ptpn insights: how to hire the right staff for your practice

January is a great time to look for new staff members. The holidays are behind you, and people are eager to get new jobs to pay off their holiday bills. Whether you’re hiring a new admin or a clinical director, our PTPN experts have some advice to follow as to strive to fill those empty positions at your office or clinic.

The smart search:
How to hire the right staff for your practice

With the new year approaching, many clinics are preparing to look for new employees. Here are a few tips on what to do when hiring a new staffer, from the front desk to your clinical director.

The front desk

While you may not need someone with clinical skills or advanced degrees in this role, it is often the first person with whom your patients will come into contact when they enter your clinic or call for information. PTPN Claims Manager Mike McManus has become an expert in hiring data entry and customer service professionals for his staff. He reminds managers to look for such basics as punctuality (showing up early for an interview, not just on time), appropriate attire (how would you react if this person greeted you at a different clinic?), and proper grammar and punctuation. He says, “If grammatical errors exist on someone’s resume, you KNOW they’ll exist on correspondence going out to a client.”

Read the full entry at!

ptpn insights: the PPACA: what practice owners need to know as employers

As the holidays are a time to be thankful, I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m thankful that this will be my last post on healthcare policy in 2012. I’m also thankful that I don’t work in healthcare myself (at least as a practitioner), so I don’t have to worry about how such an enormous bill like the PPACA would affect me, day to day. That said, our members over at PTPN DO have to worry about such things, which is why we put this post together to remind them of the changes they’ll need to make in their business practices in order to be in compliance with the new law.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: What practice owners need to know as employers.

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, also known as “Obamacare”) was passed in 2010, the bill’s provisions are gradually being implemented over the next few years. The bill affects practice owners not only as healthcare providers, but also as employers and small business owners. With 2013 only a few weeks away, it’s time to review what new provisions should be in place by the end of the year. (A big thank you to Dennis Bernstein, Director of Sales and Marketing at Total HR, a PTPN Preferred Vendor, for helping us gather this information.)

Reporting for employee W2s

When filing taxes for 2012, employers must report the annual cost of COBRA eligible benefits (medical, dental, etc.) on each employee’s W2. This is currently required only for companies that generated more than 250 W2s for 2012, but all companies will be required to do this by 2014, so it’s not a bad idea to start incorporating this into your year-end reporting.

Read the full entry at!

ptpn insights: what PTs need to know about ACOs

Like many people, I’m still trying to make sense of the healthcare bill passed a couple of years ago that will soon come into effect. As one who has had to move around and switch from doctor to doctor, learning about Affordable Care Organizations, or ACOs, to write this piece made me feel that at least some parts of the bill made sense — essentially, ACOs were created in order to improve communication between doctors that treat the same patients and to improve the healthcare delivered to said patients. Whether that will actually happen, of course, remains to be seen.

What PTs need to know about ACOs.

As healthcare providers try to make sense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare bill passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this year, we’re all doing our best to understand the parts of the bill that could most affect us. One element of reform that will affect many providers, including physical therapists, is Accountable Care Organizations, otherwise known as ACOs.

Many therapists may find it difficult to decipher what their role will be in ACOs, because their role is not spelled out in detail in the legislation, or even in the implementation of ACOs that has already occurred. In this post, PTPN President Michael Weinper, PT, DPT, MPH, and Jerry Connolly, PTPN’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C., share their insights on ACOs and what therapists may expect.

Read the full entry at!

ptpn insights: pay for outcomes

As content becomes ever more important for searchability and keeping readers on one’s site, I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten another venue for writing for one of my clients. It is a challenge, to be sure — I’ll now be writing about business topics related to physical therapy, while still covering wellness and health topics for their other website — but one that I take on gladly.

I am amazed to see how much I have written in the last two years; while I hid behind a “communications” label for a long time, I am proud to tell people now that I am a writer. A marketing writer, yes, but one who still has to create a great deal of content throughout the month.

With that said, here’s my first piece on the business end of reimbursement for physical therapy, and the changing shift from “pay for performance” to “pay for outcomes.”

“Pay for outcomes:” The future is now.

As healthcare spending continues to increase, consumers and payers alike are trying to find ways to cut costs. In an article in Managed Care magazine last fall, an industry executive who surveyed health plans concluded, “Pay for performance as we know it is dying. Pay for performance is evolving into payment reform and these new models of payment reform will take the place of what was P4P in the past. That evolution is happening right now and it’s happening quickly.” The article’s author adds, “Paying for improved patient outcomes may be the only way to ensure that providers are delivering what health plans and their employer clients want: greater value.”

Read the full entry at!

physiquality blog: when should I see a physical therapist?

As one who has had 5 knee surgeries, I have become an outspoken proponent of physical therapy. I could not have recuperated without the help of one after my surgeries, and I am well aware of their knowledge and expertise of the human body. That said, many people don’t understand how they can help issues that are non-surgical — for things like carpal tunnel syndrome, or aches and pains that just won’t go away. With October being National Physical Therapy Month, we wanted to educate consumers about some of the other ways that physical therapists can help you to feel better.

When should I see a physical therapist?

Physical therapists, or PTs, are musculoskeletal specialists, trained to treat many problems ranging from aches and pains to rehabilitation after surgery. Alison Mason, a physical therapist at Clinton Physical Therapy Center (a Physiquality network member in Tennessee), explains, “Physical therapists are experts at finding muscular dysfunctions and working with you to correct them by rebuilding strength and stability.”

Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan to improve mobility, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability, says Mitch Kaye, a physical therapist and Director of Quality Assurance at PTPN (Physiquality’s parent company). Because of this expertise, Mitch notes, “They are also uniquely qualified to develop fitness and wellness plans for a healthier and more active lifestyle.”

Read the full entry at!

physiquality blog: dealing with lower back pain

Back pain is NOT fun. It’s hard to diagnose the cause, the pain is debilitating, and many treatments have such low success rates that they feel worthless. But there are some things you can do to try and avoid back issues; I can testify myself that Jason’s tip of good sitting posture is important, along with having a good chair in which to sit (my days of back pain were caused by a hideous chair at work that was actually square) and keeping the back flexible. (My remedy for said pain? Yoga worked wonders, until I got a new chair.) So if you’ve been having back problems lately, you might want to read through these tips from our physical therapists.

Dealing with lower back pain

Most healthcare professionals would agree that back pain is a complicated issue. While up to 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, there are so many causes of back pain that it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, making it hard to treat and relieve such pain. Sources can include arthritis, spinal injury and nerve compression, but Jason Wilder, a physical therapist and the owner of Apex Physical Therapy (a Physiquality member in Tennessee), says there are three main causes of lower back pain.

Read the full entry at!