Looking to grow your physical therapy practice and increase profitability? Adding a cash-based PT product or service to your standard offerings can greatly add value to your practice and your patients.
In a recent Grow Your Practice Podcast episode, several physical therapy practice owners spoke about their experience adding cash-based services.
We took the best insights from that conversation to develop this article. Read on to learn about the benefits and challenges of adding a cash based PT service in your practice. Discover three of our favorite technologies that practice owners are selling as a cash-based service today. Gain an understanding of the process for implementing a cash-based service in your private practice.
Why Add a Cash Based PT Service?
Physical therapy clinics often operate with tight margins. In the last few years, margins have been squeezed further by declining reimbursements and rising costs. Many practices are operating with substantial financial risk. Some have had to close for good or sell prematurely.
Whether you’re looking to reduce financial risk or stay ahead of the curve, adding a cash-based PT service is a proven way to become more profitable.
Differentiate Your Practice
Have stiff competition from local practices and hospitals? Having additional forms of treatment can be the differentiator that makes your practice stand out from the crowd.
Enhance the Patient Experience
Medical devices can complement physical therapy treatment to offer improved patient outcomes. Some patients will experience relief or another desired outcome within a single visit, making them more likely to return and recommend your services.
Increase Lifetime Patient Value
Lifetime Patient Value is the amount of revenue an individual patient generates throughout their journey with your practice. It’s more cost-effective and efficient to maximize lifetime patient value than to attract new patients. There are two ways that adding a cash based PT service can help you increase lifetime patient value.
1) You can increase the value of your plan of care. If you’re at maximum capacity or have experienced staffing challenges, then adding a cash-based service could be a great way to increase revenue without having to increase your patient volume.
2) You can increase past patient reactivations. Adding a cash based PT service presents an opportunity for you to reengage past patients and attract them back to your clinic.
3 Cash-Based Services for Private Practices
Cash-based PT services should add unique and discernible value to your patients. If your patients feel a difference within just a few treatments, the value of this service will exceed its costs. For this reason, selecting a service that offers exceptional patient health outcomes is important. Consider these outstanding options:
LightForce® Therapy Lasers and Focused Shock Wave Therapy
Enovis™ Chattanooga® LightForce® offers numerous medical devices that help improve patient outcomes. Two of their most popular devices are the LightForce® Therapy Lasers and Focused Shock Wave Therapy. LightForce® Therapy Lasers are used to treat chronic and acute musculoskeletal conditions as well as post-activity recovery. As a non-drug, non-surgical solution, LightForce® Therapy Lasers have been proven to reduce pain without the side effects of medication.
Focused Shock Wave therapy is another non-invasive treatment option for patients with trapezius muscle pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, knee pain, achilles tendon pain, or plantar and heel pain. It can treat large areas in a short treatment time.
With both devices, patients often report noticeable pain reduction with just a few treatments.
Many practice owners in the Breakthrough community have adopted these technologies with great results.
Practice owner Tony Cere has added $300,000 in annual cash-based revenue. “Patients will come in for the laser, and turn into physical therapy patients,” he said.
According to Tom Loyd, Practice Owner at Bryn Mawr Sports Therapy, “The Lightforce 40-watt laser generates improved patient outcomes and adds an accessory form of income.”
The Neubie by Neufit
The Neubie by NeuFit is a direct current (DC) electrical stimulation device. It targets the nervous system to reset broken and blocked neural pathways. It can be used to reduce pain, restore function after neurological injury or disease, produce a faster path to recovery after an injury or surgery, and improve fitness and performance.
The unique value proposition that Neubie adds has demonstrated extraordinary revenue potential. For instance, a private practice owner in Tampa, Florida, Jason Waz, boosted monthly cash-based revenue at his practice from $8,000 a month to $50,000 a month by implementing the Neubie device. In fact, the first year he implemented Neubie, his revenue per visit improved by $15 per visit across all payers.
Jason even managed to have the best month in his 10-year history while moving locations, which he attributes to the value differentiator of the Neubie.
3D Running Technology From RunDNA
RunDNA provides specific value to runners by combining technology and education to assess and improve their movement. The technology allows you to analyze patient movement, craft unique injury profiles, and create comprehensive plans for runners’ success.
If you’d like to attract more runners to your practice, RunDNA’s solution could be a great fit. It will enable you to attract your ideal patient and increase revenue per patient.
Challenges of Adding a Cash-Based PT Service
Any time you change your services or add a new one, you may encounter resistance as you guide your patients and staff through new protocols. As always, the goal is to maintain the highest standards of patient care throughout the process, which may require additional client and staff education measures. Your staff, in particular, will want to see evidence the technology works before recommending it to patients. Be prepared with research and evidence. If possible, give your staff an opportunity to trial the technology themselves.
Patient education is also critical. Some clients will be used to having insurance cover their treatment and may hesitate to pay for services directly. Ensure your staff clearly communicates the cost and value.
In addition, keep an eye on the services your competitors offer and industry trends. Stay updated on the latest treatments so you can quickly adapt to emerging technologies.
How to Effectively Implement Cash-Based Services
Effective change management starts with a plan. To get the most immediate value out of offering cash-based PT services, you should implement them strategically. Here are some key factors to account for:
- Patient Experience: Determine how a new cash-based service offering would fit into your patient experience. Is it offered as a standalone service or as an add-on to the plan of care? Create a roll-out plan that offers a seamless patient experience for existing and new patients.
- Target Market: To choose the right cash-based PT service, you need to identify your primary target market. Will this service help facilitate healing and recovery for the primary conditions you treat? Is there a willingness to pay cash for this type of treatment? You might be surprised to discover how many patients are willing to invest in solutions to improve their health and reduce pain. Consider asking your existing patient base or conducting a survey to gauge interest and willingness to pay.
- Selling: Your patients don’t necessarily need a sales pitch, but they often need to be educated on the personal value they’ll get from a specific service. Train your staff on how and when to educate patients about your new offering. Consider including it as part of your recommended plan of care for new patients. You can also incentivize staff to encourage adoption.
- Marketing: Run campaigns to past patients to spread the word about your new offering and encourage past patient reactivations. You can also run workshops for people in your community who could benefit from the treatment. Workshops can take place in the community by partnering with a local gym, employer, or other organization with a lookalike audience to yours. Alternatively, you can host an educational event at your practice or virtually. Promote it through your social channels, email, or online advertising.
Grow with a Community of Like-Minded Practice Owners
Strategically implementing cash-based PT services is one of the most effective ways to improve revenue per patient. However, this is just one aspect of increasing profitability so you can grow your practice, increase practice value, and leave a lasting legacy in your community.
Running a practice is harder than ever. Declining reimbursements, staffing challenges, and rising costs require owners to innovate and come up with creative solutions if they want to succeed.
Why do this on your own when you can learn from others?
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and come up with new ideas by yourself. Many practice owners have achieved success and want to share their knowledge and experience with other practice owners to benefit our industry as a whole.
Introducing Profitability Under a Pressure: A Program Exclusively for Physical Therapy Practice Owners.
The program includes a course, weekly group calls, access to an online community of practice owners, and opportunities to attend in-person events with other practice owners facing the same challenges you are who are committed to finding solutions.
Click here to learn more and apply for Profitability Under Pressure.