Healis, center for fitness and rehabilitation, has merged with the Advance Physical Therapy Network (ATPN) to spearhead the creation of a 650 physical (PT), occupational (OT), and speech therapist network throughout Florida. The merger will allow Healis to expand their business and customer service model throughout Florida to help independent PTs, OTs, and speech therapists get onto the major insurance carriers networks.

Competing with big companies has become impossible for independent physical therapists, they need someone to represent them as a group to get on the major insurance carriers, says Rafael Canelo, president and COO of ATPN.

This new network will allow independent therapists in over 200 locations to accept major insurance for their businesses and compete with larger companies. Without the formation of such a network these independent therapists are often passed over by insurance carriers, thus severely limiting their service, maintenance, and growth capabilities, the companies report.

Many of the therapists joining the network will also be forming strategic partnerships under the Healis brand. Even as part of a larger network, these smaller practice groups will be able to function as independent practitioners, protected, but not firmly governed by the larger corporate structure.

This network is something Ive wanted to form since college, when I first took notice of the problems facing independent physical therapists and when Rafael came to me with the idea we jumped on it immediately, says Heather Attong, president and co-founder of Healis. This network model can be used around the country to help smaller, independent PT, OT, and speech therapists to survive in a crowded health care market, and we hope to extend it well beyond Florida.

[SOURCE: Market Wire, June 2006]