Tips to Manage The Proposed 9% Medicare Cut

By now, you’re likely aware of the proposed 9% Medicare cut. This reduction threatens the future of our physical therapy profession and ultimately will impact those patients who are covered by Medicare.

It goes without saying that of all the years to propose such a rule (although it’s always something, right?) it’s certainly harsh to be cutting reimbursement after the year that we’ve all had. 

This is unfortunate, and we have certainly been advocating for a fight against it. But what if we tried a new approach? Let’s take some bad news and see if there’s some kind of bright side to it.

This is by no means intended to downplay a bad situation, which is certainly bad, but let’s look at some numbers.

We’ve found that 90% of physical therapy practices (there are exceptions of course) see less than 30% of their total volume of patients covered by Medicare. 

While an impact to 30% of your business is nothing to sneeze at, it is important to remember this and keep it in perspective. Therefore, this has the potential to not be quite as painful overall as has been projected, if the rule gets implemented at all. 

Now for some potential solutions to ease the pain. 

Under the normal circumstances of a regular, Covid-free year, we would give you advice from the productive angle that “you can just out-create it” and work to bring in more business. 

But we realize that, due to the massive hit we have experienced to our patient volume, this is not a viable solution for many at this time. So instead, let’s tackle something that you might find a little easier to control: diversifying your services. 

If you don’t already, you really always should be working towards 3 income verticals (sources of income) for your business. You’ll want to check out implementing such things as personal fitness, massage, the Neubie E-Stim, nutrition services – the list goes on.

So check that one off your list. Diversify your services and things might become a little less scary. 

Another solution to consider is – you’re not gonna like it – but until we go back to seeing the amount of patients that we should be seeing, you might consider being open on Saturdays. 

I hate to say it, but if you want to pay your bills, you’re going to have to consider a 6-day work week. Desperate times, I know. 

And lastly, look into reestablishing your practice using a Shared Risk Model – or pay for performance model. 

With this, everyone is motivated to meet their goals and truly function as integral parts of a team, with each player rowing just as hard to stay afloat. 

We know this is a lot to confront, and was EXACTLY what we needed while dragging ourselves into the 4th Quarter of this crazy year (sarcasm). 

But consider these options and how they might work as viable solutions for your practice. When faced with adversity, choose to rise above – we’ve seen a number of practices do well with this as they go to expand and we’ve seen more Startups than ever kick off within the past month! Don’t deny yourself the opportunity for protection and growth by checking out and implementing these tools. 

For more on this, access our zoom cast replay: “Roundtable Discussion About Workable Solutions to Real-Life Problems; Innovative Concepts From Industry Leaders” Zoom Cast!

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