One thing we can all agree with regardless of our where we personally find our selves is that the need for physical therapy services is not declining. The demand for our services will be there for the foreseeable future. That is both good news and bad news. Just as the good news is obvious the bad news is preventable. The bad news or potential negative consequence is that we rest on our laurels and/or believe that the demand itself will ensure our future. If we believe that demand will drive payment (which drives salaries), drive proper referral in both types of patients and in the timing of referral, and increase direct access, then we may be in for a future that disappoints.
Getting paid properly both in reimbursement and in salaries is already an issue many are dealing with. With rising healthcare costs we cannot count on demand alone driving salaries and payment to the level deserved. The healthcare system cannot afford to just pay providers more without getting tangible returns – yes-financial savings. More in future posts on this.
Demand will also not drive referral patterns. Patients with diagnoses that we can help will but currently are not routinely referred to us will not magically be sent to us in more appropriate numbers nor at a more appropriate time. Patients will not seek us out directly because the demand is high because the understanding of what we do is not at the level with the public that it needs to be.
So in order to take our rightful place in the healthcare system in the future it will take more than having a high demand for our services. What do you think it will take for our future to be as bright as it should? How do we get our just financial reward? How do we become the preferred provider for all the patients we can help? How do we get patients to seek us out directly? Your thoughts please!!
We will take on these questions and more in 2014. One of my favorite quotes that fits here:
“The answers in life are dead, it is the questions in life that move us forward.” – Michael Gerber
Here is to a Great 2014 and may it be prosperous for you in all the ways that matter!!
Jeffrey W. Hathaway, PT
Former Certified E-Myth Coach, Certified in TQM
Jeffrey W. Hathaway graduated from Ithaca College and has been a PT for 23 years. He has owned clinics as well as consulting and coaching businesses. He has extensive experience consulting in industrial injury management. Mid-way through his career, Mr. Hathaway got out of the Physical Therapy field to study and then consult in the area of organizational development. This includes: Conflict management, agreement management, team dynamics, communication skills, change dynamics and interest-based negotiation skills. He also became a certified E-Myth Coach and provided business coaching to several different types of business owners. Most recently Mr. Hathaway reentered the physical therapy field and took over a single PT clinic and has grown it to a total of 6 clinics in 6 years.
PRO-Active PT (4 New York Locations) | Breakthrough PT (NC locations) | RedefiningPT.com PRO-Active/Breakthrough PT is one of the first practices licensed in evidence based practice by Evidence in Motion. We are outpatient orthopedic practices that look to build their practices around the highest level evidence available and to redefine PT in the eyes of the referral sources and their patients.