By: Ashley Geer, PT, DPT
Donny Orengia, Business Development Manager
Whether you have been in business for forty or four years – there are likely many areas you can explore to make your practice more valuable.
This applies across all areas of time spent in a physical therapy practice – with patients but also the overhead time associated with scheduling, billing, day-to-day upkeep, marketing, etc.
With labor wages being the predominant expense in the therapy world, scheduling and caseload is a line item that should be reviewed with great scrutiny. We have evaluated a wide variety of practices with an array of unique marketspace or operational nuances and circumstances. Regardless of practice size or location, scheduling and caseload efficiency seems to be a predominant issue among many practices.
Per WebPT’s State of Rehab 2019, most solo practitioners are treating fewer than 6 patients per day, but more sizable organizations congregate average comes in around 9-12 patients per day per provider.
It is critical to determine and understand what your clinic efficiencies and benchmarks look like. Communicate this to your staff - especially the front desk if they handle scheduling. They should understand the scheduling targets and the strategy behind it. Your administrative schedulers are your gatekeepers to efficiency and success!
The obvious assumption is more patients = more revenue, which is not untrue. But as any dedicated clinician will attest to, there needs to be a simultaneous and constant focus on generating quality results for patients while at the same time operating as efficiently as possible.
2) The Big Picture
Often, certain components of operating a practice get lost in the day to day grind of work. One such area may be billing. As a labor dense business, staff wages are the obvious first place to look for what is eating up a practice’s expenses. But there may be other factors eating at your bottom line. WebPT’s polling of nearly 6,500 respondents concluded that billing does not influence annual revenue. But what DOES it influence? It takes a lot of time and constant monitoring of the ever-changing rules and regulations. We found that outsourcing billing not only reduced our operational overhead, but also streamlined so much of the process that our clinicians are now enabled to spend more time doing what they want to do – treating patients!
The best billing companies should keep partners up to speed on industry trends, regulatory changes, and best practices in revenue cycle management. It may be time to review all aspects of your practice to determine what can be outsourced so you can remain most efficient and focused on the big picture of managing your practice.
3) Working ON Your Business
If you are an incredibly involved practice owner, working ON and not IN your practice is often an exceedingly difficult concept to grasp. It can be beneficial to see how your practice is operating day to day, but there are many critical areas that should be focused on instead to make your practice as valuable as it can be.
One major area of working ON your business is in marketing. Imagine what your caseload could look like if as an owner, you spent most of your time and energy promoting your practice. However, unfortunately, most private physical therapy practices marketing is overlooked and underleveraged. Most practice owner’s natural inclination is not self-promotion and it can be an uncomfortable area for owners to focus on. While this is understandable, it is important to know that as an owner, you should be able to market and express the value and uniqueness of your practice AND ensure your therapists do the same. Leverage your therapists as essentially free walking and talking advertisements! And, much like outsourcing your billing, it may be time to consider what a professional marketing agency could do to enhance your practice and spread the word! Different approaches to marketing are paramount as well.
Times have changed in our industry – never more so, than over the last several years. The best thing you can do right now is invest in yourself and your practice in these three areas.
About Blue Sky Therapy
Blue Sky Therapy delivers innovative physical, occupational, and speech therapy services in skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care, in-home therapy, and outpatient therapy clinics. Our newest service line, Teletherapy, allows our therapists to work with patients virtually at home instead of in the clinic.