Cut Costs, Not Quality. Learn How!
Generally speaking, it is easy to become complacent with the way things are.
Think about it—traditions are convenient, simply because there is no need to make an effort to change! But when it comes to your school therapy services and the numerous groups in need of support—teachers, therapists, parents, and the students themselves—an adjustment to “the way things are” may optimize results and raise your team’s level of efficiency. There is also the added benefit of reducing your special education budget in the long run.
At Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), we believe our program management resources lead to greater success for students receiving therapeutic services and help you control costs at the same time. Assessing and reallocating your related services budget can help you maximize resources while treating the highest number of students at the lowest possible cost.
Ready to get started? Below are three cost-cutting courses of action to note.
Three Ways to Manage the Costs of Your School Therapy Services
- Develop and monitor eligibility criteria.
Standards for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech, language, and hearing therapy lack critical foundation.This can cause misunderstandings between you and your therapists regarding whether certain students should be on or off the caseload. This is where administrative intervention comes in.Avoid the confusion by outlining your district’s therapy service criteria for accepting and discharging students. Treating only the students that fit the appropriate guidelines will not only save your district money and time; it will also enable students to receive the care they need—the utmost goal of every special education program.
- Strengthen the therapist-teacher-parent connection.
Historically, teachers have not received specific training in therapeutic strategies. However, those who have a clear understanding of what goes on during one-on-one therapy sessions and how to apply those strategies in the classroom will be able to monitor students and communicate more accurately with therapists. In turn, equipping teachers and paraprofessionals will reduce the amount of referrals made in the future.Likewise, meeting with parents, setting expectations, and relaying key information about their child’s school-based therapy experience is crucial.If the student has plateaued, explain why her/his therapy sessions must end. When you make time for staff and parents to meet and express their observations and concerns, your team will reach a higher level of productivity and a lower level of unnecessary spending.
- Make data-driven decisions when it comes to managing your related services.
Are your therapists spending too much time on paperwork? Are there students stuck on the caseload when they should be discharged? Is one of your buildings over-referring for therapy? You cannot know for sure if you don’t have accurate data to reference! Objective data collection on the delivery of your related services across buildings and specialized classrooms shows where resources, time, and money are being used.
What PTS Offers
How exactly can you effectively collect measurable data? Introducing BudgetWatch™, a PTS approach to gathering key information on caseloads, referrals, efficiency, and other aspects of your special education program. As therapists enter their monthly billing data, it goes into a relational database, where PTS can run analytics on every aspect of your program.
Presenting these metrics in an easily accessible graphic report called Program Summaries allows administrators to determine what areas within your related services program need improvement, and what can be done to boost the individual and overall performance of therapists. This feature also shows how your related services dollars are being allocated, which helps you identify opportunities for savings.
An effective program always starts with a great team of clinicians. We offer a unique and thorough placement process known as the Therapy Achievement Approach. Our objective here is to match the best clinicians with the appropriate school environments for long-term success. When working with a client, we make sure to exceed the expectations of other therapy staffing agencies by providing
- Monthly analyses of program trends (referrals, caseloads, and costs)
- Professional consulting to reduce errors
- Expense control
- Web-based data tracking
- Targeted in-service programs
- Easy-to-read invoices
- And more
When it comes to school therapy services, cutting costs doesn’t have to mean cutting quality. For more information about PTS, or to speak with someone about our cost management methods, please visit us here or call us at 610-941-7020.