Physical Therapy Marketing – Knowing Limits and Setting Realistic Income Goals

Physical Therapy Marketing – Knowing Limits and Setting Realistic Income Goals

Making income goals for your practice is a must, just make sure they are limited and realistic especially if your just starting out. Nitin Chhoda explains why setting your goals with realistic income is important in order to meet the expectations of your practice.

physical therapy marketing goalsIn addition to hiring a qualified physical therapy marketing staff and organizing your practice to be efficient and effective, you should already have a plan on how you’ll pay your bills before you even sign the lease.

That means coming up with at least an estimated physical therapy marketing budget based on a few known quantities, such as expenses like rent and an estimate of how many referrals you can expect from alliances with other medical practices. There seems to be a tendency among practice owners to fluff up numbers or at least be very optimistic when budgeting.

Limiting Expectations

Don’t make your own success harder than it has to be; budget according to real numbers and realistic expectations. If your goals are attainable, you can reach them and make even bigger goals. But if you start with goals that are almost impossible to reach, you’ll find yourself barely treading water.

Every practice owner has to be at least a bit of an optimist. Now is a great time to start a business with a great physical therapy marketing plan, especially with incentives from the government to hire people and to take out loans.

In fact, the physical therapy marketing plan is likely to pick up in the coming decade like never before. The baby boomers are aging, and that means the largest elderly generation the United States has ever experienced.

The Good News

This is good news for physical therapists, but it means that things like physical therapy marketing are going to become even more important than ever before. There may be many potential patients, but there are also a lot of other physical therapy practices that are expecting an increase in business.

Physical therapy marketing is a necessity these days, so don’t forget to budget for a great physical therapy marketing plan and implementation strategy.

Just don’t expect everything to work out perfectly at first. Starting any business takes a lot of work and a huge financial risk. The only way to mitigate that risk is by keeping your expectations low and reflecting low expectations in your budget.

If you know how much it will cost to pay for your physical therapy marketing each month, find out how to make at least that much with the minimum amount of effort and time.

Take Your Time

Another easy-to-adopt mistake is to rush into a fast-paced and busy physical therapy marketing environment. Remember that every member of the staff is essentially new and they are all learning to work together.physical therapy marketing limits

Everyone needs to start with enough time to do their jobs right, so they can form good habits rather than bad ones.

A rushed and over-worked staff member will make mistakes and work inefficiently. That includes the owner and manager.

Plan for a slow ramp up, expect limitations at the beginning, and set realistic income goals and targets. You should always err on the side of pessimistic, if only because it’s better to overshoot your physical therapy marketing goals than to not reach them at all.

Physical Therapy Marketing – Diversifying Income with Cash Paying Programs

Physical Therapy Marketing – Diversifying Income with Cash Paying Programs

Having a variety of cash-paying programs can increase the profit of your physical therapy business. Nitin Chhoda elaborates the importance of setting-up different cash-paying programs so that your practice does not depend on insurance claims alone.

physical therapy marketing incomeIn any other service industry, cash paying programs are a given. Consider the food service industry; every time a service is provided, the customer pays immediately.

In healthcare practices, like in physical therapy business, the system is quite different.

The patients are not usually the ones paying the bill, and if they are, they probably only pay a part of it. Additionally, patients have little to no idea what their financial responsibility is, as it relates to their insurance plan.

Physical Therapy Billing is Different

So in general,  physical therapy practices, even with good  physical therapy marketing, are in a position to provide a service which they do not know will be paid for, until the cash comes in.

Add to that fact, insurance companies will use any excuse to reject or deny a claim, and the cash flow of the practice can look very bleak. More and more practices are looking for ways to bring in cash through cash paying programs.

Physical Therapy Services Are Not Just For Injuries Anymore

One way that you can start to bring in cash is by starting a great physical therapy marketing campaign that focuses on the many ways that physical therapy can help people. For example, as we age our muscles and bones get weaker and we are more prone to injuries.

Most elderly people do not consider going to a physical therapist until they are injured and need to recover. But more and more physical therapy marketing messages focus on prevention rather than just dealing with an injury. Physical therapists can help elderly people to stay stronger and healthier, which will reduce the risk and likelihood of an injury.

Offer a Variety of Programs

For many physical therapy marketing strategists, this is a message that is often targeted towards the children of elderly parents. If you can bring in a few clients who are simply there to get into better physical shape through targeted exercises, the income you make will be in cash.

When we say cash in any business, we don’t necessarily mean dollar bills. Cash refers to any form of legal tender that immediately becomes available once the transaction is complete. This can include cash, credit card payments, and checks.

physical therapy marketing diversificationFor a  physical therapy service like strength training for the elderly, the physical therapy marketing program will need to be marketed carefully and the right audience needs to be targeted.

That way, when people walk through the door they will be expecting to pay for the visits they get.

Using an EMR to Better Track Patient Payments

Another important way to ensure you have some cash flow is by implementing a more efficient physical therapy marketing system for determining just how much each patient will pay.

Medical EMRs make it easier to track a patient’s responsibility in regards to payment, and well-organized physical therapy marketing of practices now ask for up-front payment of the portion that patients are responsible for, whether that is a co-pay or refers to the amount of their deductible that they still owe. The state of insurance is complex, and getting a little bit of help from an EMR is almost necessary to track it accurately.

Physical Therapy Marketing: Cash Paying Programs That Work

Physical Therapy Marketing: Cash Paying Programs That Work

It’s never to late for your physical therapy business to provide cash-paying programs in order for your practice to receive income in real-time.

Nitin Chhoda shares how by putting up some cash-paying programs for your patients you will help them stay connected, as well as provide an alternative source of income for your practice.

physical therapy marketing programsThe secret recipe for a successful physical therapy marketing plan of a practice sounds like something that any owner would pay a lot of money to obtain. Sadly, there is no secret recipe.

There are, however, very open and public ways that physical therapy practices have been able to increase their cash flow.

This doesn’t mean that physical therapists are charging more for services or scheduling shorter sessions and charging the same amount. Cash paying programs from an effective physical therapy marketing are ways that a practice can offset the lag that comes from billing insurance companies for most patients’ expenses.

Making Insurance Companies Pay

The best way to get the cash to your practice is to streamline and improve your claims submission process. For some practices this will mean hiring a medical billing and coding service.

For others it will mean implementing a medical EMR that integrates the clinician’s notes with the coder’s system and the biller’s system. An EMR can drastically improve the rate of accepted claims and that is big physical therapy marketing business plan for any type of service.

Changing the Way Patients Pay

Some EMR systems of business actually improve the way medical billing and physical therapy marketing happens to the point that the biller or receptionist can collect the patient portion of the payment the same day as the appointment. Getting to that point may take a bit of time and energy, but getting payment up front is well worth your time and effort.

An incorrect claim to the insurance company will be rejected. If you have done the research and figured out just what the insurance company will cover before you send the claim, you can not only improve the rate of accepted claims, but you can ensure that cash owed by the patient is paid in a timely manner.

physical therapy marketing cash programsChanging the Way Patients View Physical Therapy

This point cannot be made strongly enough. If you want a real cash paying program to exist as part of your physical therapy marketing practice, you must incorporate preventative and non-billable programs.

Because the challenge for physical therapy practices, as well as almost every other healthcare practice, lies in the billing of insurance companies, it can be hard to change the way you think about cash income.

These can be as simple as exercise classes for elderly patients who want to avoid injury. Each patient may pay in cash for the class, and overall, the practice earns the money that is paid.

It’s Never Too Late

But it’s never too late to start a physical therapy marketing campaign, or to encourage current clients to continue to come to your practice, even when they’ve healed from their injury.

Physical therapy marketing is similar to the way we market good health in general. Everyone wants to be healthy, and good health makes people happy.

If you start a physical therapy marketing campaign that encourages people to get healthier through physical therapy marketing and programs that your practice offers, you may be adding exactly the kind of cash paying program that your practice needs to stay ahead of the game.

EMR Solution Portability

EMR Solution Portability

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your EMR, use the system in a portable device like a tablet. Nitin Chhoda explains how this portable tablet device can make your physical therapy documentation much easier than using a desktop computer alone.

EMR portabilityHow does an electronic medical record turn into a truly portable EMR?

There’s really just one way to make sure that information is recorded and communicated as efficiently as possible, and that’s by adding tablet computers to your practice.

Many health care practice management professionals are very hesitant to consider this kind of technological change, but this is the change that will be coming and it’s better to get out in front than to follow in this field.

It turns out that you can get tablet computers for the staff members who need them for a big discount, as a health care provider. Additionally, since you are willing to order a larger number than the average consumer, you can also rely on a bulk discount.

While many managers consider this portable EMR too much of an investment, tablet computers do not cost as much as you might think.

Making it Easy to Bill

EMR solutions can streamline many of the tasks that are accomplished every day in a health care practice. No more pulling and re-filing of paper records. No more waiting to re-schedule a patient or to fill an empty slot recently cancelled. And most importantly, no more waiting for the details of the medical billing that must be done to get the practice paid.

The good news is that financial staff, including accountants, medical coders, and medical billers, are used to using pretty complex software to accomplish their jobs.

If they have transferred from one job to another, they know how to adjust and adapt to new software quickly.

Billing Staff Can Adjust

Medical billing staff are usually the first to hit their stride with an EMR and they are the first to start bringing in some revenue as a result of their improved efficiency and accuracy.

But to allow for this kind of efficiency and speed, the billing staff has to have access to the medical records and the clinicians notes about each visit. The way to speed up this process is to give clinicians portable EMR and tools so they can simply enter their notes and instantly save them to somewhere that the biller can access them.

Clinicians Will Adjust to the Right EMR Solution

Another concern is that clinicians will resist the change from a paper notepad to a tablet computer. Many clinicians have been working with pen and paper their entire lives and the thought of changing now is pretty intimidating.EMR solution portability

For the younger generation of clinicians, the switch will not be so hard. But any time you try to change the way someone does something, like having EMR, you’ll come up against some resistance.

The right EMR software and solution will make the job of clinicians easier. Reviewing files that are always available at their fingertips will become the habit.

They never have to wait or dig through a lot of irrelevant information if the EMR presents their notes in an easy-to-read and logical manner. Tablet computers can organize information in the way that we think, making it easier and faster for us to do what we need to do.

Physical Therapy Marketing to Patients Is Part of Healthcare Today

Physical Therapy Marketing to Patients Is Part of Healthcare Today

All businesses, including physical therapy, have to have an effective marketing strategy. Nitin Chhoda reveals a few techniques on effective physical therapy marketing that will help your practice succeed.

physical therapy marketing todayPhysical therapy marketing has changed dramatically over the past decade. Nobody looks at the yellow pages anymore, and people move so frequently that relying on word-of-mouth is less and less practical.

Instead, everyone is finding the information they need online, using online word-of-mouth tools like social networks and consumer review websites.

Health care providers such as physical therapists, have to market themselves too, and they have to have effective physical therapy marketing even to their current patients.

Knowing the Physical Therapy Marketing Niche

The first step toward effective physical therapy marketing is to understand the market that you are trying to appeal to. Most people don’t want to have to go to the doctor, or to the hospital, or to a physical therapist.

When they do go, they are apprehensive, and not just because they are concerned that something may be wrong. They are also always worried about what it will cost them to find out if they need more healthcare.

One way to attract patient using modern physical therapy marketing is to present a modern and confident sense of health care and great physical therapy marketing. Of course, having a comprehensive, integrated EMR in place will put you in the position to demonstrate modernity and efficiency.

But beyond that, you will want to let you patients know that they can trust you to deal effectively with their insurance companies.

Because so many patients don’t even know what is covered by their insurance plan, they are even more anxious about the billing process. One way to help patients is to talk frankly and openly with them about what they can expect.

physical therapy marketing healthcareInsurance Plan Coverage

Finding out just what the insurance plan does cover before the patient comes in for an appointment is not always easy, but it does give you an incredible physical therapy marketing message.

What if you could tell patients that you will work with their insurance company even before they walk through the doors, so they know what they’ll pay even before they accept any health care services?

Patients are a difficult market to target with a convincing and inoffensive physical therapy marketing ideas and strategy.

You don’t want to infer that they aren’t getting the care they need or that they have been doing things wrong. But you do want to offer them something they haven’t been getting: convenience and transparency when it comes to paying bills.

Establishing Relationships

Physical therapy marketing doesn’t have to be focused solely on commercials and advertisements. You should also establish relationships with the complementary practices that may be able to send you referrals.

You want the confidence of anyone who can send you a referral, because referrals are one of the most consistent forms of marketing you can get. Patients are much more likely to go to you because someone they know and trust sent them.

And physical therapy marketing doesn’t stop when the patient makes an appointment. You’ll continue to share your marketing messages with your patients during and after each visit.

This may mean improving as you go and taking feedback, but the end result will be a practice that actually caters to the needs of patients and ensures that when they do need health care, they will come to your practice.

Physical Therapy Marketing to Patients Before, During, and After Visits

Physical Therapy Marketing to Patients Before, During, and After Visits

Marketing your physical therapy business doesn’t rely on producing creative brochures alone. It also depends on how you treat your patients before, during and after each visit. Nitin Chhoda shows how treating your patients can make or break your practice.

physical therapy marketing visitsMost healthcare practice managers think of physical therapy marketing as something they buy. You can hire a physical therapy marketing professional to handle your advertising and published materials.

You can also ask them to research competitors and find ways to incorporate successful competitive messages into your marketing plan.

But physical therapy marketing is also something your practice does whenever anyone has contact with a patient. The overall impression that patients have of the entire practice is what will determine whether or not they’ll come back.

Referrals: Professional and Personal

You probably have a pretty good idea of how important professional referrals are to your practice. If you work with a few other, complementary practices, you probably have a consistent stream of referred patients.

But there are other physical therapy marketing referrals that happen all the time, and you may or may not even realize how much of a difference they are making.

Personal referrals from current patients to potential patients are very powerful physical therapy marketing plan. In fact, it is worthwhile to think about the potential patients when making decisions about how to run the practice.

Patients Feedback Are Important

What do you want your patients to say about the care they receive when they come to your practice? As an example, on a Facebook feed a friend wrote about her dentist. She said they take very good care of her, have a very comfortable waiting area and even some other perks.

She looks forward to going to her dentist. If all 800 friends of hers saw that post, a percentage of them will actually take action and check out that dentist. How many people do you know that say they look forward to going to the dentist’s office?

It’s the same thing when it comes to your physical therapy practice. Having a great physical therapy marketing should always consider the word-of-mouth referrals.

physical therapy marketing patientsYou want this kind of referral to be a physical therapy marketing tool that works for you. It can just as easily work against you, with people complaining about long waiting times, rushed appointments, and disorganized offices. Making a good impression is marketing at its most basic.

Post-Visit Physical Therapy Marketing 

Another critical part of your physical therapy marketing plan will be the follow-up after appointments. Take every opportunity to learn from your patients by asking for feedback in a few different ways.

Have a comments box in the waiting room, communicate via email when scheduling future appointments, and periodically send a card to ask patients how they feel about their experiences in your practice.

Continue to Care for Your Patients Even After the Visit

Your patients should feel that they are cared for, that their clinician is not just doing their job, but is someone they can rely on to communicate with them and educate them about ways they can stay healthy. Rather than treating a visit to your practice as a burden or because there’s something wrong, a visit should be a simple check-up to make sure things are going okay.

The best physical therapy marketing you do will be to frame the work you do in a positive light, communicate messages that inform patients about how your practice wants them to feel good, and ensuring that the experience is always refreshingly honest, open, and relaxed.

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