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Q&A for Starting Your Cash Based Practice Today

Ditch Healthcare Burnout: Webinar Recap

After our Ditch the Grind Webinar, I received some great questions following it that I wanted to take the time to address, as well as some of the key takeaways I feel like are critical for the cash based clinician. 

To start with, my hope with the Ditch the Grind Webinar was to help outline the roadmap for clinicians aspiring to transition from working in a clinical setting to establishing their private practice. If you weren’t able to make it to the webinar, we’ve put up an edited version as a free training available on our website. You can find the free training linked here!

Exciting Announcements: DPT to CEO Program

During the webinar, I touched on my signature offer, the DPT to CEO Business Coaching program. I wanted to revisit that today and say that we are still open for applications for those clinicians looking to start their practice from scratch or build a practice they’ve already taken the leap to create. 

We are excited to be offering 5 to 6 coaching spots, so availability is limited and we encourage you to apply as soon as you can. This allows for myself and our marketing coaching, Taylor Kirk, adequate time to spend with each of you providing one on one coaching services. 

Lastly, I wanted to emphasize that the cost of our DPT to CEO program is being offered at its lowest price ever. We are offering this program for 46% off for a limited time only with the hope to make this program more affordable for aspiring entrepreneurs who are mindful of their budgets. With that being said, we’ve also made some changes to the structure of the program, transitioning from six months of coaching to four months with the hopes of urging those seriously committed to launching and growing their practice to apply. 

Addressing Concerns: Non-Compete Agreements

Now that we’ve taken care of some housekeeping details, let’s dive into some of the questions I received following the webinar. For starters, one of the most pressing questions I received was whether clinicians with non-compete agreements could still start their own practices. 

This situation can be kind of tricky unfortunately. First, it’s important you know if you have a non-compete in your employee contract. If you don’t, great! If you do, you need to read it and attempt to fully understand the stipulations it poses. Although it may seem scary, if you’re having trouble getting the full picture of what it lays out, speak with your supervisor to clear up any confusion. 

I have had students with very different experiences when navigating non-competes. For example, I’ve had students who’s clinic manager was quite supportive of them starting their own practice and encouraged them to do so. On the flip side of things, I’ve had students experience negative feedback from their employer and be given an ultimatum of choosing between remaining an employee or starting their own practice - they couldn’t do both. 

As murky as these situations can be, it’s important you get the full picture to understand what you are legally bound by so that you don’t end up sued by your company for starting your business. As unfortunate as non-competes can be, they are real, and they are a huge stepping stone to address when starting your own practice.

Building Referral Networks: Overcoming Fears

Another question I received was regarding why providers would refer to a cash based clinician, especially if they already referred to other practices or practice owners. 

This is a question I want to squash. To start with, this question aligns somewhat with what many of us wanting to start our practice struggle with - imposter syndrome. If you want to learn more about how to combat imposter syndrome, check out my blog post here. 

I just want to encourage the clinician with these fears to work on shifting their mindset. Think about how many physical therapy practices are out there and all of the different benefits they have to offer, different clinicians with different personality types, etc. From a personal provider standpoint, and I feel like this is how every provider’s heart is at the core, we want to refer our patients to someone we trust and someone we feel like would be the best option for our patient. 

If you start a practice that has a completely different specialty, offering different services, hours, treatment techniques, these are just a few of the reasons why a provider would refer to you if your practice better fit their patient’s needs. Not to mention, just at a baseline level, some patients do better with a clinician with certain personality traits. Your personality in itself can set you apart from other practice owners, making you a desirable referral source.

NPI Numbers Demystified

The next question I want to address is actually quite simple - do you need a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number as a cash based practice owner. The short answer is yes. 

Your NPI number is specific to you and your practice and is what insurance uses to identify whether or not you’re in network for them and if they can be billed for your services. Oftentime, when working for an employer, you may receive an NPI number, but many facilities bill under a single NPI number for all clinicians providing services.

It’s important that you have your own NPI so that you can be recognized by insurance providers if you so choose, and so that your patient can submit a Superbill to their insurance for reimbursement if they so choose.

Independence and Schedule Flexibility

The next question is one of my favorites to address because it is one of the best things about being a solo practice owner. I did a recent video on a “day in the life” for myself, which you can check out here, which highlighted a typical day for me at the time with running my own business. 

I think for starters, one of the biggest shifts practice owners can expect when starting their own practice is their ability to set their own schedule. Unlike your typical 9-to-5 job, you have the ability to schedule and design your own workdays, allowing for flexibility and tailored schedules to your lifestyle.

It is important to emphasize efficient scheduling habits to avoid chaos. If you scatter your appointments randomly throughout the week, trust me, it becomes quite daunting, so don’t make the same mistake I did. I recommend dedicating three to four days specific to patient care and a specific time block of those days to schedule patients. This gives you more of a “set” schedule that allows you to continue having lifestyle flexibility around while also getting your patients seen. 

Personally, I recommend clinicians who are wanting to provide “full-time” patient care services stick to seeing 10-15 patients per week on those three to four days of the week. This will allow for time to focus on marketing and administrative tasks one to two days a week which are just as critical as the patient care you provide. 

Considerations for Renting Space

For those of you considering practicing out of another business’s space, it’s important to consider the arrangement you can come to regarding rental cost. I recommend a flat monthly rental rate versus a percentage of your patient earnings. So no matter how many patients you see that month, you pay the same amount of money in rent. Learn more about how I started seeing patients out of a gym in my blog post here. 

Another piece of advice if you’re not sure what you should be paying in rent is to look at local rental rates for comparable office spaces. This gives you an idea going into negotiations with other business entities so that you aren’t lowballing or getting taken advantage of. 

Finally, consider your monthly revenue as a practice owner in relation to the cost of the rental space. Obviously if you’re bringing in $2000 a month but your monthly rental fee is $1500 a month, that’s probably not the best space for you. 

Mobile Practice Essentials

Many of the students I have worked with in the past, including myself, have provided mobile therapy services to our patients. We travel to them, meeting them in their homes, their workplace, at a gym or park, etc. 

One of the questions I get asked is “What equipment do you bring?” 

When providing mobile services, it’s important that you are efficient with your equipment choices and select items that are convenient for you to transport in your vehicle from place to place. For starters, I would encourage you to purchase a fold-up plinth or treatment table so that you have a designated space for treatment wherever you meet your patient. 

Select either resistance bands or a few dumbbell weights to ensure you’re implementing progressive overload during exercise activities. Personally, resistance bands are the most convenient to travel with and are typically easy to use with any exercise. 

Along with your fold-up treatment table, if you’d like a place to sit while treating, I’d recommend a fold-up stool or chair for you to sit on. Not necessarily a rolling stool, but a small seat that you can sit comfortably on. 

Lastly, I recommend purchasing a tablet with a keyboard of sorts for you to keep track of documentation during sessions. A tablet can also be useful if needing signatures from your patients for any reason because they can just sign right on the screen. At the end of the day, the important thing is that your equipment helps to create a professional treatment setting for you and your patient. 

Revisiting the DPT to CEO Business Coaching Program

Now that we’ve covered questions and key takeaways from the webinar, I want to revisit our offer of the DPT to CEO program. Again, this program is designed to guide clinicians from staff positions to becoming full-time practice owners. We emphasize one on one coaching within this program for both business and marketing aspects along the way. 

This program offers a six-phase roadmap that guides you directly on how to start, launch, and grow your practice within 4 months of time. For a limited time, we are offering a 46% discount on this program for the first 5 to 6 eager entrepreneurs that apply and are accepted into the program. If you are looking to take the leap into business ownership as a practice owner, this program may be for you. 

You can learn more about the DPT to CEO program in my blog post here. 


Embarking on the journey from a traditional staff clinician to becoming a solo cash based practice owner requires strategic planning and decision-making. I hope this blog post provided you with some key insight into many of the common questions and challenges faced by those deciding if practice ownership is right for them. 

Our goal has been and always will be to help as many clinicians as possible take the leap into entrepreneurship, gain schedule flexibility and financial freedom, and go from DPT to CEO. 

If you’re motivated and ready to take the leap after hearing these inspirational success stories, apply to the coaching program here!

Listen to this episode on my podcast

DPT to CEO the podcast


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