4 Ways To Increase Profit In Your Physical Therapy Practice
Many factors affect the profit that a physical therapy (PT) practice earns. In many cases, simple administrative changes can significantly increase revenue by keeping appointment schedules full. In others, dramatic efforts are needed to recruit and retain the staff needed to keep a practice running smoothly. Read our top four methods for improving your PT practice's bottom line.
Increasing Profit In Your Physical Therapy Clinic: 4 Methods
1. Reducing Cancellations and No-Shows
Reducing cancellations and no-shows is often the easiest way to increase profit in your PT practice. Solutions to these problems can be as simple as taking a few minutes to talk with your patient during their office visit or sending an automated email reminder of their upcoming appointment.
- Remind Your Patients of Their Upcoming Appointment: Patients can easily miss their next appointment if you fail to provide them with a reminder card before they leave your office. Confirming their appointment with a follow-up email or phone call is also an excellent way to ensure they show up. Online patient registration software typically includes appointment reminder features that perform this function automatically.
- Educate Your Patients During Their Appointment: Some patients may need to be made aware of the health effects of missing an appointment. Use their in-office visit to explain the importance of continued PT in maintaining their schedule. Patients are more likely to make appointments when they understand the benefits to their personal health.
- Implement and Enforce a Cancellation Policy: Canceling or failing to show up for an appointment should have consequences for a patient. A fee for canceling within 48 hours of an appointment should be standard practice for PT clinics. Inform staff and patients well in advance of implementing any changes to your cancellation/no-show policy.
2. Hiring the Right Staff
Hiring the right staff is crucial to maximizing the profit of your PT practice. Ensuring that staff members hold the required certifications is an essential part of the hiring process, but it's increasingly important for staff members to have the soft skills needed to be a good fit for your practice.
- Verify Candidate Certifications & Licenses: As with other healthcare practitioners, candidates for PT roles should provide proof of their licenses, certifications, and prior experience before the interview. In the case of PTs, completion of an accredited training program and the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) are the most common requirements. Each state also has its own licensing requirements for PTs.
- Verify Candidate Soft Skills & Culture Match: In addition to licensing and certification requirements, it's also essential for candidates to possess the soft skills needed for the position. These may include various hands-on capabilities, knowledge of billing procedures, and general customer service skills. Ask candidates in the interview about the challenges they've encountered in their past work, whether it was with patients, other staff members, or the practice itself. The interview is also a good time to learn how the PT motivates patients to achieve treatment goals. Roleplaying scenarios are a great way to learn how a PT would handle difficult patients.
3. Incentivizing Your Employees
Employee retention can increase profit in a PT practice by minimizing the cost of turnover and improving the quality of PT services. These strategies include money-based and non-money-based incentives:
- A competitive salary is one of the most effective ways to retain PTs in the current employee-driven market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLB) reports that the US average salary for PTs in 2021 was $95,620 per year. However, the average salary in a specific area may be quite different from the national average.
- Performance-based bonuses are also an excellent way to incentivize employees, especially for small to medium practices. A typical salary plan of this type includes a guaranteed salary of 90 percent, with a bonus of up to 10 percent. Key performance indicators (KPIs) for PTs include billed units, patient visits, and reimbursement amounts.
- A comprehensive benefits package is the norm for PTs in the current competitive job market. It typically includes health insurance, a 401k plan, and other wellness benefits like gym memberships and mental health resources. Reimbursements of student loans and other education costs are becoming common incentives for increasing employee retention.
Long-term retention of PTs relies on non-financial benefits like additional days off, casual days, and lunches provided by the clinic. The workplace culture must also encourage employees to remain with the practice, as a poor culture is the most common reason for PTs to leave their jobs in 2022. Develop a system that gathers employee feedback to address areas of concern before they become significant problems.
4. Offering Additional Services
PT practices can add many services to their portfolio to increase their revenue. Specializing in a few services often causes practices to overlook patients looking for niche services, which can vary significantly according to location. These services can include dry needling, personal training, nutrition counseling, and aquatic therapy.
- Dry Needling: Dry needling is becoming a more popular form of PT, which consists of inserting needles without medication into the muscular tissue at specific trigger points. This practice helps restore normal function and relieve pain, but it's distinctly different from acupuncture. PTs interested in dry needling need to be aware of their state's laws regarding the certification of this practice.
- Personal Training: Few gyms can offer the benefits of a qualified PT for personal training, especially for specialized training in sports. These services can seamlessly integrate with other PT practice offerings, helping improve a patient's fitness and satisfaction. Fitness training also benefits a practice's revenue by keeping patients within its ecosystem.
- Nutritional Counseling: Nutritional counseling can provide patients with the push they need to reach their health goals. Most states regard PTs as health and wellness advisors with respect to advice on supplements, even though they can't call themselves "dieticians" or "nutritionists. Many PT practices also add state-qualified nutritionists to their roster to expand their services.
- Aquatic Therapy: Aquatic therapy can attract many patients seeking these services. They increase joint stability without requiring patients to work against their own body weight, making all these exercises low-impact. Aquatic therapy also helps improve patients' balance in a safe, controlled environment.
The Bottom Line: Increase Your Profit With MWTherapy
Many methods of increasing your PT practice's profits exist, including keeping its schedule full, retaining good employees, and adding new services. However, these changes generate data that must be gathered and analyzed to ensure they benefit the practice in the long run. A physical therapy practice management solution can perform these tasks, allowing PTs to focus on patient care. Schedule a demo with MWTherapy today to learn more about how we can increase your practice's revenue.