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Physical Therapy Management: Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff
Nitin Chhoda discusses how good leadership, management and supervision of clinical and non-clinical staff can affect the total operation of a physical therapy business.
Physical therapists hold many roles within their physical therapy management practice, from managing patient health and promoting physical therapy within the community, to managing clinical and non-clinical staff.
Therapists will be called upon to manage staff, disputes and performance inside and outside the clinic to ensure a superior level of customer service and profitability.
The three key ingredients for interacting with staff in an effective physical therapy management can be summed up as leadership, management and supervision.
Physical therapy management employer-employee relationship is always an adversarial one, with each party’s goals in direct conflict. Therapists are focused on the profitability of their practice.
Employees are concerned with their families, homes, bills, social activities and a myriad of other topics. It’s not a bad thing – it just is. Despite all that, less supervision and great physical therapy management should be the goal of every physical therapist.
The first rule of staff management is that employees are not friends, nor are they family. A mutually friendly attitude should be cultivated in physical therapy management, but always remember that at the end of the day, employees are paid to do a job and do it well.
Management At Its Best
Camaraderie is desirable for the good of the practice, but viewing the relationship realistically will assist therapists in managing staff more efficiently for the future profitability of the clinic.
The less time spent on explaining tasks, disciplinary actions, accepting excuses and ensuring staff perform to expectations in your physical therapy management, the better. There will always be employees who lie, steal and provide inferior services.
Never tolerate unacceptable behavior and weed out those who refuse to conform. Firing staff is never pleasant, but it’s part of efficient physical therapy management and a necessary part of ensuring the quality of treatment and the reputation of any practice.
Incentive programs can be used to encourage clinicians to reach new heights in performance. Clinicians of physical therapy management require more hand holding and tracking, and therapists should condition them to receive small rewards based on performance.
If they see 81-90 patients in a 40-hour week, they get a $100 bonus. For those who treat 91-100 clients, they receive a $175 bonus. Anyone who sees 101 patients or more within a single week receives a $350 bonus for that week.
Practice owners of physical therapy management are not in business to create jobs or operate in the red.
Every aspect, from labor and equipment to toilet paper, must justify the expense and pay for itself in one way or the other.
Every item and each employee must serve an essential function to obtain the best return on investment for the clinic owner.
Do Not Overlook
Practice owners shouldn’t overlook the convenience and cost savings of office and physical therapy management systems. They’re versatile, customizable, and can perform many tasks typically handled by employees.
Automation is essential in the 21st century to curb costs, attract new patients, market, and meet mandated requirements for electronic medical records (EMR).
An automated system provides therapists with the tools to manage every facet of their practices, from patient care, and billing to physical therapy management staffing for a more profitable clinic.