By: Matt Condon, CEO
Anniversaries are an awesome opportunity to remember the journey you’ve traveled, recognize the people who have supported you along the way, and recommit to the mission that will guide you for the decades ahead. Over the next few moments I’d like to share with you the road ARC Physical Therapy+ has traveled, show how thankful we are for your support, and remind you of the opportunity we have to partner together in the years ahead.
If you are reading this letter you have been a fundamental part of our history. You have become, in many ways, part of our family. Because of that you will also inevitably be a critical part of our future. Before we talk about that future though, I want to recap our journey over the last 15 years:
- In May of 2003 we started ARC Physical Therapy+ with the belief that the market would respond to a mission driven physical/occupational therapy company that was hyper focused on exceptional service and a technological backbone that would PROVE our quality with meaningful, actual outcome data. We believed that if we built it, referrals and partners would come. (← A classic “Field of Dreams” reference there…?)
- In our early days, we paid a consultant $2,500 who told us that while our vision sounded good it wouldn’t work, explaining that you couldn’t focus on the workers’ compensation segment first to build out a data strategy and then carry that brand over into commercial healthcare. We were told Employers/Payers wouldn’t listen. Doctors wouldn’t engage. And Adjustors/Case Managers/others wouldn’t support. As a result of that (inaccurate) guidance, we had some nervous nights, but in early 2003 we decided to push forward with our vision regardless.
- Our first clinic was at 6141 Connecticut Street just north of Kansas City. I was the first front desk person, scheduling our very first referrals in green, blue, or red pencils in a notebook at the front desk. We had one desktop computer that was shared among the two guys I hired, first to help with the tenant finish, and then to be the clinicians (Brian Stewart and Ryan Clark). In those early days, Brian and Ryan spent more time flinging stress balls at one another and arguing about who would get to see the one patient who might be coming in.
- We didn’t see many patients at first (in fact, we will see more patients today than we saw in our first year of business). We marketed everywhere and anywhere that would let us – employers, carriers, TPA’s, high schools, EVERYWHERE. We were bolstered by a passionate belief in the power of clinical quality, one that we each came to individually and that strengthened collectively.
- We made a lot of mistakes chasing down opportunities that never manifested, like holding free injury clinics on Saturday mornings for high school football teams (we are still waiting for our first patient to arrive!), but we learned at every turn.
- And we grew. Patients started to come in. Employers started to desire the unique brand of service and data we provided – and they started to direct their employees to our clinics. Doctors responded, appreciating our documentation clarity and focus on return to work requirements, and how that approach helped them achieve superior outcomes for our shared patients. Case Managers and Adjustors responded – using ARC Physical Therapy+ service quality to help differentiate their results with the injured workers they served. Physical and Occupational Therapists responded – reaching out to join us and become a part of an elite growing team of mission-driven clinicians. Support staff reacted too – wanting to help us evolve from those early days into the multi-state clinic operation we have today.
In 2003, we opened our doors with 2 clinicians, no patients, no contracts, but with a Mission: To be a Catalyst of Change in the Marketplace by Redefining Excellence in Healthcare. In the 15 years that followed we became one of the fastest growing operations of our kind and along the way were recognized with awards, both locally and nationally. That growth, and those recognitions, are a result of you, the people who supported us along the way.
Today, ARC Physical Therapy+ is fulfilling the mission and dreams we had at our inception.
- We recently opened our 20th clinic.
- We have become the premier physical therapy provider in the region treating ALL segments: Workers’ Compensation, Commercial Healthcare, and Medicare across Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.
- We are more than just a physical therapy and occupational therapy provider. We are truly unique in how we help employers with injury management and injury prevention in the workplace.
- In 2018, we will support almost 100,000 patient visits (in 2003 we had just over 300 visits).
- In 2018, we will perform 6,000 Post Offer Employment Tests for some of the largest employers in the US.
- In 2018 – we will perform 570 Functional Capacity Evaluation’s (FCEs), working with some of the best TPAs and Case Management teams.
And we are just getting started.
The one thing that has been constant with our company since the early days has been our willingness to invite change and demand innovation among our clinics, our clinicians, and our leadership. That relentless demand for excellence and improvement grows with each new member of our team, each new clinic, and each new day. In 2018, we are doubling down on that commitment.
Over the next few years, you can expect more growth, new services, enhanced communication, outcomes, and an even deeper commitment to data, data, and more data.
So please walk away from this note with two sentiments.
The first is to show our appreciation to you for working with us the past 15 years. You shared the sacrifices with us, so we are sharing the success with you!
The second is to give you notice that we will be looking for even deeper partnerships with you in the days ahead. We often remind our team that we have a short time on this earth. We owe it to one another to do something really special with our time. We don’t just have the opportunity to improve peoples’ lives, heal them, and make healthcare better for our children, we have a responsibility to do it. So that is what we plan to do. And just like the last 15 years, we are going to need you with us for the next 15 years to accomplish our goals. Thanks (in advance) for jumping on this bandwagon and taking the ride with us… together we can get this done!
From our family to yours, thanks for the last 15 years. And… here we go!