Are you a physical therapist who wants to start your own private practice?
If so, the task might seem daunting and overwhelming.
You may have heard from others who started their own practice, only to have to shut down in less than a year, crawling back to the corporate healthcare job they hate.
Or maybe you spoke to others who’ve had a long road to profitability, who are struggling to find patients, and who are just barely hanging on even several years into their practice.
Naturally, this is enough to be incredibly disheartening to anyone.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today we’re talking with Dr. Subha Nagasubramanian, an orthopedic physical therapist and owner of Capitol Physical Therapy in Washington DC, and how she was able to increase her practice by 300% in just the first two years since beginning her private practice.
Watch the video below for the full interview, or read below for an overview of the discussion.
Subha, you’re the first partner practice to work with us here at Symbiosis. What made you want to join?
I’ve been practicing for about seventeen years now, and when you reach the point where you’re well established and confident in yourself and the community, you want to be able to grow.
For me, one option for growth was to step into a clinic admin position, which wasn’t appealing to me since it involved a lot of management and not a lot of hands on time with patients.
The other option was to open my own practice, but I spoke to some of my other colleagues, and saw the ridiculous hours they put into their practice, and realized I wouldn’t be able to establish a proper work life balance, especially with my then two year old child.
I spoke to Arun, my husband, explaining to him that I wanted to start my own clinic, but I didn’t want to have to worry about the admin part, work exhausting hours, etc.
He said “what if someone else did it?”, and to me that was a perfect solution.
So we spoke to a number of other healthcare providers, and it turns out I wasn’t alone in feeling this way.
As a result, we started Symbiosis and Capitol Physical Therapy at the same time.
How long did it take Capitol Physical Therapy to reach a point of profitability?
Oh, just a few months, maybe five or even a little less.
It didn’t take very long, because Symbiosis was able to help me connect with insurance companies early on, which made a big difference for growth.
I was at capacity personally within the first year – as in, I couldn’t squeeze in any more appointments, and at that point I was ready to hire.
And you’ve grown through COVID-19 too, which is amazing. How much of that do you think is a result of partnering with Symbiosis?
Of course COVID-19 was a challenge.
People want to do physical therapy in person, even though we do offer telehealth.
But because Symbiosis already had us set up on a HIPPA compliant telehealth platform, it was so much easier than it could have been.
Being able to leverage Symbiosis’ systems helped me keep my medical private practice start up expenses low, which made a huge difference.
I don’t think I would have survived as a solo practitioner, paying front desk staff, dealing with rent at my private practice office space, and dealing with all the hidden costs of building a clinic by myself.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in starting Capitol Physical Therapy?
A lot of healthcare providers have no idea how to run a business.
It’s just not something we’re taught in school, so a big problem is not even knowing where to begin.
Things like how to choose your clinic location, finding a good partner, a good location, making sure it’s accessible, etc.
All that is solved by Symbiosis, so that was great.
We also often don’t realize just how expensive it is to start a clinic.
Not only are you paying rent, but you need at least one other person to do front desk, billing, reception, etc.
And then there’s the marketing, every area is different from what’s effective, so it’s hard to know the best way for how to market your private practice online.
In all these regards, Symbiosis really looked out for us, which was great.
Questions? Ask Symbiosis
Are you considering starting your own private practice, as a physical therapist or as another type of healthcare provider?
Did Subha’s story strike a chord with you as you contemplate how and when you’ll be able to afford to start your own practice?
If so, Symbiosis can help.
Contact us today to book a free consultation, and find out how you can take your first step toward leaving your corporate healthcare job behind.