My 5 Predictions For Cash-based Physical Therapy In 2022
Dave O’Sullivan | 3rd January 2022
The world is changing. In fact, it has already changed. And if you blinked, you may have missed it. But if you think 2022 you’ll be in for a real shock.
It has become harder than ever to run a successful cash-based practice. There are more barriers in your way and there is more uncertainty. As you look to 2022 you have to ask yourself, can my cash-based clinic really survive?
I’ve been in physical therapy services for over 14 years. I’ve worked with England Rugby Union and League, I’ve worked under the huge pressure of elite sports, but nothing prepared me for owning my own cash-based private practice. It’s tough and at times ugly but if you can get it right, there is no better feeling.
Being a physical therapist and a cash-based business owner is about being active, not reactive. It is about preparing for what is ahead which is why I want to share with you my 5 predictions for the physical therapy industry in 2022.
These 5 predictions aren’t to overwhelm you, they’re to help. In physical therapy as in business, preparation for what is to come is going to save you a lot of time, energy, revenue, and stress.
So, read on to find out…
- The luxury (or not so luxurious for us) insurance-based practice.
- What your cash-based PT clinic can rely on in the next year.
- My 5 predictions for the physical therapy industry in 2022.
- What do these predictions mean for you and your cash-based PT business?
- How preparation will be the key to your success in 2022.
- How I’m preparing for 2022.
- How to make 2022 the best year of your career so far.
The Luxury Of Insurance Companies
If you’re anything like me you’ve never had the luxury of insurance companies sending new patients straight through your clinic door. No insurance company is going to call you and say ‘hey, we’ve got a tonne of potential patients we’re sending your way’.
It’s just not the business model I work by. No third-party payers, no participating provider, or if you’re in the US, medicare patients with out-of-network benefits. If you’re like me, as a practice owner, you’re on your own. You’re isolated. And as a cash-based physical therapy clinic owner, if you think about it long enough this can seem daunting.
It can feel like you’re on a knife-edge. It’s a balancing act, on one side success, a reputation, your dream clinic, and financial freedom for you and your family. On the other side, a failure to help patients, endless drop-offs, a money pit, a failing cash-based physical therapy practice, and a big mess.
This is exactly why you need to be prepared for everything 2022 has to throw at you.
What Can Your Cash-Based PT Practice Rely On In 2022?
So you can’t rely on insurance plans, third-party payers, or medicare patients. It all seems so uncertain and so risky.
The truth is, as a cash-based business there is only one thing you can rely on. One thing that, if you invest in it, will help you achieve consistent results, happy patients, a great reputation, and a successful clinic.
That one thing is YOU.
When you don’t have an insurance-based model, an insurance company, or medicare clients to rely on the only person responsible for getting patients through the door is you. The only person responsible for those consistent results is you.
The reality is, I see cash-based practices fold on a daily basis. They leave their owners in a mess and physical therapists out of work. The responsibility to get it right lies only with you.
My 5 Predictions For You And Your Practice In 2022
If you’re going to run a successful cash-based practice you’re going to have to know what is coming in the next days, months, and years. That is why I’ve put together my 5 predictions for the physical therapy industry in 2022. Just to give you a little head start.
Remember, these are predictions. I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t see the future. But I do have over 14 years of experience in professional sports and private practice. I have built my own cash-based PT practice from the ground up, from a few patients a week to 431 new patients in 2021.
I have seen every ‘latest trend’, every fashion, I have seen cash-based businesses crumble and take off. If that experience has taught me anything it is to be prepared for everything.
So… Here are my 5 predictions for the physical therapy industry in 2022!
#1 There Will Be A New 3 Letter Hands-On Technique Emerge
Every year there is always another ‘influencer’ who mentions a certain ‘technique’ and all of a sudden it goes viral.
Physical therapists go mad for manual therapy. It’s the one thing we’re all experts in. But before you get sucked into the latest ‘trend’ in 2022, remember one thing…
Hands-on techniques or any technique are ‘tactics’! As the legendary Chinese strategist, writer, and philosopher Sun Tzu said:
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu
Clinical reasoning will always be QUEEN! Having confidence and clarity in understanding the ‘WHY’ behind everything you’re doing is KING!!
#2 The Great Hands-On Hands-Off Treatment Debate Will Continue
I’ll be honest, the lack of common sense in our profession is worrying at times. The most worrying thing of all is people have really shouted, screamed, and roared, and yet very little changes.
Will this roaring and shouting go to the next level in 2022? I think it will! Will it change anything? I don’t think so.
Every physical therapist will have their opinion but the truth will always lie somewhere in the middle of two sides of an argument.
Remember… Hands-on techniques are ‘tactics’. Don’t forget that SUN TZU quote!
#3 It Will Be More Difficult Than Ever Before To Get Patients To Adherence To Your Exercises
At times, it is worrying watching my 11-year-old and 7-year-old daughters’ attention spans. There have never been more distractions in our lives as there are now and I believe it will continue in 2022. The problem is, this could cost you and your cash-based practice in 2022.
All those distractions mean it will be even harder for us to get and keep our patient’s attention long enough to get them to actually ‘focus’ on their exercises or rehab programme you have prescribed.
That is why it’s critical to follow the 6-10 hours v 6-10 reps concept. You cannot rely on motivation alone for patient adherence in 2022. You need to understand the patient’s daily routine and find ‘triggers’ to implement your rehab easily.
If all your rehab exercises require your patient to lie on their back, then I’d spend some time thinking about ways to incorporate them into their daily routine.
#4 Therapists And Cash-Based PT Clinics Integrating ‘Wellness Services and Mental Health’ Products Will Thrive
If COVID has taught us anything it is that our health is our wealth. People are valuing their health more now than ever before.
We have also seen mental health issues come to the forefront of society and the media. People are more open to it. According to the UK government, ‘1.45 million people were in contact with mental health services, at the end of May’ 2021. Now I know physical therapy isn’t a branch of mental health services but it is important to consider.
For all cash-based practices, having the ability to provide the best patient care and get results with your physiotherapy programme, then turning them into raving fans is always the first step.
Then having the ability to offer them your next services that includes wellness services and mental health products such as breathing or movement-based classes will, in my humble opinion, do very well in 2022.
#5 Patients Coming To Your Cash-Based Practice Will Expect Even More Value For Their Money
Patients have never had as much access to information as they do now. This is both good and bad.
As if that wasn’t stressful enough for you and your cash-based practice, couple that with a lot of uncertainty still present in the world and you have a knock-on effect. People are now cautious and expecting more for their money.
Remember that in order to give patients value you need to help them move towards their dream outcome and not just focus on the pain. It is important that patients reach those goals.
This may be a longer process but at the same time, your patient needs to be able to ‘FEEL A BIG DIFFERENCE’ throughout their day (see point 3 above). You also need to ensure you start fast and the patient can see the value and benefits of the session.
Ultimately, you need to give more in value than you take in a cash payment. You can’t just ‘treat patients’. If you or your cash-based physical therapy practice are going to truly succeed in 2022 you must exceed patient expectations. You must make a truly meaningful impact on their lives.
Here’s What These Predictions Mean For You
So there you have it, my 5 big predictions for 2022. But what does it all mean for you and your physical therapy cash practice? Well…
Firstly, you’re going to have to take action. According to the UK’s ONS, ‘the number of business closures in the UK in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2021 was 100,835′. In a world that is always changing local businesses and all businesses are struggling to survive. Cash-based businesses are the same.
If you want your cash-based physical therapy clinic to survive or better yet, thrive then you have to be active, not reactive. Acting once something has happened is already too late.
But now you can see these 5 predictions laid out, you can prepare. You can take hold of your future. You can prepare for the worst to make the best.
How Are You Preparing For 2022?
Last week I spent some time with my clinic team preparing for 2022. We had all of the admin staff, therapists, and our head physio Shane (who takes control and ownership of the clinic day-to-day).
At the very start, we set our main objectives and goals. We established the strategies and tactics we will use to achieve those in 2022. And I say we because it really was we. Each member of the team is responsible for our future and takes ownership of that future.
We then all put our heads together to put built a strategy and established the tactics we’ll use to reach our goal.
We do this every year because we know we’re not immune to issues from the outside world. More importantly, we do this because we have to be active and not reactive. Because preparation means success.
If you’ve not thought about your master plan for 2022 yet then get a pen and paper, get sat down, and prepare yourself for clinical success.
“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” – Benjamin Franklin
How I’m Preparing For Success 2022
For me, 2022 is all about the Mentorship 3.0. With the brand new content, I am planning to drive my clinic well over last years’ number of 431 new patients by giving the therapists in my cash-based physical therapy practice more confidence and more clarity than ever before.
The new and updated Mentorship 3.0 – due for release in January 2022 – will prepare the therapists in my private practice and my Go-To Mentorship Therapists to be ready for all 5 of the above. Remember, it is all about being active, not reactive.
For complete transparency, with the new update, there will also be a price rise for 2022 in the Mentorship investment as I continue to add even more value to the programme. I’ve spent the last few months completely reshooting the mentorship, simplifying it even more with one aim in mind…
Results, Not Content!
Many physical therapists forget results are king. For cash-based practices, nothing speaks more than results. Consistent results are the key to building a reputation and growing your practice and business.
I have designed the new Mentorship 3.0 with this principle at its core. START FAST with your patients so they can SEE and FEEL the DIFFERENCE!
It will be even easier to implement the content and see the results even quicker. This will be non-negotiable if you want to retain patients ethically in 2022 (see points 3 & 5 above).
I have also included ethical sales skills and marketing skills for therapists to help them grow their practice even quicker.
There will be NOTHING that compares to the Mentorship 3.0 out there as it will be the ‘complete’ package for therapists wanting to fill their diaries ethically by having the confidence to get results, reviews, and referrals.
Make 2022 The Best Year For Your Career So Far
Remember, success in 2022 will be about having the right mindset. It will be about being active, not reactive. It is about planning and preparation. It will be about your ability to achieve consistent results, filling your diary ethically, building your reputation, and growing your clinic. And the only person who can set the wheels in motion is YOU.
So if you want to make 2022 your best year yet for your career and your clinic then I want to help. Right now we’re giving away the Mentorship at the most affordable price it will ever be. You’ll get immediate access to Mentorship 2.0 and the very first access to the brand new Mentorship 3.0 content.
All you have to do is click the banner below. Book your FREE strategy call today and we’ll see how we can help you make 2022 the first of many successful years to come.