Outsourcing rehabilitation therapy is a sensitive subject for hospitals. Many facilities still have an institutional memory of the early 1990s (before the Balanced Budget Act) when it was almost impossible to find a physical therapist and if you attracted one you had better hang on.
In the intervening two decades much has changed, as it has in virtually every area of healthcare, and while therapists are still sometimes hard to find, the bigger challenge is ensuring the compliance and performance of your therapy service. Hospitals that still cling to the notion that simply having a therapy department and therapists is good enough are often missing out on potential profits, improved patient satisfaction and peace of mind in knowing that compliance is assured.
Whether you are in-house or outsourced, your therapy department should be benchmarked against how competing outpatient therapy clinics perform. If you don’t have a competing independent clinic in your market, consider yourself fortunate, for now. If you do have a competing clinic, how are they stealing market share?
Chances are they are doing many things better (or more aggressively) than your in-house department. While I don’t want to disparage in-house departments (because some are very good), the fact is that independent outpatient therapy clinics have to find ways around the institutional moats that hospital therapists take for granted (inpatient therapy volume, easy physician access, interaction with discharge planners, and hospital directives to stay within the system). To overcome that institutional advantage, outside clinics aggressively market physicians, identifying niche programs that in-house therapists aren’t providing (lymphedema, dry needling, balance training, sports acceleration, aquatics occupational medicine etc…). They provide frequent feedback to physicians regarding the outcomes they are achieving with their patients. They make sure their pricing isn’t based on an arcane formula that only an accounting firm could decipher. Finally, they monitor the productivity of their staff to ensure at least 70 percent of their time is spent on billable patient interactions.
Contracting for your therapy services from RehabVisions provides the best of both worlds, a therapy department branded as hospital based but with consistent benchmarking and communication regarding performance. If you haven’t benchmarked your therapy department lately, contact us and schedule a conversation for a complimentary operational analysis.