Opening a new physiotherapy practice is a great way to boost your career; it allows you to acquire more skills, to influence the lives of more patients and to increase your personal wealth. But opening a new clinic is no easy task, especially when it comes to saving the capital needed to, at the bare minimum, get the clinic up and running.
Speaking of capital, how much does it cost to start a physiotherapy practice, anyway?
Well, it depends on a lot of factors. The main one: your location, your specialty and the degree of economy you are willing to be. Beyond that, start-up costs vary for many different reasons – but there are some universal base costs that intrepid therapy meme entrepreneurs need to consider. So let’s start there.
State and local permits
The very first business expense that emerging practices must cover is the cost of obtaining a state business license (or other local or regional license) – and the price varies widely from location to location. the other. In Arizona, for example, an entrepreneur without a PT or PTA license would need to shell out $ 50 for a state trading license (although a PT or PTA wouldn’t need to get one at all). If that same entrepreneur opened a practice in Phoenix, the owner of the practice may also need to obtain a commercial massage license ($ 30) and one privilege tax license ($ 12).
In terms of licensing costs, prospective practice owners in Arizona get away with it easily. According to This article, a license to open a physiotherapy practice in New York costs $ 2,000. (See what I mean on the price differentials?)
When pricing permit fees, contact your city and / or secretary of state. These people should be able to tell you:
- How many permits you need to open your business,
- Which allows you to specifically need a physiotherapy practice, and
- How much do these permits cost.
Rent (or mortgage) and utilities
The next expense to consider is the rent (or mortgage) for your clinic space. Where do you plan to open your practice? Will you have a smaller location in a busy downtown hub, or will you venture into the suburbs or outskirts of town to get a larger building for less? What are the prices of buildings (to rent or to buy) in your city?
Your answers to these questions will have a major influence on how much you should allocate for your rent (or mortgage) – but you can still get a rough estimate without specifying your exact location. In this articleDr. Jarod Carter recommends calculating how much square footage you think you will need, then performing an online search to get a feel for the local market or asking “a commercial real estate agent for the going rate / square foot in order to get an idea of your initial rental costs. ”
Remember that if you choose to rent, you will probably have to budget “The first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit” to secure the location. Also, you will need to know if the owner will pay for the renovations or if you have to do them yourself.
Once you have a clear idea of how much you’ll need to spend on the space itself, you’ll need to consider utilities such as:
- Electricity / gas,
- Water / wastewater, and
- Telephone / Internet.
Some landlords may incorporate water and wastewater into their base rent, but electricity is usually not included – and an initial deposit is often required to open the account. Although Internet service providers generally don’t require new customers to pay a deposit, you will need to pay your first month of service up front.
Now is the time to consider the equipment costs. What is your planned specialty or treatment niche? What equipment will you need to work in this niche? According to this source“Basic equipment includes treatment tables, which cost about $ 1,500 each, fitness equipment such as upright bikes costing $ 800, and treadmills, which start at $ 1,800 each. Miscellaneous equipment such as heart rate monitors sell for around $ 150. You’ll also need items like several ultrasonic muscle stimulators, which sell for around $ 3,600 each. ”
Lower the costs
These price tags might seem intimidating, but you can still find some great bargains, if you’re willing to look. In This articleJack Sparacio says it is possible to dramatically reduce your equipment costs if you’re willing to take the legwork and compromise a bit. “Why spend $ 3,500 on a high-end combination ultrasound-electrical stimulation machine when you can buy separate ultrasound and electrical stimulation units for around $ 100 each?” he writes. He also encourages therapists to think outside the box when it comes to equipment: “You can buy a high-low automatic treatment table for $ 3,000 or a budget-friendly wooden table (with an adjustable backrest) and a stepladder for less. $ 500. Or, watch out for other clinics that go bankrupt and you may be able to purchase a low cost coffee table. “
You can also get discounts from any of your suppliers. For example, at WebPT, all members with our EMR have access to the WebPT Marketplace: A member exclusive online rehabilitation equipment store with deeply discounted prices.
therapy meme equipment isn’t the only furniture your practice will need to be successful. Other parts you will want to purchase include:
- A desk and chair for you and / or any other staff you hire;
- A computer or tablet for scheduling appointments, documenting during appointments, billing payers and tracking finances;
- A reception for your reception area;
- A few chairs for your waiting room;
- Lamps (if you need additional lighting);
- Decorations like framed pictures or plants to make the space more welcoming; and
- Other miscellaneous supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer, cleaning products, toiletries, pens, paper and printers.
When shopping for equipment, remember to consider the constraints of your clinical space. A new hot tub might look very neat, but if you can’t fit it comfortably between your all-too-crucial high and low tables and your essential fitness equipment, then it’s probably not time to jump into hydrotherapy. . (Not yet at least!)
The next cost to consider when pricing your PT practice is the software. Now you might be able to get by by doing some of your administrative and documentation work on paper, but you would be doing yourself a disservice. The world is digitizing fast and I highly recommend digitizing your clinic in parallel.
Electronic medical records (EMR) systems are arguably the most important software purchase for new practices. They help you document (and keep tabs on) patient progress while remaining compliant with all relevant regulatory guidelines, protecting you from future audits.
EMRs can climb quite quickly, as there is no shortage of features offered by companies. But, if you are creating a practice from scratch, you don’t have to invest in a bunch of bells and whistles right away. EMR providers usually offer a low cost package that only includes the basic essentials. At WebPT, for example, we offer a simple version of our EMR to small start-up clinics for as little as $ 59 per month.
With an EMR, you will probably also want to purchase planning software, preferably software that integrates with your EMR. Remember, you can’t just take out the free version of Google Calendar to schedule your patients. All patient information (including names) is PHI, which means using non-HIPAA compliant software to manage your schedule could lead you to legal hot water.
When it comes to billing, you have several options. You can purchase billing software and manage complaints in-house, or you can transfer your billing to another company. If you plan to do your own billing (or hire an in-house biller), you’ll need to purchase billing software, ideally software that’s fully integrated with your EMR so that you don’t have to enter data twice.
However, this option may not be the most cost effective when opening a clinic for the first time. It may make more financial sense to outsource your billing to a medical billing company. These companies take a percentage of all the money you make, but the upfront costs are rarely high. Ultimately, you have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages outsource your invoicing rather than keeping it in-house.
Keep in mind that you will likely also need to invest in non-therapy meme specific software that will help you run your business. Think: HR or payroll programs like UltiPro and ADP ($ 600 per year for five users and $ 160 per month for ten users, respectively), or payment processing and accounting programs like QuickBooks (from $ 7 per month).
Labor costs are generally the biggest expense of the businessand – like almost everything else on this list – they vary considerably from state to state and from position to position. If you want to hire another therapist, it will probably cost you more than a biller, which will cost you more than a front desk administrator, which will cost you more than a tech. You see the picture. Ultimately, you must search for local salary scales then use that information to decide which roles are absolutely mission critical.
Remember, you don’t have to hire full-time workers right off the bat; you could start by hiring part-time staff. Alternately, This article recommends recruiting PTs who work for a commission (i.e. they earn a percentage of the income generated by their patients). Ultimately, however, that same source recommends budgeting for “at least six months’ salary for all positions in your startup funding plan.” This will help you maintain the stability of your practice in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Part of the reasons why labor costs are so high is that a fixed salary is usually not enough to attract the best employees. Good employees look for a competitive salary, yes, but they also look for decent health coverage, a reasonable PTO and sick leave plan, as well as other miscellaneous benefits such as bonuses, 401,000 consideration, loan payments or flexible hours. As a small startup, you might not be able to offer all of these from the start, but you might find it difficult to attract stellar employees without at least offering a health insurance allowance.
To give you a rough idea of what it might cost, let’s say you have a full-time employee who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. This employee works 2,080 hours per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health insurance costs an average of $ 2.73 an hour. This means that this employee’s health insurance would cost $ 5,678.40 per year.
General and professional liability insurance
The next expense to consider is general liability insurance – but before continuing, please understand that I am not a lawyer and that this does not constitute legal advice. I highly recommend contacting a health attorney to discuss the pros and cons of purchasing general and professional liability insurance.
Liability and professional liability insurance coverage different scenarios and circumstances in your clinic that could lead to a lawsuit. General liability, for example, “covers physical risks, such as personal injury and property damage”, while professional liability “covers more abstract risks, such as errors and omissions in the services provided by your business.”
With this in mind, if you choose to take out general and professional liability insurance (that some websites advise), the cost will vary depending on:
- the number of people you employ,
- the size of your clinic, and
- insurer that you select.
Opening a new clinic is not an easy task, but anything is possible if you think about it. Have more questions about start-up costs? Leave a comment below, and our team will do their best to get you an answer!