On the Podium

These exceptional private practices earned honorable mentions in our Practice of the Year Contest for 2013.

The judges for ADVANCE's Practice of the Year Contest have the difficult job of selecting only one winner from an expansive list of innovative, forward-thinking physical therapy practices that are defining PT private practice in the new millennium. These exceptional physical therapy centers are expanding their offering of services, staying true to the guiding principles of the profession, using new media to promote themselves and the physical therapy profession, and above all, offering superior consumer service through evidence-based care.

But the upside for our judges is being able to evaluate, recognize, and present innovative practices to our readers, such as the three runners up in this year's installment of the contest.

As in the previous 12 years ADVANCE has conducted this popular event, entries poured in from across the country -- and this year, across the globe. Practices ranged from small neighborhood operations to large multi-state enterprises, specializing in everything from home care to worker's compensation to scoliosis. The judging panel was made up exclusively of physical therapy private practice owners and previous winners of the contest, who scored anonymous entries on a range of success metrics.

This year, our top scoring practice is Coury & Buehler Physical Therapy, a four-location practice in southern California. For a full profile of the winner, and what made them stand out from the competition, click here. This year's runners-up share a common trait -- all three are solo practices and have been in operation only a short time.

ADVANCE congratulates all our entrants, and these exemplary practices in particular. Here are this year's Honorable Mentions, in no particular order.

HD Physical Therapy LLC

Wakefield, MA

First up is our silver medalist for 2013 - HD Physical Therapy LLC, a one-location practice in Wakefield, Mass. In May 2013, owners Glenn D'Addario, DPT, and Ed Harding, PTA, opened HDPT in May 2012.
HDPT has grown to staff four full time therapists, one part time therapist, two part-time aides, one full-time receptionist and one part-time PR and marketing person. In the first six weeks of the practice, they averaged five new patients, and saw 35 patient visits per week. "As of September 2013, we now average 15 new patients per week, a 200% increase, and we see over 230 visits per week, a 560% growth since opening only 16 months ago," said D'Addario.

Revenue growth has been steady and consistent since opening the clinic. In their first 8 weeks of practice, they collected $3131, averaging $391 per week. They now collect an average of $14,475 per week (with a one-week high of over $23,000), an over 3000% increase. As a company, they have become financially solvent, meaning current assets exceed our current liabilities, within the first year of business.

"We have done that by decreasing overhead and making calculated, educated and strategic decisions," said D'Addario. "It has allowed us to have a total income of over $480,000 already this year."

HDPT tries to hire therapists with different clinical interests and experiences, added D'Addario. They hold bi-weekly clinical meetings with the entire staff, discussing patients, cases and treatments.

"We are able to share journal articles and research, as well as practice manual techniques and high-level functional tests and movements," D'Addario said. "We hold ongoing administrative staff meetings where we communicate about billing, collections and scheduling. We offer an annual budget of $1000 for each staff member to earn CEUs."

The two co-owners continue to develop their clinical and business skills by attending courses and seminars. They encourage our staff members to dress in a business casual manner to always portray themselves as respectable professionals and host various employee team-building events, outings and celebrations.

Other differentiators are having no waiting lists for new patients, offering same day appointments, providing coverage under all insurance plans, verifying a patient's eligibility and benefits for PT prior to their first appointment, and obtaining any referrals that they may need, and advising and assisting patients with scheduling appointments with outside specialists when necessary.

Being located in a well-known area, along a popular walking and running route, right off two major highways, keeps patients coming in, along with free parking and a zero-entry office space with no stairs. A fully compliant, web-based EMR software for a completely paperless office is a help to patients and the therapy team.

"At HD Physical Therapy we realize that no two patients are alike, regardless of their medical diagnosis," D'Addario said. "We dedicate ourselves to evaluating and treating the true origin of their issue, while ensuring complete healing and minimizing the risk of re-injury. HDPT listens to each patient's personal needs and goals, and customizes a specific plan to reach those goals and get successful results every time."

Active Physical Therapy

Hilliard, OH

Just outside Columbus, OH, a one-location physical therapy practice offers specialty services including balance physical therapy, therapeutic massage, vestibular rehab, TMJ relief, health coaching, women's health and anti-gravity treadmill training.

"We have an increasing number of patients interested in cash-based models, especially with massage therapy and dietitian services," said co-owner Kevin Jones, DPT, who launched Active Physical Therapy, this year's Bronze Medal winner, with Ray Van Wye, DPT, in 2011. "We have a large part of our revenue that is attributable to workers' compensation, which is in large part unaffected by recent challenges and changes to the health care system."

By offering services the community seeks out, Active Physical Therapy has grown to six physical therapists and four administrative personnel over its three years of existence.

"We have an increasing number of patients interested in cash-based models, especially with massage therapy and dietitian services. We have a large part of our revenue that is attributable to workers' compensation, which is in large part unaffected by recent challenges/changes to the health care system."

A thorough sports rehabilitation program includes injury prevention, performance coaching, return-to-sport programming, functional movement testing, video analysis and sports massage.

Active Physical Therapy features flexible hours from Monday through Friday (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and have a company car specifically for patient transportation. This alone has generated a great deal of interest in the practice, Jones said.
"A diverse group is attracted to our clinic due to our dedication to evidence-based practice (we have been published in scholarly journals on several occasions," said Jones.

Finally, a staunch dedication to staff education and career advancement places this clinic over the top, along with a unique profit-sharing model of staff pay.

"Profit-sharing that is used for reimbursement of physical therapists and staff offers further incentive for staff that encourages business growth and vestment," concluded Jones. "Not only do our PTs and PTAs receive their APTA dues paid in full, but they also receive $1000 for continuing education classes per year. We also will help support further training and education for specific employees. For example, we are paying our exercise physiologist/tech for her massage therapy schooling in full."

Total Performance Physical Therapy

North Wales, PA

Our final notable mention for 2013 - and the third solo practice among this year's runers-up is Total Performance Physical Therapy in North Wales, PA, outside Philadelphia.

Owner Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP, comes from a sports background. Her interest in physical therapy began at the University of Maryland College Park, where she was a scholarship Division 1 swimmer and water polo player. She went on to receive her master's degree in physical therapy at the University of Maryland Baltimore and DPT from the University of Maryland Baltimore.

"Total Performance is leading the charge on changing the expectations that people have when they come to physical therapy," Moore said. "We provide manual therapy to 99% of our patients because working with our hands makes people better, faster. We schedule appointments every 20 minutes so each PT is only seeing at most 3 patients an hour with 40 minutes for an initial evaluation so the patient has ample time with their therapist."
Each patient upon arrival is greeted with a friendly hello and can help themselves to a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. On your first visit, patients receive a presentation folder where all of the information is given out pertaining to the practice. A business card with the owner's name and email are placed in each folder. Moore personally meets each client. The folder is then placed in a handy bag that can be used at the grocery store and outside of the clinic.

"We use no assistants as you should be seen by the highest degreed professional at each visit," said Moore. "We also highly encourage and make sure we do our part to ensure that the patient is seen by the same therapist at each visit to ensure the fastest and best results. Everything is computerized so we make sure that everyone, doctor and all medical professionals are in the loop on the patient's care. The therapist then does a thorough initial evaluation then using the latest iPad apps and explains to the patient in great detail exactly what their injury is and how Total Performance is going to help."

One difference-maker at Total Performance is its private pool.

"The locker room are enclosed in a room with the pool so no one ever has to walk across the clinic in their bathing suit, and they are completely away from the rest of the patients so they do not have to be self-conscious about being seen in a bathing suit," Moore said. "When you come out onto the floor most patients take the time to get to know each other's names. It helps with the comradarie and the patient's experience and the healing.

Finally, Moore stresses the manual-first philosophy at her practice.

"Almost every patient that comes to Total Performance receives manual therapy, as that is an important part of healing and the rehabilitation process," she said. "Each patient leaves with a booklet explaining their injury and a home exercise program. In addition they are given the therapist's e=mail so that they may contact them at any time."

Jonathan Bassett is on staff at ADVANCE. Contact: jbassett@advanceweb.com


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