Running a physical therapy business requires physical therapists to wear multiple hats. First and foremost, you’ve got to provide top-quality care to your patients. At the same time, you’ve got to manage your business, which includes everything from finance to marketing. Here are some essential physical therapy business Dos and Don’ts we think every practice owner should know.
DO Research Your Competitors
Let’s start with an element of marketing that a lot of PTs ignore. It is essential to know who your competitors are and what they’re doing to market and grow their practices.
Competitor research might sound like a difficult thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be. You can begin by:
- Doing a Google search to identify your closest competitors
- Visit each competitor’s website and doing an audit (checking for keywords, services, prices, and anything else that might be useful)
- Follow your competitors on social media to see what strategies they’re using
Keep track of what you find. You should be able to identify some potential opportunities in the marketplace using the data you collect.
DON’T Market Without a Written Marketing Plan
It’s very common for physical therapists to view marketing as an afterthought – something to do when they have a few minutes to spend on social media. Writing down your marketing goals can help you identify what you want and how to get it.
Your marketing plan should include a budget, a list of goals, and your key strategies to achieve your goals. For example, you might want to:
- End the year with 10% more patients than you have now
- Increase your profits by 15%
- Boost your average rating in online reviews
These are all achievable goals, but they’ll be difficult to reach if you don’t have a plan.
DO Fine-Tune Your Claim Submission Process
According to some estimates, up to 20% of claims may be denied when they are first submitted to insurance carriers. That’s a big number, and one that costs your practice in both time and money.
The best way to minimize claim denials is to examine your claim submission process and look for ways to improve it. If you don’t have the best practice management software, for example, you may be using out-of-date codes or submitting claims with missing information.
By examining your claim submission process step by step and optimizing it, you can reduce the number of claim denials, streamline your cash flow, and save money – all at the same time.
DON’T Think of Staff Training as a One-Time Thing
Your staff’s training and professionalism have a direct impact on patient satisfaction and patient retention. If the people who work for you don’t have the training they need, they may make avoidable mistakes.
The solution is to implement ongoing training. Of course, any medical professionals in your office will have continuing education requirements. But, the training they receive from CEU courses isn't the only type of training they need to be part of a successful practice. Set aside regular training time for all of your staff to go over anything from skills, to policies and procedures, to role-playing difficult situations with potential patients. This is probably the most valuable thing you can do as a leader. In addition to training sessions, you should have comprehensive manuals and written policies that spell out what you expect your staff to do.
DO Work on Building a Strong Brand
A big part of the success of any PT practice is branding. Branding helps practices differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract the kinds of patients who are most likely to want the unique care that you provide.
If it’s been a while since you thought about your branding, it’s time to look at it in depth. The branding on your website should be clear and unmistakable. Likewise, everything you do online – including blogging, advertising, and social media posts – should adhere to your brand standards and use a coherent brand voice.
DON’T Forget to Start a Referral Program
One of the easiest and most reliable ways to grow your physical therapy business is through patient referrals. Creating a patient referral program is easy to do and it can help you steadily attract new patients and grow your practice.
Of course, your existing patients aren’t the only potential referral sources to consider. Connecting with other healthcare providers in your area can help you attract new patients as well. Doctors, nurse-practitioners, and other providers nearby may be willing to set up a mutual referral program. If you’re willing to partner with them, you can grow your practice without having to spend a lot on marketing.
Running a physical therapy business can be a complicated endeavor. The Dos and Don’ts we’ve listed here can help you make the most of your resources, attract new patients, and improve your bottom line.
Ready to see how HENO can help you run your physical therapy business? Click here to schedule your free demo!
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.