Burnout amongst physical therapists is incredibly high, especially in the state of Colorado. Many outpatient clinics in Colorado have not gotten a raise from insurance companies over the last decade. More have sold to nationwide venture capitalist firms where the bottom line is money. The private practices that have remained private and local have had to significantly increase their patient volume in order for companies to turn a profit in an insurance-based system. Subsequently, therapists end up seeing more patients a day, have less time to prepare for their patients, and have less time in the clinic to spend with their patients.
This has led to an increase in therapist burnout and significantly poorer patient care. Ten years ago it was not uncommon for therapists to see one patient per hour in the outpatient setting. Now, it is not uncommon for therapists to see two to four patients per hour. This has led to poor continuity of care overtime, frustrated patients, and frustrated and burnt out therapists.
In a normal eight hour work day a therapist that sees two patients per hour is seeing 10-16 patients per day. For the larger Denver metro area this is the standard of practice. 10-16 patients per day, no time for therapist documentation, and no time for follow up emails or further patient communication.
It might be hard to conceptualize how much of a burden it is for a therapist to see two patients per hour. If you work in sales or an office setting imagine having 10-16 thirty minute meetings scheduled back to back for your whole day. You have been given no time to prepare for these meetings, the meetings all cover different topics, and you are supposed to deliver to each client with the same quality that you did the last. Often, these meetings overlap and you are trying to sell to two clients at once. Now imagine that you have to do that five days a week and you are not paid for the time you are not in a meeting with clients.
This is corporate healthcare.
This is why you’ve had appointments in the past where the therapist doesn’t remember your name, they don’t remember your injury, they don’t remember your goals or why you are there, and most of your sessions are spent with a technician who has no medical training. Most importantly, you haven’t gotten better. At Golden Endurance we care about you as an individual. We work hard to help you achieve your goals. We might not have all the answers, but we make sure that you are equipped with the tools to navigate both your injury and the larger healthcare system. We do not contract with insurance companies, we contract with you. That means hour long sessions, one on one with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, detailed follow up emails, and constant communication so that we are working towards your goals.
When scheduling a therapy appointment you might not know how the clinic operates. Here are a couple of questions to ask the scheduler or physical therapist:
How many patients do your therapists see a day?
At Golden Endurance we see no more than six patients per day.
How much time will I get one-on-one with a Doctor of Physical Therapy?
At Golden Endurance you will spend one hour with a Doctor of Physical therapy every session.
Are you locally owned by physical therapists or is this a nationwide corporation?
Golden Endurance is owned and operated by physical therapists. In the Denver Metro many companies may claim they are locally owned but their therapists are employed by a firm in another state.