Sustainability and the financial health of the outpatient physical therapy has stirred serious buzz among members of the PT community. That’s no surprise given what amounts to virtually the near-evaporation of insurance reimbursement levels.

To help clinics develop survival strategies, the Independent Physical Therapists of California presented its 2015 conference with programming aimed to deliver on the theme, “Creating a sustainable future for California Physical Therapists.”

The 2-day event attracted more than 100 attendees, some of whom reportedly came from elsewhere around the nation. All gathered to hear a series of thought leaders deliver industry intel about where the PT business is headed, and how to prepare.

Rehab Management spoke with some of the event’s speakers to get a sense of the actionble tactics that can help PT clinics face the oncoming business challenges.

First, we spoke with John Wallace, PT, of BMS Practice Solutions.

During his address, Wallace explored the level of business technology used within clinics to meet the future of healthcare. In this video interview, he emphasizes how to prepare for the October 1 transition to ICD-10.

Wallace notes that among the contrasts with ICD-9, ICD-10 allows therapists to communicate clearly and specifically what is wrong with patients. The advantage to that, he says, is that when patients are more complex the clinic can communicate that complexity, and expect higher payment because of the increased resources needed to treat the patient.

We then spoke with Timoth Gendreau, who discussed “strategy.” Gendreau observes why strategy overall for the profession has fallen short, and explains what is behind the theme of his presentation, “Hope is not a strategy.”

And, finally, Paul Gaspar, DPT, president of the Independent Physical Therapists of California, shared his thoughts about why this event is important to the industry, and why it is vital to strengthen advocacy efforts that recognize the value of physical therapy.

—Frank Long, Rehab Management