Consumers are used to having options when making a buying decision today. Trying to decide on a place to eat can easily become a session of the United Nations. Having more options is better for the consumer and healthcare should be no exception.
As a practicing physical therapist, you may specialize in one area, but by offering your patients more choices can save them time and money. It can also make your practice more profitable. This does not mean totally flipping your practice 180 degrees. It only requires you to consider new avenues to expand your business.
By using these innovative physical therapy business models, you can increase your patient list and profitability at the same time.
Partnering With Other Professionals
By partnering with another healthcare professional, you can offer your patients a more holistic health care treatment. Collaborative care is becoming a popular option for many healthcare professionals.
This type of business model vastly increases patient experience, increases satisfaction, and gives the patient an overall positive outcome.
Some PT’s are even partnering with what was traditionally thought of as competition, specifically chiropractors and massage therapists. Splitting up the care delivery allows you to focus on your specialty while giving the patient an increase in care.
This is probably the easiest way to expand your practice. Think of it as a joint venture with another health care professional whose practice complements yours. Referrals will be flowing in both directions and you will certainly gain new patients as word gets around of your expanded offerings.
Partnering With A Gym
This idea makes so much sense. Those who are already working towards their health goals at a gym will be more receptive to physical therapy treatment. There will certainly be injuries and soreness that need attention. The gym members will take advantage of having a licensed physical therapist on site.
Having an onsite PT will give the gym a unique selling point and greatly differentiates them from the competition. Members will no longer have to wait to see their doctor. They can easily schedule a session right at the gym and save time.
This model is not exclusively for traditional gyms, either. There are a number of specialty “gyms” where this can work. Gyms that specialize in people on the spectrum and neuro gyms would be perfect for this type of service.
Just be sure to know all the legal obligations before you venture into this segment. If your qualifications include the skills and experience to aid in an emergency situation or to detect early risk factors for certain health issues you may be legally liable if you do not do so.
Offering Continuity Services
PT’s are in a unique position to offer continuity or subscriptions services. As you treat a patient, you may become aware of health issues they may have. As more issues pop up, it may be beneficial for the patient to enroll in a subscription, or continuity, plan.
In a nutshell, a subscription plan allows the patient to pay a monthly or annual fee and get treatment on demand. While most PT’s are unfamiliar with this business model, it has proven to be a profitable decision for those who choose to implement it.
This also allows the patient to get the care she needs without having to wait for an open appointment. Most patients will gladly pay a monthly fee if they know that they can get treatment whenever the need arises.
This model will also go a long way to position you as a primary healthcare provider.
Working With Corporate Clients
While working in a corporate environment may not be the dream of every physical therapist, this model could keep you very busy and help build a thriving practice.
Large corporations often have an onsite PT as an employee perk. This type of amenity allows them to attract top talent and keep them happy. Companies like Google have their own onsite clinic delivering healthcare to their employees.
Corporations love this idea because employees do not have to leave the office for treatment. Employees do not have to miss an entire day of work to see a healthcare professional and they could save money on their copays.
Onsite physical therapy can be used to treat on the job injuries and also prevent them from happening in the first place. This is a huge win-win for everyone.
Using A Cash-Based Model
This model may not be for everyone. A PT with a practice in lower income neighborhoods or one where the patients rely on Medicare may not be able to implement this model.
However, you can start to offer certain services on a cash payment basis just to see how things work out.
There are a number of reasons why this model is becoming more popular. The most obvious is not having to deal with insurance carriers. This will also allow the PT to focus on a quality-over-quantity approach. As you spend more one-on-one time with your cash patients, you will see them progress rapidly and the number of sessions will decrease. Overall, the patient could wind up saving money.
This is not something that you have to jump in feet first. By offering a few cash-based services, you can keep your current patient roster and cater to a whole new client base.
While none of these innovative physical therapy business models will be the end all be all for every PT out there, by implementing just one of them you can significantly expand your practice while still offering top-notch care.
Like any industry, healthcare will continually change. New regulations will be adopted. Patient tastes will change. Trends will come and go. These changes, both big and small, should be looked upon as opportunities to the savvy physical therapist.
These are excellent ways to build a thriving practice and really connect with your patients. One way to connect with your patients and improve the patient experience is through our app AC Health. Click here for a free account.