How To Find And Track Patient Leads For Mobile Physical Therapy

In todays post, I will be discussing how to find patient leads for mobile physical therapy. All patients start as leads. A lead is someone who is not an actual patient, but they have taken action(s) that show they are interested in becoming a patient. The more complex the action, the more valuable the lead. A simple action may be providing an email to request more information, while a more complex action could be filling out a multistep form to sign up for a theoretical physical therapy appointment. Actions can be digital, physical, or financial. What this all means is that not all leads are the same and it’s important to understand what action(s) have been taken to define the lead. More valuable leads are ones that are more likely to become paying customers and stay paying customers.

In order to find leads, you must first know what a lead is worth to your business. If you don’t know this information you will never be able to logically justify an investment to grow your business. Given what’s at stake, I have found many new mobile physical therapists struggle to answer this question. Throughout this post, I hope to answer this question by first asking and answering separate, but related questions:

  • How much do you or will you charge for a single physical therapy session?
  • What is your average number of sessions (follow ups) per episode of care?
  • How much is a single customer (patient) episode worth to your business?
  • What is your conversion rate for turning leads into patient?

How much do you or will you charge for a single physical therapy session?

After discussion with dozens of mobile physical therapists across the United States, I discovered the majority charge anywhere from $75 to $300 per session. The average is somewhere between $100 to $175. This varies based on geographical area and experience. If you are not currently practicing as a mobile physical therapist, I outlined some general principles that may give you a little more guidance on what to charge.

Low range ($75-$100): Physical therapists with less than 1 year of clinical experience or no experience with mobile physical therapy

Low-mid range ($100-$125): Physical therapists with 1-2 years of experience or some experience with mobile physical therapy

Mid range ($125-$175): Physical therapists with 3-5 years experience, board certification, or moderate experience with mobile physical therapy

Mid-high range ($175-$250): Physical therapists with 5-10 years of experience, board certification, or significant experience with mobile physical therapy

High range ($250+): Physical therapists with exceptional reputation and their name alone drives patients to their business.

Keep this number in mind as it will be needed below. The above information is estimates and will not apply to everyone. If you already have experience with mobile physical therapy, then use the number that you have proven works for you.

What is the average number of sessions (follow up visits) in a single episode of care?

This will depend heavily on the type of patients and diagnoses you see along with your own personal practice patterns. When I talk with physical therapists getting into mobile physical therapy, they struggle answer this question since they have little or no data to go by in the mobile physical therapy space. Since practice patterns vary significantly across the country and between physical therapists, I recommend physical therapists track their own personal data on patient type and episode of care length based on where they currently or previously practiced under more traditional models.

It might look something like this:

Shoulder pain: 5 visits on average

ACL rehab: 9 visits on average

Back pain: 7 visits on average

It’s obviously not perfect since it’s not the same as mobile physical therapy, but it’s a good enough starting point. If you are in an inpatient setting where the numbers would not apply to an outpatient mobile setting, then just try to estimate as best as you can. From my experience, the average episode of care is usually somewhere between 4 to 8 visits for most medically necessary care. Again, this really depends on practice patterns and patient type. If there is more of a focus on prevention, wellness, or post-operative care, this number could go up significantly.

Even if it’s a rough estimate, plan to have a number in mind because we will also be using it below.

How much is a single customer (patient) episode worth to your business?

After the previous two questions, you should now know or have an estimate of what you charge per session and the average episode of care length.

To illustrate an example, let’s assume you are charging $150 per session when calculating the worth of a single customer.

Patients with shoulder pain: $150 per visit x 5 visits (avg.) = $750
Patients in ACL rehab: $150 per visit x 9 visits (avg.) = $1350
Patients with back pain: $150 per visit x 7 visits (avg.) = $1050

It’s important to understand here that the number of visits is an average across all patients for a particular group, rather than one specific patient. You may want to calculate this number for various patient demographics and diagnoses that you want to treat. I expect these metrics are likely to vary between physical therapists.

What is your conversion rate for turning leads into patients?

Conversions are defined as the ability to convert a lead into a patient. The ability to convert is primarily based on two factors: lead quality and sales messaging. Let’s discuss each below:

Lead quality: I already discussed lead quality briefly in the introduction of this post. Different types of leads have different value. In order to accurately calculate or understand your conversion rate, you must track how you are generating your leads. If you buy leads from a third party, it’s important to ask what action(s) the lead has taken and the overall lifecycle the lead as been through. Generally, the more complex the action(s) or lifecycle, the higher the lead quality. Below is a basic schema for grading digital lead quality:

  • Low quality - the lead gave their email in exchange for free information on their condition
  • Average quality - the lead gave their email, but at a later point filled out second form with more detailed contact information in exchange for a free phone consultation
  • High quality - the lead gave their email, at a later point filled out second form with more detailed contact information, and also entered payment information or signed up for an appointment that they know will cost money

The above is only one perspective of how to grade lead quality. There are multiple other criteria you may want to use to grade quality and this criteria will vary depending on how leads are collected. The above assumes the leads are collected through a digital medium.

Sales messaging: Success with converting leads to patients is heavily based on how you sell your services. Sales messaging will likely vary depending on your personality type and the specific services you can offer. Anytime you are selling a service, the first thing to understand is “what does the patient value?” and “why would they pay for my services?”. It’s important to relate these values to their personal goals and every day life. Many potential patients may not understand the value you can offer through words alone, especially if they have never previously had physical therapy. You may find it necessary to offer free initial discovery visits, free phone consultations, or discounted evaluations with the goal of getting patients in the door to prove your value. If you use special offers like this, you should deduct it from the revenue of a single customer episode of care. Sometimes small sacrifices in revenue are worth significantly increased conversion rates.

The formula for conversation rate (CR) is pretty simple:
CR = # of patients / # of leads
30% CR = 3 patients / 10 leads

In this example, the conversion rate is 30%, which means you converted on 3 out of 10 patients.

How much is a patient lead worth to your business?

This is one of the more difficult questions to answer, but we now have the information to do it! Let’s work through some examples based on what we learned above:

Patient with shoulder pain scenario 1:
Customer value: $150 per visit x 5 visits (avg.) = $750
Conversion rate: 1 patient / 15 leads = 6%
Lead quality: low
Sales message: addressing patients pain points

In this first scenario, if you bought 15 low quality leads and converted on 1, you would generate $750 in revenue. Assuming you had no other expenses, if you bought each lead for $50 you would have no profit ($0 = ( 1 patient x $750 revenue ) - ( $50 x 15 leads )), if you bought each lead for less than $50 you would have profit, if you bought each lead for more than $50 you would be at a loss. What this tells you is leads in this case are definitely worth something less then $50 per lead. How much that is really depends on what profit margins are acceptable to you and your business. If you want a 50% profit margin than each lead could be worth $25 ($350 profit = ( 1 patient x $750 revenue ) - ( $25 per lead x 15 leads )). Just keep in mind we assumed you have no other expenses in this case.

Patient with shoulder pain scenario 2
Customer value: $150 per visit x 5 visits (avg.) = $750
Conversion rate: 3 patients / 10 leads = 30%
Lead quality: average
Sales message: addressing patients pain points

In this second scenario, if you bought 10 average quality leads and converted on 3, you would generate $2250 in revenue. In this case, if we assume you are also looking for a 50% profit margin then each lead could be worth $112.50 ($1125 profit = ( 3 patients x $750 revenue ) - ( $112.50 per lead x 10 leads )).

Patient with shoulder pain scenario 3
Customer value: $150 per visit x 5 visits (avg.) = $750
Conversion rate: 6 patients / 10 leads = 60%
Lead quality: average
Sales message: addressing patients pain points, free discovery visit

In this third scenario, if you bought 10 average quality leads, added an offer for a free discovery visit, and converted on 6, you would generate $3000 in revenue. In this case, if we assume you are also looking for a 50% profit margin then each lead could be worth $150 ($1500 profit = ( 6 patients x $500 revenue ) - ( $150 per lead x 10 leads )).

The use of tolerable profit margins above is only meant to illustrate the example of threshold or risk tolerance. It just gives you a starting point. Ultimately if you are generating or finding your own leads, you should only be paying the fair market value of a lead. Ultimately a fair market value will dictate your profit margins and it won’t necessarily be something you choose. However, you definitely should not focus on leads that have a fair market value that would place you below your tolerable profit margins. It’s not possible to know the fair market value of a lead based on theory alone. This can only be derived from experience of collecting leads and determining how much they cost given your own means. If you don’t have this information, then using a tolerable profit margin may be a great metric to go off when starting out and you can adjust as you learn more.

If you are buying leads from a third party source, you should expect to pay a little more than the fair market value so they can profit from their services. Keep in mind that they are saving you a lot of time and time is money. If you are generating your own leads you should be logging the time you put into it and assigning a fair theoretical hourly rate to your work. You may find through your own manual labor it is more expensive to get leads rather than just buying them from a third party source. This is not uncommon if you don’t have a lot of experience in marketing or invested a lot of time into your own comprehensive marketing system. The method you use will depend on how much startup money you have on hand and the risk you are willing to take with your time and/or money.

How many patient leads do I need?

This is another question we will now be able to answer using logic rather than faith. In order to answer it, you first have to have a business goal. Let’s assume your short term goal is to make $10,000 in revenue. Lets use the metrics from the shoulder pain scenario 3 for the calculations.

How many shoulder pain patients do I need:
13 patients = $10,000 revenue / $750 revenue per patient

How many shoulder pain leads do I need: 22 leads = 13 patients / .6 conversion rate

How to increase profit for my physical therapy business?

  • Charge more per visit as you gain experience
  • Increasing the average number of sessions in an episode, while still providing real value. Often times if you are seeing a patient for one specific problem, they are likely have additional unrelated impairments that will be amenable to physical therapy. Try to provide a whole body holistic approach by identifying existing impairments and discussing why it would be beneficial to address them.
  • Decreasing the cost of a acquiring patient leads by optimizing your current marketing system or purchasing leads from a better third party marketing system.
  • Work on improving the your conversion rate by optimizing your sales message and understanding the quality of your lead sources.
  • Focus on leads (patient demographics, lead qualities, treatment purposes) that have high profit margins based on their fair market value.
  • Review your business expenses and try to eliminate unnecessary expense.

How to find patient leads for my business?

You can manually find leads through physical or digital channels. Many physical therapist will hold physical workshops in the community as a lead generation sources. Others will create digital blogs or social media channels that focus providing free information in exchange for patient contact information. After becoming more established, word of mouth patient marketing is the best most and cost effective marketing strategy.

Tagojo can offload patient marketing with it’s Patient Lead Generation Program For Physical Therapists. The Tagojo Marketing Platform relies on paid social media ads, social media engagement, landing page sign ups, blogging, automated email campaigns, search engine optimization, marketing analytics, and various retargeting techniques. Setting up a successful digital marketing program on your own takes several hundreds of hours over many months of time. Tagojo makes the quality of it’s leads visible to you via actions taken throughout a defined lead lifecycle. This allows mobile physical therapists to reliably track and understand their conversion rate.

Enter a valid email address