A Review of “Should Owners Think of Their Practice Like McDonald’s?” Podcast by Brian Gallagher
By Tara Rodgers, PT, DPT
Brian Gallagher, PT, who hosts the Physical Therapy Private Practice podcast, sat down with fellow physical therapy practice owner Steve Rapposelli, PT, to discuss helpful tips about practice management and how to differentiate your practice from other practices. On the episode “Should Owners Think of Their Practice Like McDonald’s?” Brian and Steve spoke about how cash-based services directly correlate to success in a private practice.1
Steve suggests managing your practice like McDonald’s—yes McDonald’s!1 And, it makes perfect sense. Customers go to McDonald’s for a hamburger, but then are asked, “Do you want fries and a soda with that?” Why not?! So, they end up also ordering fries and a soda, an easy addition for a satisfying meal. Some people even go to McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A just for the fries!1
Similarly, our customers/patients (Steve uses the term patient and customer interchangeably) come for our basic service: physical therapy. They go from evaluation to discharge, making improvements and meeting their goals. Because they are likely using pieces of equipment (the added-on soda and fries), they often inquire where to buy similar equipment, for instance, a physioball, so they can continue to perform their program effectively at home after discharge. Instead of sending them to Amazon, if you have a physioball available for purchase in your closet, you could blow it up and show them specifically how to use it, potentially even taking videos or pictures of them on their phone so they have it for reference. A specific application and practice that Amazon does not have the capability of performing.1
Another topic Brian and Steve discuss is how they have taken on other cash services, such as a “Nap-a-torium,” an idea pitched to them by one of their patients. A customer can come pay for a moist hot pack in a dark room and relax for 20-30 minutes, something hard to come by in 2021. There is an intake prior to this to determine if this is safe for the customer, but this is an additional way/service for consumer benefit that is not dictated directly by an insurance company. We, as physical therapists, know that our treatments can sometimes be determined by what insurance companies will and will not reimburse for. With this concept of cash services in mind, this no longer plays a roll.1
The key takeaway from this specific podcast was to find a need and fulfill it; the more you can add a service at a price that is obtainable to the customer, the better. Private practice owners have several opportunities at their disposal to have additional revenue streams that not only contribute to their overall success, but to the success of their patients’ continued recovery.
1Gallagher B. Should Owners Think of their Practice Like McDonald’s? Physical Therapy Private Practice: Secrets of the Top 10%. 2021. Available at: https://www.megbusiness.com/episode153-should-owners-think-of-their-practice-like-mcdonalds/. Accessed April 9, 2021.
Tara Rodgers, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist at Rothman Orthopedics.