Physical Therapy Business

Why Your Patients are Dropping out of Physical Therapy [4 reasons]

If you’ve been a private practice physical therapist for more than a few years, you likely know all the usual complaints from patients, but do you know the best solutions for those complaints? If you’re not actively resolving these issues, you’re running the risk of more patients dropping out of therapy.

According to this study of online patient reviews, 96% of reviews focused on issues with communication, long wait times, practice staff, and billing. Only 4% of complaints were against treatment.

How to Monitor Customer Complaints

The first way to make sure you stay on top of any complaints made by customers is to ensure there is a line of communication between you and them. If possible, it's best to keep these complaints internal so you can deal with them promptly.

Sending out feedback request emails after an appointment is a great way to give your customer a chance to give feedback constructively.

3 Ways to Get More Reviews and Referrals for Your Physical Therapy Practice

Another way to see what patients are saying is to check out your online reviews. Are the negative reviews about the same issues? What are the trends you see in them? Thanks to the option of anonymity on the internet, people won't shy away from sharing their true feelings on you Google, Yelp, or other reviews. Unfortunately, these are public and will be used by other customers to make a potential decision so it's a good idea to address the complaint quickly.

friendly staff at fyzical physical therapy clinic

4 Common Complaints and How to Fix Them

If so, here are some helpful tips to reduce issues with communication, long wait times, practice staff and billing.

1. Poor Communication

Poor communication was the biggest complaint in the reviews analyzed. When patients don’t feel well informed about their care it can lead to a lot of fear and confusion about their health.

Many patients may feel uncomfortable asking questions, so it’s important that you are thorough in your explanations of exercises and treatments, and keep explanations simple and easy to understand.

Related Blog: How to Handle Difficult Physical Therapy Patients

Encourage your patients to ask questions and provide feedback throughout their plan of care. Make sure they feel comfortable sharing questions and concerns with you and address them promptly.

2. Long Wait Times

Patients are just as busy as you are, and arriving at an appointment on time and being forced to wait longer than expected is frustrating.

However, sometimes things happen that cause appointments to run late, causing the next patients to start late.

Figure out what is causing long wait times in your office and do what you can to reduce those inefficiencies. Remember that your patient's time is as valuable as yours. Also, keep your patients updated with wait times and let them know how long they may have to wait before an appointment so they’re not caught off guard by a 10-15 minute wait. Make sure your waiting room is comfortable and your front desk staff stays on top of getting patients in and out efficiently.

3. Complaints About the Practice's Staff

Your entire staff has an impact on each patient. Private practice owners often forget how important the front desk staff is to the success of a business and the patient’s experience.

Make sure your entire team is making a positive impact on all patients! Train your front office, techs, PTAs, and PTs how to address patient questions, complaints and needs during appointments and maintain a positive company culture at all times.

4. Billing 

Billing complaints may not always be under your control if a patient has issues with their insurance companies. The best thing you can do when it comes to billing is to keep your patients informed about their expenses from the start.

Before a patient’s first appointment, your front desk staff should let the patient know of any co-pays or deductibles up front. Your team should also be as knowledgeable and helpful as possible when it comes to any questions or concerns your patients have regarding billing as well.

If you can reduce patient complaints and negative reviews, you’ll be able to boost your new and existing patient visits substantially. Increasing patient visits will help you grow your business and remain successful in the future.

If you're seeing a higher number of cancellations due to complaints mentioned here, take a look at our 5 tips for reducing appointment cancellations. For more information on FYZICAL and what franchising can do for you and your business, reach out today.

Sign up today for a 1-on-1 presentation to learn more about our premier business education webinar, ENVISION.

New call-to-action

Subscribe for Updates

Ready for more?

Explore Our Free Educational Webinars

Interested in franchising?

Finding the perfect FYZICAL location is our specialty!

Check your territory

Similar posts

Subscribe for updates

Be the first to know about new franchisng insights from FYZICAL Therapy Balance Centers