Diversify Your PT Practice
One of the biggest reasons PT practices fail is a lack of revenue diversification and ineffective patient acquisition methods. Physical therapy is a needed service, but is your practice optimized to capture the total addressable market?
With a few slight adjustments, practice owners can provide more value and better care for patients while simultaneously running a more profitable business. And these methods aren’t complex; they’re actions you can put into play the second you’re done reading this article.
Here are the most successful methods practice owners use to diversify their PT practice.
Provide New Equipment or Specialty Services
Appealing to new patients and cross-selling within your current patient base is the easiest way to diversify your PT practice’s revenue stream. First, conduct market research by analyzing your business plan, researching hot PT trends, and studying nearby competitors. Ask experts for their industry outlook and use tools like social media to poll potential patients about their preference for PT services.
Gathering this data is a must before you fund additional education for the staff (or hire someone separately) to perform new or specialty services. Choose the best for your market and adjust as necessary.
Currently, a few specialty services and offerings are increasingly popular with patients and are likely to persist in the coming years, for example:
Probably the most significant trend coming from COVID-19 was the adoption of contactless treatment. Patients expect PTs to carry a robust telehealth service program that can address recovery in the comfort of their own homes.
Gamification of PT
Technology can separate your practice from others, especially when gamifying something like a Home Exercise Program (HEP). Many PTs boost patient morale by integrating interactive handheld or virtual reality products—making a recovery a fun and engaging process.
Patient Data Tracking & Analytics
Wearable technology, like watches and intelligent sensors, help PTs monitor patient progress, provide adjustments, and improve outcomes during treatment.
Market Your Practice Differently
Diversifying your practice is about bringing in new, lasting sources of revenue. And when it comes to marketing, the trend is your friend. Digitization is overtaking traditional marketing efforts by a landslide. Where billboards, newspapers, and word of mouth reigned supreme—now internet presence, email marketing, and social media are the pillars of physical therapy independence.
Internet Presence (Your Website)
Physical therapists—now more than ever—must gear up for the digital revolution, starting with an effective website. Patients research PTs thoroughly before scheduling an appointment, even if they come highly recommended from a trusted source.
The internet has made it too easy to find reviews and compare PT practices, making patient testimonials and the online experience fundamental. Keeping your website up to date will give patients an excellent first impression and drive additional search traffic.
Improve the patient experience inside and outside of the clinic. Make your website remarkable and optimize it for search traffic using proper SEO practices.
Email marketing is the bread and butter of marketing campaigns, a best-kept secret amongst PTs who use it. In 2016, it provided a staggering return of $44 for every $1 spent. An efficient way to build an email list is to include a newsletter signup on your website.
Best practices include creating a regimented email strategy that doesn’t oversaturate your mailing list. Every email sent should contain relevant, high-quality content about physical therapy and the services provided by your practice. The more emails you collect, the more extensive your outreach, so don’t be afraid to grow your mailing list using social media and word of mouth.
Once you have a proper following, free education can establish you as a local industry expert while helping those who need treatment understand their options.
Marketing your practice on social media starts by identifying your target audience and picking the platform best suited for them. However, if you’re already on social media—it might be time to add another platform. Diversifying your practice, boosting your brand awareness, and cross-selling services to physicians and patients are essential social media marketing functions.
The backbone of organic social (not paid for) is high-quality photos, great copywriting, and value-adding content. For paid ads, it depends on the platform, but ads usually involve short, catchy headlines embedded with a strong call to action statement.
A larger social presence usually generates more business, so experiment with your target audience and see what moves them.
Cultivate New Referral Sources Each Month
Diversification means expanding your patient base using new, lasting strategies. And what better way than to build relationships with other professionals? Create a goal, say two additional referrals a month, and reach out to local physicians.
Another way you can generate additional referrals is to establish yourself as an industry leader using social media. Use a social media content strategy to boost your practice’s brand and authority—driving patient engagement and enrollment.
Finally, you can think outside of your geographical area by creating partnerships with regional clinics and telehealth providers who need consulting work from licensed PTs.
Offer Services Under a New Model
Relying solely on one type of service—cash or insurance-based therapy—can limit your opportunities and stunt your practice’s growth. Creating a more inclusive model that works with major insurance providers and cash payments can give your patients the flexibility needed to seek counsel and recovery.
Cash-based practices are established to meet patient needs without the restrictions from third-party payers. And while revenue diversification and more patients are great—embracing a cash-based model saves you by reducing the time for claim processing, billing, and other costs associated with collecting insurance payments.
However, dropping insurance payments altogether isn’t a strategy most PTs recommend. The market for insurance-based payments is enormous and finding patients for exclusively cash-based services is challenging. Using a hybrid model can help practice owners capture the best of both worlds while differentiating their PT practice.
The Bottom Line
Diversifying revenue streams starts by bringing in additional patients using marketing, referrals, and an expansion of PT offerings. Capturing new markets can generate long-term revenue channels that lead to expansion and more capital to better patient treatment. If you’re having trouble implementing these diversification methods, you might be too busy. Practice owners have a large amount of daily work that keeps them from tapping into their clinic’s true potential, which is why MWTherapy makes life easier for the ever-busy practice owner.
MWTherapy is an all-in-one physical therapy solution stocked with invaluable tools to help practices run smoothly so owners can focus on what matters most. Experience the MWTherapy difference yourself by trying out our free practice management demo.