As a profession, we need to be more creative in keeping our clients with us. We get concerned about reimbursement, rightfully so since that is what keeps the clinic open. But, again, are we overly complacent?
Once the initially set goals are achieved, ask your clients if they have any other mobility issues s/he would like to address.
Offer a wellness package that would keep them coming to your clinic. I know that we do not like the word “maintenance,” but “wellness” really is more than maintenance – it is a promotion of continued and improved health. This could be offered at a cost that is less than a single copay, which would be attractive to your client, as well as serve as additional income to your facility. Do not underestimate the relationship you have built with this client as something not worth fostering. You may find that many clients would prefer coming back to your clinic to workout rather than going to the local gym. Give them that option. Your equipment is there, why not earn more money while it gets more use?
If a client is not interested in a wellness program, offer a 6-month or 12-month check-up. We go for routine check-ups for our teeth, and for our general health, so why not for our musculoskeletal system? This does not need to be forced on your customers, but sending a reminder could prompt another visit. I honestly do not think about going to my dentist, but as soon as I get that postcard in the mail, I call within the week.
I want to be clear that I am not advocating any sort of fraudulent services or billing. I am just suggesting to get out of the box that insurance companies have put us in, and not letting their coverage dictate our plan of care. This may even get you more business from payers, or may move your practice further into the cash-pay realm. Physical therapy as a whole needs to advocate more to the insurance providers, but that is a different argument for another time.
If you are interested in learning more about adding a cash-based model, check out Jarod Carter’s website and podcast: http://www.drjarodcarter.com/ He is a wealth of knowledge, and can guide you to resources and a network of other PTs.