The Right Related Service Provider Does More Good for Less Money
Get The Right Related Service Providers for Less Money
Many therapy staffing companies can send special education programs related service providers who are passionate about helping children with special needs achieve.
But how many can do so while controlling costs?
Only Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) has developed the technology platform and management supports needed to keep spending low and therapy quality high.
Here’s a brief look at three programs we’ve helped do much more good for many more students—without spending a lot more money!
Stopping Budget Bleed Without Sacrificing Services
The West Chester Area School District urgently needed to make a change. Its staffing costs had been rising, year after year, for nearly a decade. The district turned to PTS, hoping we could stop their special education budget bleed.
We did—for five consecutive years!
How? We implemented a progressive approach marked by accountability and fiscal transparency. It decreased the district’s costs without losing a single step in services.
In fact, in the district’s PTS/Austill’s Rehab Services, our effective hourly rate proved 10% lower than the previous provider’s, despite our $7/hour higher bill rate.
Based on the results we delivered, PTS was awarded the district’s entire Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy contract in the 2008-2009 school year. The district’s average cost per month fell 4.7% that year and an additional 5% the next.
And we weren’t done! Since 2010, PTS has worked to bring the district’s most involved outplaced students back to their home district. While that work added to PTS’ cost, the district has saved tens of thousands of dollars they were spending on private placements.
To this day, West Chester Area School District’s satisfaction with the OT and PT services we provide remains at an all-time high. We’ve also added other types of related services: Speech-Language Pathology, School Nursing, and Psychology.
Drawing on Data to Keep Related Services Costs Under Control
Our proprietary, award-winning BudgetWatchTM software helps target opportunities for reducing spending, improving workflow, and maximizing resources. Programs can then channel the money saved into innovative, proactive initiatives for improving student outcomes.
The window BudgetWatchTM gives into programs’ operations and expenses allow for more effective management. We can make necessary adjustments—adding students to caseloads, for instance, or raising therapists’ pay to keep a team intact—without proportional spending spikes.
A year-to-year cost comparison of our speech therapy work in Centennial School District demonstrates our management chops. We were recently awarded another three-year contract because, at the time of the previous renewal in 2016, our total cost had stayed within 0.4% of what it was when the program launched in 2005.
Such a negligible rise over so many years may seem to defy the cost of living increases and market forces. But data-driven, determined management makes the difference!
Our team collaborates with Centennial’s dynamic special education leadership to clarify processes, tighten schedules, and serve students in small groups whenever possible. In addition, the PTS Clinical Director provides weekly on-site support in the district at no additional cost—a valuable perk of being a PTS client.
Since PTS started delivering speech services to the whole district, overall efficiency—measured as total IEP time covered plus diagnostic time, divided by hours billed (to capture group sessions’ benefit)—has consistently been 100% or higher.
Serving Even More Students Without Adding to Therapy Caseloads
As happens in so many districts, administrators in the Upper Perkiomen School District simply assumed annual jumps in related service costs were inevitable.
But one year, the Director of Pupil Services and Special Education reluctantly decided it was time to explore other options. While the district liked their staffing company’s friendly and competent related service providers, the budget was growing tighter and didn’t have room to pay the provider’s ever-increasing rates.
In a single year, PTS was able to save the district money and stabilize its budget.
Our average cost per student receiving direct OT service was $538 less than the previous provider’s. In a district with 134 students on its OT caseload, that difference amounted to $72,092 in savings—a 25% reduction in related service costs.
What’s more, we provided a targeted suite of pre-referral interventions around handwriting and sensory processing. These interventions helped even more students, who weren’t eligible for the therapy caseload, improve function.
In subsequent years, PTS kept Upper Perkiomen’s costs controlled, transparent, and tied to investments in district initiatives.
And what about those friendly and competent clinicians from the previous provider the district had liked so much? Upper Perkiomen got to know ours, too! Since PTS has one of the lowest turnover rates among therapy staffing companies, their satisfaction with our related service providers only keeps growing!
If you’re ready to find out how PTS can strengthen your district’s or school’s special education program without straining your budget, call us at 610-941-7020 or contact us online today.