Therapists have to fight for every dollar they earn, from finding new patients through referring physicians, to convincing patients to complete their entire plan of care (even in the face of some scary-looking copays). Clinics are already challenged to stay profitable amid falling reimbursements—and the dance with middlemen payers isn’t making things any easier. Whether they mean to or not, payers use some fancy footwork to get between you and your patients via high copays and sky-high deductibles—and it can be tough to convince patients to sidestep the barriers between them and conservative pain management. Luckily, there are some routes therapists can take to serve more patients and avoid a frustrating (neverending) tango with payers—specifically, the route of corporate physical therapy.
Corporate physical therapy revolutionizes the patient’s journey.
Corporate physical therapy can come in many forms. For some companies, offering corporate PT means offering discounts or full reimbursements for their employees’ PT visits. For other, bigger organizations, it means hiring a PT to routinely come on-site to offer consultations and treatments—or maybe even hiring a full-time, in-house PT. In any case, corporate PT puts therapists on the frontline of a patient’s journey. It provides employees with some next level ease-of-access and reduces—and often eliminates—the financial burden of high copays.
Employers want one thing: good ROI.
When employers invest a lot of money into something (e.g., a corporate wellness program), they want to ensure that they’ll have a good return on investment (ROI), and that the benefits far outweigh the cost of the endeavor. So, if you want to team up with self-insured employers, or with employers who want to fund a wellness program, it’s your job to convince them that your care is financially beneficial. The good news is that you don’t have a hard sell. Your preventive and immediate post-injury care really can reduce a business’s costs and get injured employees back on their feet—faster. You just need to bring irrefutable facts to the table when you pitch your corporate therapy services.
You must demonstrate the benefits of your care with costs and statistics.
Marketing directly to employers is a little different than marketing to referring physicians, or even to payers. Physicians and payers, for the most part, aren’t overly concerned about the cost of your care (as long as it’s within reason, of course). They primarily care about how effectively you can treat patients, and, for payers, if you’re following the insurance network rules. Employers who are considering corporate therapy, however, are very concerned about cost. They want to know that every penny they send your way will return to them twofold—in one way or another. But understand that you can’t just show companies your payment charts and outcomes data and call it a day; you need to contextualize that information in a way that makes it relevant to them.
Let’s say you’re considering reaching out to a construction company that employs a large number of glass and glazing contractors. You may not know about the injuries glass and glazing contractors often experience—but you can find out. After dedicating an afternoon to research, you discover that:
- Glass and glazing contractors are high-risk for back injuries—there are 97.8 back injuries per 10,000 full-time employees each year;
- A majority of glass and glazing contractors are under 44 years of age; and
- On average, people in that age group lose nine and a half work days for each back injury.
After a little more digging, you also find that worker’s comp claims for back injuries can cost between $34,000 to $40,000, depending on the location and severity of the injury. You also know that your outcomes data proves that you can get back injury patients up and at ’em (and back to work) nearly three days faster than the nine-and-a-half-day statistic you found earlier. Additionally, you know that preventative care can head off back injuries before they even occur, and—given the chance—you can identify spinal problems before they become severe enough to affect workers.
Armed with all this knowledge, you can now make a compelling case about the benefits of your care. But the best information in the world won’t mean a thing if it’s not presented in a way that bolsters your services. Try using this simple marketing strategy to set up the pins, so you can knock them down:
- Present the problem (e.g., glass and glazing contractors are high-risk for back injuries).
- Explain the problem (e.g., injured workers typically miss more than a week of work and can file claims that cost up to $40,000).
- Present yourself as the best solution (e.g., I can reduce healing time and head off injuries before they occur).
Your marketing strategies should be rooted in education.
At the end of the day, there’s not a perfect formula that’ll help you snag every corporate PT contract you set your sights on. Every industry is a little bit different, and so are the common injuries (and causes) you’ll see from company to company. The important thing you need to do is dig up relevant data that proves how beneficial your therapeutic care can be for professionals from all walks of life. But regardless of who you’re talking to, ensure that your marketing hits on all the benefits your care can provide the company, like:
- Decreased sick time taken for injuries,
- Higher treatment compliance rate,
- Smaller chance of re-injury, and
- Opportunities for preventive care that could reduce the incidence of injury.
Do you have any tips about marketing your practice directly to employers? How do you feel about cutting out payers completely? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!