Last week Account Matters was an exhibitor at the APTA NEXT 2017 Conference in Boston, MA. This was our first year exhibiting at NEXT and we were not disappointed. Our staff was able to meet so many compassionate professionals who wanted to excel in their workplace, but needed some guidance on how to take their role to the next level. Attendees were physical therapy students, physical therapy professionals, and business owners. All three of these groups have very different concerns when it comes to their careers and businesses, so we wanted to share each group’s concerns and how our business is built to make these challenges easier.

Students
Many of the students we spoke to expressed interest in opening their own clinics when they graduate. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss, right? But many, if not all, of them hadn’t taken a single business/management course during their time in college. We talk about this all the time in our office, how PT, OT, SLP students are taught how to deliver excellent care to patients, but not how to manage a business. This is where Diane McCutcheon and her 35 years of practice management come in. Our company teaches you the business management skills that school doesn’t.

Another big topic that students want to talk about is credentialing, or provider enrollment. Many students were unaware of the steps needed to be taken when enrolling with insurances. Most times the employer is responsible for credentialing their new employee but these young professionals should have a basic knowledge of what information is required before credentialing can take place. Students are the next generation of private practice owners so we want them to know there are resources for these daunting problems, and success doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

Physical Therapy Professionals
We spoke to many physical therapists working in private practice and hospital settings who wanted to venture out and start their own practice too. The biggest question we got from these professionals was, “Where do I begin?”  

This was a great question for our staff because this is exactly what our consulting services address. Diane McCutcheon has over 30 years of experience in practice management and through that experience has gained a ton of knowledge on the steps to opening a private practice. One thing we emphasize is invest your money wisely. Investing money on things that will build a solid foundation for your business such as hiring the right people, implementing processes and up-to-date technology, and training and development programs for administrative staff should come before the flashy bells and whistles.

Owners
Our staff had an absolute blast talking with the physical therapy private practice owners who stopped by the booth. These owners had a lot of concerns about whether their business was performing as well as it could. This depends on who they rely on to manage their accounts and whether they have processes in place to measure improvements. I'll give you an example; we were talking with an owner and she stated, "I have a billing company already." So naturally we asked, "Are they doing a good job?" and her response was, "I don't know." This is something our company runs into a lot. Owner's contract with billing companies or hire billing staff, and make just enough to pay the bills and make payroll so they think they are okay but they are leaving money on the table. We were happy to explain to these owners that the staff at Account Matters processes claims daily, follows up on denials daily, applies payments daily and manages the accounts receivable. Our clients know we are doing a good job.

Overall, the Account Matters team really enjoyed the chance to talk to physical therapy professionals face to face and get an idea of what their day-to-day concerns are because they are so different from ours. We enjoyed getting a chance to let everyone know that they are not alone in this fight, and there is a company who wants them to succeed and is willing to put in the hard work to make sure they do. If you have concerns similar to the NEXT 2017 attendees, drop us a line, we are here to help! 

NEXT Attendee Concerns: From Students to Owners