COVID-19 has created the perfect witch’s brew of intense stress. People across the country are concerned about the health of themselves and their families; job security is shaky (and household incomes are dropping); and basic necessities like food staples and hygiene supplies are still—even after two months—difficult to find.
This is the third blog post in my series on working on your business, when you can’t work in your business. My intention is to help providers improve sustainability and efficiency within their practices, so they can come out of this pandemic with a renewed spirit and the ability to provide maximum benefits to patients.
It all happened in an instant—or at least it felt like an instant. One day, we were living our lives as normal—going about our work days, our family and social obligations, our routines. Then came news of the outbreak, the pandemic, the national emergency—all in such rapid-fire sequence that before we even had time to process it, we were reeling from the shock of having our lives turned upside down.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve constantly heard people say, “I can’t wait until things go back to normal.” To me, this begs the question: Why do we want to go back to the way things were? If you’re a practice owner, was your business running perfectly prior to this unprecedented crisis?
If you’re like me, you may be starting to lose track of time. This seems to be a common problem right now—as we are all adjusting to a new normal and learning new patterns of living and working. Most of us are somewhere between week four and week six of social distancing and non-essential school and business closures.
In this Q&A, Simon Hargus, PT, DPT, OCS, MBA, the owner of First Settlement Physical Therapy (FSPT), explains how he is leading his organization through the COVID-19 pandemic. He covers FSPT’s approach to continuity planning, the steps the company is taking to stay financially stable through the current situation, and the changes he plans to implement in the future based on what he has learned over the last few weeks (including an increased focus on telehealth and cash-based services).
In these unprecedented times, it’s tough to stay motivated and not be mired in the negative. I’ve had to constantly remind myself to focus on what I can do—and not on what I can’t do.
As consolidation continues to increase, more and more independent PT practices are being swallowed up by national chains and corporations. Now, depending on your business goals, you may be chomping at the bit for an offer (in which case you should check out this post about exit metrics).
Physical therapists are at the forefront of modern musculoskeletal knowledge and expertise—and it’s no wonder why. PT and DPT programs drill into the finer points of neurorehabilitation and musculoskeletal disorders, and active clinical practice keeps those skills fresh—requiring PTs to tap their vast array of scientific knowledge with each and every patient.
Health care is an appointment-based industry, which means you only make money when your patients show up for their appointments. Unfortunately, getting patients to do that consistently is no easy task. Missed and cancelled appointments are the bane of many a provider’s existence—at least until they discover integrated scheduling software with automated appointment reminders and waitlist management.
The front desk of a PT, OT, or SLP practice is pretty much its control tower. When front office operations break down—and clinics fail to promptly return patient phone calls, schedule appointments at optimal intervals, check patients in and out, verify patient insurance information, or collect payment—then the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire organization suffers.
Great news! Ascend—the ultimate business summit for rehab therapists—is back and better than ever before. Last year, the sixth-annual event took us to the Land of 10,000 Lakes (that’s Minnesota, don’tcha know!) for two incredibly educational (and incredibly fun) days…