Thursday Thoughts: Part Time PT Practice Pros and Cons | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Thursday Thoughts: Part Time PT Practice Pros and Cons

A reader asked me about my thoughts on opening a part time PT practice. However, I have to talk a bit about my practice model first.

While I am proud to say I "own my PT practice" it is not a brick and mortar practice. I use the Consultant Model, meaning I worked out a deal with an existing practice owner to be an independent contractor and get paid per patient. They take a portion of each reimbursement and I get to use all the facilities, equipment, and office manager for scheduling and billing. It's win-win for both of our businesses as all the patients, referrals and referring doctors would not have come to that practice were it not for me being there.

In order to set this up in New York State, I had to prove I had my own business outside of Rose Physical Therapy, which was easy because it required a few things.
  • my own website
  • separate checking accounts for personal and business
  • my own business cards
  • an EIN - employer identification number
Fortunately, I had all of these things, because at the time, I just started blogging, so that took care of the website, but all of the others I had because I formed a business account for all the courses I was instructing. 

I can only give pros and cons of this practice model, as I do not have a lease, formal rent or pay utilities, my main expenses are supplies, my "rent," and equipment I bring to the practice. 

  • owning your own business - no bosses is a win for sure
  • spend as much time as you want and is practical with your patients
  • as a business you get more expenses for tax purposes
  • part time practice = more hours with your family/free time
  • my patients can be seen by the practice owner when I travel or take off
  • no patients = no cash, it can be nerve wracking trying to feed your family and balancing discharging when not too many evals are on the schedule!
  • part time practice = less income, unless you are cash based, which then can completely make up for the lower income
  • you most likely need supplemental income for a part time practice
  • former patients or new patients may not fit into your part time practice hours
I had a part time practice while starting up 3 years ago because even though I only moved 5 minutes down the road, less than 20% of my patients came with me. You can count on who you thought were very loyal patients/families etc, not to come with you. Granted, over these 3 years, many of my former patients have found me, plus all my doctors who referred to the old practice still refer to me. 

I would say whatever model you choose, standard brick and mortar, or the easier to start up, Consultant Model, a part time practice may be just what you're looking for. The "if" in this equation is whether or not you have the means to support yourself and/or your family with other means of income, as I do now.

* bonus tip

If you are still planning on taking insurance, but work for someone else, your provider numbers are tied to both your NPI AND your current practice location, as in you do not own them. However, kudos to my former employee and friend who found an HMO loophole. Before you plan on leaving (give it plenty of time) your current practice, add your new address to all the HMO plans by writing a letter, asking the new address to be added. When you open up your new practice, you can still take insurance as needed, and when your former employer tell them you're leaving, only the former address is removed, but you do not lose your providers numbers. I waited a long time to receive some of those numbers, like Medicare, some Advantage plans, etc... and I did not want to have to apply for them again - HMOs do not expand their network to new providers in already congested areas. 

Reminder, The OMPT Channel is still on sale until midnight tonight! $10 off the first year and half off the first month. You will be reimbursed after signing up!

Keeping it Eclectic...


  1. Erson,
    Thanks for sharing how you run your practice. It's great to see that you are keeping it simple and maximizing your resources. Great tips about the provider numbers. I wonder if someone is making a move away from an employer if the time it takes to add a new address will conflict with the relationship, potentially not always great, with the current/former employer. That could be tricky! Being in-network is not always the best financially, especially if the negotiated rate is lower than costs. Did you have any of those issues?

  2. Aaron, my former employer specifically told all receptionists not to tell former patients where I went. Had nothing to do with provider numbers but in the end the practice closed a little under two years after I left.

  3. I get it, unfortunately the scarcity model doesn't really benefit anyone. There are plenty of patients to go around and many more who don't even know they need a physical therapist! With the excellent web presence you've built the patients that want to find you certainly can.
    Keep up the awesome work!

  4. Thank Aaron, it certainly helps to have one of the bigger sites and a unique name, I'm sure Aaron LeBauer is also pretty googlable if that's a word!

  5. Hi Erson,
    thank you for this insight about making your own business. A lot of people are waiting to controll their financial life but are unable to see that their boss will never make them rich. Only people like you and me who start with small baby steps and have the courage to open their own business will someday have the possibility to create jobs and earn as much money as they need to live the live they want. Thank you for this article

  6. Thanks Erson for your thoughts on this topic. I still work full time 4 days x 10 hours besides my own practice which is part time. My goal is to eventually transition full time but as you mentioned, it can be nerve wracking when you don't have patients! I do realize however that for my practice to survive, I need to devote my time to it. I can't bring my current patients with me because of conflict of interest cited by my current employer. It's tough having to market with limited time.

  7. That is a conflict of interest to be sure to be starting your practice while working full time for someone else in the same vicinity! I just left my former employer full time while on my 3rd Baby's paternity leave and never went back. I also crossed my fingers and hoped that my services would make the new clinic stand out. The risk was worth it but the first 6 months were really nerve wracking!

  8. It's a risk for sure and something I never thought was possible, you only know if you try! It's work and slow at first, but the work reaps the rewards! Kudos to you for doing the same! Are you cash based? That's my next step

  9. Erson, when you applied for a new address for the insurance were you able to change the name of the company or did you have to keep it the same?

  10. You're able to change the name, you own the numbers attached to your NPI if you do it this way

  11. Thank you. Would be assuming that you would need permission from your current place to do this

  12. Absolutely not, I sure didn't ask. I was leaving. It's none of their business, if you leave without doing it those numbers get retired, but transferred to the next employee. Just do it, they wouldn't even know