EP 000: The CashPT Lunch Hour Podcast Introduction

Let me ask you a question. What’s the most number of patients you’ve treated in one day?

I bet you can’t guess mine. You can even go ahead and tell me, just write the most number of patients you’ve treated in one day and how effective you were and how you felt at the end of the day in the comments section below .

Okay, I treated 43 patients one day, as a student. 43 Patients! Think about that; that’s more than 4 people per hour for a 10-hour workday.

In this environment (and business model) I wasn’t able to spend any quality time with my patients or treat them the way I thought was most effective. I wasn’t able to work out, got to yoga, or even spend time with my wife. It was insane!

I’m hear to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way and I’m going to show you how you can escape the insanity.

A little something about me…

I was born in Greensboro, NC and I’ve lived in quite a few other places, Berkeley, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Belgium & Israel.

My practice is a 100% Cash-based Physical Therapy Practice and it’s almost 100% direct access so I really don’t get any referrals from Physicians. If I do, they’re not great referrals. They’re based on location or the referral desk; just choosing our practice because we’re closest to the patients.

After I graduated high school, I went to Duke University. My plan was to take the pre-med courses and be a Physician like my father, uncles, grandfather and great uncle, or at least that’s what I felt like I needed to do. I got an A in Chemistry and then raced bikes and took a biology class over the summer and first day in Organic Chemistry. I quickly realized it would take me 4 hours to complete the homework.

I sat there for about an hour going back and forth like, “Is this gonna’ be my life for the next 3 years or 7 years including med school?” and I just made the decision then. “No way! I’ve got so many better things to do than sit here with my head in the books learning how to do Organic Chemistry.” And so, I was no longer a pre-med student. I decided then to take classes that are fun and that I enjoy, hangout with my friends, race bikes, play basketball, pick-up soccer, and enjoy life.

So, I graduated school and then I was like, “I gotta get out of North Carolina.” I lived in Israel for a year, them moved to Berkeley, CA with one of my best friends and landed in San Francisco for 8 years. I met the woman of my dreams and we moved back to N.C. Within a year I was enrolled in Elon University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

100% Cash Practice Since 1999…

I’ve been treating patients in a cash practice since 1999. I graduated from the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville, CA with a certificate in Massage Therapy and Health Education back in 1999, started a private practice right away (as well as got a job in a day spa) and I’ve learned a few things along the way.Aaron LeBauer Cash Practice Podcast

#1) Mindset is everything! To be successful in a cash-
based physical therapy practice you’ve got to have the right mindset.

#2) A low overhead is key. You need to have a low overhead practice to minimize your practice expenses, especially when starting up, but also to maximize your profits in the long run.

#3) Give to Get. You’ve got to give in this business; when you give other people something they value 1st, especially if it’s something they are not expecting, they will feel compelled to give back to you. Also, don’t give anything when you expect something in return. Gust give and abundance will follow! That is something I had to learn the hard way and my wife was the one that gave me that quote.

#4) Live in Abundance. I’m going to say this right now; Physical Therapists; we need to stop putting each other down and we need to work together to lift everyone up. There is more than enough (money, land, patients, etc) for everyone to succeed!

#5) Market Directly to Patients. To have a successful practice means you need to market directly to patients. Patients are the consumers of our services, not physicians, insurance companies or hospitals) and we have to market directly to them.

DPT student to cash-based physical therapy practice owner

I started a cash based practice because I really did not feel that I had any other options. I knew I was going to live here in Greensboro and I looked around and was like, “Where can I get a job”? I really don’t like working in a hospital, I don’t like skilled nursing. I knew my strengths were using my hands, doing soft tissue work, mobilization/manipulations, spending time with patients to learn their story and to educate them. I didn’t see a place here that was going to employ me and allow me to spend 45 minutes to an hour, one-on-one with patients doing the type of physical therapy I wanted to practice.

Cash Based physical therapy business

I started a cash-based practice because it gives me the freedom to treat patients my way. It gives me freedom in my schedule. It gives me freedom to choose the quality of life i want and create my lifestyle design. I get time! I can spend Monday and Friday afternoons with my family. I pick up my kids from school, take them home, hangout in the backyard and grill some steaks. The kids come and swing kettle bells with me in the garage and we get to hangout! I get to spend time with my family, I get to exercise, and I can spend Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday mornings at yoga class.

Owning my own cash practice gives me the freedom to do what I want to do and what I enjoy most in life. A big part of my enjoyment is treating patients, but that’s not the only thing I want to do. I like to have a well-rounded day and week.

Who Are My Patients?

My patients are people who’ve been to other places and haven’t had a resolution in their symptoms or problem or pain. They are also people that prioritize their health and understand the value of one-on-one hands-on care. They are people that want to get better and want to actively participate in their own healing process.

I help active people stay fit, healthy and mobile without medications, injections or surgery; those are my patients. Most of them have back pain, most have chronic or unresolved pain. I see plenty of people with hip pain, knee pain, neck pain, foot pain, ankle pain, jaw pain, etc. Pretty much every kind of pain and dysfunction you can imagine, even obscure things that you wouldn’t think Physical Therapy or hands-on treatment can help.

The CashPT Lunch Hour PodcastW

The CashPT Lunch Hour podcast is something that I’m super excited about. I started this podcast to share what’s working for others and to show you what is possible in the cash-based practice model especially when you step outside the box, do something different, do something a little unexpected that people don’t really feel comfortable with and even ruffle some feathers.

The CashPT Lunch Hour Podcast is dedicated to empowering and inspiring passionate physical therapists create, grow and market successful cash-based physical therapy practices.

What you can expect on this podcast

In my podcast I will feature interviews of other successful cash-based physical therapists; what’s working for them, their niche, models, how they got started and some of the details of their practice. I also interview other physical therapists who are successful business owners with a focus of marketing direct to patients.

You should be able to listen to each podcast in under an hour. Some of them go a little over but it should be able to be consumed on your lunch break.You might need to finish it later in the day or just get out a little early because it’s hard to stop listening when the episode is really great and people have a lot to say.

3 Themes of CashPT Success

Let me leave you with my 3 themes of practice success, which I’ve adapted from my Baptiste inspired yoga teacher training.aaron lebauer side crow baptiste yoga

1.) Be a YES.   

    “Being a Yes does not mean that we say yes, but rather it is a symbol of the stance that we are for what’s possible” -Baron Baptiste

This means that we are open to anything happening in our life, our practice, and for our patients. If we haven’t seen what it looks like on the other side of the fence, we don’t know if we even want to go there. If we don’t know what it looks like to own a cash practice or even employ 2 or 3 physical therapists, how do we even know that we can get there? How do we know what is even possible? So being a yes is about being open for change, challenge, something brand new and for what’s possible.

2.) “We’re already whole, complete, and lacking nothing; the problem is that for the most part, we don’t believe this about ourselves.” -Baron Baptiste

A common thing I hear (or read) a lot of people say is “I can’t start a practice because I don’t have enough experience” or “I have to market to physicians to get patients.” Trust me, you are ready now. If you’ve graduated with a PT degree or you’re in PT school and you’re getting ready to graduate, and you want to start a practice, I want you to know, that you’re ready now.

A big reason many people do not is they just don’t have the belief that it’s possible. When you haven’t seen what’s possible for others, often we don’t have the confidence that we can do it ourselves. I can tell you right now, you’ve got that within you and that’s what this quote is all about. If you’ve got the dream I know you already got the tools it takes to make it happen. Sometimes, you just need a few other people to dig it out of you and uncover what’s already there.

3.) Give up what you must.

What can you let go of today, as you’re reading this blog post, what can you let go of right now to make room for something bigger in your life? What negative belief, self-limiting belief, what vision do you have that might be shutting you down? Is there a relationship, A job, an idea, or something someone else told you that is holding you back? What idea, thought or belief can you let go of right now that’s not allowing you to move forward in your life?

What’s Possible?

If I listened to the naysayers, to everyone who told me that starting a cash practice was a bad idea, especially right out of school, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

I’m looking forward to having you join me on this journey and in the following episodes. I’ve got some amazing guests lined up, killer content, and tips to help you and your practice succeed.

About The Author

Aaron LeBauer

Aaron LeBauer PT, DPT, LMBT started a 100% cash based physical therapy practice right after graduation. He's on a mission to save 100 million people from unnecessary surgery & enjoys helping passionate therapists build successful businesses without relying on insurance.

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