policies in place to make sure that your practice is running smoothly. If the patient experience is the best it can be, your patients will keep coming back –and the more you improve your practice’s average visits per patient, the more revenue you’ll have coming in.
For instance, consider the musculoskeletal ultrasound. It’s safer than using a CT or an MRI, in that there is no radiation. It’s also cheaper to use, meaning that it’s less costly for a PT, an insurer and the patient. In the short run, it may not seem to matter that you’re using a musculoskeletal ultrasound. The patient may not always recognize that your PT practice has modernized, safer equipment. But the doctors who direct your patients to you will.
It’s simply common sense. The better your PT practice, the more word will get out, and the more patients you’re going to have.
Stay on Top of Insurance Reimbursements.
If a physical therapy practice is going to run into financial trouble, it’s here. It can often feel as if the insurance industry was created to make problems for physical therapists. For instance, in 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) new Medicare physician fee schedule took effect and that physical therapists were one of 26 healthcare specialties facing reimbursement reductions starting in 2021.
CMS specifically recommended cutting current procedural terminology codes that are billed for physical therapy services by 9 percent. Because most private insurance companies set their reimbursement rates based on Medicare’s fee schedule, clearly many PT practices will struggle this year.
But PT practices will struggle less if you have the right procedures in place to make sure that you’re always in sync with insurers and not constantly buried in its red tape and falling behind on getting what’s owed to you.
Spend Time Marketing your PT Clinic.
We understand. You’re a physical therapist. Not a marketer. But marketing is an important component of any business, and the more you can get your name and the name of your practice out there, the more patients you’ll ultimately get.
Obviously, you need a website and a strong presence on social media. Networking can be a fine way to market your business. If you’re at chamber of commerce meetings, for instance, suddenly pillars of the community start to get to know you.
Sure, it can be a drag for some people, to be putting yourself out there, attending meetings or giving talks at senior citizen centers or community centers, especially after a long day of treating patients, but it doesn’t have to be something you do all the time. Even if it’s sporadic, anything you can do to get your name out in the neighborhood will ultimately help your business.
Reduce Your PT Practice Overhead.
That can be done in a lot of ways, many of them unappealing, like cutting staff or finding a smaller office building (which just means you’re limiting the way you can grow your practice).
But let us suggest an appealing strategy to reduce your overhead–a strategy you probably could see coming a mile away since you’re literally reading this on the Hands-on Diagnostics website. You could turn your practice into a Hands-on Diagnostics member. Look, we get it. You may really enjoy having your private independent practice, one you’ve built from scratch, and not be thinking at all about investing your hard earned money and turning your business into a HODS member.
But, remember, when you’re part of a network, you’re still an independent business owner.
You hire the staff you want and make your management decisions, just as you always have done. None of that’s taken away from you. In fact, we believe you’ll get far more from becoming part of a network than you give.
If you do your research and don’t believe you’ll get far more, obviously, you should stay put and keep doing what you’re doing. But, again, we think if you look into Hands-on Diagnostics and do your research and due diligence, you’ll like what you see.
When you’re part of a new and growing national brand such as Hands-on Diagnostics, you will receive access to the latest physical therapy diagnostic technology. Instead of turning to diagnosticians, you’ll be able to be one yourself, so you can provide diagnostic services for your own patients.
And remember we mentioned the importance of marketing? When you’re part of a national brand such as Hands-on Diagnostics, that can help immeasurably with attracting patients. Even if the ordinary patient off the street hasn’t heard of Hands-on Diagnostics, their doctors and nurses and hospital administrators and insurers have. When you’re part of a big brand, rather than a relatively anonymous PT in a sea of other anonymous PTs, people quickly come to know and trust you.
Your insurance headaches will also (almost) go away as our proprietary software, policies and procedures will help you run your business more efficiently than ever.
And as for the money your PT practice will bring in, it will be considerable. With diagnostics in your practice, you can bill the insurance companies at a higher rate that’s three to 10 times more than most other services, which will make your practice more money without having to sell anything, retain inventory or charge patients extra.
If you have a physical therapy practice or are considering opening one, we hope you’ll contact Hands-on Diagnostics, so we can have a conversation about your becoming a HODS member.
As we said, your physical therapists spend all of their time making other people feel better, as they should. If you become part of the Hands-on Diagnostics network, our goal as a franchisor is to make you feel better as you grow your PT revenue.