Staying Profitable and Productive
One thing is true in the field of rehabilitation: Change is constant. This has never been more true than at the present time. Within the past year, there have been staffing shortages followed by staffing surplus; needed equipment, but not enough room; along with insurance changes that are limiting patients' ability to obtain necessary help. Somehow, we survive and stay profitable.
The balance lies in predicting what may happen in the near future. Anticipate events to be less than ideal, such as the decrease in census and the possibility that hours will be cut. To balance this, a department must come up with ideas that will increase revenue and possibly not involve insurance payment. This would be cash-basis programs to offer the public, taking it to the school field for sports-related issues, offering mother-baby classes with pelvic-floor education, providing yoga to pediatric patients or even offering a Pilates-based class for core stabilization.
These programs, taught by specially trained physical therapists, can continue while the insurance changes fluctuate and affect our individualized patient care. The programs may be considered more maintenance than attending PT on an individual basis; however, they'd be ongoing and preventive in nature for our patients. This would legitimately keep us above water while motivating others in a group environment. We have tested this in the past, with a "Social Sensory Group" for children with special needs, and it works. The ideas have come from the staff, and the team works well together to make sure our future is secure.
Certainly, the most creative and motivated employees have been those who have returned to school to invigorate themselves. Having been out of the "loop" of structured learning for so long, I've come to realize that new ideas come from networking as well as our fresh DPT graduates. Let this be a sign that as we continue to improve our knowledge base, we'll continue to secure our profession and reach out to be the ones who are chosen for care by our patients.