Health Care Practice Management Legal Blunders: Criminal and Civil Law

Health Care Practice Management Legal Blunders: Criminal and Civil Law

The first priority of physical therapy management is to give 100% patient care while obeying the law. Nitin Chhoda explains why avoiding legal suits is important, as this will affect the standing of your physical therapy business.

health care practice management blundersA patient sues for malpractice and your entire health care practice management is at risk.

Even if the case is eventually decided in favor of the practice and it is determined that you did nothing wrong, the legal cost of defending the practice can be devastating.

On top of financial fears due to legal expenses, there is a very good chance that your other patients will hear about the lawsuit and some patients may leave your practice for less tarnished options. Potential new clients may learn about the lawsuit as their introduction to your practice.

Needless to say, avoiding legal action from patients is a very big priority for health care practice management.

Steps to Avoid a Lawsuit

With so many opportunities for patients to accuse a health care practice management  systems of negligence or malpractice, it may seem impossible to avoid a lawsuit if it’s coming at you. But there are some steps you can take to ensure that patients are heard before they start thinking about legal action.

Most importantly, clinicians and all staff of the health care practice management should be educated about the risks of legal action.

Criminal and civil lawsuit examples should be discussed among the staff so that everyone understands their role in avoiding a lawsuit. This should include not just patient-staff relations but also the employee-employer responsibilities.

  • When a situation does arise where a patient or employee feels they are being taken advantage of or mistreated, the action that health care practice management takes may determine how far things escalate. Never underestimate a claim, even if it is totally unfounded.
  • Be sure to spend time listening to the complaints, as it may be enough for the patient to be heard and acknowledged. However, rather than giving in and being apologetic, be sure to stand firmly on your policies and avoid saying things that could incriminate your health care practice management.

  • The first step in any litigation will include mediation. In some ways, you should consider mediation as your first option when a serious complaint of your health care practice management is filed.
  • There should be an easy-to-use complaint filing system and ways for patients to give feedback, so that they feel confident they are being heard. If a patient is frustrated while simply trying to file a complaint, their estimation of your practice will only diminish further.
  • Introducing a third party mediator or legal consultant for the health care practice management can be the right step for many situations. Especially if you have legal advice that suggests you are not in the wrong, bringing a third opinion into the conversation may help you to avoid an actual lawsuit.
  • And just like in any legal situation, it will probably be less expensive to work things out before things escalate, even if you win your case in the end.

Bigger Picture Thinking

health care practice management lawsAvoiding legal mistakes will be a challenge for any health care practice management team, but most especially for small practices that do not have significant resources.

Remember to focus on the big picture and consider how each step and each action your practice takes will reflect on the community’s perception of the practice.

But don’t be afraid to stand up for what you know is correct and to hear out complaints in an effort to reduce the potential for damage.

Physical Therapy Management Strategic Marketing

Physical Therapy Management Strategic Marketing

Every business must have a strategic marketing plan, including physical therapy. Nitin Chhoda suggests ways in order to have an effective and strategic marketing plan, and emphasizes its importance and impact on your practice.

physical therapy management marketingA recessive economy, loss of insurance and limited patient funds has led many clients to delay treatment for their health care needs.

Instead of treating a burgeoning clientele, physical therapists are spending less time with patients and expending more effort marketing their practice and dealing with budget issues.

Physical Therapy in Today’s Economy

Practical physical therapy management is essential in today’s economy and requires focused budgeting of time, money and effort. There was a time when a therapist could hang out his or her shingle and count on a steady flow of patients.

Those days are long gone and in the new economy, a critical element of operating a successful practice and physical therapy management involves careful budgeting and marketing efforts that offer a superior return on investment.

Physical Therapy Management Software

Implementation of a physical therapy management software system to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability is an ideal beginning. Operating on a budget for physical therapy management doesn’t mean therapists can’t market effectively.

A variety of low-cost, budget friendly means are available that will increase referrals, attract new patients and achieve a higher rate of return clients. Physical therapy management and marketing choices should be made carefully, keeping in mind the best return on investment. Different strategies will produce assorted results, based on the target market, locality and services offered.


Therapists of physical therapy management can utilize small, inexpensive giveaways such as key chains imprinted with the practice’s phone and website, colorful handouts, and downloadable eBooks and audio files.

Informational CDs and DVDs all represent affordable, low-cost marketing methods for clinics on a budget. Even a simple phone call, postcard, email, or voice or text message has a place in modern marketing methods on a budget.

physical therapy management strategyCustomizable publications for physical therapy management such as Therapy Newsletter and the Clinical Contact mobile marketing system offer therapists with an easy way to connect with clients and potential patients.

Special offers and coupons can be transmitted electronically, and they provide social media marketing.

In the digital age, websites provide a first contact for patients and sites should include SEO to rank highly in search engine results.

Maximize Marketing

Physical therapy management requires maximization of every marketing dollar that’s spent and therapists can gain additional value through featuring local doctors and healthcare providers in their newsletter.

Those who haven’t built up extensive practices are more likely to find the idea appealing. It’s an effective way to increase overall exposure and referrals, and build beneficial relationships for the future.

In the current economy, therapists of physical therapy management services are finding themselves contending with shrinking budgets and the need to identify innovative ways to market their clinics.

Giveaways, downloads, newsletters and EMRs all provide low-cost ways to stay within a budget while increasing awareness among patients and other healthcare providers.

Effective physical therapy management includes distinguishing and differentiating the therapist, practice and services from all the possible competitors and those that do so will see an increase in referrals, better retention of established clients and an influx of potential new patients.

Physical Therapy Management: Maximizing Time Management

Physical Therapy Management: Maximizing Time Management

Managing and maximizing time value is critical for physical therapy private practice owners. Nitin Chhoda explains the importance of an effective time management system to increase the productivity of the practice.

physical therapy management timeBudgeting is just the beginning of efficient physical therapy management.

Time is a physical therapist’s most precious commodity and ruthless management is required to solve problems, market the practice and ensure a superior level of patient care.

Many popular time management of physical therapy management methods are predicated on an eight-hour day, which is why they don’t work and therapists often find themselves losing ground in the battle for time.

The Goal

The goal of time management is to provide therapists with sufficient time to treat patients, increase the clinic and physical therapy management’s profitability and tend to high-dollar tasks that would be beneficial to the practice.

Physical therapists are extremely effective at using their skills to relieve pain and restore mobility, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good at managing time. Before therapists can master their practice, they must first have self-discipline.

Implementing a physical therapy management and documentation system can manage everything from patient scheduling to billing, along with a full range of options for recording treatments, prescriptions and procedures.

To develop an effective plan of action for physical therapy management, therapists must ascertain the income they desire. That figure can be used to calculate how much the practice owner’s time is worth, allowing them to bill accordingly.

It’s Like Any Other Businesses

A physical therapy management and practice must be treated like any other business. The goal is to make money, not pour funds into the operation. Even working with a general idea is better than having no plan at all.

One of the most efficient uses of time for physical therapy management and business is to cluster activities together for maximum effect. Similar and complementary tasks should be scheduled together for maximum productivity.

Individuals that work uninterrupted accomplish twice as much in the same amount of time as those who must constantly change their focus. Don’t answer the phone and only be available in the event of a life and death emergency.

physical therapy management maximizeProper Delegation

Delegation is part of good physical therapy management. With a trained and competent staff, low-dollar tasks can be assigned to others, leaving therapists with the necessary time to grow the practice’s profitability.

Depending upon the circumstances, it may be more efficient to outsource some duties. Identify non-productive activities and avoid them like the plague.

No shows, cancellations, clients that self-terminate their care, and those who need constant reminders are inevitable, but they also cost practices in time, money and effort. An over-abundance of these types of patients represent a drain on physical therapy management and clinic resources.

Therapists might be better served by sending them to a competitor. The same can be said for those who seek a free diagnosis and information outside the office setting.

Do Not Waste Time

There are dozens of ways to waste time each day and hundreds of people willing to help. Physical therapy management services for efficiency and profitability requires tough, goal-oriented decisions that some may view as harsh, but a physical therapy clinic is a business and therapists much learn to treat it as such.

Physical therapy management is a multi-faceted endeavor that requires strong leadership, focus, and management of staff in and out of the clinic to achieve a profitable practice.

Those who exhibit undesirable traits and behaviors don’t respect the therapist or the practice. They cost clinic owners money and valuable time that can be better spent building an efficient practice.

Physical Therapy Management: Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff

Physical Therapy Management: Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff

Nitin Chhoda discusses how good leadership, management and supervision of clinical and non-clinical staff can affect the total operation of a physical therapy business.

physical therapy management staffPhysical therapists hold many roles within their physical therapy management practice, from managing patient health and promoting physical therapy within the community, to managing clinical and non-clinical staff.

Therapists will be called upon to manage staff, disputes and performance inside and outside the clinic to ensure a superior level of customer service and profitability.

The three key ingredients for interacting with staff in an effective physical therapy management can be summed up as leadership, management and supervision.

Good Leadership

Physical therapy management employer-employee relationship is always an adversarial one, with each party’s goals in direct conflict. Therapists are focused on the profitability of their practice.

Employees are concerned with their families, homes, bills, social activities and a myriad of other topics. It’s not a bad thing – it just is. Despite all that, less supervision and great physical therapy management should be the goal of every physical therapist.

The first rule of staff management is that employees are not friends, nor are they family. A mutually friendly attitude should be cultivated in physical therapy management, but always remember that at the end of the day, employees are paid to do a job and do it well.

Management At Its Best

Camaraderie is desirable for the good of the practice, but viewing the relationship realistically will assist therapists in managing staff more efficiently for the future profitability of the clinic.

The less time spent on explaining tasks, disciplinary actions, accepting excuses and ensuring staff perform to expectations in your physical therapy management, the better. There will always be employees who lie, steal and provide inferior services.

Never tolerate unacceptable behavior and weed out those who refuse to conform. Firing staff is never pleasant, but it’s part of efficient physical therapy management and a necessary part of ensuring the quality of treatment and the reputation of any practice.


Incentive programs can be used to encourage clinicians to reach new heights in performance. Clinicians of physical therapy management require more hand holding and tracking, and therapists should condition them to receive small rewards based on performance.

If they see 81-90 patients in a 40-hour week, they get a $100 bonus. For those who treat 91-100 clients, they receive a $175 bonus. Anyone who sees 101 patients or more within a single week receives a $350 bonus for that week.physical therapy management peopleThe ultimate goal of any business is to make the maximum amount of money with the least number of expenditures.

Practice owners of physical therapy management are not in business to create jobs or operate in the red.

Every aspect, from labor and equipment to toilet paper, must justify the expense and pay for itself in one way or the other.

Every item and each employee must serve an essential function to obtain the best return on investment for the clinic owner.

Do Not Overlook

Practice owners shouldn’t overlook the convenience and cost savings of office and physical therapy management systems. They’re versatile, customizable, and can perform many tasks typically handled by employees.

Automation is essential in the 21st century to curb costs, attract new patients, market, and meet mandated requirements for electronic medical records (EMR).

An automated system provides therapists with the tools to manage every facet of their practices, from patient care, and billing to physical therapy management staffing for a more profitable clinic.

Healthcare and Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Healthcare and Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you are healthy or not, having the right insurance for you is a must. Nitin Chhoda elaborates the importance of having the right insurance, and how it can help you prepare for future healthcare needs.

healthcare and insuranceThe terms healthcare and insurance have gotten a bit muddled in the minds of most Americans. So much of the public debate around healthcare is focused on health insurance.

But the reason that we need a better system of healthcare and insurance is because people aren’t getting the kind of healthcare they need to stay healthy.

It can be difficult to understand the healthcare practice management system if you never need to know how it works. But then one day you do need to understand, and maybe that’s because you’ve ended up in the hospital and are uninsured or underinsured.

The Truth About Healthcare and Insurance

The truth is that patients these days need better healthcare, and healthcare and insurance is the way that healthcare becomes affordable. If you had millions of dollars in the bank, you might not care about health insurance.

If something happened, if you were in a car accident or got sick with a serious disease like cancer, you could pay for your healthcare, even if that meant spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for the best care. However, if you don’t have unlimited funds to spend on unforeseen expenses, healthcare and insurance is there to cover the big costs.

What is Healthcare?

For a moment, let’s forget about healthcare and insurance altogether. Imagine that every time you got sick and needed to go to the doctor, you would just go and the doctor would charge you a fee for the visit, and you could afford to pay that fee.

You have a bad sore throat that won’t go away, you go to the doctor, suspecting strep throat, and the doctor charges $30 for the visit and gives you a prescription for antibiotics. Then you visit the pharmacy and pay $10 for your medication and you’re all better in a week. You don’t feel like you need a healthcare and insurance.

That is healthcare at it’s most simple approach. Of course, the situation gets more complicated if something serious happens.

You have pain in your back all the time and you visit the doctor. You have to go back a number of times for a number of different tests.

Each time it costs $30, plus the costs of the tests. Then your doctor orders an MRI. In the United States, an MRI costs hundreds of dollars. Healthcare and insurance seemed to be important at this time.

healthcare and insuranceOr if someone has back pain that is making their life difficult and full of pain, they do not have a choice about seeking out healthcare and insurance.

The alternative is to live with awful pain all the time, limiting what they do in fear of making it worse, and possibly taking pain medication which will do further damage in the long term, to the liver, kidneys, and other important organs.

Getting Healthcare and Insurance is Part of Life

So rather than risk that this patient will have to pay for all these medical tests and potentially ending up in surgery, which will cost $50,000 to $100,000, the alternative is to buy healthcare and insurance.

You may choose a high deductible and pay for all those inexpensive visits, but if something truly bad happens, you are financially protected from medical bankruptcy.

Health Coverage in the New Economy

Health Coverage in the New Economy

With many disputes our economy is facing today, increasing payments for healthcare services can be challenging. Nitin Chhoda explains why discussing with patients about their health coverage is important.  Making the patient feel prepared and ready will help improve the practice-patient relationship.

health coverageThe idea of the “new economy” has come from a change in the way the United States economy functions.

For a long time, most jobs were in manufacturing, the making of goods that were then sold on the market.

But today, more and more manufacturing jobs are moving overseas to countries where labor is much cheaper. The economy has been moving in a direction of being service-based rather than manufacturing-based.

The New Economy

The new economy is an economy where most jobs do not come from the buying or selling of products, but of services.

Healthcare is a service industry. Both healthcare and insurance are services rather than goods or products. The challenge in the U.S. right now is that service providers for health coverage cannot raise prices without becoming significantly overpriced for the majority of the population.

Health coverage right now is unaffordable to most Americans, and even health insurance is too expensive if you do not work in a traditional, full-time job. As a result, providers of health coverage, even with proper physical therapy documentation, must balance their practices in a new way.

Improving Efficiency for Better Economies of Scale

One way that health coverage can be better balanced in the new economy is to improve efficiency. Economy of scale is a term that describes how it is easier to make money from low prices if you have more clients, customers, or patients.

For example, if your practice pays rent, hires staff, and covers utilities every month, those costs stay the same month after month – these are the expenses. If you can only treat a certain number of patients, your income is capped.

But if you can find ways to improve efficiency so that you can take on more patients each month, you can increase income. Finding the balance is a challenge, and most practices rely on trial and error. For example, many practices of health coverage bill low prices to entice more patients. By increasing the number of patients, they increase their overall revenue, even if they lower prices.

Most people cannot afford health coverage, which means that they do not go to the doctor as often as they probably should to stay healthy. For a practice like a physical therapy practice, they may find that patients of health coverage limit the number of visits so they don’t have to pay the co-pay so many times. But that reduces the favorable outcomes and many patients do not recover or stay as strong as they should.

Encouraging Patients to Take Care of Themselveshealth coverage economy

There is no arguing that preventative care is not a bad thing. One way that a practice can improve their efficiency is to improve technology and find ways within the practice to be more time efficient.

Another way is to provide a service to patients that they do not get anywhere else. When the patient feels they are getting more for their money, they are more willing to pay.

Many practices with health coverage are now taking a more holistic approach and encouraging clinicians to help educate patients so they stay healthy. Then when the patient isn’t feeling well, they come back because they trust the clinicians and feel it is worthwhile to pay for health coverage plans at that practice.