Customer Connection: Therapy South
Doug Cole is Partner/VP of Operations at TherapySouth, a Birmingham, AL-based outpatient physical therapy practice. Founded in 2006, the company has since grown to 175 full-time employees at 32 locations in three states.
A Casamba client for almost 10 years, TherapySouth was looking for a cost-effective way to grow their business and operate more efficiently. This is why, in 2018, the company conducted a pilot test with one of Casamba’s integration partners, BetterPT. BetterPT is a HIPAA compliant, multi-platform technology that connects patients to physical therapy practices. After a few months of testing, TherapySouth was hooked and deployed it across their business, and they haven’t looked back since.
We caught up with Doug Cole and discussed working with Casamba and BetterPT and the impact it’s had on TherapySouth.
What drew you to Casamba?
TherapySource (now Casamba) was really the forerunner to electronic documentation systems in the PT world. It’s their stability that has been a key reason for sticking with Casamba all these years. While the competition has grown in that market, Casamba has stayed even keeled, plus we’re getting excited about the new web-based product that’s coming out later this year.
You pilot tested BetterPT. Tell us about it.
We did a pilot with BetterPT in Fall 2018 that went into early 2019. We went all in with BetterPT in Q2 2019. I’d say in the last half of 2019, we probably utilized it to its fullest. This is when we integrated it with our website and with our Google listings. Since then we’ve certainly seen an increase in appointment requests coming through that platform.
We’re not interested in staying the same. If you get too comfortable with the way you’re doing things, someone’s going to pass you by or you’re going to miss out on something that could have made you better as a business.
And you saw your business grow during this pilot test?
I saw enough of a return on investment that it made sense to continue to use it. In fact, we’re continuing to see an uptick that just reaffirms that it’s being used as designed and we’re benefitting from it.
What made you want to add a service like BetterPT in the first place?
We’re always looking for any kind of edge that will allow us to put us in front of our competition. So anything that drives people in our direction, I’m interested in. I’m also interested in seeing how we can leverage technology to make us more efficient and more productive. BetterPT fit that from the standpoint that it’s driven more business in our direction.
What were your key takeaways after you pilot tested BetterPT within Casamba?
By the second half of last year, we really tied it into all those ways that people can access us – Google listings, websites and social media. So when people click on “Request an Appointment,” it takes them directly to that page of that clinic and allows them to see who they can schedule an appointment with and when. We’re also starting to use the insurance verification piece, so users can upload their insurance cards, they can input some of that insurance data that helps us to verify that information in a timely fashion.
Tell us about the efficiencies BetterPT has created for your business.
Any time you can give the patient control over some of the process, whether it’s scheduling, verifying benefits or perhaps even a co-pay, there’s a lot of potential. That saves time on our end, the front office. So if you’re not having to duplicate data intake, you’re saving time and resources. Then maybe you don’t have to hire an additional front office person or you can spend more time with the patient on their initial evaluation because they’ve gotten all this paperwork done beforehand.
Why do you think it works so well for your business?
We’re all tied – somehow, some way – digitally to everything that we do. More and more people are embracing that and utilizing that. And it’s not just your 20-somethings or 30-somethings that are doing that. There are people in their 50s, 60s and even 70s using this service.
What do the end users say?
The fun part about it is the people who use it love it. They like the ability to reach in and control when they come or accessing the therapist they want to access. And BetterPT allows for that.
Now that you’ve deployed BetterPT across all locations, what are your thoughts? Has it paid off?
From a business standpoint it has certainly paid off. But more importantly from a feature that sets us apart, it’s paid off as well. If I’m getting even one patient coming through in a month, it’s paid for itself. It doesn’t take a whole lot to see the impact that it can have. It’s all about access.
We’re not only “catching” traditional patients through it, but we’re catching people who are seeking us out for wellness services or direct evaluation. It’s helping create new streams of revenue in that regard, and better streams of revenue in the traditional regard.
For more information about BetterPT or Casamba’s other integration partners, please visit Partner Network.
Partner/VP of Operations at TherapySouth, a Birmingham, AL-based outpatient physical therapy practice