Physical Therapy Business

One Year Later… 5 ENTs Transforming Otolaryngology in Alabama

It’s been a year since Carl Stephenson and his 4 partners opened a FYZICAL balance center inside their ENT practice in Tuscaloosa, AL. Let’s take a look at what Stephenson and his partners have been able to accomplish over the past year for their patients, their practice, and the entire state of Alabama.

Originally featured in a previous issue of Successful Outcomes magazine, this 5-man ENT group from Tuscaloosa, AL had just opened their balance center with ambitious goals for the future. Enthusiasm about joining FYZICAL was high then, and today, it’s through the roof!

Tuscaloosa Ear Nose and Throat added a FYZICAL balance center to their practice in January of 2017. Prior to adding the center, the group had been in practice for 17 years with stagnant revenue for over a decade. After exploring FYZICAL, the group’s initial projections had FYZICAL increasing their total collected revenue by 30%.

Carl Stephenson shares what has taken place the past year since opening their balance center:


PG 2-3 TENT docs.jpg"Our whole practice has been supercharged!"

"We expected to see more patients in our practice by offering new services, but what we didn’t expect was all other areas of our business to grow, as well. Our practice has always offered a full range of ENT services, but FYZICAL has allowed us to expand significantly across the board:

  • Our hearing aid sales—despite losing one of our two audiologists—are up 59% over last year.
  • Our ENT patient visits are up 15% for new patients and 5% for return patients.
  • Overall we’re seeing about 50 more patients—including balance patients—per day
  • Our total revenue is up 37%.

We’re seeing growth everywhere in our business.

Our allergy/immunotherapy business is up 20% since joining FYZICAL. The balance center is right on target with what we predicted, bringing in $900,000 in collections in 2017. This is revenue we would have never seen.

FYZICAL created the business model and made it easy, step by step.

FYZICAL was instrumental in setting up our balance center. As an otolaryngologist, I didn’t know anything about physical therapy, and I’ve learned a lot over the last year. FYZICAL designed our center, talked to us about the equipment we needed, trained our staff and showed us how to appropriately provide balance treatment. We were up and running just a few short months after identifying the space.

We have additional support in compliance, billing and therapeutic interventions that FYZICAL supplies, and this continues to help us drive success with our balance center.

We’re also getting premier business education and training.

Much like in physical therapy, as a physician, we get next to no training in business during school. Then, we’re thrust into a situation where we have to manage employees, figure out billing, manage cancellations and no-shows, etc. In this past year I’ve learned more than I did in the previous 17 years combined. I feel like I’ve gotten a mini MBA since partnering with FYZICAL.

If you are looking to increase ancillary income, remain independent in a competitive environment AND build an exit strategy, this is your answer.

Before, I never really realized my practice was worth next to nothing.

If revenue isn’t being generated WITHOUT your own two hands, you don’t have a practice to sell. After adding a FYZICAL center, the ancillary portion of our business has been supercharged. Ancillary income is important because it supports the vitality of the practice and is revenue-generating whether you’re in the practice or not. As our balance center expands, we’re building more value in our practice in case, some day, we want to sell, or if any of the partners want to retire in the future.

Our peers across the state are now taking action.

Seeing what FYZICAL is capable of has motivated me to recruit a number of new franchisees in Alabama for the organization. We now have the ability, as a state, to provide expert patient care as a network, in a way that was never before possible. It’s going to allow us to be recognized—in our small niche—as world leaders in balance.

This opportunity will help you keep your independence into the future.

I think it’s pretty alarming what’s happening to private practice otolaryngologists today. The hospitals are soaking up new graduates and tenured physicians alike, which obviously makes it difficult for independents to implement an employee based model.

For those of us in private practice who want to remain independent, adding services not dependent on hospitals, doing more within your own four walls is critical. I see a lot of private practice otolaryngologists disappearing, but that won’t happen in our business now that we are a part of FYZICAL. I don’t anticipate ENTs who’ve added balance to their practice getting absorbed by the hospitals.

So… one year later,

It’s safe to say our practice has seen tremendous improvement and growth one year after adding our balance center. Our expectations were completely blown out of the water. Our projected 30% increase in revenue was actually a 37% increase, and we’re projecting even higher numbers for 2018.

I’ve heard of otolaryngologists trying to do balance on their own, and everyone I’ve heard of has failed. I don’t think doing what we’re doing is worthwhile without FYZICAL. FYZICAL has helped us to be successful, and I feel lucky to have ‘FYZICAL’ on my street sign.”

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