Private practice therapy businesses are often seen as practices that will struggle gaining freedom, as PT clinics are often reliant on the private sector. There are many ways for PT business owners to upgrade their physical therapy practice to a freer and more efficient one. These 10 steps will guide your through the process to the freedom of your PT clinic.
1. Track the outcomes of your patients
By tracking the patient outcomes, you will ensure that you are prepared for future changes in your clinic. You will be able to train your staff more specifically on areas you are lacking; you are able to renegotiate with insurance companies for higher reimbursement if you're improving outcomes and treatment efficiency; you are able to more clearly see the holes in your clinical practice.
2. Stay up-to-date
Methods like the pay-per-performance payment have gained popularity in the past few years, and the need to track outcomes has become essential, so make sure you are always up-to-date. If you're a practice that sees a lot of insurance-based patients, it's vital to assure you are following guidelines such as G-codes, MPRR, etc. If you're not staying up to date with guidelines, it could ruin your practice.
3. Automate your technology
There is nothing worse than a technology-related issues or redundancy in your practice. In order to avoid this, find a software solution that meets all of your practice needs. Manually tracking information and analytics in your practice is a huge killer of time and leaves room for a lot of error; so is data entry into your practice management system if you're having to enter the same information in multiple places. Find a solution that allows you to place your focus on patient care!
4. Think technologically
Manual solutions are becoming a trend of the past; they are too time consuming for therapists to complete and take 100% more time and energy from the support staff managing these documents. Having a software solution for all aspects of your practice is more efficient, leading to less overhead costs and saving your practice money.
5. Make sure payments are prompt
Whether you're managing your billing and collections in-house or outsourcing it, stay on top of your accounts receivable. Collect patient co-pays, co-insurances and deductibles up front; don't bill the patient 2 months down the road.
6. Manage your costs
A physical therapy practice can be expensive to maintain, especially with clinical staff salaries; but cutting costs and saving money in a strategic way is always a good step in the process towards freedom. If you are not tracking clinician productivity and setting up your patient schedule to allow for improved productivity, then you should consider starting to do this. Don't spend a ton of money on fancy equipment that doesn't pay for itself within 3 months. Always assure that your ROI (return on investment) is at least 10x what you spend.
7. Save money
From reducing the use of certain materials in the clinic, to lowering the use of lights and electric costs, there is a number of things you can do to save money.
8. Become environmentally conscious
This will, of course, be a good step as it is linked to saving money. Less waste, more recycle and reused items equal a physical therapy practice that cares about his clients and the environment, as well as saving money. If you are not a paperless practice, you are routinely spending money on paper, printers, ink, toner, shredding services and so much more.
9. Organize your schedule and improve it
PT business owners will not only need to maximize their own schedule, but the ones of their team too. Each one will have to be perfectly organized in order to get the most work, clients and money, as well as quality care. Scheduling software is very common tool for clinics, so make sure that yours is dynamic enough to capture all of the above features easily. If your schedule does not tie into every other aspect of your clinic, you're probably spending too much unneeded time trying to connect your systems. Why not automate it?!
Paperwork and practice processes are definitely not the most exciting part of working at a physical therapy clinic, but you will have to make sure that the workflow is smooth and constant in order to gain freedom.
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.