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Welcome to Therapy Matters!

Welcome to Therapy Matters, your comprehensive source for all things therapy and rehabilitation. In this episode, we discuss the launch of our podcast, how it will be a meaningful addition to physical therapy conversations, and the benefits you can expect as a listener. Tune in today to discover more!
Published on 3/28/23
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Episode Transcript

Allison Jones: Hello, good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, welcome to the Therapy Matters podcast, your one stop resource for expert insights and advice on everything therapy and rehab. My name is Allison Jones and I’m the VP of marketing at Raintree. I’m the host for the podcast, and today I’m joined by Scott Rongo and Terrence Sims. Scott and Terrence, why don’t you introduce yourself to the audience.

Scott Rongo: Good morning Allison, Scott Rongo here, executive Vice President of Sales with Raintree. Excited to be here and talk about how we can help our listeners out.  

Terrence Sims: Hey good morning everyone, Terrence Sims, Chief Strategy Officer here at Raintree. And as Allison and Scott both referenced, we are here because we believe therapy matters to you and it matters to us too, so excited to be here.

Allison Jones: Excellent. Well thank you guys for joining me today. Let’s dive right into the topic, let’s talk a little shop. Terrence, tell the audience a little bit more about who should be listening into the Therapy Matters podcast each week.

Terrence Sims: The Therapy Matters podcast is gonna be comprised of a multitude and variety of topics of varying degrees of interest to the constituents across the therapy in the rehab space. Reality is whether you’re a front office person, whether you’re out visiting with physicians that refer patients to you or whether you’re an executive trying to figure out how to weather some of the margin pressure and staffing challenges that are going on throughout the nation right now. We believe that the Therapy Matters podcast series has something to offer you that can encourage and empower your businesses. Our hope is that you may even join us on one of these podcasts someday.

Allison Jones: Excellent.  Well what if you’re a student, if you’re just studying physical therapy. Is this an appropriate podcast for those folks?

Terrence Sims: Absolutely. In fact, it’s probably an ideal place to learn about the profession in a more practical way, just from being that proverbial fly on the wall about things that you may not be as familiar with. So there really is something here for everyone. The only constituent that I would say probably won’t benefit nearly as much, but could, would be the patient, but any and everyone tied to the delivery of care for therapy and rehab would find something of meaningful value in the podcast series.

Allison Jones: Excellent. Thank you so much. Now Scott, when our listeners tune in, who can they expect to hear from? Tell us a little bit more about our guests.

Scott Rongo: Yeah, great question. So the show’s gonna be focused on helping therapy and rehab practices stay one step ahead of the industry changing needs, demands and requirements. Each episode we’d like to bring a featured guest that could be somebody from a success successful practice, a thought leader, government dignitaries, perhaps cutting edge vendors that could bring value to our listeners with the ultimate goal of being able to share tips, tricks, and best practices to help lift and empower the therapy. community.

Allison Jones:  I think that’s fantastic. I really like what you touched on there, “lift and empower the community,” I think that’s really what this is all about. We wanna really build community and share our experiences for the greater good here. There’s a lot to cover when it comes to therapy and rehab space. There’s a lot going on in the industry and it’s changing pretty much every day. So when we approached this podcast and we talked about it as a group, we decided to go ahead and structure the episodes and group them into six major categories. So our main focuses here are really going to be categorized by the patient journey and patient engagement, provider journey and clinical documentation, clinical care and quality outcomes, revenue cycle outcomes. We’re gonna talk a little bit about pay relations and reimbursement policy-positioning your practice for growth. I wanna ask you guys, when we think about these topics, what are you most excited to be diving into and exploring further with our guest speakers. So Scott, I’m gonna ask you first, what are your two areas that you’re most excited to dive into and talk about with our guests?

Scott Rongo: Hard to answer the question, I know I’ll be tuning in for each and every one. But for me personally, I think two come to mind. The first one is having been a patient in our clinics before some of our customers, to me, clinical care and quality outcomes are really important, right? How we can help our customers take care of their patients is ultimately at the cornerstone of what our providers and practices are looking to do. I also have a background over the past two decades of helping organizations both for-profit and non-for-profit grow. And so to me, I just have an enjoyment out of helping organizations and helping customers grow their practices, their communities and things of that nature. And so I’ve certainly look forward to helping bring value there and really digging in to how we can help, again, our customers and our listeners do that within their communities.  

Allison Jones: And Terrence, what two topics are you most excited about exploring with our guests?

Terrence Sims: That’s hard because I like all of them, but I will pick two. The first I think is really probably along the lines of that provider journey which touches on what Scott referenced with regard to care and quality. And as a patient getting the value and benefit of a clinical expert, getting you back to a full function and getting beyond movement impairment. But the experience for the provider, the joy that the provider has, the satisfaction with their job, the ease of doing the things they need to do, and our ability to impact that, I believe aids in their quality of care in their attention to the patient in a way that the technology can be in the background as a big aid, but not so much in the foreground. And my hope is that by focusing on their overall satisfaction and creating a greater degree of flexibility in their job functional role each day, that they can treat more patients without compromising quality. They can spend quality time with that patient that endears a patient to be with them for a lifetime, quite frankly. And so that’s the first one.

The second one, quite honestly, is that convergence, as Scott said, I too, over the last two, three decades have been really big on growth. But understanding what happens operationally at the P&O level and what drives the economy and the given location, geography, mix with payers and all of those things is what gets me excited on the revenue cycle and reimbursement policy side. So the things that we can bring through this Therapy Matters podcast that could expand thinking around how to diversify mix so that you mitigate risk. How to get more of this type of patient versus that type of patient. How to manage staffing. Also, the best therapists are not always the most expensive therapists, and so you asked the question earlier about students, how to incorporate students early in the care delivery model. Whether it’s remote therapeutic monitoring or whether it’s while they’re doing their clinical rotations or whether it’s them being part of a treatment team. So they’re changing the degrees of care delivery model out there right now, especially with telehealth, post COVID and virtual care evolving for the therapy and rehab space. So I think seeing the convergence of these collective things around what care and quality was delivered at what level of excitement and enthusiasm of the provider. And how does that translate into preserving their value through effective reimbursement and preservation of reimbursement so that they can keep on serving these communities. You know, I’m mixing it, I have two and a half because  I’m stealing some of Scott’s, but I see the conversions of these and it gets exciting.

Allison Jones: I have some selfish reasons for the two that I’m most excited about and it’s sort of personal and also professional biases, I think, that feed into it. So the two that I’m excited to investigate a little bit further are patient journey and patient engagement and also the revenue cycle ops. I’ll start with patient journey and patient engagement and that’s really more personal because we’re all patients, right? And so we’ve all experienced the pleasure or the pain of going to a doctor’s office or going to PT’s office. And I’ve done both, so I have engaged with PTs, OTs, and I’m fascinated and then also just providers in general. I’m fascinated by that process of how they have to sort of figure out that magic of engaging with a patient and keeping them engaged through the process. Like how do they get me to come in for my visit? How do they make sure that I show up for my visit? How do they make sure that I’m complying with my plan of care? How do they make sure that I paid my bill? So I just paid my bill today and I received a letter from my doctor today which I thought was just so strange. Why are they sending me a letter when I have a portal? Just send me the patient or the visit confirmation in my portal. Why are you sending me a letter because that uses resources. And it was a hand address letter, so somebody had to hand address that, stamp it and send it to me. And to me, I’m looking at it also from being a healthcare IT company, that is a waste of resource because somebody had to hand write that, somebody had to put a stamp on it, somebody had to mail it to me when all they had to do, and they did do this too, is send me an appointment reminder in the portal. That was enough for me.

So using those patient engagement and those patient journey technology resources to streamline and cut operating cost and keep the patient engaged. How do they work that in there? How do they use that effectively? That’s really exciting to me. And also from a marketing perspective, that’s what marketers do so I’m excited to dive in and explore that more. And then from a revenue cycle op side, that’s how I started my healthcare journey. So I’ve been in healthcare for just nine or 10 years now, and I started with a revenue cycle company. And so I have a little bit of an affinity, a little bit of passion for a revenue cycle and understanding that. And it’s such an important part of a clinic or practice success and lifeline. So making sure that you can optimize and you’re collecting every dollar that you earn and understanding all of the payment policies and figuring out that puzzle that is revenue. And working with our guests that are really successful at it and having them give their tips and tricks on how they’ve managed it. I think that’s gonna be really valuable to our audience. And again, going back to our mission of lifting and empowering the community, bringing that information to you. I’m excited about revealing that information on how successful practices are doing it. So those are the two topics that I’m most excited about.

Scott Rongo:  I think if you think about it, all the core topics that we talked about, the reality of it is, is that the most successful organizations out there all bleed into one another. So your two examples of patient journey and rev cycle, the reality of it is that a group that doesn’t have patients and can engage with their patients and get them into the office and engage with them at the level that the patient wants to be engaged, they’re not gonna be able to get them into the office. They’re not gonna be able to collect the money that’s due to them based on their visits and all of these things kind of come full circle. And again, the most successful organizations take all of them into account and do them all well, maybe some better than others and so on and so forth, but you have to look at it holistically. And I think that’s something that we can bring resources to bear on this podcast and get some spirited conversation on how we can help groups look at all these collectively and independently of one another.

Terrence Sims: Yes, likewise. I think about the convergence of these and this significance of looking at them individualistically and how they may apply to you. So not to overwhelm anyone, it is comprehensive. This podcast series will cover a multitude and variety of topics, but we hope to do it in a way that’s relevant to where you practice. You know, relative to your patient population and the demographic that you generally serve in the communities where you practice. And to bring the best of all practice to bear and drive value into these clinics and enhance the care you deliver to patients. And, and that’s what’s super exciting for us, irregardless of how we categorize the subject matter. Our hope is to make the subject matter applicable to you in real world ways that can help you in practice.

Allison Jones: And just to give you sort of a preview of some of the topics that we will be covering, just to give you a little flavor of what’s to come. So some of the topics that we’re looking at covering for some of our episodes- surviving medicare cuts, are very important. So we know the news that’s come out with the medicare announcements. So surviving those medicare cuts is gonna be a really compelling topic for us to talk about. You know, are you ready for the Cures Act? So setting your practice up to make sure that you’re in compliance with the Cures Act. Serving rural communities, so making sure those underserved communities are getting what they need in terms of therapy and rehab. The good and misunderstood of remote therapeutic monitoring. That is a relatively new service, so we wanna make sure that it’s fully understood and you’re taking advantage of it if it’s something that makes sense for you.

So those are just a few of the topics that we’re exploring; there’s gonna be obviously a lot more. We’re interested in knowing what you are interested in. So if you have a topic that you want us to explore for the podcast, we wanna hear from you. So make sure that you send those over to us. You can email us at info@raintreeinc.com and submit those and we’ll explore them in a future podcast. So wrapping it up, final thoughts from the group: what do you hope listeners take away from Therapy Matters? Terrence?

Terrence Sims: More than anything, go tell others because you found a value and a benefit in being a part of the podcast series. Do know that our motivation is to empower through engagement and to create a connectivity between those that have done and those that are trying to do. And to hopefully acknowledge with a level of consensus that we’re in this together, so together we can succeed. Although you may serve in your local geographies and practices. So that’s what I hope that people will come to the series, realize, take away, and then share with others and invite them to become part of also.

Allison Jones: All right. Scott, final thoughts?

Scott Rongo: Yeah, you know, I’d say if nothing else, it’s gonna be a sense of community, right? And in bringing together, I think there’s nuggets that could be taken, whether it be around positioning your practice for growth, clinical care, or any of the other topics that we touched on; patient journey, rev cycle. But it’s gonna be a sense of community, we’re gonna be having conversations amongst your peer groups. And I think that you’ll certainly find a nugget or two that you can take away and maybe have something to think about following the session.

Allison Jones: Well thank you so much Scott and Terrence for joining me today. And just a reminder, Therapy Matters is your one-stop resource for expert insights and advice to help you stay one step ahead of the changing needs, demands, and requirements of the therapy and rehab industry. Each episode will feature guests from successful therapy practices, industry thought leaders, government dignitaries, and cutting edge vendors who have successfully navigated these market challenges. They’re going to share some tips and tricks and best practices to help lift and empower the therapy community. All of the topics that we cover are going to span adult and pediatric, and we’re gonna cover all specialties, including PT, OT, SLP, and EBA. And we’re gonna focus on everything from patient engagement, clinical documentation, patient outcomes, revenue cycle ops, reimbursement policy, and business growth. So we hope to see you on the next episode of Therapy Matters. Thank you.

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