Want to hear how one physical therapist made an extra $140k in 9 months?
Me too, that’s why I had to do this interview.
Listen-in to find out how a simple training course in diagnostic imaging can add a 3x multiplier to what your physical therapy practice is earning…
In this episode I interview Dr. Dimitrios Kostopolous, co-founder of Hands On Diagnostic Services.
Dimitrios dreams of helping physical therapists create their own autonomous practices—practices with better than decent incomes, excellent professional contacts, and valuable technical skills. To make this less of a dream and more of a reality, Dimitrios and his team offer a professional training course in EMG and ultrasound imaging that’s unlike any other…
Through traditional avenues, the training required to become proficient in this type of medical imaging costs thousands of dollars and takes 3-4 years. It’s a serious investment of both time and money that’s cost-prohibitive for most physical therapists—especially those with a small practice to run!
Unfortunately, without top-of-the-line diagnostic imaging equipment (and the technical skills to operate it), physical therapists can’t give patients the type of definitive diagnosis necessary to recommend a truly effective course of treatment, thereby extending healing and recovery times.
That’s why it’s so fantastic to see Dimitrios’ team has come up with a way to help physical therapists bring diagnostic imaging to their practices more efficiently. Hands On is breaking new ground by offering diagnostic imaging training that’s broken into five, three-day modules.
Following each intense, three-day training session, the Hands On team continues to mentor and guide their students, but outside the classroom within the students’ own practice. By promoting learning in this way, Hands On builds a familial relationship with their students, and prevents them from ever feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about how to performing diagnostic imaging tests.
“We’re a big family—we [want to] bring everyone who’s trained with us together,” explains Dimitrios.
Now, before listening to this episode, I want you to think about these four questions:
- Could my practice benefit from another revenue stream?
- Can I spare five, three-day blocks in a year to train?
- Do I want to grow my referrals or my income?
- How do my staff and I feel about learning a new skill?
Have your answers?—great. Now tune-in to learn more about diagnostic imaging and what it can do for your physical therapy business.
00:00:40 – Joe’s introduction
00:01:00 – Dimitrios is the founder of Hands On Diagnostic Services
00:01:55 – Welcoming Dimitrios to the show
00:04:15 – How can physical therapists benefit from using EMG?
00:06:15 – “All the EMG tests we can talk about are useful for physical therapists”
00:06:50 – Medicare will reimburse physical therapists for performing these tests
00:08:15 – Why aren’t more physical therapists performing these tests?
00:08:45 – In a traditional education model, it takes a few years of time and money to learn to carry out these tests
00:09:40 – Dimitrios has developed a training model that teaches therapists to carry out simple tests with just a short training course
00:11:30 – The training is divided into modules: each module takes around 3 days to study
00:12:30 – EMG and ultrasound allow you to see precise images of muscular change
00:13:50 – Modules have an online learning element that can be done at home. They then attend a 3-day live program
00:14:30 – After the live program, trainees are mentored by teachers in their own practice
00:15:30 – Dimitrios’ team has access to the data from your tests – they’ll give you regular feedback and training on how to improve
00:15:50 – There are further training modules after the initial 3-day program
00:16:10 – One therapist studied Dimitrios’ course for 9 months and generated an extra $140k of income
00:16:30 – The whole course can take up to 2 years to complete – but you’re able to generate revenue from Day 1
00:17:40 – The training includes training in several different imaging procedures
00:19:00 – What demographic would this testing be most useful for?
00:20:50 – Say a patient walks into your office with lower back pain. An EMG will show you:
● The exact location of the problem, down to the nerve route involved
● The severity of the problem
● A possible prognosis
00:23:00 – Dimitrios discusses physical therapy case studies where imaging can be useful: from rotator cuffs, to diabetes, to neck pain
00:27:00 – Becomes possible to define treatment from the first appointment
00:28:45 – Allows you to demonstrate to a patient that you can provide them with specific information
00:29:25 – Testing expertise means that PTs are seen as more capable and valuable.
00:30:00 – One practitioner has become the preferred testing service for their local orthopedic surgery
00:34:30 – “The vast majority of our referrals are for endocrinology, oncology, orthopedics and rheumatology”
00:36:00 – “Many specialists don’t want to spend their own time on testing”
00:37:40 – When is the best time in your practice’s life to come on board?
00:38:30 – “We want to create a truly autonomous physical therapy practice”
00:39:00 – Anybody can benefit from learning to perform these tests: new grads or old hands
00:42:30 – How do the finances work? Are there denials? How does billing work?
00:44:00 – “We will only train one practitioner in a given area”
00:44:30 – Testing is billed to the insurance company
00:45:40 – “Each test is valued at significant multiples more than a physical therapy service”
00:46:25 – Therapists in the New York area, with an in-house testing service, can make up to $700 per hour performing diagnostic tests
00:47:00 – It’s also possible to perform tests in another practice
00:47:30 – Patients that are referred to you for testing will also become your physical therapy patients
00:50:30 – Referrals will increase as you develop a relationship with other physicians through testing
00:52:15 – “This is not for everyone” – there’s a time and a monetary commitment
00:53:20 – There is an application process for the program
00:54:50 – The ideal candidate has a PT practice that they are very eager to expand; time to commit to around 5 3-day training modules every year, and who can afford to pay for a year of training
00:56:40 – One current student doesn’t have his own practice, but is training to work in other practices in his area
00:58:20 – Janine has 3 PT practices. After training with Dimitrios she’s become the official electro-diagnostician for a military base in her area
01:00:00 – Christina has a large practice in New York. She’s now the go-to diagnostician for most of the physicians in her area
01:03:00 – What objections to people tend to have?
01:04:00 – Hector was a PT in New York. He was concerned about the investment of money, energy and time, in a training course. He tried the first training – and 9 months later, had earned over $140k from diagnostic testing
01:08:26 – Bill is a PT in Alaska. He graduated in the ’80s – he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to remember his education well enough to benefit from the training. But he slowly began doing tests and turned his practice around.
01:11:30 – “We’re a big family – we bring everyone who’s trained with us together”
01:12:20 – Joe’s experience with introducing diagnostic testing: he’s just starting out but thinks his practice is seeing a turn-around
01:13:25 – Staff morale is improved – there’s a sense of pride in what the practice is doing
01:14:53 – Making 3-4 times more money from testing than from physical therapy patients
01:16:04 – Want more information? Visit http://www.hods.us/
01:16:30 – Contact Dimitrios – phone at 1-888-447-6014
Want to learn more about EMG testing? Watch this short video below