As a physiotherapist in private practice, you are an expert in the treatment of a wide variety of patient injuries. If you are also a clinic owner, you may be looking to expand your service offering in order to grow your business and improve your bottom line. But with so many ways to grow, how do you know which services are right for your clinic? If you are looking to provide treatments with low competition and substantial market opportunities, balance therapy may be the way to go.
Consider the following:
Marketing your practice as a solution to balance and dizziness problems will attract a large number of motivated patients to seek your help. Words travel fast when you can help patients who have suffered greatly, and as the statistics above illustrate, balanced, dizzy patients are all around you. On that note, here are four unexpected places you can find these patients:
1. Your existing patient population
Chances are you will already encounter patients who need help balancing. For many orthopedic rehabilitation patients, falls or dizziness are the cause of their injury. When therapists are trained to identify balance issues early in care, they can treat these patients holistically, focusing on the cause of their episodic injury – not just rehabilitating the isolated injury.
2. Patient populations from your existing referral sources
Primary care practitioners (PCP) and orthopedic surgeons routinely encounter patients with balance problems and dizziness. Often they choose to prescribe narcotic treatments or refer patients to ear, nose and throat specialists because they are unaware that a physiotherapist specializing in balance therapy might be the best provider for them. these patients. Becoming a recognized expert in balance therapy in your community can dramatically increase referrals from physicians who are already referring patients to you.
3. Unexpected referral sources
When we think of balanced and dizzy patients, we seldom recognize the breadth of physicians who see these types of patients. The list is endless, which means your referral sources are too! At the top of the list are otolaryngologists, otologists, neurotologists, neurologists, cardiologists, and endocrinologists. These doctors see multiple dizziness and balance cases each week in their clinics, and they rarely have a place to refer patients for needed therapy. This is an untapped opportunity for physiotherapists who want to offer balance therapy as a service. Your own competition may even become a referral source, sending you the balance of patients they can’t treat!
4. General population (i.e. direct access patients)
The population that suffers from imbalance and dizziness is often treated like the black sheep of the community of care. They move from doctor to doctor with little or no resolution to their symptoms. By offering a balance program, your clinic may attract patients with movement disorders, such as those with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, stroke patients, amputees and prosthetic patients, and even patients with vestibular disease, post-concussion dizziness, mild traumatic brain injury and other vertiginous disorders. These patients seek long-term therapy services, with average visits per case often exceeding 20.
The cost of fall-related injuries is increasing exponentially, and the cost of falls alone is should total over $ 67 billion by the end of 2020. Those who treat balance disorders and dizziness help reduce this cost while aligning the desires of insurers, providers and patients. Have you considered providing balance and dizziness therapy in your community? Let us know in the comment section below. And to learn more about adding these services to your clinic’s menu of offers, see this resource.
Chris Hincker is Vice President of Development at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, where he helps private practice owners assess and understand the FYZICAL model as it relates to their business. Chris is passionate about keeping physiotherapists in private practice and helping them navigate the system to grow their practices despite the many challenges PTs face today.