Why are physical therapists in private practice diversifying their business model?
Medical practices, like any other business, have to focus on moving onward and upward. Physical therapy professionals seeking to stay successful in a constantly changing healthcare environment are expanding their offerings to include holistic well-being services.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities.” Physical therapists are also qualified to promote healthy lifestyles, wellness and injury prevention. With that, they can seek to expand their services to include wellness programs that bridge the gap between health care and fitness.
Physical therapy clinics often consider diversifying their revenues with new services to protect themselves if current revenue drivers diminish.
Wellness programs can benefit people who have completed their physical therapy programs and are looking to develop their strength and endurance, says physical therapist Ann Wendel in the article, “Diversifying Your Practice by Incorporating Wellness Services.”
Therapy patients can continue to improve their fitness levels while still under the supervision of qualified professionals. In addition, the programs can continue rehabilitation for individuals who run out of insurance benefits for physical therapy.
Wellness programs can certainly be designed to fit a physical therapy clinic. The services can also be marketed to the public as a way to bring new clients into a practice.
Yoga, pilates, massage therapy and mobility training are some of the programs that can appeal to the general public. Sometimes, a clinic staff member is certified in a wellness area and can lead classes and sessions. Physical therapy clinics also bring in instructors and therapists to teach or offer sessions.
Physical therapists and physical therapy assistants are advised to contact their state board and review their professional liability insurance (PLI) policy with an attorney before introducing a wellness program, Wendel says. The APTA offers information about how physical therapy professionals can protect themselves, stating that health, wellness, and fitness-related services may present risk exposures may be covered by a physical therapy PLI policy.
Not only does a diversified business model help physical therapy clinics stay agile and on top of their game, they can provide continuity between formal rehabilitation and health maintenance – something that can benefit the wider community.
Effective November 12, 2014, Alvernia University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.