Meet Dr. Sara Jakab, college gymnast turned doctor of physical therapy. Dr. Jakab is crushing Concierge Orthopedics records for treatment sessions within the first three months of onboarding. Her broad skillset and experience as a college athlete draw adolescents, athletes, and general orthopedic patients alike.
What is your favorite thing about being a PT?
I think one of my favorite things about being a PT is building relationships with people that are sometimes in a difficult season of their life due to physical concerns. Building the trust between patient and therapist is super fun for me, and I love seeing their confidence grow as we journey together through rehab. I also love working with children and adults with neurological disorders because I get to be so creative in how I treat them, and it's quite fun to see them react to being able to do things that they thought were not accessible for them.
Why did you want to go into cash-pay?
I really feel that by moving into a cash-pay based system for seeing patients I have more freedom in scheduling my own life. It is nice to be able to set my own hours and number of patients per day, and take off time when I need it based on the needs of myself and my family! I have also seen that by moving to a cash-pay based system, my services and level of expertise are valued by the patients, and they in turn put more effort into their recovery.
I finally feel that my time, effort level, level of education, and high level of caring for my patients is reflected in the amount of money that I receive through cash-pay based PT as well...and that feels really great!
How has your practice changed since joining CO?
My overall method of treating patients has changed slightly in that I am adapting to the needs of the patients better with in-home care centered around their specific needs. It has been nice to work with a variety of patients as well. I come from a pediatric outpatient background with almost 10 years of experience, but this practice has engaged my knowledge and challenged my skills by treating patients of all ages and all types of diagnoses. I may see a newborn with torticollis in the morning, an adult with back pain mid afternoon, a child with developmental delay after that, and an adult with quadriplegia later. I also feel that I have been able to fully focus on my patient's care by seeing less patients per day for longer periods of time, thus leading to a smaller caseload that I feel I can not only handle but excell at treating!
How did you find CO?
Funny story actually...I was looking online for PT jobs for telehealth opportunities to be able to reduce my in-clinic time, give me more scheduling freedom, and increase my income. I found a listing for Concierge Orthopedics online and was excited to see that the practice not only offered telehealth as an option, but really allowed therapists to build their own practice using whatever means they have available whether that be in patient's homes, at a gym, on the field, in a home-gym of the therapist, etc. The opportunities to get involved in the community and provide PT where it is needed just seemed like an amazing opportunity, and thus far it really has been! The funny part is...I haven't done much telehealth therapy (yet) as I have been having great success with providing therapy with patients in their homes. I am finding that patients really value that you can come to them while still providing excellent care!
What can you tell us about your hiring and onboarding experience?
The process for hiring and onboarding was quite excellent with CO! I felt a connection right away with Kelli (President and Owner) and Shania (Recruiter) who spent time doing virtual meetings with me to really make sure I understood the process of how CO operates, and helped me form a plan to get my outreach started for my therapy practice. Having PT's run a PT business is a game changer! They really understand how therapists work, what it takes to be a PT, the emotional and physical labor, the scheduling, the mass amounts of never ending paperwork, the travel time, etc. Their support and encouragement has been crucial for me to keep pushing towards my goals!
What are your goals for the next year of your CO practice?
Honestly, I am excited to say that I am already starting to reach some of my goals through working with CO. My plan is to resign from my in-clinic PT job very soon (shhhh, don't tell anyone I told you), so that I can pursue the CO lifestyle almost full time (probably 4 days per week). I have been steadily building my caseload and my referral sources for the past 4 months or so, and have really started to see my hard work paying off with consistent patients and referrals. My goal for this job with CO was to not only replace, but increase my income beyond my part time in-clinic job with less patients overall and a more flexible schedule, and this is certainly going to be achieved within the next few months if my client list continues to grow (and I believe it will!).
What is your favorite part about working with CO?
One of my favorite parts about working with CO is that it has allowed me the freedom to schedule my life as I see fit! I can see as many or as few patients that I want, can take off time as needed, and can reschedule patients easily based on either their needs or my needs. I also really love feeling valued as a PT with an appropriate amount of income based on the number of hours I am putting in with patients, amount of travel, paperwork time, and level of emotional and physical labor. It has been rewarding to watch my self worth increase, my anxiety and frantic nature decrease (with reduced crazy packed in-clinic hours), and enjoyment of my profession increase by working with patients through CO! I am really glad that I started working with CO and am grateful for the help they have provided to me!
What tips and tricks can you share with other PTs to recruit cash-pay patients?
I have a few suggestions for other PTs in the CO network working with cash-pay patients. First off, it goes without saying, but network with your therapy friends in your area! My area created a facebook group for pediatric therapist's (OTs, PTs, SLPs, etc) and this has helped me connect with other therapists to talk about what I can provide through CO. It is really nice to have therapists in other fields of practice as they can often refer patients to you that they aren't able to treat. Also, some patients just really need or highly prefer in-home care so I've had other PTs refer patients to me for this reason as well. My other really big suggestion is to find the medical practices in your area that are providing concierge type services already!! If the patients are already used to paying "out of pocket" so to speak for medical care from the Dr.'s, then those patients referred to you from those Dr.'s will already be accustomed to paying for services outright.
These days, many people are frustrated with their insurance, have high deductibles, or don't have insurance, and would rather just pay you directly to come work with them or their family members in the convenience of their home.
Also...another no brainer, but I always have tons of business cards wherever I go! My husband is great about telling others what I do and then encouraging me to hand out the business cards right then and there, so using family members/friends to spread the word is also a great help! And lastly, social media can also play a large roll in getting the word out about who you are, what you do for a living, and how you can help people!