If you’re considering opening a private physical therapy practice, you may be wondering if it’s better to have a cash-based practice. Here are 5...
How Much Does a Physical Therapy Clinic Startup Cost?
Have you ever considered starting your own physical therapy practice but don’t know how to fund it? Are you unsure of the investment required to manage an individual practice successfully? Opening a physical therapy practice may seem like an arduous task with so many factors to consider, with cost being one of the biggest. If you’re curious about what fees may be involved in starting a physical therapy practice, read on.
A physical therapy clinic's start-up cost will vary depending on various factors such as location and your area of specialization. Even so, some basic fees are typical for physical therapists seeking to start their practice. These include:
Business permits are part of the start-up costs you'll incur before you get your clinic up and running. The costs vary from state to state. For instance, to get a state business license in Arizona would cost $50, while in Maryland, it costs $150, and in New York $2,000. Your state clerk can advise you on the specific permits you need, how many, and how much they would cost you.
You will also be required to purchase insurance plans such as liability insurance, which covers general and professional liability. These plans can protect you against potential lawsuits. General liability covers physical risks, while professional liability, also known as errors and omissions insurance, covers more abstract risks. The average monthly cost of general insurance is $42, while professional liability is $59. These costs, however, vary depending on:
- The size of your staff
- Your clinic's size
- The insurance provider you work with
It is, however, a good idea to talk to a healthcare attorney to get a clear picture of the advantages and disadvantages of each plan before purchasing.
Before purchasing equipment, it’s essential to determine your planned specialty or treatment niche. Basic equipment can include and cost:
- Treatment Tables: retailing around $1,500
- Upright Bicycles: averaging $800
- Treadmills: starting at $1,800
- Heart Rate Monitors: around $150
You may even need to purchase several ultrasound muscle stimulators, which sell for around $3,600.
The costs you'll incur on space depend on its size and location. You have the option to rent, get a commercial mortgage, or function from home. When choosing your practice site, location can affect rental costs, and a downtown location will cost more than one outside the city. Keep in mind there are often additional fees associated with rent, such as electricity and water.
Technology is evolving, and as much as you can do some of your work manually, it might end up derailing you in the long run. For this reason, you will need various software to perform different tasks such as billing, scheduling, accounting, and administrative duties. Some of the software you'll need to operate your clinic includes:
1. Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
EMR systems assist you in tracking and documenting patient progress while ensuring compliance with all necessary regulatory requirements, protecting you from further audits. An EMR system can run anywhere from $49 to $200 per month.
When it comes to billing, you can outsource billing or manage it internally. If you decide to do so internally, invest in billing software linked with your EMR to avoid double data entry. Outsourcing can be an option to cut costs when starting your practice.
All patients' information is considered Protected Health Information. For this reason, you'll need scheduling software that is HIPAA compliant to schedule your patients. It would be best to use scheduling software that links with your EMR.
You'll also need software that assists in other administrative tasks, such as accounting and HR management. Such software is QuickBooks, whose monthly costs start from $7; UltiPro, whose annual price for five users is $600; or ADP, which costs $160 for ten users monthly.
Funding Your Physical Therapy Practice
Once you’ve determined the starting costs for your physical therapy practice, you’ll want to decide which funding options are suitable for you. There are several different methods from which you can choose:
- Cash or Marketable Securities
- 401k Rollover for Business Startups
- SBA Loan
- HELOC - Home Equity Line of Credit
- Partners, Friends & Family
- Commercial Bank Loan
If you decide to secure funding through a bank, it's important to note that you will be required to create a good business plan that includes paperwork. The process might be tiresome and take opening your practice longer than expected.
Some of the options you can consider are:
- Medical Practice Financing Loan
- Equipment Financing Loan
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans
- 401k Rollovers
- Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
How Can FYZICAL Help?
Opening your first physical therapy practice can be a significant milestone for a physical therapist ready to take the first step of being a practice owner. It can often feel tricky, however, trying to navigate the funding options and planning for success. FYZICAL can help guide you every step of the way and advise you on everything you need to know about opening a practice, territory selection, funding, franchising opportunities, and more.