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  • bodyfix180

My Why

I became a physical therapist in 2010. My first job had a different pay scheme than most. I thought at the time it was brilliant. I was paid a base salary and then every patient I saw over a certain number put me in a different “bonus bracket” which resulted in higher pay. Now, this was brilliant because it was understood that in order to be in sports medicine and outpatient physical therapy, you WERE going to see 20+ people a day. In my young mind, I thought, “well at least I am getting paid for the burnout”. I know therapists who have seen 30 and 40 patients a day. Let’s be real, they didn’t actually “see” those patients. They had them in the building and charged them (or their insurance) for being there. This is poor care. Period. There are some who will make excuses to say that is “just how it has to be done” to make ends meet. For the longest time, I thought that was just the case. To work in a sports medicine type clinic, you just had to be a workhorse. There is no time to get to know the patient. Just give them some exercises, maybe stretch them a little, then throw some heat or ice and on to the next. That's why physical therapy has some of the highest burnout in a career choice. We go to school for roughly 8 years and collect 100k+ student debt because we truly want to help people. Most of us found the career of physical therapy because we had a personal experience with it growing up and it made an impact on us. So of course the burnout is high. This is what we want to do. But this is what has been created over time.

I quickly left my first job, in about 6 months. I landed another job in which I was fortunate to see 1 patient at a time. What a dream! It allowed me to become a better physical therapist. It allowed me to learn more. It allowed me to understand people more. I was able to learn about the person in front of me better, not just physical therapy. I grew there as a therapist and as a person for almost 9 years. But I knew I was still being dictated by insurance and bureaucracy. Someone in an office was telling me how many visits I could see a patient without even talking to the patient. There were time limits, visit limits, treatment limits. If an insurance company didn't want to pay for it, they didn't. The patient may have to foot the bill even though the insurance company set the rates. That's another thing, each company that deals with insurance sets up a "fee schedule". The insurance company tells them what they are worth and there is no negotiation. Just about every year the government puts out a new bill or proposes one that has a reduction in what Medicare will pay for PT services. This year, I believe the proposal is 9%. 9%?!?! Even through that, at least my pay stayed the same. But there were too many hoops to jump through even without dealing with insurance. I couldn’t always learn the new upcoming things and implement least not in a timely manner. I was expected to achieve so many "units" which mean that while I may not have had to see 20+ patients, I was expected to see them a certain amount of time. The longer the patient is in the building with you, the more you can charge. So again, I began to feel the pull of there has to be a better way.

In 2019, I got my hands on a book from a PT doing cash-based services. It was a how-to guide to cut ties with insurance and suits, so that you, the PT, can treat how YOU see fit. You and the patient can make a plan without an insurance company telling you yes or no or that’s enough. Finally, I saw the possibilities. It was exciting! It was possible! I had just found my “better”. I dove into reading everything I could on the subject. I needed to know was the feasible and did it work. I didn't care about how much I could/would make and I still don't. There is a passion inside most PTs who LOVE what we do and LOVE helping people. It's that which drives us. Much like teachers, we don't pay them enough and they know it. Yet they still choose that path...why? Because they love it.

Today, I am here as a cash-based physical therapist running her own business. I am not a business guru. I took zero business classes in my 8 years of college/grad school. But I can treat people to get them better faster and more efficiently. I don’t have to hear “no” from the insurance company. I don’t have to listen to my bosses tell me to see more patients or see my patients longer. I have found a better way!

Body Fix 180 is here for the patient. Period. Not for the money, not for the insurance company, not for the business company. The patient is my number one priority, and I have the time to listen, to hear and to make a plan. Physical therapy is more than just exercises. It is getting people back to doing the things they love in an efficient manner, but it is also keeping people healthy as a whole person. That's why Body Fix 180 doesn't take insurance. Most of the time people can still get some reimbursement from their insurance company anyway. But even if you don't, you get what you pay for. Body Fix 180 isn't about the numbers. How can I help you get better and stay that way?

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