3 Ways to Increase Profitability in a Time of Declining Reimbursements
Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen a massive increase in money spent on healthcare in the United States. Where an already-immense $3.3 trillion was spent on healthcare in the US in 2016, 2021 saw $4.3 trillion in spending in the healthcare sector. Despite this, physical therapists and occupational therapists have only seen a sliver of that growth regardless of rising demand. For that reason, today’s blog post will focus on 3 ways that healthcare providers, physical therapists, and occupational therapists can increase their profit margins without slashing vital business costs or subsidizing their business with their personal funds.
1. Increase Average Transaction Value
Naturally, the first place to see about increasing profitability is in your value delivery; meaning, how can you meaningfully create more value for your patients? By providing more value to your patients, they’ll happily match your services with an equivalent price point. This advice is a little tricky, since there’s no one way that a practice should increase their value. Instead, increasing the value that your practice brings to your patients is highly dependent on patient needs and what they feel like they either aren’t getting or want more of.
One way to do this is by giving patients the option to fill out a brief survey about their experience with your practice. If they feel like their experience with you, the PT, or OT they worked with wasn’t very pleasant, for instance, then using that feedback as constructive criticism to provide better, friendlier care can both add value to the transaction and increase patient’s likelihood to return. This brings us to the next way to increase margins.
2. Increase Lifetime Revenue per Patient
If you’re thinking long-term about revenue, then it’s possible you’ve thought about increasing the lifetime revenue of your average patient. The best way to do this (for both you and your patient) is to emphasize the importance of repeat visits when treating patients that require long-term care. Minimizing patient drop-off is not only essential to a healthy practice’s business plan, but is absolutely essential to delivering the care that patients need.
Decreasing patient drop-off rates can be accomplished in a litany of ways, but oftentimes the easiest place to start is through the patient intake process and exit process. Patients who feel they had a better time scheduling and being brought into physical and occupational therapy are more likely to come back; the same is true for patients who had a positive experience concluding their appointment. That’s why clearly communicating goals at the start of the therapy session and concluding with a review of those goals is essential. Leaving patients with a sense of progress and accomplishment is another way to help them see the progress they’re making, increasing the likelihood of their return and eventual recovery, which is also essential to a practice making full use of their schedule. Speaking of which…
3. Optimize Your Use of Space and Schedules
While it might seem like the first place to begin optimizing your business, difficult financial straits can often lead to cutting costs in essential areas of a business instead of where they should be cut: in the true inefficiencies.
As a physical therapist, optimizing space and scheduling sometimes means getting creative with how you organize your equipment. If you have a setup where patients must frequently walk across the room to get to the next piece of equipment, then you’d be surprised how much efficiency is lost.
Even if you only lose 15 minutes a day from moving patients from equipment to equipment, that stacks up to 1 hour and 15 minutes a week– the length of treating an additional patient and then some! Over the course of a year, that could mean at least 52 patients per physical therapist at a practice would be going untreated that would otherwise be on the path to recovery. That’s why, with the Multiple Applications Table, we’ve streamlined 5 pieces of equipment into 1, so overworked PTs and OTs can save time and money while their patients get the treatment they deserve.
If you’re interested in saving money at your practice, giving your PTs the tools they need to succeed, and helping as many patients as possible without burning out, then contact us at the MAT Table today. Together, we can deliver Excellence in Rehabilitation at every stage of the recovery process.