Improving Finish Line™ Outcomes
The Problem With Session to Session Treatment
As a team were happy with the 18% increase in Finish Line outcomes being achieved by our clients after the introduction of the 60 minute Discover Recover™ Session i.e. from 34% to 52%. However, we remained frustrated that only 1 in 2 clients were getting across their chosen Physio Finish Line™, and experiencing the very best outcome that was possible through treatment.
Aside from spending longer with our clients for their initial consultations we wondered what else could be done to ensure a greater percentage of our clients crossed their Finish Line™?
We determined that the greatest barrier for the 50% of clients not getting across their Finish Line™ was the cost of attending treatment on the traditional session to session, pay as you go model of physiotherapy care.
I was quoted in an interview as remarking:
I’ve been a physio for 11 years and one of the frustrations I’ve had over that time is seeing people get decent results but not the best results that are available to them. The traditional session-to-session model is ad hoc and largely unproven, prone to clients receiving a diluted service and the rate of successful outcomes at just over 50 per cent is unacceptable. One in two people having that moment of ‘wow, got there’ … I don’t think that’s good enough and that’s something that really bugs me.
Typically, clients would get to the ‘I’m happy’ stage of their rehabilitation (say 70% of their overall function) and reason that the cost of getting further treatment may no longer be perceived as worthwhile or a high enough of priority to pursue. The result being that they would cease treatment and settle with the 70% function that they were happy with.
The same client would openly acknowledge that the ‘job’ was not finished, on acknowledging that some of the original injury contributory (causative) factors had not yet been addressed in full. For example, the addressing of body core or strength deficits that would require 6-12 weeks of strength and conditioning with exercise such as clinical pilates and a progressive home program. However, for the 50% not going on to make a full recovery and cross their Finish LineTM, they would reason that near enough was good enough.
The frustration for us as practitioners being that we know that failure to the ‘job right and in full’ the first time, typically ends up costing the client more in treatment costs if the condition returns, or the client experiences a future flare up. This is aside from the frustration and pain that the client would also experience with any subsequent flare up of their injury or condition.We determined that there must be a better way to do physio #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet
We determined that there must be a better way to do physio than the traditional session to session model. In 2015 we found it. In 2016 we launched it.
Introducing the Finish Line™ Programs: Industry First Fixed Fee Unlimited Access Physiotherapy
In response to our desire to see more than 50% of our clients cross their chosen Physio Finish Line™ in July 2016 we launched a physiotherapy industry first, fixed price unlimited access physiotherapy programs. We called these programs Physio Finish Line™ programs.
The key benefit of the programs is that our client’s likelihood of crossing their chosen Finish Line™ is greater. Through the fixed fee and unlimited access model our clients can now get the treatment that they truly need and will most benefit from, rather than the treatment that they can afford to receive as what they would have received with the traditional session to session model of physiotherapy.
We developed 2, 6, and 12 week programs (learn more about the Finish Line™ programs here) whereby each program has a set end date (Finish Line™ for treatment. The chief benefit of having this set date for the end of the rehabilitation being that it took care of one of the great ‘bug-bears’ people have with physiotherapy, when will the treatment end?
We believed that the ‘let’s just start and see how we go approach’ was also a part of why 50% of clients were not crossing their physio Finish Line™. In launching the Finish Line™ programs we wanted to be able to ‘reverse engineer’ the treatment required to hit the client’s goal, be that to get out of pain, or to make a full recovery and go into performance. Through having unlimited access to both the hands-on manual therapies and also active rehabilitation, such reverse engineering without the financial limitations of session to session treatments is now for the first time possible.
Aside from the improved outcomes as a result of the client getting the treatment that will best help them, as opposed to what their finances allow them to receive, the set date of a client on a Finish Line program creates an energy, accountability, and focus that otherwise would not have existed with our client’s rehabilitation.
I explained tapping into this accountability with a set end date for treatment to end in a recent interview:
I’ve always been interested as a runner about the whole psychological effect of the finish line. As soon as you see the finish line in races, it’s amazing that you find this extra zest. Two minutes earlier you’ve got nothing left and then you see the finish line and all of a sudden you find this extra gear.It actually stopped me and I kid you not, it stopped me in my tracks and I’m ‘that’s it, that’s the finish line. That’s what missing with our clients. They need to know the date that their treatment will end and what it’s going to take to get there.I’ve always been interested as a runner about the whole psychological effect of the finish line. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet
One other great benefit to client’s rehabilitating with a 2, 6, or 12 week Finish Line program, is the savings that they ultimately make in crossing their chosen Finish Line™.
In working towards the set end date for treatment under a program our clients have unlimited access to hands on physiotherapy, and active rehabilitation, and assigned access to ancillary services such as remedial massage therapy and podiatry. The active rehabilitation can include access to state of the art equipment such as the Galileo Whole Body Vibration platform, or the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, as well as equipment based clinical pilates, and access to our app based personalised and progressive home exercise programs.
By attending these services as much as is necessary to get across the Finish Line™ the savings for such receiving such treatment under a fixed fee as opposed to a session to session basis can be very substantial. We are yet to have a graduate from a Finish Line Program not receive far more in value of services the received than the associated fixed Program fee.
I recently made comments about this benefit of our Finish Line™ programs in an interview:
Patients love it because they can see the merit in it and they can see benefits. It doesn’t take a mathematician long to work out that if I choose a two, six or 12-week finish line compared to session-to-session, of course I’m going to come out in front. Every single time a patient has graduated a program they have received oodles more in value than what they would have going session by session.From a business owner perspective and this is what I’m excited about is … I care about the client getting the result. I don’t care how many sessions it takes to get them there. I just don’t want the brand risk for POGO of the patient saying at a barbecue ‘I saw those people and they got me okay’. I want them saying ‘they were outstanding, they got me from where I was they got me back to the footy field and beyond’.Patients love it because they can see the merit in it and they can see benefits. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet
Read more about our industry first Finish Line™ Programs here.
In the next blog I will outline the top 5 benefits to clients when they attend longer initial physiotherapy consultation.
Yours on your journey towards your Physio Finish Line,
Brad Beer (APAM)
Author ‘You CAN Run Pain Free!’
Founder POGO Physio