Physical Therapy Student to Cash Based Practice Entrepreneur

This month on The CashPT Lunch Hour I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kevin Prue PT, DPT, CSCS. Dr. Prue is the only other physical therapist I know, besides myself, who started a cash-based practice right after graduating with a physical therapy degree. We also have a few other things in common, we both live in North Carolina and both graduated from Duke University. Kevin Prue PT, DPT, CSCS is the president and director of Prue Therapy & Sports Performance, a 100% Cash-Based Physical Therapy Practice, located in Cary NC. I’m excited about this interview because his practice not only validates this practice model and mirrors my journey, it is empowering and shows all therapists, not just students, exactly what is possible in the cash-based physical therapy model.


In this interview Dr. Prue answers the following questions:

PPT - Logo JPGWas there anything specific that pushed you towards a cash-based practice.

When did you decide to start a cash-based practice?

What did other people say when you told them you were starting a cash-based practice right out of school?

Did anyone tell you that starting a practice as a student or new grad was a bad idea and try to talk you out of it?

What do you do when you have a patient who has a condition or symptoms you’ve never seen before?

Do you have any mentors? or people you can rely on to assist you?

How do you integrate the FMS and SFMA into your practice?

How do you make the most of your group marketing presentations?

How do patients learn about your practice?

Do you get referrals from physicians?

How is your practice and office set up?

What are your biggest challenges?

What is your greatest accomplishment?

What are your 5 and 10 year plans?

Connect with Kevin


Twitter @PruePT@DrKevinPrue

Email: [email protected]

If you have questions for Kevin or have started a cash-based practice right after graduating from your physical therapy program, please let us know in the comments below.

kevin prue headshot2There were a few questions from the audience that we didn’t have time to address and Kevin graciously sent me his answers via email and I’ve included them below.

Hey Aaron

Here are the answers to the questions you sent me:

First I just wanted to thank everyone for listening and for the great questions.

1. Thank you for your time, Kevin. How do you manage your expectations with the realities of opening a practice? How do you stay focused on developing the business with the demands of getting your name out there?

Opening a practice, especially a cash pay clinic is obviously exciting, fun and rewarding, but the reality of the start up process is that it takes a lot of time and work to get started. I’ve heard with most small businesses your goals should be year 1 survive, year 2 break even, and year 3 become profitable and a little more established, so that is the mindset I had going into this process. Trying not to get too high when we have a good week or month and not to get too discouraged when things are slow is important to remember. There are a lot of ebbs and flows with starting a new business, so trying to keep things in perspective is important.

 As far as getting my name out there, I try to make sure I set aside some time for marketing every week. Early on since I wasn’t seeing a lot of patients the majority of my day was meeting with groups of people, networking and trying to market the business. Now that I am getting busy (although still not completely booked or stable on a weekly basis) I still try to make sure I at least continue to grow the relationships I created early on with other business that are referring me patients. Using my time wisely and having a plan for each day is that best way for me to stay focused on providing quality patient care and continue to grow my brand.

2. How do you stay focused on developing the brand and expanding the business?

It’s important to identify what you want your brand to be, and create a plan to get there. Creating a business plan is a good way to start the process of what you want your business to look like, and don’t be afraid to go back and revise that plan. Since I represent my profession and my business anywhere I go, I make sure I am providing a good representation of what my business is no matter where I am, because you never know when you may come across a potential customer. I actually just wrote an article about the importance of establishing your brand as a physical therapist if you want to check it out.

3. What is your advice for anyone else who wants to start a cash-based practice, directly out of school or after years of working in a traditional setting?

 The best advice I can provide anyone who is starting a cash based practice whether it’s right out of school or if they are transitioning into a cash pay clinic is to understand why you are making that decision. It’s going to take a lot of time and work, and you aren’t likely to see the fruits of your labor early on. Don’t think you are going to roll out of bed, start making tons of money, have all this extra free time, and have patients knocking down your door right off the bat. I can’t understate how much of a grind the early stages of building a cash pay practice is whether you are a new grad or experienced clinician. You also need to have confidence in your skill set, your business plan and the cash pay model itself if you want your potential customers to confidence in you. If you are a new grad, find a good mentor, and not just in the field of PT. Find a good mentor in business, marketing and other areas that could help you grow your business. Networking events and things like that are a great way to meet mentors, friends and potential customers. Overall the model works, there are plenty of examples of successful clinicians running cash pay clinics. Most likely there are going to be a lot of slow days early on, and instead of getting discouraged or questioning your decision, but if you keep working hard, put the time in, and get good outcomes, patients will start to find you.

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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