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:

Down with Denials! 5 Claim Fixes to Make Sure Your PT Clinic Gets Paid - Regular BannerDown with Denials! 5 Claim Fixes to Make Sure Your PT Clinic Gets Paid - 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!

  • Where Is My Money Going? 6 Surprising Hidden Costs of Running a Private Practice Image

    articleJun 9, 2016 | 7 min. read

    Where Is My Money Going? 6 Surprising Hidden Costs of Running a Private Practice

    You have to spend money to make money. This tenet of business is as true now as it was when my dad gave me a loan to cover the start-up costs for my lemonade stand back in third grade. And like many small business owners, I had a tough time forfeiting nearly half of my revenue to cover the cost of the lemons and sugar (it was a slow day on the cul-de-sac, and despite my best …

  • How to Get the Most Out of Ascend 2018 Image

    articleAug 16, 2018 | 4 min. read

    How to Get the Most Out of Ascend 2018

    Ascend is only a few weeks away, which means it’s almost time for our favorite event of the year! And this year, we’re hosting it in our favorite place: our hometown of Phoenix. What makes it even more special is that (1) we just moved into our brand-new headquarters, and (2) we’re celebrating WebPT’s 10th birthday. So obviously, we’re super-pumped to share our new space, our community, and our 10-year festivities with all of our Ascend peeps. …

  • 4 Keys to Keeping a Steady Cash Flow Image

    articleMay 18, 2016 | 5 min. read

    4 Keys to Keeping a Steady Cash Flow

    As a private practice clinic owner, you’re probably familiar with the cold sweat-inducing struggle to keep a steady cash flow. Claims management muck-ups, inefficient processes, staff issues, and lack of insight into your clinic’s financial health can leave you feeling like you’re riding a revenue rollercoaster. So, whether you’re trying to maximize reimbursements , combat employee theft , or optimize patient payments , these four keys to maintaining a steady cash flow will help you even out …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • The Biggest Budget Mistake in All of Rehab Therapy Image

    articleJul 3, 2018 | 6 min. read

    The Biggest Budget Mistake in All of Rehab Therapy

    WebPT recently completed its annual state of rehab therapy survey , and we found some really interesting trends: some positive—and some, well, less-than positive. For starters, as WebPT President Heidi Jannenga wrote here , “the data showing the distribution of men and women in leadership roles appears to be evening out, which means more women are stepping up to take on bigger professional challenges.” That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, though, we also found that the majority of …

  • 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 …

  • The Financial Metrics that Matter Most to Therapy Private Practices Image

    articleApr 27, 2017 | 6 min. read

    The Financial Metrics that Matter Most to Therapy Private Practices

    According to Pink Floyd, money is a “gas.” While the surface level interpretation of that lyric may be that money is fun and entertaining, the word “gas” seems deliberate here. After all, money is fuel. We as a society run on it, and yet, so many of us—including rehab therapy professionals—manage it poorly. The trick to better financial management is knowing what to actually manage—or more specifically, what to track, monitor, and act upon. With that in …

  • The Simple Key To Making More Money Image

    articleJun 17, 2015 | 2 min. read

    The Simple Key To Making More Money

    In this first video of a three-part series, PT and entrepreneurial consultant Jamey Schrier explains why the simple act of measuring your clinic’s business metrics will help improve your bottom line. Want to know more? Watch the video or read Jamey’s description below: Do you hate the money aspect of owning your practice—the constant worry of whether you’re making a profit or hitting your targets? Well, what if I told you that just one small change in …

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