In January 2005, Sports PT was part of a unique arrangement with HealthSouth Corporation, an international healthcare organization. Due to a New York State law banning corporations from practicing medicine, Sports PT and HealthSouth were partners in the healthcare arena. Our full name was “Sports Physical Therapy of New York, PC, Managed by HealthSouth.” Through a management agreement, HealthSouth provided all the non-clinical support services for us (front-desk support, billing/collection, electronic medical records [EMR], human resources, real estate, etc.).
At that time, HealthSouth was in the midst of reorganization resulting from an accounting fraud scandal. This became our opportunity. In February, HealthSouth and I agreed to begin working to end our management agreement. Over the next four months, the Sports PT leadership team determined which of the 40 facilities would remain part of the organization. We worked diligently to re-create all the non-clinical services. This included purchasing all the equipment, assuming all leases, hiring all non-clinical personnel, implementing new EMR and billing/collection systems and new employee benefits programs, and much more.
On July 1, the management agreement with HealthSouth was terminated and the new Sports PT was born. We were comprised of 285 team members in 27 locations, from Buffalo to the tip of Long Island. The next six months were a whirlwind of activity. The leadership team wrote the Sports PT mission statement and established the values that still guide us today. By year’s end, Sports PT was caring for nearly 1000 patients per day!
How much did luck play a role in where we are today? Throughout my career, I have firmly believed that every challenge presents opportunity. I feel incredibly grateful for the support of the exceptional team of individuals (14 of whom are still here today) who helped make it all possible. In the book Great by Choice, author Jim Collins suggests that luck is really what we do with it. That is, luck is the sum of opportunity and preparedness. How true!