Why more hospitals are turning to physical therapy outsourcing

By May 13, 2019Blog
Why Hospitals Use Physical Therapy Outsourcing

Physical therapy outsourcing is a solution for hospitals who are looking for assistance managing their inpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation services for patients in the recovery process. 

Administering quality physical therapy on site can help with patient outcomes and satisfaction, while also helping your facility meet operational needs. However, managing an inpatient physical therapy department comes with a number of challenges that many hospitals find increasingly difficult to overcome. 

By outsourcing physical therapy management to a dedicated and experienced partner, hospital administrators are able to free up valuable time and resources to refocus on other core service lines to deliver a better patient experience. The following overview of the primary factors that are leading hospitals to partner with a contract services provider can help you decide if this is a solution that may be right for you. 

A changing health care landscape

Physical therapy is becoming more important for hospitals to provide than ever before. Patient populations are becoming larger, while also growing older. Older patients have increased rehabilitative needs, regardless of the reason for admission. Whether an elderly person is receiving inpatient care while recovering from a stroke, heart attack, surgery or other reason, receiving physical therapy often correlates to better outcomes and a lower chance of costly readmission.  

People also have higher standards for receiving quality care than they ever have before. Patients want to be discharged in a shorter period of time and have a higher degree of functioning so they can return to their normal lifestyle. Having onsite physical therapists can contribute to faster recoveries and more satisfied patients in a wide range of cases. 

In this changing environment with a higher demand than ever for physical therapy and rehabilitation services, many hospitals are feeling stretched thin to provide quality care in proportion to their budget. 

Tightening budgets

With increased costs, more regulations and higher hurdles to receiving full reimbursements from payers, hospital leadership is increasingly walking a tightrope between staying solvent and providing the level of services that patients require. The unique management requirements of physical therapy can make it difficult to scale with the budgetary needs of many hospitals, especially smaller or more remote facilities. 

Physical therapy and rehabilitation units are unfortunately often one of the first departments to be on the chopping block when it’s time to trim the budget. This can lead to a situation where patients are being referred to offsite physical therapy providers and/or asking other medical staff to provide certain rehabilitative services they may not be qualified for.  

The good news is that outsourcing physical therapy can be a very cost-effective solution that provides a wide array of benefits, both in terms of reducing unwanted costs and potentially increasing revenue. 

A wide array of cost benefits

A properly run physical therapy unit can be a source of revenue and a fiscal contributor to your hospital’s budget. Patients who receive physical therapy are less likely to need the unnecessary readmissions that result in costly penalties from payers. Outsourcing your physical therapy can not only better ensure that your patients have received a full course of rehabilitative care upon discharge, but it can also help you reduce labor costs that were tied up trying to manage a physical therapy program in house. 

As a billable service, physical therapy and rehabilitation should be a significant source of revenue, but improper documentation can result in denied claims, delayed claims and reduced reimbursement rates. An experienced physical therapy partner can help you put the right systems in place to ensure that you receive the correct payments for the care being performed. 

Access to top talent

Trying to recruit credentialed physical therapists with the right mix of education and experience for your needs is yet another challenge faced by hospitals. In small markets, recruiting resources can be depleted trying to pull in the best surgeons and physicians while other supporting medical staff are overlooked. 

By outsourcing, these hospitals can gain access to networks of qualified physical therapists at all levels of education and background. A contract physical therapy provider can also have a deeper knowledge base about the type of experience needed, questions to ask and potential red flags to look out for in the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process. 

Alliance Physical Therapy Services has more than 50 years of experience in this field

Alliance Physical Therapy is an industry leader in providing physical therapy outsourcing services to help hospitals meet their program needs. We provide top-quality staffing solutions, proprietary management software that interfaces with all major electronic medical records systems, strategic planning and compliance expertise.  

With hospital and health system partners across the country, we are making a difference by providing top-tier physical therapy outsourcing services to the facilities we work with. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today. We can provide an assessment of your therapy program and recommend outsourcing solutions that are the right fit for you.