With so many rules to follow, codes and modifiers to deal with, and hoops to jump through, the billing process isn’t exactly the most enjoyable part of a physical therapist’s job. But Ted Stokes, WebPT’s Director of Billing Services, relishes in it—especially when he has the opportunity to help therapists overcome the barriers that stand between them and their reimbursements. “I like removing problems for people so they can move forward, whether that’s for our Members or for the [WebPT] Billing team,” Ted said. “I just love working with people—collaboration, problem-solving, and getting things done.”
And over the course of his 20-plus-year career in the healthcare industry—the majority of which he spent working for a durable medical equipment (DME) company—Ted has worked with plenty of people. In fact, he rarely stayed in one location for more than two or three years.
After getting his start in the company’s equipment warehouse—where he assembled devices like power chairs—Ted quickly moved up the business ranks, eventually becoming a customer service supervisor and later, a branch manager. That’s when the string of relocation assignments started; over the next several years, Ted completed a slew of short stints as the manager of various branches around California and the Southwest.
While he was used to bouncing around—“My parents moved a lot for work when I was a kid,” he explained—Ted longed to put down some real roots, especially following the birth of his now seven-year-old daughter, Madison. So he decided to take some time off and search for a position that would allow him to do just that. But he wasn’t looking for just any ol’ gig at any ol’ company; he wanted to be part of a team with a vision he could truly get behind. “I was being very selective,” he said. “If I was going to make this change, I wanted to find a company that I wanted to spend time at and work hard for.”
Before he submitted his résumé to WebPT, Ted definitely did his homework, researching the company history and reading as many reviews as he could find. He liked what he saw, and after his first interview with CEO Paul Winandy and COO Heidi Jannenga, he was even more excited about the prospect of joining the WebPT team. “I just had a good feeling right from the start,” he said. “I liked the direction of the organization, and I liked the people.”
So when, after a few more rounds of interviews, Ted received the offer to come aboard, he accepted without hesitation—and he hasn’t looked back. “Whenever you first come to an organization, you wonder about the people you’re going to work with—what they’ll be like—but here, everyone has just been like a family,” he said. “I just can’t say enough about the people. Everyone has the same direction and vision, and that was very important to me.”
On a day-to-day basis, Ted is responsible for ensuring that the billing team has all of the tools and support necessary to submit prompt, accurate claims—and collect prompt, accurate reimbursements—for all of WebPT’s billing customers. And with all of his knowledge about the front end of the claim submission process—which he garnered during his career in DME—Ted has a well-rounded understanding of the billing cycle.
Based on the billing wisdom he’s gathered over two-plus decades, Ted has one simple, yet critical, piece of advice for those in the rehab therapy industry: make smart business decisions. In his words, “It’s not just about dropping a claim and collecting cash; it’s about making smart decisions on the front end when it comes to selecting payers...and looking at your business holistically.”
Speaking of looking at things holistically, Ted is a big proponent of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. So, when he is away from the office, he makes it a point to soak up every possible second of quality time with his daughter—whether they’re swimming at the pool, camping at Big Bear, or taking in a Giants-Diamondbacks game at Chase Field. He also tries to squeeze in an occasional round of golf when time permits.
Mostly, though, he’s just happy to finally have a place to stay for the long haul, a group of coworkers who treat each other like family, and an important mission to work toward: helping therapists succeed in business.
Fave Five with Ted
- Favorite food: Mexican food
- Favorite movie: The Godfather
- Favorite sports team: San Francisco Giants
- Favorite musician: David Bowie
- Favorite place: Home