Today’s healthcare consumers understand that they have many choices when it comes to selecting an occupational therapy or physical therapy provider. This means that in a competitive market, your clinic needs to stand out.
Why would a patient or referrer choose your clinic over your closest competitor? What’s your clinic’s competitive advantage, and how are you capitalizing on that? If you don’t know the answers to those questions, you now have a starting point to grow your clinic.
Doing what you’ve always done will get you the same results you’ve always gotten. If you want to reach more patients, gain more referrals and increase revenue for your clinic, it’s time to embrace change.
Let’s take a look at four ways you can develop your clinic to increase revenue and engage patients.
1. Add new services
One of the best ways to develop your clinic is to expand your service offerings. Adding a new service to your clinic opens you up to a new stream of referrals and revenue.
Simply put, the more services you provide, the more patients you can reach, and the more services you can offer to your existing patients, with whom you have already established a relationship. It’s a win-win for your patients and your clinic.
How do you decide what service to offer? Start by asking one question: what does our community need more of?
Before making any major decision for your clinic, consider what’s best for the people you serve. As a patient-centered facility, your clinic must listen to the needs of the community. Cater your clinic offerings to the local needs in your area. For example –
If your geographic market is characterized by upper middle income and upper income baby boomers, then you might want to consider wellness service offerings that cannot be had at the local gym.
Say your market has a number of distribution facilities or manufacturers, then you might want to consider workplace and workers comp services.
If your market has a number of colleges and high schools with well-established athletic programs, then you might want to consider sports rehabilitation
For sports rehabilitation, you can look into blood flow restriction therapy, a growing technique in therapy. Or, you may want to take a page from Ron Courson’s playbook and update your ACL recovery techniques. Depending on your community, you could also benefit from offering a sport-specific training and rehabilitation program, like the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification.
A TPI certification allows clinicians to provide golf-specific rehabilitation and training. If golf is a popular sport in your area, this type of program would put your clinic at the top of local athletes’ and coaches’ minds.
Another point to consider when adding new services is your clinic staff. Perhaps someone on your team has or is working toward a certification that lends itself to a specialized program. In this case, you can develop a new program that helps clients while letting your staff develop their skillset.
2. Hire more clinicians
Of course, you may decide that the best program for your clinic is one that doesn’t necessarily match the expertise of your current staff. If this is the case, you have two options. You can provide training by finding acceptable certifications or CEU programs. Or, you can hire new staff members with the skillset you need.
In the best-case scenario, perhaps your new program will bring in so many new patients that you simply need more staff to meet that growing demand.
Either way, if you find yourself in need of new clinicians, it’s time to put on your recruiter hat (one of many that you wear as a clinic manager). When interviewing candidates, remember that you want to impress them just as much as they want to impress you. Interviews are a two-way conversation.
Aside from asking the usual clinic interview questions, remember to ask some fun questions. You’re talking to your next potential teammate, so get to know them a little! Ask about something new they’ve learned or their proudest accomplishment.
It can only benefit you and your team to really get to know your candidates during the interview. Having a team that works well together is priceless.
3. Invest in new equipment
Another great way to develop your clinic is to invest in new equipment. Upgrading your clinic with objective, technology-driven rehabilitation equipment can facilitate your new service offerings, help retain patients, and in many cases, allows you to bill for higher-paying CPT codes.
For example, with the 2018 CPT update from Congress, reimbursement for CPT code 97530 Therapeutic Activity increased by 16%. CPT code 97530 only applies to functional activity, not isolated strengthening or range of motion.
According to this update, Medicare pays an average of $10.30 per unit more for 97530 Therapeutic Activity than for 97110 Therapeutic Exercise. CPT code 97110 Therapeutic Exercise applies to non-functional exercises like free weights.
For example, Metropolitan Occupational Therapy in Washington, DC recently saw a surge in revenue and patient and therapist satisfaction with the PrimusRS. The PrimusRS allows the clinic to capitalize on higher-yielding CPT codes and bill for more units overall. Aside from its earning potential, therapists and patients feel more engaged with the new equipment.
If you need capital investment for your new equipment purchase, consider clinic fundraising. Several non-profit organizations have raised tens of thousands of dollars while engaging with their community.
4. Clinic marketing
No matter what development you choose for your clinic, you’ll want to get the word out about it. Whether it’s adding new services, growing your staff, or purchasing new equipment, you need to let your patients know.
You can make announcements on your clinic’s website or social media, send out an email campaign, host a kick-off event, or create a new brochure. The possibilities are endless.
Marketing is something that many clinic owners and managers struggle with. After all, most have a background in clinical care, not necessarily marketing clinic services. We recently worked with clinic marketing consultant and author Daniel Tribby to produce two articles for improving your marketing. These are perfect for clinic managers looking for something different in their marketing efforts. Check out Clinic Marketing: You’re Doing It Wrong and What the Influencers Got Right: Social Media Marketing in Rehab
You can do it!
Developing your clinic takes time and resources, but the payoff can be huge. Will it be worth the effort? Create your own Return on Investment spreadsheet to calculate your projected ROI.
At BTE, we partner with thousands of clinics to grow their business and improve patient outcomes. We’re here to help clinic managers do their job, and we can help you. Contact us today to learn how.