Feb 12, 2024

The Evolving Landscape of Physical Therapy: Empowering Growth in Work Comp

For several years, the physical therapy industry has encountered unprecedented challenges, reshaping the profession's landscape. Many factors have led to this but the largest is decreased Medicare and insurance payments. This has created a domino effect - patients who have higher copays are more likely to self-discharge. Therefore, reducing the number of visits to the clinic for care. Leading to a reduction in staffing and employee benefits. This has sent shockwaves throughout the industry. Physical therapy clinics are now faced with the imperative to adopt strategic measures to ensure their survival and deliver quality patient care.

The decrease in Medicare and insurance payments has imposed financial constraints on physical therapy clinics nationwide. To navigate this, clinics must reassess their operations, finding more efficient ways to deliver high-quality care within limited financial resources. Employee benefit cuts and reduced staffing levels further intensify the need for clinics to strike a delicate balance between financial viability and maintaining a high caliber of care.

Amidst these challenges, the need for strategic patient treatment becomes paramount. With a limited number of visits available, therapists must optimize treatment plans to ensure maximum benefit for each patient. Yet, within this adversity lies an opportunity – the ability to treat work comp patients. Workers’ comp proves to be a lucrative payment source for clinics, offering a potential financial benefit and a niche-growing patient population. However, not every clinic is staffed or able to take in large amounts of work comp cases because of the paperwork involved.

Enter OccuPro, an ally for physical therapy clinics facing industry-wide challenges. As a practitioner-driven company, OccuPro understands the intricate dynamics of staffing, reimbursement, and the imperative for diversification in payor sources. OccuPro’s suite of technology, including Functional Capacity Evaluation and Return-to-Work + Work Conditioning Software will help clinics be successful and see an immediate return on investment.

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OccuPro’s FCE allows clinics to assess an individual's physical abilities and limitations, aiding in creating tailored treatment plans for therapists to follow. Return to work and work hardening and conditioning programs facilitate the gradual return of injured workers to their job duties, contributing to both their rehabilitation and the financial health of the clinic. Both create a more succinct way for a patient's healthcare team to be on the same page with treatment and progress. Plus, the patient will be able to go back to their pre-injury life faster and safer. Saving time, paperwork, and money for everyone involved.

By adding more work comp patients, clinics can strategically diversify referral sources and payors, providing a financial lifeline and optimizing patient encounters. Leveraging OccuPro's software suite further equips clinics with tools to meet the diverse needs of their patients.

To help make the transition to more work comp patients easier for clinics, OccuPro integrates with most EHR/EMR systems. By utilizing this two-way interface, OccuPro can share data between our software and EHR/EMRs seamlessly so clinic staff can have instant access to patient demographic information. Every FCE, progress note, and evaluation is transferred back into the EHR/EMR and attached to the appropriate patient visit. Expediting the billing process and ensuring patient data accuracy between the systems.

OccuPro's interface improves the efficiency of our therapists, is seamless, and the overall user experience is exceptional.

To make the process more streamlined for clinics, OccuPro has partnered with workers' comp insurance companies and payors so our thousands of customers can easily disseminate rehabilitation, work hardening/conditioning, and FCE notes/reports within minutes of completion. OccuPro customers are seeing 30,000 visits per month and now have a direct way to send documentation to payors.

As the physical therapy industry continues to adapt to financial constraints and operational challenges there are strategic measures, such as adding more work comp patients, a clinic can take. By partnering with OccuPro to implement workers’ comp technology, clinics can not only weather the storm but also emerge stronger, more resilient, and better positioned to deliver exceptional patient care while ensuring their financial well-being.

Carmelo D. Tenuta, PT
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder