Physical therapists with their own practices must provide top-level care for their patients while also managing a business. That’s a lot of work – and being an excellent PT doesn’t necessarily mean you have the experience and skills to make your practice a success.
At HENO, we know many PTs struggle with practice financial management. That’s part of the reason we developed HENO in the first place – to make it easier for PTs to manage every aspect of their practices.
We’ve also seen the most common financial mistakes PTs make. Here are five avoidable practice financial management mistakes we think you can avoid.
Mistake #1: Not Prioritizing the Patient Experience
A good physical therapist puts their patients first. Not only is it the right thing to do from a treatment perspective, it also greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll get positive reviews and referrals from your patients.
Every aspect of the patient experience, from appointment scheduling through follow-up, must be prioritized. That means:
Making sure your staff knows and shares your priorities
Training staff members to be professional and compassionate when dealing with patients
Having a follow-up system to check in with patients
Without patients, you don’t have a PT practice. That means providing excellent care and a positive experience are an integral part of practice financial management.
Mistake #2: Not Tracking Payments
One of the most difficult things about managing a PT practice is keeping track of payments from patients and reimbursements from insurance companies. If you lose site of copays, payments, and claims, you may find yourself in financial trouble.
For that reason, one of the cornerstones of practice financial management is payment management. To track payments properly, you’ll need comprehensive practice management software like HENO. You can use it to track billing, follow up on outstanding invoices and claims, and keep your practice’s finances in good shape.
Mistake #3: Not Having a Marketing Strategy
What does marketing have to do with practice financial management? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Without marketing, you will likely struggle to attract new patients and grow your practice, both of which can have a huge impact on your finances.
It might be tempting to pay for an ad in the Yellow Pages and call it a day – but that’s a mistake. A good PT practice marketing strategy ensures your website is up to date and full of valuable information, and that your online presence is strong. Ultimately, you want current patients to feel good about your practice and potential patients to be able to learn about you easily.
You might be surprised to learn that a good marketing strategy can be less expensive than a haphazard one. You could pay for expensive ads – or, you could blog about topics that are relevant to your patients, manage your online reviews, and create a social media presence that attracts new patients without breaking the bank.
Mistake #4: Lack of Organization
It’s virtually impossible to manage your practice’s finances if you aren’t organized. Even a small practice has money coming in from multiple places. It’s very easy to lose track if you don’t have an easy-to-understand system for tracking your finances.
Of course, you could use accounting software to track everything, but the drawback to that is that it may not integrate with your practice management software. Ideally, you want a solution that ties patient billing and insurance claims back to your patient records.
The best option is to find an all-in-one software solution that will allow you to track your finances and manage other aspects of your practice at the same time.
Mistake #5: Trying to do Everything Yourself
Some PTs have enough of an accounting background to handle their finances without assistance. However, most don’t – and the truth is that even if you do, it may simply be too much for you to handle without assistance.
As a PT, your first obligation is to your patients. If you allow yourself to burn out because you’re trying to do everything by yourself, you may find that your patients are the ones who suffer. The best option? Hire an experienced accountant or bookkeeper to handle your finances for you.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to pay a full-time accountant. There are plenty of CPAs and bookkeepers who handle multiple clients. For less than it would cost to have an in-house accounting department, you can hire someone who’ll help you manage your finances and keep things in good order.
Practice financial management is a challenge for every PT. Avoiding the five mistakes we’ve outlined here can help you keep your finances in good shape, so you can focus on providing your patients with the best care possible.
To schedule a free demo of HENO and learn how it can help you manage your practice, please click here now.
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.