One of the most pressing issues within the healthcare sector today is the struggle to access physical therapists. Scheduling appointments has never been more complex, and a report on healthcare productivity suggests that various aspects contribute to the broadening gaps in appointment scheduling. Firstly, there is a growing mismatch between patients' requirements and the healthcare professionals' subspecialties. Meanwhile, several factors, such as the location or the treatment insurance accepts, significantly impact patients’ preferences and decision-making. Miscommunication between front office staff and call center agents is also common. In addition, productivity depends on whether the practices are physician-owned or hospital-owned.
Aside from the aspects mentioned, the shortage of physical therapists and increasing patient demands coinciding with the aging baby boomer generation also affect the wait times for health appointments. Exacerbating the dilemma is that the elective surgeries canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic are now back in full swing, with the required postoperative physical therapy appointments right behind them.
Recent data reports that the average patient appointment takes around 26 days in 2022, illustrating an 8 percent increase since 2017. The unreasonable waiting time for scheduling health appointments initiates a domino effect that often leads to delays in treatment and, in turn, grave outcomes. Delayed physical therapy initiation, for instance, could increase the risk of opioid use in individuals with incident knee osteoarthritis. The post-pandemic circumstances in the healthcare industry also add complexity to this ongoing discussion as the need for improved and more accessible healthcare delivery becomes more prominent.
BRIDGE, a mobile physical therapy company, revolutionizes the healthcare sector, delivering services directly to patients at their desired location and time. The leading mobile physical therapy service in Southern California, recognizing the gaps in healthcare delivery, drives innovative change in physical therapy through ease of use, accessibility, and personalization, the same way ridesharing changed the transportation sector and streaming redefined media consumption.
BRIDGE is known for delivering search-book-heal physical therapy, wherein patients can choose their own physical therapist, book an appointment within minutes through an online platform even without a provider referral, and have the physical therapist at their preferred location, whether at their homes or offices, within 48 hours. Its dedication to guaranteeing personalized treatment for every patient, with over 60 minutes of one-on-one sessions, makes it stand out. With BRIDGE, patients no longer need to wait weeks to successfully book an appointment, only to spend less than 15 minutes with a physical therapist.
The past decades have witnessed insurance companies decreasing their per-patient reimbursement rates, forcing physical therapists to see three to four patients every hour, which leads to therapist burnout. Co-payments and out-of-pocket deductibles also add to the narrative. Given the limitations of the current insurance-based models in healthcare, the transition to a cash-pay practice model, wherein a quality-over-quantity approach to patient care and highly personalized treatment is emphasized.
Jeff Kunze and Collin McDonell, co-founders of Bridge
“When creating BRIDGE, we wanted to go back to patient-centric care and mimic the days when your community doctor made house calls. These doctors got to know you, your family, and your lifestyle and were able to formulate treatment plans from this knowledge. You also always knew who to call when something went wrong,” remarked Jeff Kunze, the co-founder and CEO of BRIDGE. As the only concierge-like service available to patients on workers’ compensation, Bridge2PT further showcases its commitment to meeting patients' ever-changing needs and demands by partnering not only with individuals but also with employers and municipalities. In essence, BRIDGE underscores its mission to employ a more integrative, customized, personal, and holistic approach to healthcare delivery.
BRIDGE not only focuses on providing the best care for patients but also the physical therapists. The premier outpatient physical therapy service provider employs an innovative approach to encouraging physical therapists to market themselves to potential patients and enjoy the flexibility of setting their availability around their existing schedule. This approach is a substantial effort to address the issue regarding the rising rate of physical therapist burnout. With this, Bridge2PT showcases its diverse healthcare model developed for both patients and healthcare providers.
Collin McDonell, the co-founder and COO of BRIDGE, stated, "Healthcare is one of the few industries that has not yet explored or embraced a convenience-based solution. People are busier than ever and accustomed to operating in a world where what they need is only a day away from Amazon. And yet, we expect patients to navigate through extremely complicated and drawn-out processes over weeks and months to get access to basic healthcare. We knew we could do better."
Ultimately, BRIDGE serves as the expert in every patient's corner, providing personalized care and customized treatment plans to their doorstep. It cultivates a culture of care for the patients and the physical therapists by employing an innovative model and holistic approach that guarantees benefits for all. BRIDGE is now seeking collaborations with like-minded individuals and entities who are relentless in their mission to recognize the ongoing trends in the healthcare industry, particularly in mobility and accessibility in the field of physical therapy.
Name: Kate McDonell
Email: [email protected]