Overview on Consulting
Iris Kimberg consults personally with therapists to improve the strategic, financial and operational parameters of a therapy entity regardless of whether it is a start up, in expansion mode or getting ready for sale. Iris has worked with therapists around the country involved in unique and diverse business endeavors ranging from traditional hand therapy practices, pediatric home care agencies, orthopedic practices, wellness centers, continuing education companies, placement services, senior care housing placement services and more.
Her base fee for services is $200 per hour, pro-rated for individual therapists and partnerships to $350.00 per hour for established contract agencies. There is no minimum time commitment and based on your need, consultations can be on a short or long term basis. For some this can mean projects like developing a marketing plan and letter writing campaign; for others it is guidance in answering RFPs to become Early Intervention providers or to provide services in the school systems.
To date, Iris has consulted with over 1500 PT OT and ST practices throughout the United States in various stages of starting, growing or selling a practice. Consultations can be done in person via email, Skype or telephone. Many people meet with Iris in her Tribeca penthouse, which most feel is inspiration enough. Iris also meets with people in the New Paltz NY area during the summer as well as the Fort Myers Florida area in the winter. When appropriate, Iris can meet with you at your office. All consultations are strictly confidential. Consultations with Iris are for informational purposes and do not replace consultations with attorneys or accountants but can certainly make you better prepared and more informed.
There are times when you do not need a 1:1 consultation and just need to purchase forms, templates, contracts, or workbooks, all downloadable, editable, attorney reviewed and low cost, so feel free to visit our Products section. If you do not see what you need, or if you want a customized package of material please email Iris directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
When You Don't Know Where to Start, Start Here
Many of the e-mails and telephone calls I receive start out by saying “I have always wanted to…” or “I dream of one day starting…”. This is the best time to seek advice! You are motivated, still gainfully employed and no mistakes have been made. Starting a private practice is a multifaceted endeavor. The day to day operations, the service, and the end product are the result of both comprehensive planning and making sure you establish a practice that matches your business and professional abilities. You are fortunate if the reason you want to start a practice is because you have already identified a particular need or niche out in the marketplace rather than because you yourself have a need. During the initial consultation, I often help:
- Identify what need your practice can fulfill.
- Discuss options for the legal structure of your company
- Review start up insurance requirements /record keeping
- Determine the best location for your therapy entity and what to look for in a lease.
- Establish a preliminary market /branding plan, including name selection, and logos
- Evaluate participation in insurance plans
- Establish a cash base in your practice and determine billing system
Follow-up consultations generally include advice on how to present your practice to the public including:
- Devising a specific market plan geared toward promotion and publicity, press releases, developing word of mouth referrals, and marketing directly to the consumer
- How to continue growing your practice for the first year.
For Therapists Already in Practice Who Want to Expand or Need Help hitting the Reset Button
Most therapists in this category are at the stage where they want to take their practice to a new level but are not sure how to proceed. Others may have taken their foot off the gas pedal, but not even know it. Some need guidance making decisions about expanding to another location, branching out into other specialty areas, hiring other therapists, or bidding on competitive contracts to become exclusive providers both in the public or private sector. I help to assess what areas of your business can be improved and then establish a plan of action or correction outlining specific results that will be achieved. My hands on approach to the implementation of these steps insure that you and your business are meeting established goals and objectives.
Consultations in this area are generally very specific to the issues raised; they can include:
- Discussing the parameters/ pros/ cons of hiring therapists as independent contractors or employees
- Preparing and winning RFPs and service contracts in your area
- Evaluating plans for opening a second location
- Expanding your existing referral base.
- Evaluating your position in managed care
- Initiating new marketing campaigns
- How to deal with increased competition in the marketplace
- How to integrate complementary and cash based services
- How to institute incentive compensation plans
- Positioning yourself to maximize rewards from the Health Care Reform Act
Consolidations in healthcare and the permanence of managed care must be dealt with effectively and advantageously. It is challenging to determine if you have adapted in the best way possible as both a therapist and business person to current conditions. Some therapists might suspect a “problem” in their practice, but may not clearly see what the problem is, or be able to determine the solution. Others may have pinpointed certain issues in their practices but need validation that they are on the right track for the solution. Most of us have wondered at some point whether we should strive to grow bigger either through acquisitions or joint ventures or stay within a defined specific market that we feel most comfortable in. A few of us are concerned even though we experienced short term success – when demand exceeds supply it is difficult NOT to do well in the short term. The challenge is to make sure that your success will be sustained and continue because of your good management, forward strategic thinking, and of course good service
For Those Ready to Prepare your Practice for a Sale or Merger:
At this point, most therapists have worked very hard for many years to build their practices or therapy companies. The hardest work may be yet to come; preparing your entity for sale or merger means “getting all your ducks in a row” and coming up with a realistic exit strategy. Not unlike putting real estate on the market, it is always better to paint and clean up before your open house. This again is very specific consultations dependent on the areas in which your practice/entity needs “fine tuning”. The goal here is to help your practice puts its best face forward for the best end results for you! Typical areas evaluated are revenue and cash flow, sources of referrals, contracts awarded (competitive/non competitive), geographic presence, infrastructure of your organization, and your viability in the market place both with and without you in the equation. Consultation regarding the overall valuation of your practice including goodwill, letters of intent, and evaluating potential buyers are also available.
Many therapists are panicking because of COVID 19 and feel like the value of their practice ins gone. This is NOT true and you do not have to have a fire sale or be taken advantage of. I do think that the existing trend toward consolidation will be accelerated because of COVID 19 and that there are ways you can make this work to your advantage.
About 50% of the the consultancies I work on are on practice sales. I never get discouraged, because I know that most of the deals at some point reach what could be perceived as an impasse, and thats when I feel like I do my best work! In many deals there are a few moments when you may think that the parties are far apart in their positions, so the goal then becomes to help guide them toward a middle ground.