There is no doubt that the pandemic has been a test of the fortitude of every therapy practice in the country. It was disruptive, disorienting, frustrating and heartbreaking. It shook the entire healthcare industry, and introduced and exacerbated challenges that will affect business in 2021 and beyond. This extra ordinary year called for extraordinary responses and they are evident everywhere.
There is so much to be proud of. Therapists were acknowledged as essential workers, something we already knew. Therapists in acute care settings were and continue to be on the forefront helping patients to survive the initial onslaught of COVID. Therapists in home care, private practice and rehab settings are helping post COVID patients cope and overcome residual symptoms and long term musculoskeletal, respiratory, psychosocial and cognitive issues. On top of what we normally do. Now more than ever, we know that we help patients in ways no other medical provider does. We see what others don’t. We tell our patients why. We see solutions not problems.
Therapists found a way to feel solidarity even as we were isolated. We became tougher and more nimble. Many used this time productively; the pandemic exposed weaknesses and vulnerabilities of many practices, but owners were resilient in creating new revenue streams, pivoting to telehealth, building in accountability for staff, and elevating their own financial literacy. Practices are streamlining to lower operating expenses as many still see a 30-40% decrease in gross revenue; this economic slowdown impacts us all. For those therapists who became “forced” or “accidental” entrepreneurs, history is on your side. General Motors, Burger King, CNN, Uber and Airbnb were all founded during economic downturns.
I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to share information, work and connect with so many of you as a trusted partner. I remain committed to helping elevate others in the world of private practice. Trace a successful practice back to its roots and often times you will find a tree of mentors, consultants, etc along the way. I am grateful to be a part of many trees and wish all the best to you, your families and your patients in the new year.