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How Do I Start a Physical Therapy Business?

Compared to being employed in a clinic, owning a physical therapy business offers certain freedoms, allowing you to grow and enjoy a broader income stream. Starting the business may potentially require you to put in extra shifts and polish your entrepreneurial skills. On top of being a licensed healthcare provider, you also may need to decide between physical therapy billing services and choose between other competing business priorities. 

Requirements for Starting a Physical Therapy Business

You must meet certain legal requirements to open a physical therapy business. Each state has different regulatory requirements for opening and running a PT clinic, and they may include the following:

  • Local business permits
  • Medical liability and malpractice insurance
  • Tax ID or employer ID
  • General business license
  • Insurance and payment plan strategy
  • Accreditation in physical therapy education, including a degree

You also need to know and meet specific requirements, such as the standard of care, the scope of service, and legal requirements for physical therapy practice. 

A Checklist for Starting a Physical Therapy Business

Starting a business needs preparation so that you get the steps right. With the right information, you may come to understand market dynamics and other factors that can make or break your practice. Here is a list of what you may need to start a PT clinic:

Conduct Thorough Market Research

Determine who needs your services and what types of physical therapy services they need. You can do this through a direct client survey to determine prevailing market conditions. Market research will help you understand the competition, business structures around your location, and market gaps you can fill. 

Choose a Niche

Before you start a PT business, you must decide your focus area. You can choose between chronic pain, sports, and workplace injuries, among other physical therapy specialties. Other factors, such as the type of practitioners and modalities, can help you decide the niche to venture into. 

Choose a Business Structure

Research your options and tax implications associated with different business structures. Find out what will work for your practice, whether it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership. You can open your own business or partner with other practitioners to start a joint clinic. Then understand your tax obligations and state requirements for operating whatever business structure you choose. 

Draw a Business Plan 

You need a business plan to secure funding and use it as a roadmap for business growth. The plan should be comprehensive enough to describe all operating details, including marketing strategy, competition analysis, products and services, and compensation details. 

Plan Your Management Operations

You need an in-house team to handle all patient-related issues without draining them. All functions should be optimized to help increase efficiency and smooth delivery of services. If you cannot handle everything, consider outsourcing services like accounting to third-party service providers. 

Use Physical Therapy Billing Services and Other Management Tools

Managing a clinic may require the use of multiple tools, including software that helps you track patient records, billing, and scheduling. You can choose between hiring a third-party billing company or handling billing and payments in-house.

Secure Funding

New practices often need some investment or a loan to start the business. Whether you want to crowdfund, secure a loan, or borrow from friends, you must find a way of financing the startup. 

Find a Suitable Location

Business location is as key as any other consideration. Think about a place that is easily accessible and close to referral sources. Finding a convenient and suitable location may help make your business more marketable. 

Buy the Necessary Equipment

Physical therapy practices require multiple equipment sets. Create a list of everything you need to start the business, compare prices from reputable suppliers, order, and set up the clinic. Consider looking for multiple payment options, such as hire purchase or leasing. 

Start a Physical Therapy Business Today

Finding out what you need to start a physical therapy business can take time and effort. But there are many online resources to help you. From outsourcing physical therapy billing services to meeting regulatory requirements, you must know the right software and practices to utilize. Consult a startup specialist or talk to other practitioners already in the business. They may be able to point you in the right direction. 



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