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Top Five Reasons Physical Therapy Practices Fail

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Private physical therapy offices are having a hard time competing. Here are the most common reasons and ways to turn your practice around.

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Top Five Reasons Physical Therapy Practices Fail

  1. 1. TOP FIVE REASONS PHYSICAL THERAPY PRACTICES ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS AND HOW YOU CAN AVOID THEIR FATE
  2. 2. TODAY’S MARKET  For the average privately owned Physical Therapy practice, life has gotten harder since the ACA has been established. Medicare has pushed for medical homes and ACO’s to keep their patients in house. Insurance reimbursements have decreased while co-pays and deductibles have increased. Referrals for profit physical therapy centers have exploded. Direct access to patients is limited and the list of new regulations that affect the Physical Therapy profession continue to bury providers.  However, many private physical therapy practices have thrived. They have seen their revenue grow, their referrals increase, and their schedules packed in a good way. What are they doing to combat the five reasons other practices are failing will surprise you. 2
  3. 3. TOP FIVE REASONS PT PRACTICES ARE FAILING  Decreased Reimbursements  Referrals for Profit and the ACO/Medical Home Model  Excessive Regulations  Restricted Access to Patients  Lack of Understanding Practice Financials 3
  4. 4. DECREASED INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENTS  Medicare and other insurance companies have decreased reimbursements and raised co-pays while companies continue to opt for high deductible plans  Rates have been lowered by 20%- 40% depending on the service  Average visit now $55 per patient including co-pay  Number of visits has been reduced by modality  The average deductible has risen by 32% since 2010 4
  5. 5. REFERRALS FOR PROFIT  Health Systems and Physician owned Physical Therapy centers has exploded  Patients are steered to stay in network or under the care of the physician they already know  Costs explode under this model  Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that visits per patient were 39% to 45% higher in physician-owned clinics when compared with therapist-owned clinics  The Florida Health Care Cost Containment Board found that physician-owned physical therapy facilities provide 62% more patient visits per full-time physical therapist, when compared with non-physician-owned clinics. The patients referred have 43% more treatments when compared with non-physician-owned clinics.  The independent Physical Therapy practices suffer as the consumer has their choices restricted 5
  6. 6. MEDICAL HOMES AND ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS  The rise of Medical Homes and ACO’s has caused independent physical therapy practices to suffer.  Patients are being steered to practices inside of the Medical Homes and ACO’s  Home health therapists being utilized to control costs  Health systems are buying practices to bring services in house 6
  7. 7. EXCESSIVE REGULATIONS  Unlike other medical professions, the new regulations on physical therapists put them at a treatment and competitive disadvantage.  Scripts from physicians become laborious as only one issue may be addressed in the script, but many other issues are found during the initial diagnosis by the PT  PTA and Volunteer assistant rules are much stricter than similar other medical professions  One on One regulations not necessarily conducive to group therapy settings 7
  8. 8. RESTRICTED ACCESS TO PATIENTS  Physical therapists have state laws that prevent them from having direct access to patients. And in states where access is direct, many practices are unaware of how to handle insurance patients.  These laws restrict the patients ability to choose their treatment providers  These laws minimize the PTs’ expertise in important health issues like concussion management and their ability to send patients to experts when the situation arises  The insurance companies make direct access hard to maneuver for the patient and the practice 8
  9. 9. LACK OF UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRACTICE FINANCIALS  Most practices do not do a good job of understanding the key financial numbers that make their practice profitable.  They tend to focus on patients per day or patient revenue per visit. 9
  10. 10. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SAVE YOUR PRACTICE? 10
  11. 11. FOUR STRATEGIES TO SAVE YOUR PRACTICE  Build Your Referral Network  Improve Your Understanding of Billing  Provide Value to Your Patients  Build Your Brand 11
  12. 12. BUILD YOUR REFERRAL NETWORK  Make time to market your practice to:  Independent Physician Offices  Complimentary Ancillary Service Providers  Dentists, Dermatologists, Mental Health Providers, etc.  Networking Groups  Partner with ACO and Medical Homes to be one of their referred sources  Each office is required to provide three sources for each service. Be the one “out of house” service.  Work with Health Systems to be their spill over vendor 12
  13. 13. UNDERSTAND BILLING Invest in your practice by understanding the rules and regulations surrounding Medicare and private insurance billing  Focus on criteria for length of visit, services rendered, number of visits for each modality  Learn about balance billing and other billing techniques that a provider may or may not allow  Understand the maximize visits allowed by insurance carrier by modality. 13
  14. 14. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS  To maximize patient revenue, you need to reduce your costs per visit and maximize your length of stay. The only way to do that is to show the value of your work efficiently and effectively.  Focus on theses two main financial indicators:  Cost per Visit which accounts for all supplies, overhead, and labor associated with an individual patient visit  Length of Stay which accounts for the number of visits a patient actually attends  Every staff meeting should begin with these two financial milestones. Negative changes greatly affect your profitability. 14
  15. 15. PROVIDE VALUE TO YOUR PATIENTS  Your best referral sources are the patients you already serve.  Do your current patients know?  All of your products and services  Your specialty  Your other locations  Why YOU are right for them  Do you explain?  Treatment plans  Why adherence is key  Symptoms of relapses  If not, it is hard for a patient to recommend you 15
  16. 16. EDUCATE YOUR PATIENTS TO THE MAX!  Invest in outstanding patient education  Tell your patients about you and your practice during their sessions on video boards around the office  Reinforce your treatment plans with follow up and prep emails  Make your website the orthopedic resource for your patients  You need to be their expert to navigate the complexities of the healthcare field. By doing so, they will become your best disciples. 16
  17. 17. BUILD YOUR BRAND  Market to Consumers  Reach them when and where they are ready to buy  Physicians’ Offices  Via Digital Patient Education  Online  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram  Website  Community Events  Seminars, Lectures, Health Fairs 17
  18. 18. CONTACT HALO HEALTH FOR HELP WWW.HALOHEALS.COM JIM@HALOHEALS.COM 856-520-8655 @HALOHEALTHINTL 18

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