Around 12:15 p.m. today (3-11-2008) I saw PT Scott’s pickup along with another vehicle parked near the door of one of his clinics. This did not look good. I had seen signs of a possible move earlier and stopped today to see what I could do to help. I had previously left him messages over the phone as well. Today it was too little too late. Scott actually moved and closed his doors. His financial partner went ahead with one of their three clinics without him. I doubt the split was because they made too much money. Scott is a very good and conscientious PT. I had personally seen him perform muscle tests with objective dynamometers. I know I’ve tried his best. They were “in-network” with at least 25 insurers through a “multi-plan” agreement. I asked if I could help him at a later date, as I had a cash paying customer at. 12:30 not far from his office. They were almost done moving out, but my heart goes out to him, his wife, and one of his little kids playing on the floor. I want to be of help, but I can. For now, he is taking a job in a skilled nursing facility.
Several years ago, a large health service agency that I worked for closed and couldn’t pay me for my last few visits for them. A newspaper reporter called me to interview me about how it had affected me. I did not keep evil. The home health company had simply come “to bed” with too many HMOs not paying their bills. At the time, I found that several of my patients were willing to pay cash anyway. Adversity brings opportunity to the prepared mind. Why wait for adversity?
What to do next to bring more money into your practice:
1) Allow any of your patients to pay cash from the beginning. You can give many of them incentives to pay upfront because money today is worth more than a 90-day partial payment. James Ko, PT, a contributor to the course of practice of cash practice secrets puts the cash option as option # 1 on his forms. It has a checkbox with text behind it that says, “I want to take advantage of $ 30% off [This can be a lesser discount or other benefit but I suggest at least discounting the 6-10% that it would cost you to collect that money after the time of service.] offered for payment of cash at time of service. “Remember, there are many clients, as cash is the only option. I treat many of them. If you intend to treat Medicare patients, you may be ‘non-participating’ and set up your system where the client pays you directly and being reimbursed by Medicare.
2) Respect your customers’ time and their money. Advise your patients honestly, just as you would advise your own family members. You can’t have too much integrity. Those who can afford to pay cash often think they have very busy lives, even if this “bustle” goes from one social to another. They often do not want to get into therapy three times a week if they can be taught how to do many of the treatments at home.
3) Learn all you can about physical therapy with cash practice. Take advantage of cash practice teleseminars and internet training. These will help you develop your practice and also tell you if you may be interested in continuing education from this publisher, author or speaker. Don’t spend $ 1000 on a course without first checking out the free content from this author. Search for specialized knowledge on this topic.