Why Physical Therapists Shouldn't Worry About PQRS

Why Physical Therapists Shouldn’t Worry About PQRS

Does Physician Quality Reporting System or PQRS seem like a major headache to you? Just more paperwork without any bump? Let’s look at it a different way

In this post, I show you how PQRS can be an opportunity…instead of a burden.

I want to walk you through the thinking and the conversation that happened between myself and another private practice owner.  

At first, he was livid…

He said “I’ll take the 2% hit, the 2% penalty.  I’m not going to do it at all…. Am I thinking about this the right way?”  

If we take a step back and look at it, is Physician Quality Reporting System for Physical Therapy a bad thing?  Or is it really an opportunity?  

Here I Go With Another Sales Funnel Example ;)

PT Sales Funnel Example from Breakthrough PT Marketing

I have been through this funnel thousands of times…  

Hopefully you have seen this.  

If you haven’t, welcome.  

Let’s go through this and what it is.  

If we are being savvy private practice owners who are attracting Direct Access patients…

Anytime that we are using direct-response marketing or content marketing and we are attracting people in… there is basically a 6 step process that we want to be thinking about our businesses.

Step #1 is Lead Magnet.  

So this is…you have seen me do this where I’m offering a free video or a book or a free report something like that.  

Very low value, low time commitment, low ask and they get it for free.  

That just allows us to have an ongoing conversation with that person.  

Step #2 is Trip Wire.  

That is something with a little more commitment. Still something that is low-barrier and inexpensive…like a consultation or whatever.

It kind of ramps them up…it gives that person a soft landing into our Core Service, it changes our relationship with time from prospect into buyer.

Then #3 is Core Service.

That is the 97001, 110, 140 if we are billing insurance.  

Or if we are playing the “cash pay only” deal, then it is whatever we charge per visit.  

Then Step #4 is Cash Pay, which is back-end services that we have.  

Step #5 is Return Path and Step #6 is Referrals  

So they are the 6 steps….

PQRS Magic: Turning a Pain Into an Opportunity

The Magic PT Marketing System

Something magical happens now with Physician Quality Reporting System and new Medicare regulations where we have to go through and track 9 different things.

What we have to do on that first Medicare visit is ask the patient to step on the scale.  

We have the height chart and we look it up and 75% of the time we are saying, “Hey, your BMI is over 30.  You need to handle this.”  

At least for us in the beginning, we were thinking “Wow, this is a really awkward situation.  We are Physical Therapists.  We are not nutritionists.  We don’t have in-house…our 8,000 square feet is packed with PT.  We don’t have anybody else in-house, so we need to refer out.  This is a real pain in the neck.”  

How to Spin It To An Opportunity.  

So because of PQRS, we are being forced to take a measurement.  

Somebody is coming to us, usually with back pain… They really are not in shape to exercise or open to beginning an exercise program or any sort of life change.  

They are here for their back or their knee or their hip or whatever it is.  

But it is an opportunity because we now have information and we can do something with that…

We can say, “Oh my gosh.  I had to take more information down for the government just for this 1.2% Medicare or 2% Medicare penalty that I wanted to avoid.”  

Now here lies an opportunity…  

Here is what I mean by that:  

It is an opportunity to serve that patient.  

So certainly what we could do is we can create something in-house or we can go to an outside referral.  

For in-house:

  • We can have small group fitness training.  
  • We can have personal training.
  • Or we can sell exercise information like P90X for morbidly obese 65+ year olds.  (I’m sure there is a program out there that is very, very similar or that fits the bill.)  

We could do something like that in-house.  

We could also offer nutrition or nutrition counseling.  

How PQRS Can Be a WIN-WIN Situation

The Winning PT Marketing System from Breakthrough Physical Therapy Marketing

Or we could refer out.  

What is the benefit for referring out?  

If you have a mutually beneficial or strategic partnerships with another healthcare practitioner, we can promote them and they can promote us as well.

We can have a mutually beneficial relationship all for the benefit of the patient.  

So the next time that you are thinking of BMI and the PQRS scores and you are going through…just realize that it is a measurement.  

And it is a measurement that really creates an opportunity for us to serve our patients better.  

Do You Want More?

Us Private Practice Owners are in the same position, we deal with the same problems in our practices and, unfortunately, we try to solve them alone…

However, if you want to join a community of like-minded owners who are dedicated to improving and growing their practices then we just opened enrollment for our next Direct Access Marketing Classes.

You can join 100s of other Private Practice PT’s who have successfully implemented marketing systems in their practice.

Contact us and watch the video and if it sound like it will help you, then apply…

After you apply, there will be a brief interview to see you are a fit…from there my team will call you and plan out a Custom Marketing Blueprint to help take your practice to the next level.

If you have a question, comment on the video or email me at [email protected] and I will be sure to answer it for you in an upcoming video.

All the best,


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