If you’re like me, when you think of a wasteland, you probably picture an arid desert that’s void of all life—barring a few post-apocalyptic troublemakers à la Mad Max. Hollywood depictions aside, our imaginations aren’t all that far off, because the defining attribute of a wasteland is a distinct lack of growth—or potential to cultivate new growth. And if your practice is smack dab in the middle of a financial wasteland, you’ll find it hard to grow much of anything business-wise. While financial stagnation—or worse, decline—is frustrating for any practice owner or manager, it’s especially discouraging when you feel like you’re doing everything right. Fortunately, if you stay ever-vigilant and keep an eye out for the not-so-obvious signs of financial waste, you’ll have a flourishing revenue cycle in no time. With that, here are some easily-missed problems you should watch out for in your practice:

Attend Ascend 2018 - Regular BannerAttend Ascend 2018 - Small Banner

1. Over-Ordering Supplies

You’ve probably heard this sage advice before: “It’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared.” While that’s certainly sound reasoning in many cases, when it comes to ordering inventory and supplies at your practice, following this rule could lead to double work—and as a result, double spending.

Unfortunately, this is all-too-common in many practices. Sometimes, it’s simply due to oversight that results from unstructured inventory tracking. More often, though, it’s a result of multiple people placing the same order. To avoid this, make sure your inventory process is super clear and organized. If more than one person is in charge of tracking supply inventory, it’s crucial that you keep this information in one spot (like an Excel spreadsheet, for example) and notate the date every time you place a new order.

Also, check out the benefits that come with your various product subscriptions and memberships to see if you’re entitled to any product discounts. For example, WebPT Members have access to deep discounts on therapy products, equipment, and services through WebPT Marketplace.

2. Replacing or Fixing Equipment

There’s no denying that regular maintenance is important. For one thing, it ensures your patients’ safety. For another, regular upkeep helps your equipment stay in shape longer, which means you don’t have to replace it as often. Plus, maintained and calibrated equipment helps you deliver the best—and most accurate—care, thus ensuring better outcomes all around.

To keep things shipshape, make sure you get annual inspections and calibrations. Equipment manufacturers frequently offer maintenance contracts to practices that purchase their equipment new, meaning the manufacturer will perform preventative and corrective maintenance on the equipment for a certain amount of time at a set price. If you can’t get a contract with the manufacturer, consider enlisting the help of an independent medical equipment maintenance contractor. It may seem like an extra expense, but it can pay off in the long run. And you may even find it easier to remember to get regular inspections when you’re paying a monthly fee.

3. Ignoring Contract Changes

Like payer contracts, vendor contracts can change, leading to price hikes and hidden fees. So, keep track of contract expiration dates. And when a vendor sends you a new contract, make sure you really read it. If you don’t like what you see, shop around. You could also join a group purchasing organization (GPO), which can help you leverage buying power and receive vendor discounts.

4. Having High Staff Turnover

As WebPT’s Erica McDermott mentions in this post, some experts put the cost of onboarding a new employee at around $240,000. Plus, as McDermott explains in the same article, hiring the wrong person can cost you more than double the amount of his or her yearly salary. (Yikes!) So, when you find great staff, be sure to reward and recognize them for their hard work. Furthermore, make sure you’re attracting the right staff in the first place by offering competitive benefits and compensation.

Also, it’s important to hire the right people from the get-go. After all, when an employee isn’t a good fit for his or her role—or for your practice—there’s a good chance he or she will end up leaving. And hiring for fit shouldn’t boil down to skills alone. As WebPT President and Co-Founder Heidi Jannenga explains in this article, hiring for cultural fit is crucial to creating a loyal, collaborative team. In her own words, “You can teach skills, but I don’t believe you can teach someone how to be a good person. Good culture is simply a byproduct of hiring good people.”

5. Failing to Set Clear Staff Expectations

Without clear expectations and task assignments, it’s easy for staff members to duplicate work or ignore certain duties altogether—both of which lead to wasted time and money. (The latter could even create a safety issue.) So, to avoid any confusion, make sure you outline crystal-clear expectations for every staff member. To start, write up a job description that lays out specific responsibilities for each role in your clinic. (You’ll probably need to update these descriptions periodically as your practice grows, so don’t forget to revisit them when necessary.) Also, make sure you have an employee handbook that includes all of your clinic’s policies—including those for attendance, social media, and patient payment collection. This is also a good place to include your clinic’s core values and culture commitments.

6. Pairing Patients with the Wrong Providers

As I explained in this blog post, “Patient-provider mismatches not only diminish the level of care a therapist is able to deliver, but also create some serious financial and operational problems.” So, if your practice doesn’t have a system in place for matching patients with the right therapists, then you’re almost certainly missing out on potential revenue due to patient churn. Plus, a high churn rate could also discourage other providers from sending patients your way—not to mention put a serious damper on patient-driven, word-of-mouth referrals.

7. Coding Inaccurately

Of course, when it comes to maximizing revenue, ensuring clean claims is a must. If you want to receive the payments you’re entitled to, make sure you avoid common billing mistakes like:

  • omitted modifiers,
  • missing certifications,
  • miscounted time, and
  • misused CPT codes (e.g., those for therapeutic exercise and therapeutic activity).

Fortunately, if you use an integrated documentation and billing platform—like WebPT EMR and WebPT Billing—you can easily vet and scrub claims before shipping them off to payers.


If you’re struggling to grow your practice, then you might feel stranded in the middle of a financial wasteland. Fortunately, there’s an oasis in sight; all you have to do is dodge a few avoidable hazards along the way. Do you have any revenue-boosting tips? Share them with us in the comment section below!

  • 8 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2017 Image

    articleJun 15, 2017 | 5 min. read

    8 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2017

      Great news! Ascend— the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists —is back. Last year, the third-annual event hit Fort Worth, Texas, for two incredibly educational (and incredibly fun) days. This year—September 29 and 30, to be exact—Ascend is heading to our nation’s capital. As we all know, DC is full of movers, shakers, and changemakers, and Ascend will keep that tradition alive—minus the political drama. This two-day conference is a can’t-miss affair. Here’s why: 1.) You’ll …

  • Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans Image

    webinarFeb 23, 2017

    Suppressing Sticker Shock: How to Handle Your Patients’ High-Deductible Health Plans

    Copayments, coinsurances, unresolved balances—oh my! Any one of these can cause headaches for healthcare providers, but as healthcare reform efforts shift more and more financial burden to insurance beneficiaries, today’s practitioners are increasingly facing all three. And these challenges are not only hurting their patient acquisition and retention rates, but also their bottom lines. Tired of spending time verifying benefits only to lose those patients to copay sticker shock? Stuck in a constant cycle of pursuing past-due …

  • Think Big, Think Differently: 6 Bits of Inspiration from Ascend 2017 Image

    articleOct 5, 2017 | 11 min. read

    Think Big, Think Differently: 6 Bits of Inspiration from Ascend 2017

    The overarching theme of Ascend 2017 —the fourth-annual installment of rehab therapy’s premier business summit—was, quite simply, “Think big.” But, based on what we learned from our esteemed group of speakers over the course of two inspiration-filled days in Washington, DC, a more accurate tagline for this year’s conference might have been, “Think differently.” After all, in a field as complex as health care, grand aspirations are not enough. To solve the problems plaguing this industry, we …

  • Is Your Practice Financially Healthy? [Quiz] Image

    articleMay 31, 2018 | 1 min. read

    Is Your Practice Financially Healthy? [Quiz]

    Regular health check-ups are crazy-important. After all, even if you’re only experiencing mild symptoms—like a little cough, stuffy nose, or simple sprained ankle—it’s better to know you’ve got a clean bill of health than to just assume it. And if there is an underlying issue, it’s better to catch it sooner rather than later. Similarly, it’s important to regularly assess your practice’s health—specifically, its financial health. Even if things seem hunky-dory on the surface, there could be …

  • Using Your Past as a Crystal Ball Image

    articleJun 18, 2015 | 2 min. read

    Using Your Past as a Crystal Ball

    In the second video of a three-part series, PT and entrepreneurial consultant Jamey Schrier explains why looking into your clinic’s past is the key to driving future success. Want to know more? Watch the video or read Jamey’s description below: What’s the best way to determine how successful you’ll be in the future? Look at your past! Your clinic’s history—especially with respect to business metrics—often are a great indicator of how well you’ll perform moving forward. That …

  • 5 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2015 Image

    articleApr 28, 2015 | 4 min. read

    5 Reasons You Should Attend Ascend 2015

    Have you heard? Ascend— the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists —is back. Last year, the inaugural event took Dallas—or at least, Dallas physical therapists and private practice owners—by storm for one jam-packed day . This year, Ascend is upping the ante—big time. For starters, our 2015 event will run for two days instead of one—and trust us, you don’t want to miss it. Here are five reasons you should attend Ascend 2015: 1. You’ll earn CEUs. …

  • Calling for Backup: How to Leverage Therapist Assistants to Maximize Practice Efficiency Image

    articleJun 21, 2017 | 6 min. read

    Calling for Backup: How to Leverage Therapist Assistants to Maximize Practice Efficiency

    I love a good procedural cop show. There’s a whole lot to glean from a Law & Order marathon—including valuable lessons like, “Don’t let your emotions overrule critical thinking,” and “Most New York district attorneys are former super models.” (I’m not sure I can confirm the latter.) But the advice that’s perhaps most relevant to my life is, “Recognize when you’re in over your head, and don’t be afraid to call in backup.” It’s something that many …

  • Retention, Please: Why Patient Dropout is Killing Rehab Therapy Practices— and How to Stop It Image

    downloadApr 24, 2018

    Retention, Please: Why Patient Dropout is Killing Rehab Therapy Practices— and How to Stop It

    Patient health is the top priority for most rehab therapists—specifically, getting patients back to a level of health that allows them to do what they love. But, when patients say “sayonara” before they reach their therapy goals, they lose the opportunity to live their fullest lives. To make matters worse, the average rehab therapy practice will lose $150,000 annually due to patient dropout alone. Talk about a one-two punch to the gut. Here at WebPT, we believe …

  • NPS® in Health Care: Leveraging Loyal Patients to Drive New Business and Improve Revenue Image

    articleApr 6, 2018 | 8 min. read

    NPS® in Health Care: Leveraging Loyal Patients to Drive New Business and Improve Revenue

    Most rehab therapy business owners, executives, and administrators understand the value of happy, loyal patients—especially given that a patient’s attitude toward, and relationship with, his or her provider can majorly impact the outcome of that patient’s treatment. But, did you know that you can use Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) tracking to systematically identify your already-pleased patients and leverage them to drive new business and improve your revenue? This powerful metric can also help you learn about, prioritize, …

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