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Future Proof Your Physical Therapy Practice With Remote Wellness

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:
  • Remote Wellness Plans create a time leveraged way for you to increase the lifetime revenue of your patients, indefinitely
  • You already have a warm audience of customers that know, like and trust you and are ready to buy from you (your past and current patients)
  • A Remote Wellness Plan opens up time in your schedule and in your clinic for patients that truly need to be with you in person
  • Skip all of the uncertainties associated with getting a Remote Wellness Plan up and running by scheduling a call with me about letting me hold your hand through installing your unique Remote Wellness Plan

What Is Wellness?

As a cash PT clinic owner, you are perfectly set up for Remote Wellness. What is wellness? Well, The APTA doesn’t really define it in their official stance on the role of PTs in prevention, wellness, fitness, health promotion, and management of disease and disability. They do mention that in essence it’s an attempt to “help individuals and populations improve overall health and avoid preventable health conditions”.

Lots of physical therapy clinics have some sort of wellness plan already hooked up into their patient journey. The goal being a continuation of health related exercise (or other modalities) that fall outside of skilled care. They normally look similar in that the wellness plans themselves are conducted in the physical therapy clinic, are cash pay and happen on an as needed basis.

I remember one of the clinics I was a tech at back in the day had a wellness plan where the patients would pay about $50 per month and would then be allowed free reign on the clinic and its workout equipment. They would come in, grab a manilla folder with their exercise plan (the same one from their PT POC, unchanged) and then they would just go to town. Chatting up the physical therapists for as long as they pleased. 

Other large clinics do something similar. A cheap cost of entry, free reign over the clinic, and ability to ask questions of the PTs. As a patient, who wouldn’t pass up on this offer? It’s essentially the cheapest gym membership around with open access to MSK experts. The difference between enormous, corporate physical therapy clinics and you (a cash PT clinic owner) is that they have the funding and the timeframe to make something like that happen. They have years to see a profit from a wellness program of that nature, or they make so much money from other programs that they don’t need to see a profit from the wellness.

Not only that, but they likely have an entire army of PTs, PTAs and PT techs to manage folks coming into the clinic, not to mention multiple clinics for housing people like that. In other words, they have the resources for a leak in the bucket like a cheap, in house wellness program. 

But you likely don’t. 

You are likely to be seeing 1 patient at a time, for an hour, without much help at all. You might not even have a brick and mortar clinic for someone to come to, and even if you do, the equipment that you have is probably not conducive to a robust wellness plan. Even if you do, imagine seeing your 1 on 1 patient and having an old patient of your interrupt to ask you how to progress a plan, or if you can help them get the infrared sauna turned on. 

Let’s pan back to Remote Wellness and define what that looks like. Remote Wellness is self explanatory: Remote simply meaning delivered virtually, and wellness meaning an attempt to “help individuals and populations improve overall health and avoid preventable health conditions. 

Put together, it’s a periodized training program delivered virtually with the goal of pushing forward overall health and helping individuals avoid preventable health conditions. 

Before we get into the actual delivery of Remote Wellness, I want to lay out a simple framework explaining why you would be silly not to install a Remote Wellness plan in your patient journey. 

You Are Perfect For Remote Wellness

There are a few fundamental truths about you as a cash PT clinic owner:

  1. You are providing a customized and intimate service that larger clinics aren’t
  2. You have a population of patients that have self selected themselves into investing in their health and wellness and investing a lot more than they would be at other bigger clinics
  3. The prices you are likely charging set you up perfectly for downselling patients to a cheaper but more valuable Remote Wellness Plan

You are providing a customized and intimate service that larger clinics aren’t

There is a certain je ne sais quoi that you as the sole owner have that corporate or mill clinics don’t. You actually care. Not only that, but you have the time, ability and desire to pour yourself into your patients. You can listen to them, get to know them, build rapport with them and treat them with an intimacy unavailable to other PTs. With that ability comes flexibility to create a patient journey that actually brings value. Gone are the days of seeing patients for 2-3x/week for 6 weeks at a minimum (said to me by one of the clinic owners in my early days of being a staff PT).

You have a population of patients that have self selected themselves into investing in their health and wellness and investing a lot more than they would be at other bigger clinics

Due to the reality that you can and are offering services like stated above, people are more willing to pay more money for their PT, because they know they are getting the care, attention and individualization that they want and can’t get from other clinics. They are effectively self selecting themselves for you. You can also read this as they are pre qualifying themselves to buy what you are selling them. 

There is something in the research world called “healthy user bias”. In studies where researchers look at things like multivitamin use, they see that folks who take multivitamins are healthier and have better outcomes including decreased cardiovascular risk. Why? It’s not because of vitamin supplementation, but because people who are likely to care about themselves enough to take vitamins are likely to do other health promoting things (get enough exercise, sleep, protein etc) and avoid things that are health harming (smoking, drinking, listening to rock and roll etc).

Observational studies showed associations among folate; vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E; and multivitamin supplementation with lower cardiovascular mortality, but in large, well-conducted RCTs, supplements failed to improve cardiovascular outcomes.

In the sales world, pre qualifying leads is a great way to know that they are more likely to convert to a sale. The sale in question here is a Remote Wellness Plan, and these healthy users that are looking to prioritize their health are right in front of you.

The prices you are likely charging set you up perfectly for down-selling patients to a cheaper but more valuable Remote Wellness Plan

I’ve spent enough time in PT Facebook groups and talking to clinic owners to know that they are not immune to the woes of the sales process. Selling is hard, frustrating and rejection is something that lots of folks want to avoid. One thing that does stand out in those same circles is that the selling that they are able to do (selling sessions and session packages) sets them (and you) up perfectly for comfortably and easily selling a Remote Wellness Plan. 

On average, cash PT clinics charge between $150-$250 per session. It’s pretty common for them to also sell 10 session packages for close to if not north of $2000. This may all sound familiar, and if it does, great! If not, consider raising your prices. So what do we do with this information? How do we link it back to the aversion to selling?

The mindset shift here is that upselling current or past patients (customers) to a Remote Wellness Plan is actually a down-sell to a cheaper option of care. You’re effectively doing them a financial favor by moving them to a Remote Wellness Plan. I often advise the clients that I coach and consult with when installing a Remote Wellness Plan into their cash PT clinic to charge at least $200 per month for individuals, and the price I recommend only goes up from there. The $200 is only for the beta cohort aka the first few people helping you figure things out that will likely receive a bit of a rough product. 

Let’s do some math: let’s take a patient who is paying you $200 per session (follow up/treatment session) and seeing you once per week (which is a whole lot less than I’m certain some of your patients come in for) and add up their total monthly cost. 

$200 x 4 = $800

Keep in mind that this is for 4 hours per month

You then say, “Hey Mrs. Jones, you’ve been doing great with rehab and I think you are a great candidate for our Remote Wellness Plan. You’ll be receiving anywhere from 3-5 workouts per week, customized to your needs to get you exactly where you need to go based on your goals. You’ll also have regular contact with me through an app on your phone. The best part is for all those workouts and access to me, you get to pay a quarter of what you are now, and you don’t even need to come into the clinic.”

Would you take that deal?

I would. 

Rinse and repeat for whatever frequency or per session charge you are currently structuring your business around. 

I can hear you through my computer already: “But Joe, then I’m making a quarter of what I was before. You want my kids to starve?”

While you are making less from those clients that will be transitioning to the Remote Wellness Plan, the thing that you will be getting back is your time. Sure there is a decrease in revenue from that one person, but what took you 4 hours per month (plus whatever documentation/admin work/driving went into their care) will now only take you about 10 minutes per week.

Now what you have the availability for is putting more beans (patients) into the front end of your bean machine (clinic). And while you are front-loading those beans into your bean machine, you are receiving a recurring lifetime revenue bump from those good folks that accepted the difficult to decide on offer of paying substantially less money to receive more frequent care and travel much less. 

To linger on the time aspect here, one of the biggest arguments that I can make is about leveraging time. Moving from 1 patient per hour ($200/hour) to 1 athlete per 10 mins begs the question, how many athletes can I manage in that hour? Well, that all depends on how good at coaching and programming you are and how complicated the programming needs to be. I can confidently say that with a little practice and some help structuring programming, you shouldn’t have any problem managing 10 athletes within an hour.

Is 1 on 1 Care Is Slowing You Down?

When you first started out as a cash PT clinic, seeing patients 1 on 1 was a blessing. That’s likely one of the main contributors as to why you started your own clinic in the first place. But the unfortunate reality is that there are only so many 1 on 1 slots that you can fill during a day, and there are only so many ways to push through that ceiling. 

  1. Charge more money per session
  2. Shorten your sessions to fit more in a day
  3. Hire someone to start seeing people while you see people

And in the sales world, there are only a few ways to make more money over all:

  1. Charge more money per unit (more per session)
  2. Sell something to more people (more patients/shorter sessions/hire someone)
  3. Sell someone something more times 

The one I think that resonates the most in this situation is number 3. We can break this down a couple of ways: you can drag out care unnecessarily with someone and just keep selling them more sessions under the guise of them not being perfectly fixed yet, or you can bless them with the move to a Remote Wellness Plan. That way, you can effectively shut off the bottleneck of there just not being enough hours in the day. 

Actionable Remote Wellness Steps

There are only a few things that you need when it comes to installing Remote Wellness in your clinic:

  1. A means of delivering the product
  2. A way of collecting payment
  3. A list of people to sell to

A means of delivering the product

I have my clients use TrueCoach as its cheap and simple but gets the job done and has the ability to also become complex if you want to start measuring more metrics or becoming more involved in your athlete’s training. 

TrueCoach offers a two week free trial for new starters, but if you want $50 off (2 months free) use our referral code.

A way of collecting payment

As a successful cash PT clinic owner, you are likely to already have this established. If you don’t have a means of creating an electronic, monthly recurring transaction, I recommend using stripe. What you want to avoid is needing to ask the athlete for payment each month, as it introduces friction into the equation. Friction allows them to talk themselves out of continuing or find excuses to self sabotage. With a recurring subscription based payment system, much of the friction is removed.

A list of people to sell to

Remember that list of self selected, pre qualified leads that have already paid you a substantial amount of money, know/like/trust you, have a great rapport with you and you’ve helped change their life? Talk about a warm audience. Turn towards them, and tell them about what you have and watch them raise their hands for it.

What Remote Wellness Affords You

In the end, a Remote Wellness Plan allows you to do a few significant things for your clinic:

  • It creates a time leveraged way for you to increase the lifetime revenue of your patients, indefinitely (people need help improving overall health and avoiding preventable health conditions, forever)
  • It allows you to manage multiple people’s wellness within that same hour in which you were only seeing one patient
  • It pushes off the need to do complicated things like hiring new therapists
  • It gives people improvements in health that they likely wouldn’t have gotten without your accountability and guidance
  • It opens up time in your schedule and in your clinic for patients that truly need to be with you in person

If you want to skip all of the uncertainties associated with getting a Remote Wellness Plan up and running, schedule a call with me about letting me hold your hand through installing your unique Remote Wellness Plan (as well as expert help with managing athletes and writing programs).