HEALTH CARE BUSINESS
- “As an industry, we have a tremendous responsibility to offer our consumers information, tools and, of course, quality treatment”
Having sat and conversed with PT’s with other companies recently, I think that this sentence is a bunch of fluff. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great, but it doesn’t happen too frequently. As a profession, we are hounded with productivity requirements and profit and loss statements. We got into this profession to help people, not to make mega corporations a mega-profit. Unfortunately, to the company, you are just a number. The bigger the number (see $$$) the better your number. If you have a therapist that treats you one-on-one, then you are among the few. This profession is being taken over by the “wallymarts” of physical therapy. Focused more on price than quality. For instance, if your sessions followed this game plan: warm up, stretch, manual therapy, and rehab tech or aide (see high school graduate) takes you through some exercises and then applies a hot pack with some electrodes or an ultrasound, then you are among the majority. It is harder and harder for a private (one owner, not publicly traded, not 100’s of clinics) practice owner to make it because everyone sees “wallymarts” and prefers convenience over individualized care. I am blessed because I still work for a company that allows me to treat one patient at a time. I don’t have to worry about productivity, as long as I am seeing one patient per hour that I am in the clinic. This is easy…but two every hour…this is very stressful. You should look up the term burnout. If you want to be a therapist, at least understand the world that you are entering.
- “Payers are pushing for new payment mechanisms: pay for performance (evidence-based medicine), higher deductibles and coinsurances, and assistance in managing spending. Relying only on insurance payments is a thing of the past”
Customers…patients…need to understand the nature of healthcare. For instance, if I could help you in 3-5 visits and you have to pay 70 dollars per visit out of pocket, your total would be 350 dollars. Now if you have to pay a 40-50 dollar copay and I decide to keep you in the clinic because the insurance is reimbursing more than I am getting from you, then I would keep you for 12 visits (average for back pain). In the end, I would make 480 dollars from you. You would have paid an extra $130 to be seen for more visits that you would have needed from someone that runs a cash based business and doesn’t take your insurance. Seek out good, quality care. Take care of your wallet, because there are some of us that will pick your pocket, shake your hand, and give you a t-shirt to advertise our clinics.
Quotes taken from:
Ziccarelli C. A Shifting Landscae: Growing your business in changing times. IMPACT. April 2016: 29-30.