In many cases, the old retail axiom “you get what you pay for” holds true within the healthcare market as well—and that is precisely why Jennifer Gamboa, DPT, OCS, MTC, and president of Body Dynamics, Inc., believes that more physical therapy practices should be looking beyond the third-party payer game as they develop their business models.

The way Jennifer sees it, declining reimbursement rates not only threaten the survival of private practice physical therapy clinics, but also speak to a much larger problem within the medical community: the pervasive undervaluation of physical therapy care. But Jennifer and her team of therapists are changing that errored perception—one patient at a time. Because at Body Dynamics, patients—and their individual interests, needs, and goals—always come first. “No matter what, they [our patients] know they have an advocate,” Jennifer said in a recent interview with WebPT. “If that means collaborating with other medical professionals or referring to another medical specialty, then that’s what we do. Our number-one model is that we are your partner—the goal is always finding a way to empower you to get better, whatever it takes.”

And patients have definitely taken notice of the Body Dynamics team’s extraordinary commitment to transparent, patient-focused care—so much so that they are willing to pay for it, even if their health plans won’t. That’s why—in July of this year—the clinic cut all ties with insurance carriers. And that’s why, according to Jennifer, direct access patients make up nearly 100% of the clinic’s client base. “The reason we can do it that way is because we have the reputation that we do,” she said. “We put our money where our mouth is.”

Because so much of the clinic’s business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations, patient outcomes—and in turn, patient satisfaction—are crucial. “If you value your end user—your patient—as a person who is worth your time, energy, and focus, our experience is that they will value you,” Jennifer said. And when patients see and feel positive change as a result of the therapy you provide, they’re going to tell people about it: “A patient’s outcome is so critical to their life, their health, and their wellbeing,” Jennifer said. “And they’ll pass on that word, whether you’re in-network or not.”

On that note, the majority of Body Dynamics’ marketing efforts fall into the relationship-building bucket. “In the past, we’ve run traditional ad campaigns, and we’ve found that it’s just not effective,” Jennifer said. “No amount of branding is going to matter without having that relationship. So for us, it makes much more sense to invest in that.”

So, the clinic hosts community health talks, participates in career day activities at area schools, and sponsors local fun-runs. Then, they run ads promoting those events. Still, Body Dynamics doesn’t put all of its marketing eggs in the direct-to-consumer basket. For the clinical staff, each interaction with a physician is a marketing opportunity. “We’re marketing to physicians within the patient care process, simply because we’re doing a good job,” she said. “For them [physicians], it’s all about the care the patient is receiving. And when we talk to them, we’re talking about evidence and facts and data.”

Through those conversations, the therapists at Body Dynamics have built up a network of physicians who recommend the clinic’s therapy services regularly. In some cases, the referring physician’s practice even has its own physical therapy provider—but the doctor chooses to recommend Body Dynamics anyway. “They will refer to us when they know the patient in front of them really needs our help,” Jennifer said. “So when that referral comes in, we know it comes from a place of tremendous respect.”

And not surprisingly, when patients have the choice of potentially getting better faster by going out of network versus staying in network but taking longer to see results, they tend to choose the route that will allow them to achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. According to Jennifer, that is the exact reason that physical therapy can hold its own in the retail marketplace. “The idea is that you can have a whole variety of price points, but with all of them, you’ll still get our expertise,” she said. “So there are a lot of different ways to skin this cat, but the first step is that we [PTs] have to recognize our value.”

Of course, many therapists are reluctant to forgo insurance contracts in favor of a direct access-heavy model. But to Jennifer, the freedom that kind of model affords is well worth the effort. “We have a really different model and a really different mindset, but we’re used to problem-solving,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s about being passionate about changing people’s lives.”

And to PTs who are hesitant to dip their toes into the direct access pool, Jennifer offers the following advice: “You should strip and jump.” In other words, she says, “This [direct access] is our opportunity to level the playing field. So, grab the bull by the horns and run with it. You have the freedom to be everything you’ve wanted to be.”

Billing - Regular BannerBilling - Small Banner
  • 7 Direct Access Myths Debunked Image

    articleSep 27, 2017 | 11 min. read

    7 Direct Access Myths Debunked

    The fight for direct access to physical therapy has been raging for a while—we’re talking several decades—and as with any long-standing controversy, rumors abound. So, in the interest of removing some grist from the gossip mill, let’s tackle a handful of the biggest direct access myths out there: Myth #1: Direct access only applies to private outpatient physical therapy practices. Truth: One of the most pervasive myths in the therapy industry is that direct access only benefits …

  • Common Questions from Our Cash-Based Physical Therapy Webinar Image

    articleAug 30, 2017 | 19 min. read

    Common Questions from Our Cash-Based Physical Therapy Webinar

    Earlier this week, WebPT’s president and co-founder, Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, teamed up with cash-based physical therapy guru Dr. Jarod Carter, PT, DPT, MTC, to host a webinar covering all things cash pay —from insurance contracting considerations and Medicare rules to self-referral marketing and service pricing. Thousands of rehab therapy professionals registered to attend, which means we received a ton of questions—so many, in fact, that there was no way we could answer all of …

  • Direct Access in Action: Mike Manzo of Atlantic Physical Therapy Center Image

    articleOct 30, 2014 | 5 min. read

    Direct Access in Action: Mike Manzo of Atlantic Physical Therapy Center

    We’ve all heard some variation of the sad story about the poor, defenseless physical therapy practice having its business sucked dry by the big, bad physician-owned physical therapy practice next door. And PT Mike Manzo—who founded New Jersey-based Atlantic Physical Therapy Center (APTC) with his brother Dave in 2001—could very well have found himself living out that tragic tale. According to Mike, that familiar anecdote was all-too-common in New Jersey about five or six years ago. At …

  • Cashing In on Private Pay: The PT's Guide to Going Out-of-Network Image

    webinarJul 27, 2017

    Cashing In on Private Pay: The PT's Guide to Going Out-of-Network

    For many rehab therapists, submitting a claim to a third-party payer feels a lot like pulling the lever on a slot machine. You never know for sure what you’re gonna get—and most of the time, it’s less than you’d hoped for. With seemingly ever-increasing regulations—and constantly shrinking reimbursements—it’s no wonder so many PTs, OTs, and SLPs feel like the financial odds are stacked against them. [video://fast.wistia.net/embed/iframe/c49leax8yk] As a result, more and more rehab therapy providers are trying …

  • ICD-10 FAQs Image

    articleFeb 28, 2015 | 6 min. read

    ICD-10 FAQs

    We recently hosted a webinar focused on helping PTS, OTs, and SLPs prepare for the ICD-10 switch. We got a lot of questions—so many, in fact, that we decided to organize the most common ones into an easy-to-reference blog post. Read on to find the answers to all your burning ICD-10 queries. Don’t see your question? Post it in the comments section below, and we’ll find you an answer. Does ICD-10 affect CPT codes? According to this …

  • Common Questions from Our Patient Sticker Shock Webinar Image

    articleMar 31, 2017 | 33 min. read

    Common Questions from Our Patient Sticker Shock Webinar

    From copays and deductibles to payer contracts and benefits verification, understanding all the nuances of third-party insurances is tough enough for healthcare providers—let alone their patients. In WebPT’s most recent webinar— Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans —co-hosts Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, the cofounder and president of WebPT, and WebPT CEO Nancy Ham provided a lot of great advice on how to have productive conversations about healthcare costs with your patients—without …

  • What's the Right Payer Mix for Your Practice? Image

    articleJul 17, 2018 | 6 min. read

    What's the Right Payer Mix for Your Practice?

    Insurance payments for healthcare services have been declining for a while now , which means providers in all disciplines are looking for ways to optimize their payer mix in order to maximize their revenue. If you haven’t yet calculated the cost of providing your services—and compared that number to the payments you’re receiving to ensure you’re actually making enough money to not only cover those costs, but also turn a profit—then you should. But the question remains: …

  • Common Questions from our Art of Discovering and Selling Value Webinar Image

    articleMay 16, 2018 | 12 min. read

    Common Questions from our Art of Discovering and Selling Value Webinar

    Earlier this week, WebPT President Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L, and guest host Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, hosted a webinar designed to help physical therapists learn the art of discovering—and selling—their value. While PTs have historically shied away from sales, in today’s evolving healthcare ecosystem, it’s absolutely imperative that all providers—and especially specialists such as rehab therapists—excel at positioning the benefits of their services in such a way that resonates with patients, payers, and referral sources. At …

  • Why My Practice Can’t Live Without Outcomes Tracking Image

    articleMar 15, 2017 | 3 min. read

    Why My Practice Can’t Live Without Outcomes Tracking

    If you don’t measure it, you cannot improve it. For a long time, as our business was growing, we operated by feel. And we “felt” we were doing a good job. Once we started tracking our physical therapy outcomes , though, we finally knew. We found out that we were doing a good job—in some areas. In other areas, we found out that we needed more work. The main point is that we were flying blind until …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.