Six Essential Written Policies for Your Physical Therapy Practice

(Updated March, 2024)

It’s always good to have a company policy in writing. In a healthcare business where managing equipment, patients and staff is a day-to-day reality, it makes sense to be prepared for common issues by having a written policy that can be reviewed and referenced when needed.

MEG Business helps private practice owners establish a strong foundation for their business, built upon streamlined processes for systems of operations, the clinical environment, structure and personnel management. 

This post will focus on operations – where policies and procedures can literally save your business – and share the six written policies you should always have available for your physical therapy practice.

The 6 Private Practice Policies Your Clinic Needs in Writing


1. Payment Policy

As patients tend to shoulder an increasing share of therapy costs these days due to changes in insurance policies, it is crucial to have a written breakdown of your physical therapy practice’s patient payment policy. That means your written policy should reflect the patient’s responsibility for payment at the point of service. This policy will include how to process payments, the critical insurance information on file, claim processing, and how past-due payments are handled.

2. Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and no-shows can quickly throw a wrench into the day-to-day operations of a physical therapy office, and it is entirely reasonable to have a written policy that covers these eventualities. A business has a bottom line, and cancellations and no-shows affect it. However, these can be avoided by a clearly communicated policy in writing, which covers how such issues are handled by the staff and office as a whole, as well as any transactions that may occur. Your policy can cause patients to think twice before skipping their session without cause. Check out how we help Pediatric practices avoid the “summer slide” of cancellations.

3. Employee Handbook

A thorough employee handbook is an absolute necessity for the smooth operation of any business. A written policy can be referred to or looked up when rare situations arise which will save time and confusion. Taking time to craft an employee handbook is important. This isn’t just a list of policies, but rather a guide that outlines the mission and culture of your physical therapy office. Consider having an online version or digital copy in addition to a printed one given to each new employee.

4. Emergency Procedures

In addition to having it on hand in general, one serious consideration for the employee handbook is a collection of emergency procedures for a given scenario that staff should become acquainted with ahead of an emergency event. Provide detailed instructions for how employees should act during different scenarios and what roles and responsibilities are expected. You can also supplement these procedures with a generalized checklist at each station in the office for quick reference during an emergency.

5. Cleaning and Upkeep

A physical therapy practice can be a place where germs can spread. Between sweat on equipment and particles from the mouth during breathing, it is essential to maintain cleanliness standards. Besides utilizing the best air purification technology available in your practice, write your sanitation practices and standards down – a checklist is a popular format. This is an excellent way to show that everything that needs to be done to maintain the health and safety of patients and staff is standard procedure at your practice.

6. Social Media Guidelines

Finally, social media management has become an essential branch of the success of many businesses, especially local therapy practices. However, poorly managed social media that goes off script or loses focus can be nearly as damaging as lacking a social media presence. Writing guidelines for posts, such as a style guide, will help avoid this fate. The social media or marketing style guide can dictate the tone and direction the clinic’s posts should take. It should center around a strategy of being helpful and active within the industry’s community – sharing quality content and being responsive to inquiries as they come in.

Take Your Private Practice Operations to the Next Level

To help establish a firmer foundation for your new or expanding practice, check out our comprehensive Outsourcing Guide. Here we share the formula for working smarter, not harder, in your practice.

Physical Therapy Outsourcing Guide

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