Iris Kimberg MS PT, OTR is the CEO of NYTherapyGuide and no stranger to the business world. She started her first company, HTA of New York, Inc. 27 years ago, at a time when contract agencies as we know them today did not exist. When she sold the company in 1996, it had three branch offices, 700 affiliated therapists and was generating $14 million in revenue. She had originally worked in a prestigious facility that did not have a home health division. “We’d work with patients for months, and then didn’t have a mechanism for follow up care after they were discharged,” Iris recalled in a 2003 interview with the Advance Magazine. “Some of the therapists would go treat patients at their homes on their own. So I essentially started my own private practice based on the model that patients didn’t always need the nursing component in home care; they might just need the therapy component. I was meeting a need out there that hadn’t really been met by traditional home care agencies.”
After 9/11 Iris, a longtime downtown resident formed a fund, The Downtown Therapists Assistance Project, to aid the fourteen physical and occupational therapy practices located within the vicinity of the World Trade Center. She raised over $35,000 for them, mostly donated by other therapists from across the country. This past fall, she organized a drive in NYC on behalf of Operation Medical Library to replenish the medical libraries that have been destroyed in Afghanistan over the last 30 years.
Iris now enjoys sharing her expertise with others in the field through workshops, seminars and private consultations. She is a Professor at Columbia University DPT program, teaching a marketing and business entrepreneurship and has also guest lectured at both Touro College and Long Island University. Since 2004, she has been Merion Publication’s ( parent company of Advance Magazine) business columnist, writing over 70 columns on business practice and management. Iris regular participates as a speaker in both NYSOTA and NYPTA conferences. She was a panelist at the March 6, 2005 symposium The Crisis in Reimbursement held at the NYU Department of Occupational Therapy. More recently, Iris was a keynote speaker at the Fall 2009 and 2010 NYSOTA Conference ,the Fall 2010 Private Practice Section of the APTA Conference in Washington D.C and again in the Fall 2012 in Las Vegas. A frequent contributer to APTA Private Practice Sections, IMPACT MAGAZINE, most recently she wrote an article about service management in therapy, entitled If Disney Ran Your Practice, and co authored an article What Makes a Pediatric Practice Unique.
NYTherapyGuide was conceived during the time when Iris was under a non-compete clause and not able to work in the industry. “After the initial thrill of not working wore off, I realized how much I missed interacting with all the therapists I had grown to know through my company. So they began to call me at home, and eventually the talk would turn to therapy.” I clearly saw that there was a need for a consulting company where therapists either already in private practice or thinking about private practice could turn to for advice in this rapidly changing and competitive health care market.” Trial and error is no longer acceptable, building business intelligence is.
To date Iris has consulted with over 700 PT OT and ST practices, both big and small throughout the United States in various stages of starting, growing, and selling their practice. Nothing makes her happier than to see other therapists become successful in their own right.