2022 Wrap-Up: How to Open a Cash-Based OncoPT Practice

As we wrap up 2022, TheOncoPT team is taking a short break to rest over the holidays.  

But we know that you LOVE our weekly episodes, so we’re recapping some of our favorite episodes from the past year.

First up is Dr. Kalie Heftka, PT, who joined me to talk about opening your own cash-based practice. People don’t talk about the early stages of opening a private practice or the challenges of building a business from scratch. We’re having a real raw conversation about what it’s been like for Dr. Heftka to open her own practice.

Why did you start your own practice?

“I had grown tired of the outpatient environment. I felt as if I had been beaten down. I desired to treat specialties, but this was not possible. My passion for education, coupled with a need in my area, led me to spend a few weeks learning how to open my practice. I realized soon I was able to bring my services to clients at their homes. This was convenient for them & they were happy to have my services”. 

One of the biggest challenges in opening her practice was her mindset. Dr. Heftka hired a business coach beforehand to support her with her business mindset. This gave her the confidence to run her cash-based home concierge practice. 

One of the benefits of a cash-based business is you can set your own prices based on your area. Dr. Heftka runs her practice with 10 patient visits a week. This might seem crazy as many PTs are seeing that many patients in a day. But it’s possible. I asked. How are you sustaining yourself when you’re only doing 10 patient visits a week?

“We’re so conditioned to see 12 patients a day, & it’s hard to charge people what you really deserve. I began charging on the low end for my region, for a cash-based PT rate of $150 a visit. If I see 10 people, that’s $1,500 a week. That is way more than I was making at the mill, for less hours.”

We talk about what a typical day looks like in her practice, & it doesn’t look anything like what she was doing at the mill. It has brought her much joy being able to serve her chosen patient population in a manner that she feels good about but it didn’t come without challenges. In this episode we discuss the highs, lows, & messy middles of getting her practice going. 

About Dr. Kalie Heftka, PT

I have been practicing for five years. I began by working in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. I quickly became an expert in pelvic floor rehabilitation. This included multiple patients with pelvic floor oncology. I was moved to a clinic with a lymphedema specialist. Here I saw even more patients with various oncological diagnoses. I was getting trained in lymphedema therapy when covid hit. I quickly became the only therapist in town that could treat lymphedema. This overfilled my schedule with vascular & oncological lymphedema. This burned me out of an outpatient clinic. I started my own business as a concierge/mobile PT treating patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. My business is 1 year old & I am learning so much every day about running my own practice. 

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Website: Dr. Reams Concierge PT


Until next time, this is Elise with TheOncoPT. And remember you are exactly the physical therapist that your patients with cancer need. So let’s get to work.

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