Revitalization of PT/OT Program for Large Southeast U.S. Orthopaedic Surgery Group
A 30+ physician orthopaedic surgery group in the Southeast had provided PT/OT services to its patients for nearly 10 years. However, this group had been seeing a dramatic decline in PT/OT income and had tried a number of strategies to increase profitability, but made little headway.
This group retained us to help turn around its PT/OT program which at the time employed 50+ PT/OT providers practicing in eight locations. We first analyzed prior years’ results to determine why profits had declined and to gauge the productivity of individual providers and the profitability of each PT/OT location.
We then helped implement a number of key changes to this program, introducing a leadership model of one lead provider at each site, recruiting and training those leads, moving the director to a new role, recruiting and training a new director, revising the productivity-based bonus plan to more directly reward individual productivity, revising provider productivity expectations and improving scheduling, authorization and billing processes. We also provided extensive group and individual training to improve coding, charge capture, documentation and patient communications. Our web-based data reporting and benchmarking system was used to easily allow each provider to track his or her monthly results and identify the areas in need of improvement, and to provide management with an easy tool to monitor the progress of each PT/OT location and provider.
We also focused on patient satisfaction. We found that the PT/OT providers were not spending enough time with patients to allow for optimum outcomes and patient satisfaction. Many patients were paying high co-pays and would often opt out of therapy because they did not see the value. With operational changes and clinical skills training, the PT/OT providers were able to spend more time with each patient and appropriately increase daily charges in spite of decreasing their total daily visits. This change helped improve clinical outcomes, patient compliance and patient satisfaction while also enhancing staff satisfaction.
This group almost instantly benefited from these changes. A loss of nearly $20,000 in the year prior to our engagement was reversed and PT/OT earned net income of $620,000, $1,350,000, and $1,822,000 in years 1, 2 and 3, respectively, following our engagement.