This month is all about tracking your clinic’s performance. Now that you know what business metrics are and why they’re so important, it’s time to get to the good stuff—that is, the ones you should actually use. Without further ado, here are the metrics essential to monitoring the health of your practice (in no particular order):

1. Cash

First and foremost, you should know how much money—on average—you make for each patient visit, after subtracting all of the costs associated with doing business. This will help you make all sorts of informed business decisions, like whether you should bring on another therapist, increase your marketing efforts, or cut down on business expenses to ensure you can keep the lights on.

To calculate profit per visit, you need to know your net revenue per visit and your net cost per visit. For the revenue part, figure out the average reimbursement per patient visit you’re collecting from each insurance plan or patient. (It’s a good idea to first separate these totals by insurance carrier so you know which company is paying what. This will help you if you ever need to renegotiate a fee schedule). Then, average all reimbursements per patient visit together to get your net revenue per visit. For the cost part, calculate the total of all the expenses associated with doing business each day—think rent, training, payroll, equipment, utilities, supplies, legal fees, and insurance. Then, divide this number by the average number of patients you see each day. This is your net cost per visit.

Your profit per visit is your net cost per visit subtracted from your net revenue per visit. If this number is positive, you are in the black (operating at a profit). If this number is negative, you are in the red (operating at a loss)—in which case it’s probably time to make two of the three informed business decisions I mentioned above.

2. Collections

You could be the best therapist in the world, but without an efficient billing process, you’ll never see a dime. To ensure that’s not the case in your clinic, start paying attention to the following:

  • Percentage of receivables over 120 days: This metric tells you how well your practice is doing as far as timely collecting goes. To calculate this figure, divide the total receivables that are over 120 days due by your total receivables. You’re in good shape if your receivables over 120 days represent less than 10% of total receivables.
  • Daily sales outstanding (DSO) or days in receivable outstanding (DRO): Regardless of what you call it, this metric is the average amount of time it takes for you to collect payment from an insurance carrier or patient. To calculate your DSO/DRO, divide your total current receivables by your average daily charge amount (which is your total gross charges for the past year divided by 365). If your DSO/DRO is fewer than 35 days, you’re gold, Ponyboy (if you’ve never read the Outsiders, I recommend it).
  • Net collection rate: This measures the effectiveness of your practice’s collection process. To calculate it, divide your payments by your charges for six months, and then multiply that number by 100. You’re aiming for at least 95%.
  • Denial rate: This is the percentage of claims your payers reject. To calculate this rate, divide the total dollar amount of all denied claims in a three-month period by the the total dollar amount of all of the claims you submitted for the same time period. Anything less than 10% is ideal.

3. Customers

Rehab therapy is somewhat unique in terms of its business model. As a therapist, your ultimate goal is to help your customers so they get better and no longer need your services. With that being the case, it’s even more crucial that your patients complete every physical therapy visit in their plan of care and that they recommend you to their friends. So customer satisfaction is kind of a big deal—and it’s important to measure satisfaction at various points throughout treatment, not just at the end. As the author of this article points out, “If you’re only gauging patient satisfaction at discharge, you’re collecting heavily biased data: the only people you’re surveying have completed their entire course of care (and thus likely bought into your value proposition early on). This leads to extremely high satisfaction scores, many pats on the back, and absolutely zero actionable data.” Metrics are all about actionable data, so you definitely don’t want that.

One way to track customer satisfaction throughout your customers’ experience is to implement a quarterly survey that contains a Net Promoter Score® (NPS). NPS is a method for determining how happy customers are with a particular company by labelling those customers Promoters, Passives, and Detractors based on how likely they’d be to recommend the company to their friends and family.

But that’s not the only tool in the customer-satisfaction-metric shed. You also can include “a series of attribute satisfaction measures”—which, according to this survey technology provider, include questions like “How satisfied are you with the customer service you received at [clinic name]?” and “How important is customer service in your decision to select [clinic name]?” And don’t forget about questions that uncover things like perceived warmth of therapist or appointment timeliness—things that might differentiate your practice from others and thus, lead to more satisfied customers.

4. Employees

Okay, this one doesn’t actually start with a “C,” but your employees still make up a super important part of your business—so their satisfaction counts as a metric that’s essential to the health of your practice. Not only is happiness good for the goose (the employee), but it’s also good for the gander (your practice), because a happy employee is a more productive employee. Whether you track employee satisfaction by formal survey or informal chat, just make sure you’re tracking it—and taking action based on what you learn.


Hungry for more metrics? Check out this post on marketing- and sales-related metrics. If you have your own metrics to share, please use the comments section below. We’d love to know what you’re measuring in your practice.

9 Most Common Medicare Misconceptions for PTs, OTs, and SLPs - Regular Banner9 Most Common Medicare Misconceptions for PTs, OTs, and SLPs - Small Banner
  • 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 …

  • Are Your Patients Really Satisfied? 5 Metrics to Find Out. Image

    articleAug 21, 2014 | 10 min. read

    Are Your Patients Really Satisfied? 5 Metrics to Find Out.

    Physical therapy can be a long, hard, difficult—and yes, sometimes unenjoyable—experience. So what, then, keeps patients coming back for more? Well, it’s probably safe to assume that it’s not the sweat-inducing gym sessions or the wince-eliciting manual therapy. Rather, I would argue it’s the feeling your patients have when they leave your clinic at the end of their visits. How are they feeling as they walk to the parking lot? Satisfied? Happy? You might not realize it, …

  • Balancing Act: How Many Patients Should a PT See in a Day? Image

    articleApr 19, 2018 | 7 min. read

    Balancing Act: How Many Patients Should a PT See in a Day?

    As a physical therapist, balance is intrinsic to your job—whether that be striking a balance between motivating patients and not pushing them too hard or treating patients for literal balance issues. And PTs have to find balance for themselves, too—though maybe not as literally as vestibular patients. In 2017, we surveyed thousands of rehab therapy professionals across all specialties, job roles, and clinic sizes and asked folks about everything from reimbursement rates to frustrations and motivations with …

  • The Essential Guide to NPS for Private Practice PTs, OTs, and SLPs Image

    articleOct 8, 2015 | 6 min. read

    The Essential Guide to NPS for Private Practice PTs, OTs, and SLPs

    Dale Carnegie said, “To be interesting, be interested.” This wisdom is the foundation of the net promoter score® (NPS). In the simplest of terms, NPS is a standardized customer loyalty metric. It rates how likely a customer is to recommend your brand, product, and/or service to a colleague or friend. NPS is a solid indicator of customer (i.e., patient) engagement and retention , because people typically only recommend brands, products, or services they feel are truly deserving …

  • Everything I Wish I’d Known Before Opening My PT Practice Image

    articleJul 30, 2018 | 18 min. read

    Everything I Wish I’d Known Before Opening My PT Practice

    A little more than three years ago, Kaci Monroe realized her dream of opening her own physical therapy private practice (to learn more about Kaci’s entrepreneurial journey, check out this blog post ). Since then, she’s grown her small, Bigfork, Montana-based clinic into a very successful—and very busy—operation. So busy, in fact, that she decided to open a second location this past year. Oh, and she also remodeled a house, had a baby, and sped her way …

  • The Initial Visit is Everything Image

    articleOct 12, 2015 | 4 min. read

    The Initial Visit is Everything

    Patient engagement isn’t just about being friendly and nice. It’s about giving your patients the information they need for their treatment to be successful. That’s why it’s so important to prepare your patients for their first visits—in an effort to both set appropriate patient expectations and improve patient retention. Therapy Expectations If a patient has never been to PT before, expect lots of questions. Better yet, preempt those inquiries by sending patients information on how to prepare …

  • Combatting Payment Fatigue: How to Increase Revenue Without Haggling with Payers Image

    articleMay 31, 2016 | 8 min. read

    Combatting Payment Fatigue: How to Increase Revenue Without Haggling with Payers

    For PT practice owners, finding ways to increase topline revenue can be challenging. While there are a number of strategies for growing your practice, your success ultimately hinges on accomplishing at least one of the following: Getting paid more for the services you provide. Getting more patients in the door. Keeping patients from dropping out early. For many practices—especially newer and smaller clinics—it’s easy to get stuck on the first one and forget about the second two. …

  • 6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015 Image

    articleNov 16, 2015 | 10 min. read

    6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015

    Last week, I joined hundreds of amazing physical therapy professionals, students, and vendors (including yours truly, WebPT) at this year's PPS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Despite the uncomfortable combination of tropical heat and humidity outside—and near-freezing conference rooms inside—everyone was in high spirits. Though I never made it to Disney World, I still felt like I was in the most magical place on Earth, thanks to the inspiring and informative presentations I saw and the thought-provoking …

  • Common Questions from our Cloudy with a Chance of Reform Webinar Image

    articleFeb 13, 2017 | 13 min. read

    Common Questions from our Cloudy with a Chance of Reform Webinar

    In our first webinar of 2017 , WebPT’s co-founder and president, Heidi Jannenga, teamed up with CEO Nancy Ham to discuss the current and future healthcare trends that will impact PTs, OTs, and SLPs. (Missed it? No worries; you can view the complete recording here .) As always, we received quite a few questions during the presentation—way more than we could address live. So, we’ve put them all here, in one handy Q&A doc. Scroll through and …

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