The Business of Physical Therapy

The business of physical therapy should be run exactly like the name suggests.

A business.

Here’s the predicament. We, as physical therapists, are not used nor usually trained in business skills and practices so the tendency is to either delegate the running of the business to somebody else or to ignore it entirely and simply focus on the therapy aspect of the practice, which it shouldn’t be. The answer lies in creating a business plan to guide you, the therapist and your practice through its growth and evolution.

Much like any other business, your physical therapy business must be governed by its vision or mission statement which will steer it in the direction you want it to go. Identify your legal and ethical considerations and stay true to your objectives. And because there are always new things going on in the field of physical therapy, flexibility and adaptability to these changing situations must be a priority to ensure the continued success of your practice.

With this in mind, create a very comprehensive physical therapy business plan that outlines specific objectives, rules, expansion, accomplishments, time frame, contingency plans, etc. But at the same time, keep it very straightforward so the plan stays doable. Set short, long, big and small goals to mark milestones of achievements when you meet them. See where you want to be at and work backwards to help you identify the specific steps you need to take to get there.

As the owner of your practice, you have to set the example and follow the rules and guidelines that you have instituted so that you can manage your day-to-day operations successfully. Guide your practice solidly and be aware of any effects and contributions to your community. Your central values will effectively allow you to maintain integrity while still accomplishing your goals.

Concrete plans anchor you and help you separate the viable opportunities from the duds. Since you have detailed the direction of your practice from the beginning, then with its help, you can evaluate and adapt to whatever opportunities present themselves in the field of healthcare and still get to your end goals.

Prepare for anything by being as detail-oriented as you can with the creation of the plan. Let it cover management and staff, billing and system software, treatments, various funding sources, overhead, profit margins and growth plans, etc. The more you plan ahead, the less surprises you’ll get and the better you can deal with running an efficient physical therapy business.

Keep this plan written down and accessible to you anytime you need to refer to it or anytime you need encouragement. This way, it won’t be a chore to use it as a guideline when you need to. And if there are any improvements that need to be made, they can be done while it isn’t too late yet.

Physical therapy is not just a practice, it is also a business. Treat both the healing side (high quality patient care) and business aspects of it with the utmost respect and it will reward you a successful and rewarding physical therapy business.

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Leave A Reply (18 comments So Far)

  1. Hiten Dave
    5 years ago

    You seem to have a good grip on private practise. In Calif we in private practise are getting screwed by POPTS and MPNs. After 23 years in private practise I feel very insecure as every ortho doc in my town has hired their own PTs and one ortho has the guts to go hire an ATC.

  2. Mike Tuckey
    5 years ago

    What are your thoughts on productivity, visits per therapist per day.

    • totalactivation
      3 years ago

      Mike, a therapist should be able to do between 50 and 60 visits a week – 3000 visits a year


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