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Capturing the Unserved Physical Therapy Market with Digital and Hybrid PT Packages

Physical therapy providers are busy jockeying for market share without realizing that the majority of the market can go completely unserved. Here’s how you can ensure that even patients that don’t seek out physical therapy after a referral can still get the care they need and deserve.

October 5, 2023  3 min reading

People might not attend physical therapy after a referral for many reasons. They might be senior citizens unable to drive and unable to find transportation. They might not have the ability to take time off work. Or, perhaps, they live in a rural area where in-person PT is simply too inconvenient.

Research shows these challenges are far from uncommon. In fact, a 2021 study suggests that 75% of those referred to physical therapy do not actually access physical therapy.

Let’s consider the following hypothetical mid-sized PT group, Best PT:

  • 100 physical therapists
  • 11 daily appointments per PT (average daily appointments per PT, according to WebPT’s survey of roughly 6,000 PTs)
  • Average of 10 appointments per patient
  • 30% market share of patients that attend PT

Assuming PTs work 5 days per week and 50 weeks per year, this means the PT group provides ~275,000 annual appointments and sees ~27,500 patients. Here’s how this market would look:

Best PT and its competition are battling for a piece of the PT market “pie” without realizing that 75% of the pie is still completely untouched.

Where Digital / Hybrid Physical Therapy Packages Come into Play

Each time a patient attends a PT appointment, they typically pay a copay, which generally ranges from $25 to $60. Let’s assume that Best PT charges a copay of $50.

As mentioned, many individuals that have been referred to physical therapy are actually unable to attend PT or choose not to attend because of inconvenience. Assuming these patients are typically referred for 10 appointments, they would pay about $500 for their full episode of PT care.

By offering physical therapy packages priced the same as the total copay cost for an episode of care, a physical therapy provider can offer care to individuals referred to PT but unable to attend at the same cost to patients seeking traditional physical therapy. Clinics can offer similar hybrid packages that include in-person appointments as well.

Reconsidering Best PT, if this physical therapy group can capture 10% more patients (2,750 patients) through virtual PT packages and charge the same amount as the cost of copays for a typical episode ($500), it can generate an additional $1.4M in revenue, all while ensuring more patients receive care. In this hypothetical market, here’s how this additional market capture would look:

By capturing less than 1% of the unserved market, this PT group can generate over $1M in new revenue.

How Computer Vision Can Help?

Computer vision can help provide convenient, digital physical therapy that does not compromise on quality of care due to the following offerings:

  • Real-time feedback and corrective guidance that ensure patients are executing movements and exercises correctly and safely
  • Red-flag reporting for providers to ensure that physical therapists can engage with patients when they are not adequately completing their HEP
  • Clear performance tracking so that physical therapists have vision into the patient’s improvement, can communicate with patients when necessary, and can modify patient recovery plans when appropriate
  • Behavior-based notifications that improve patient adherence and drive improved patient engagement