Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Again, I would like to thank you for posting and reading. I would love to hear from some new readers (and of course the usual suspects!). Let's enlarge the RehabEdge voice!
I'd like to share a great statement of master negotiator and speaker, Jack Kaine. Something that might add value to your 2006.
"Just like marriage, getting the agreement is the easy part, keeping the agreement is more difficult."
He was of course speaking of our customers. (But I really like that statement!)
In our own practices, think about this statement. Think about it in terms of our clients, physicians,case managers, hospital CEO's, associates and other partners.
A relationship goes where it is invited and stays where it is appreciated. Sometimes it is up to us to educate or re-educate our customers on the value they are receiving.
For instance, with your value as an employer... What are the values you bring to your associates? They cannot read our minds. Often times, they are so busy with the day to day that they miss what might be a given to you as an owner or manager.
For example, one of my clients found that they really hadn't communicated the value of the education they provided for their therapists and support staff. Yes, the obvious continuing education dollars amounted to $800 but when they considered the additional value added inservices from internal experts, leadership mentoring and on site education savings, the benefit actually tripled. They needed to share this.
From a recruiting and retention perspective, how many of your team members have been with you for more than 5 years?
How many of your therapists have advanced on your clinical ladder?
How many specialty certifications does your staff have?
Think HOW in terms of your other customers. What has meaning for THEM. Find out what the other side wants and educate them on how you fullfill it.
Are you educating your partners on what you do for them? How could you be sharing your best practices with the people who want this information?
Joined: May 11, 2004
Value on the reimbursement view is also important to consider. There are so many physical therapy clinic owners that have the ridiculous idea to participate with every insurance plan because 1) it keeps the referral sources happy and 2) participating and having patients is better than not participating and not having patients. In a way, as a majority, we've screwed ourselves with some of the reimbursement issues because of the lack of our own value of our services AND knowing within business plans the reimbursement arrangement that is necessary to survive as a business. When I hear of clinics participating with contracts that reimburse $45/visit, it makes me wonder how valuable those clinic owners view their services. What kind of a message does it send to others on our worth participating with crap like that?
Joined: February 15, 2005
From: Indianapolis, IN
Very good point, SJBird.
When we come down in price on our services during any negotiation it makes a buyer question that it may not be worth that in the first place. It takes away any control in the negotiation process. This sounds simplistic but I would love to hear from others how educating their payors has in fact "paid off". I have a few stories in mind. What about our readers?
It hasn't paid off as much as my and my office manager's time investment really deserved. Insurance Claim adjudicators seem to be underpaid, undertrained (that's why so much time is spent educating them) and have a great trun-over rate. Negotiating with the insurance companies' CEO's is a laugh - BIG business talking to some hamstrung PTs as representatives of our profession (hands-tied) - they were ineffective to stop the insurance companies to REDUCE what PTs can charge per unit of time - the guidelines as set by our own association! The ins cos now pay 30% less. The only way is to have patients pay the difference, get them upset at their representative in government and make a general stink. As PTs our associations a re really weak in the big negotiating world. Our yearly professional fees are so low, that there is no money to hire big lobbyists, and make political waves. And yet, when the fees go up, our own colleagues tend to howl at the price! We are getting what we pay for.... I set my fees according to the association's guidelines, and the patients pay the difference (or completely out of their pocket if they don't have ins) - I have lost a few patients who didnot want to pay. That's my price to pay for trying to stand up for my own self-esteem and self worth. And no, I don't have an inflated sense of self-worth....LOL
Joined: January 16, 2005
From: St. Petersburg, FL
I agree with SJBird, and often consult to PT providers to find ways of mastering fee schedules and practice guidelines in order to optimize outcomes and enhance reimbursement for our fine services. I agree often we are not paid enough, esp when I pay my plumber $200 a visit for a 15 minute visit to fix a pipe!!!
Joined: January 28, 2005
From: West Vancouver BC
Nicole, your post regarding the plumber reminds me of the PT who had the electrician repair his fuse box. After ten minutes the tradesman said fixed, as good as new, my bill is $200 dollars. The PT said I have a Doctorate and have to work half a day to make that much money. The electrician said I know, thats what I used to say when I was a PT. Jim McGregor