Anyone can start a physical therapy (or OT) private practice but growing one to be successful requires skill.
Here are the steps to growing your practice into a vehicle that leads to independence and freedom versus a mere month-to-month business.
Action steps for private practice growth:
Increase cash flow and decrease expenses at the same time. Some of the ways to increase cash flow are:
- Collect patient portions at the time of service. Do not wait and send them an unexpected bill later. They will hate you. It’s not as hard as you might think. Sharing the cost-of-care at the time of initial evaluation can make all the difference in the world. Consumers want to know. Financial ambiguity is the number one reason patients will stop coming, quit, or leave a practice. Learn the simple step-by-step at an IndeFree course near you.
- Offer elective services (that are not covered by insurance). This can help increase cash flow. Remember, cash flow is what makes a business strong. One can be in debt but if cash is flowing, they can grow. More and more consumers are paying out-of-pocket for healthcare nowadays so they are already in the mode of paying. Offering an extra 30-minutes of massage, wellness session, fitness or performance sessions, along with their therapy can significantly increase cash.
- Offer payment plans. If a patient has a $1000 deductible, they may not be able to afford to come to therapy two times per week which might cause them to quit. Offering payment plans can help retain those with out-of-pocket payments. It’s working with practices across the country. It can work with yours, if done right. Learn more at an IndeFree course near you.
New Patient Generation:
If you don’t have a strategy and plan for new patients, you will suffer greatly this year. Here are some simple steps to begin a system for new patients.
- Get family and friend referrals from current patients. This is the most underutilized channel of new patients. Many practices merely put up a sign that reads, “The best compliment you can make is to refer us to a family member or friend.” That is not enough. That isn’t even the beginning. The top 3 reasons why patients do NOT bring in family and friends is because. . . 1) you never instructed them to, 2) they don’t know what you treat, and 3) they don’t love your services. Patient’s don’t always know that you NEED more business. Until you instruct them, they won’t think about it. And if they don’t know you treat hip bursitis, or lower back pain, they may not tell their family about you. Lastly, if you don’t know how to “wow” your patients with care that inspires word-of-mouth advertising, they won’t trust their family to you.
- Reactivate old patients. This is another channel that most private practices lack. Don’t discharge your patients (or let them fall through the cracks) and then forget about them. Or else you will find yourself having to go out searching for more new souls to feed a machine that keeps chewing up and spitting out people. You will eventually run out of new people to chew up. So how do you get past patients to come back? One way is to offer a patient appreciation event. Whether it’s a group fitness class, special valentines massage, or an open clinic where they can bring family for free. If done right, you can gain many more patients from this pool that already know you.
- Increase referrals. I’m not talking about physicians only. Your entire medical community is a huge network of people that can send patients to you such as podiatrists, dentists, acupuncturists, oncologists, and more. You are just not engaging them at all, or doing it incorrectly. The IndeFree course shows you the top 3 ways to effectively engage your network. This can put you over the top!
Internet Marketing Automation:
If you haven’t already, you should be getting at least 10% of your patients from the internet. It’s not as hard as you might think. Yes, many are doing it wrong and wasting time, energy and money but if you do it correctly, you can win. Here are some important tips:
- Create a focused offer.
- Collect the emails of those interested. Autoresponders must be included.
- Occasionally email them.
Employee Training Automation:
Most private practice owners are not training their staff on how to help the organization grow. I’m not talking about clinical in-services or administrative meetings. I’m talking about real training on the most important factors to generating more and more business. Yes, your staff play a huge role on whether or not your private practice is going to thrive or die. Here are some simple topics to begin training your staff on. Answering the following questions as a team can really help direct you to a more successful organization.
- What does it take to get patients addicted to our services in a good way so that they want everyone they know to come experience you?
- How do we get patients, and consumers alike, to want to spend more money with us?
- How do we get patients better faster and “wow” them so they look forward to their appointments?
I know these questions might seem a bit over-the-top, but believe it or not, the best practices are not only asking themselves these questions but striving to implement the answers. Learn the step-by-step to implementing the answers to these question at an IndeFree course near you.
Billing, Collections and Coding:
You can’t do it like it’s always been done. If you don’t acquire the skills of advance billing and collections, you will suffer greatly for the next 5-7 years. Here are some quick actions that you can take to improving your insurance reimbursements.
- Appeal Denials. Most appeals are paid on the first appeal. But most private practices do not do it. They merely wait, and wait, and wait, and never get paid. What a shame. Don’t make this mistake.
- Stop wasting time on the phone. Insurance companies know that those who call don’t know what they are doing. Always fax or mail a letter to get what you want. Never call. Here’s a sample of a letter we send.
- Renegotiate your contracted rates. Even if you don’t get a favorable response, the mere act of requesting an increase sends the right message. But you never know, some may be receptive. A wise person once said, “If you never ask, you never get.” We have a template letter called “Renegotiation of Contracted Rates” that has been known to work very well. We give it to you at the course.
The Most Important Step:
Now that I’ve given you many Action Steps to take to grow your practice, there is a condition that must be met before you will succeed with the above information. Without this one condition, all the above steps won’t work. The condition is, you must understand that
A practice doesn’t become successful, but rather, the person does then the business follows.”
You must become a successful person first. You must develop the skills of execution, efficiency, and balance. Otherwise, all your efforts will go to waste. Here’s a great read on how to start becoming a great leader.
Don’t merely read this article and gather good ideas. No, you must execute. After 15 years of working with private practice owners, I’ve come to know that many sabotage themselves. Many know what they NEED to do but don’t do it. Why? And why is it so common? Self-sabotage is real. And if you don’t learn how to overcome it, knowledge won’t help you one bit.
The IndeFree course is extremely unique in the sense that it teaches you how to overcome mental obstacles that prevent success in most people. It helps you to become a successful leader. Here’s what some recent attendees have to say.
Don’t hesitate to enroll in a course today. Doing nothing can be the worst mistake today.
“Life is short. Start success today.”