Outcomes has been a popular topic of conversation lately; as health care drifts further away from a volume-based payment environment, proving the value of your treatment will become essential to getting paid. According to this article on PhysicalTherapist.com, as provider incentives begin to change, your “strategy and behavior must change as well.” Tracking outcomes is a giant leap for rehab therapists—but if you’re tracking outcomes at your clinic only, then Houston, we have a problem. To make your outcomes data hold weight, you’ve got to compare your numbers to other practices'.

If you read our recent post titled, “The Keys to Unlocking Value-Based Payment” (and I hope you did), then you know one of the factors most crucial to successfully transitioning to value-based pay is the standardization of care. That means you need insight into how care is being provided across the board so you can meet—or exceed—that standard. Furthermore, as Heidi Jannenga wrote in her latest Founder Letter, “the biggest cashouts will go to the providers who deliver:

  • the best results,
  • the lowest cost of care, and
  • the highest levels of patient satisfaction.”

But, if you don't compare your data to other clinics', it’s impossible to prove your practice is providing the best results, the lowest cost of care, or the highest levels of patient satisfaction. Insurance companies are interested in big data, so if you come to them with mere micro insights, you’re going to leave money on the table. Thus, for PTs to earn the payment rates they deserve—especially on a national scale—they need to band together and track outcomes on a national level.

Keep in mind, though, that outcomes data isn’t just about payment rates; it also is about earning the respect you deserve as a healthcare professional and assuming your role as a primary care provider. To make that possible, it’s important to collect “the right kind of data—that is, data that’s measureable, comparable, actionable, and perhaps most importantly, meaningful to all stakeholders,” Heidi writes. By using outcomes tools that “all members of the healthcare community can understand, apply, and appreciate”—like Quick DASH, LEFS, and Oswestry—you’ll be able to prove the value you, as a PT, provide in comparison to all other types of healthcare practitioners (not just other rehab therapists). Remember that there’s strength in numbers: the more data you collect—and the more data you compare it to—the greater the benefit that data will provide for your practice and your profession.


Proving value could be the healthcare industry’s version of the Space Race, and rehab therapists have a huge opportunity to plant their flag first. But looking at outcomes data through a magnifying glass instead of a telescope means you’re missing a huge part of the value picture. While tracking outcomes data in your own clinic will help improve patient care and refine processes at a practice level, it won’t help you meet national standards, thereby ensuring you’re paid appropriately for your services—and advancing the profession as a whole. For your data to be truly meaningful, you can’t track outcomes in isolation.

Stalled Out: 5 Reasons Your Patients Are not Progressing (and What to Do About Them) - Regular BannerStalled Out: 5 Reasons Your Patients Are not Progressing (and What to Do About Them) - Small Banner
  • Outcomes and OMT FAQ Image

    articleApr 26, 2016 | 11 min. read

    Outcomes and OMT FAQ

    In January, we hosted a webinar focused on the importance of outcomes tracking in physical therapy. In addition to explaining why it’s absolutely critical that therapists collect objective data on patient progress, we highlighted a few of the reports available in WebPT Outcomes . With the move to a value-based payment environment already in full swing, outcomes tracking is a hot topic in the physical therapy space, and that meant lots of thoughtful question from our webinar …

  • Founder Letter: Why Data is Only One Part of the Value Story Image

    articleMar 9, 2016 | 7 min. read

    Founder Letter: Why Data is Only One Part of the Value Story

    Over the past several months, I’ve talked a lot about how therapists can prove their value (namely, through tracking outcomes data ). But, even though data provides the value proof we need, it’s not the end of the story. It’s up to us to turn that data into something meaningful—something we can act on that will actually help us demonstrate the value of our care. And that means using data in conjunction with defensible documentation to inform …

  • Founder Letter: Why I’m Betting on Outcomes Image

    articleFeb 4, 2016 | 5 min. read

    Founder Letter: Why I’m Betting on Outcomes

    I’m not much of a gambler. Some folks enjoy the rush that comes with putting all their chips on the table and risking everything on a single roll of the dice. Well, no offense to all you card sharks out there, but if I’m going to go all in, it better be on something I’m pretty darn sure of. So, when I say I’m betting on outcomes, you know I’m not bluffing. In fact, I’m 100% confident …

  • WebPT + Outcomes: A PT Software Love Story Image

    articleMar 7, 2016 | 7 min. read

    WebPT + Outcomes: A PT Software Love Story

    Developing and launching WebPT Outcomes has been a labor of love—one that’s lasted about 15 months. At times, it felt more like the kind of love you’d have for a sibling—after he or she pushes you off the bunk bed and you split your lip open. You know, that kind of love. But, after lots of triumphs—and just as many fat lips—it’s been wonderful seeing the fruits of our labor come to life. Hello, WebPT Outcomes: the …

  • Luck o' the Outcome: Which OMT Are You? [Quiz] Image

    articleMar 8, 2016 | 1 min. read

    Luck o' the Outcome: Which OMT Are You? [Quiz]

    Whether you’re Irish or simply Irish-at-heart (hey, even St. Patrick himself didn’t hail from the Emerald Isle), March 17 is reserved as a day to bust out your best jig; don every imaginable shade of green; and partake in some delicious food and drink—even if only for nostalgia’s sake. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve decided to combine two—no, three—of our favorite things: OMTs, holidays, and quizzes. So, plant a smooch on the ol’ Blarney …

  • How Outcomes Tracking Fosters Quality Care Image

    articleFeb 3, 2016 | 4 min. read

    How Outcomes Tracking Fosters Quality Care

    You know you do darn fine work as a rehab therapist—and we do, too. But when asked to prove your value as a healthcare provider to patients, payers, and the rest of the healthcare industry, do you resort to anecdotal evidence of patient improvement, or do you have at your disposal cold, hard, irrefutable facts (a.k.a. outcomes data) about the results you and your patients achieved? Unfortunately, many PTs and OTs are still relying on the former—and …

  • Channeling Your Inner Chuck Norris: How to Master the Art of Outcomes Image

    articleFeb 17, 2016 | 6 min. read

    Channeling Your Inner Chuck Norris: How to Master the Art of Outcomes

    When I was growing up, I stayed at my grandparents house after school. This meant I spent the better part of my youth tuning into whatever my grandpa watched on TV. And because he watched a lot of Walker, Texas Ranger, I watched a lot of Walker, Texas Ranger. Chuck Norris was basically my afterschool nanny. (Don’t tell him I said that.) Each afternoon, I watched this karate-kicking cowboy fight off bad guy after bad guy. He …

  • PT v Outcomes: Dawn of Value Image

    articleMar 22, 2016 | 4 min. read

    PT v Outcomes: Dawn of Value

    Most superhero sagas revolve around a classic battle of good versus evil. The good guy—our hero—swoops in to save the day, rescuing everyone from whatever horrible deed the baddie was planning. But sometimes, a story needs two heroes to get the job done. While Batman and Superman are awesome—seriously, we love superheroes—in our world, the real superheroes are physical therapists. They may not wear capes or masks, but every day, PTs across the globe wield their extraordinary …

  • 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.