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Starting a Cash Based Telehealth Practice?

Are you a physical therapist thinking about taking the leap into telehealth cash based PT? If so, you're in the right place. Starting a telehealth physical therapy practice is not as challenging as you may think, but it’s important to remember that it takes effort to stand out. Afterall, you’re just another person on the internet. 


During this post, we’re going to walk through the ins and outs of an online physical therapy practice, what you need to get started, and some of my best advice after experience as a telehealth physical therapist as well.



Why Telehealth

As we are familiar with, telehealth means that you will be providing your services via an online platform rather than in a clinic or in-person setting. One of the best things to come out of the global pandemic was the push for telehealth services to limit exposure and lucky for use, online healthcare services have continued to be widely accepted since.


Speaking from the patient standpoint, I personally appreciate providers who offer telehealth services because it allows me to get the care I need without making a commute to their office and schedule when works best for me. The same is true for the provider. Online healthcare services offer flexibility to the provider to reach more individuals that need their unique services, as well as give the provider the ability to have more control over their schedule.


You can learn more about telehealth physical therapy from the Non-Clinical PT at the link here.


My Telehealth Journey

I started my healthcare entrepreneur journey in 2019. I had had enough of working in the outpatient setting and was ready to do something of my own. To start, I began seeing clients out of the gym setting, but soon transitioned to entirely online services when the pandemic hit in 2020. 


Since that point as a business owner, I’ve continued to see patients online when it works best for them. Telehealth is a great tool that can be effective for many therapy services including working with athletes on exercise programs and encouraging behavior modifications for female fitness athletes struggling with urinary incontinence, just to name a few.


Tips for Starting a Telehealth Practice


1. Know Your Audience and Problem

Before jumping into telehealth, just like with any other practice, it is important that you explicitly understand and communicate the ideal patient you work with and the problem you solve. For example, I work with CrossFit athletes to help them return to working out without pain. Knowing who you work with and the problem you solve is key to the success of your online practice.


2. Test the Waters

It’s not often that clinicians have had a ton of experience working with clients online, unless they were in full swing during the pandemic. With that being said, if you haven’t had a decent amount of experience evaluating and treating patients online, it will benefit you to practice. Ask a friend or family member to allow you to take them through an online evaluation and then follow-up session to make sure you and they feel comfortable with your methods. 

It’s best to do this before seeing “real” patients.


3. Define Your Services

Make sure to clearly state what services you offer, how it works to work with you, and the pricing structure you’ve set in place. The simpler the process is from booking a consult call to actually working with you, the more likely people will be willing to move forward with the process.


4. Choose the Right Tools

Having the right tools for your telehealth practice will help ensure you and the patient have a good experience. Look into different video and documentation softwares like Practice Q, Google Meet, and Doxy.me to name a few, and figure out which platform is easiest for you to use and will provide the best experience for your patient.


5. Develop an Online Presence

As I mentioned before, when starting and running an online business, remember you’re just another person on the internet. It’s critical that you work to establish an online presence through content creation and audience engagement to help build credibility and trust with your audience.


A couple ways to help you build an online presence is through organic and paid marketing. Organic marketing includes social media, website, and content creation. It takes time to go this route, but is a very cheap method of doing so - which I recommend for those just getting started. 

Learn why every PT should be doing content marketing in the blog post here.


On the flip side of things, paid marketing includes running ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. You can create your ads to be put in front of a specific target audience, which still takes time to perfect, but also costs more money.


Just like any other business, you must prioritize the balance of time and money. As I mentioned before, starting with organic marketing is my best recommendation for beginners. As your business grows and so does your audience, you can consider both paid and organic strategies to best benefit your business.


Although investing in your business can seem scary, it’s critical for success. Learn about the number one mindset shift practice owners face when it comes to balancing time and money in the blog post here.


Conclusion

Building a successful telehealth practice takes time, effort and consistency to reach your goals. Just like any business, results don’t come overnight, but when they do happen it is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.


The key takeaways are that you know your audience, define the problem you solve, choose the right tools for setting up, and work to build an online presence and relationship with your audience. You can learn more about building trust with your audience in the blog post here.


If you're not feeling confident in setting up your telehealth practice on your own, feel free to reach out! I offer free consultation calls where we can discuss your current struggles and determine the next best steps for you. You can schedule a free call here.


Or if you are looking for 1:1 individualized guidance to all things starting and running a practice, business, and marketing, I encourage you to check out our DPT to CEO Business Coaching program here. DPT to CEO is the step-by-step guide you need to start, launch, and grow a successful cash based practice!


Listen to this episode on my podcast!

DPT to CEO the podcast

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