As many of you know, I don’t talk about anything on our blog unless I’ve actually experienced it. This topic is no different, and by no means is meant to degrade either RehabCare or RehabChoice. We have working agreements for PRN therapist staffing with both companies, so I feel confident I can comment on both. And this is not limited to these two companies – there’s also Select Rehabilitation, Rehab America, Incite, Restore, and a multitude of others, especially if you include all of the travel rehab companies.
But back to RehabCare or RehabChoice…
Quite simply, the names can be very confusing. After all, they both start with Rehab. Does this confuse therapists that are seeking a new job? Do therapists apply for one company, thinking it is the other? Or worse yet, do therapists interview with one company, only to find out it is not who they thought it was? And do LTC facilities get equally confused?
So if the names are confusing, let’s look at some other things that will hopefully differentiate the two companies…
The company logos. Here they are:
Definite color differences, among others. My thoughts? The RehabChoice logo conveys many people centered around one mission or goal – the red dot center. The old RehabCare logo, which is not pictured, was warming with the heart in the hand. The new RehabCare logo contains their slogan, but no strong visual. Is one better than the other? I don’t think so.
Enough of the fluff – let’s get down to the definite differences. No therapist is going to pick one company over another because of their logo.
First things first: Social media. Go to RehabCare’s website, and you’ll see links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You won’t find these at RehabChoice. What does this imply? If you’re a social therapist, or perhaps one that embraces technology and media, RehabCare may be the choice for you. But if you are BIG into social media, you’ll be equally disappointed in RehabCare’s attempt at Social Media. At the time of this post, their YouTube videos, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets are intermittent at best, and there are numerous employees on LinkedIn without a profile picture. I’m no Social Media guru by any means, but this could use an improvement..
Size. On the home page of RehabCare you’ll find the following:
“RehabCare is the leading provider of rehabilitation services, including physical, occupational and speech-language therapies, to over 2,000 hospitals and long-term care facilities in 46 states. We are the premier provider of rehab throughout the full continuum of care, including long-term acute care hospitals, nursing and rehabilitation centers, inpatient acute rehab units, independent rehabilitation facilities and hospice and home care locations.”
Impressive? Sure, especially for those new graduates hungry for a position. Attractive? Likely not for the more experienced therapists that have already worked for corporate America.
Cruise on over to www.RehabChoice.com and you will not find any boasting of its size. However, you will find the following:
“Rehab Choice Incorporated (RCI) is proud to be one of the few privately-held, therapist-owned providers of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology in the United States. Founded in 1980, RCI provides services to patients in skilled nursing facilities, retirement communities, school districts, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and home health agencies.”
So which company is bigger? RehabCare, without a doubt. So if you are making a decision based upon size alone, there’s your answer. But is size synonymous with stability? No. If anything, dynamics are more common in these rehabilitation settings than stability.
What about pay and benefits? These are often critical and determining factors in employee hiring and retainment. In many cases, it’s the therapist who provides benefits for their family.
RehabCare offers the following comprehensive benefit package to its employees:
“As a large and financially viable company, we can offer competitive compensation and a full range of benefits, including health and life insurance, short- and long-term disability, 401(k), flexible spending accounts, tuition assistance and much more.”
So how does RehabChoice stack up? They offer the following benefits package:
- Paid time off
- Bereavement leave
- Jury duty
- Health, Dental and Prescription drug insurance
- Life insurance
- Short-term disability
- Long-term disability
- Professional liability insurance
- 401(k) plan
- Many clinical benefits
- Paid Continuing Education
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, you won’t find mention of a pay scale on either website. If these two companies are commonly confused, and so comparable in their offerings, I’d want to make every effort possible to differentiate myself. So why not talk about your salary offering, even if it is a range based upon X, Y, and Z? We offer our pay ranges on our website, and if you are in the know with what people are looking for when they visit your website, you would too. Just ask The Sales Lion, he’ll tell you why. J
Experience matters. After all, if I’m gonna take my car to a mechanic – it’s gonna go to the experienced one. Not the new guy on the block that just got out of lugnut school. Same goes with rehabilitation and your first job. You want to go with someone that knows what the heck they are doing. RehabCare goes back to 1982. RehabChoice was founded in 1980. Pretty darn close. A significant difference? Doubtful.
Litigation. Yep, that ugly elephant in the room that no-one wants to talk about. Lawsuits and the implied ethical (or lack thereof) conduct of business that goes along with those. The following is found on a Google search of “RehabCare Lawsuits”. The entire first page of my Google search for this term has stories about lawsuits involving RehabCare. And I didn’t care to explore the second page. Now, don’t get me wrong, a larger company does expose itself to more opportunities for litigation. It’s like me working in my wood shop after hours…the more I run that table saw, the more opportunities I have to nick my finger on that blade, especially if I’m not using the correct safety equipment.
Do a Google search for “Rehab Choice Lawsuits” and you’ll not find even a single result or story of Rehab Choice involved in a lawsuit. What’s to learn here? Perhaps PTs, OTs, SLPs and beyond should do their homework on their prospective new employer. I often hear that therapists don’t want to expose themselves to litigation, so researching a bit in a manner such as this in just a few short minutes on Google would make sense. Easy, huh?
I think that’s enough for comparison sake, don’t you? Is one company better than the other? Your call, not mine…after all, I’m not a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech therapist. So that’s a decision I don’t have to make, but you may. So please, do your home work so that you can make the best decision possible. Feel free to contact me if you have an interview coming up with one or the other. I’ll be happy to help you figure out the best way to do your “pre-interview” homework. This is something everyone should be doing in this economy.
What are your thoughts? Is one of these companies better than the other? The comparisons, as least from their websites, certainly have very few differences. Perhaps advanced searching in social media and Google would reveal more. I’d love to hear from you, especially if you’ve worked for one or both of these companies.
For the last couple of years, I have been learning rather quickly about the contract therapist staffing industry. Particularly, the temp therapist staffing we deal with here at Metropolitan Health Staffing Network. During this time, I’ve come across quite a few questions and comments regarding therapists, pricing, availability, and of course, “competition”.
Not being shy to mention who our competitors are, I thought I would help those out that search for the best contract therapist staffing companies in the St. Louis area. And when I say therapists, I do imply physical, occupational, and speech, as well as PTAs and COTAs.
- PEG Therapists.Founded in Columbia, MO and located currently in St. Louis, PEG has been around for over twenty years. Having been entrenched in the St. Louis Metro area for that long, PEG is the name I come across most often, especially in skilled nursing and hospital settings. Those loyal to PEG swear by their ability to help.
- Eclipse HealthCare. Based out of Tulsa, OK, this agency does have a staffing office in the St. Louis area. From second-hand information gathered over the years, it seems their primary presence in the St. Louis area is with home health agencies.
- Supplemental HealthCare. With their corporate office in Park City, UT, Supplemental also has a local office in St. Louis to meet the demands of nursing and allied health. Being a national company, Supplemental receives frequent mentions in my discussions with therapists and facilities in most therapist settings.
- Metropolitan Health Staffing Network. Headquartered in Alton, IL (just across the river from St. Louis), Metropolitan Health Staffing Network has been staffing therapists for just over two years. Experience and relationships not lacking though, as we are a branch of MetroRPh, a temporary pharmacist staffing company serving the St. Louis area for over 25 years.
So there are four companies to consider if you’re looking for contract therapist staffing in the St. Louis, Missouri region. No matter which company you choose, the quality of your experience will be based upon three things:
- Relationship with the staffing agency
- Quality of the therapists
- Availability of the therapists
Hopefully, your agency of choice will be able to deliver the highest level of quality with each of these, and your temporary staffing will be exceptional.
Every company is constantly trying to improve…and we’re no exception, as we’re always looking to better the services we provide in staffing temp PTs, OTs, SLPs, PTAs, and COTAs. That’s not news. But something occurred to me the other day that I’d consider a no-brainer. Perhaps I missed it earlier because I’m so intertwined in the daily tasks of our company, but to just about everybody else, it’s a no-brainer.
The source of my great revelation was centered on our timesheets. We don’t have anything that explains their use and benefits to the rehabilitation facilities we service. That’s it…pretty simple. I’ve previously outlined our timesheets from the therapist perspective, but not for facilities.
The purpose of this post is to explain how our therapist’s timesheets work and to demonstrate how this benefits the facilities we service. So let’s get right to it.
How do our timesheets work?
Quite simply, like many others, our hourly timesheets require the therapist to record their start and stop time, date, facility, mileage, and drive time – all the basics.
We also utilize a timesheet geared specifically for the home health setting. Most of these opportunities are paid per visit instead of hourly and are a bit more detailed, including everything previously mentioned, but also types of submitted documentation and visit.
Both formats are simple, one page timesheets that are completed weekly by therapists working with us, and they are due to our office each Monday by noon so that we can begin the internal process of invoicing the facilities and paying the therapists.
How does this benefit the facilities?
On the surface, it may look like an extra piece of paper for a facility to process. A headache, if you will. However, once explained, facilities often agree on the benefits of this simple sheet of paper. Here’s how…
Each therapist must sign and date their timesheet, which again, is nothing groundbreaking. Then, the therapists submit their timesheet, along with all the necessary patient documentation, to the facility. Not exactly rocket science, but why? Here comes the cool part.
We also require the facility to sign and date the timesheet as well. This does several things:
1) It allows the facility the opportunity to ensure they have all of the documentation for the hours/visits completed by the therapist.
2) It allows the facility to verify that the hours/visits completed by the therapist are accurate and are 100% complete.
3) It allows the facility to contact us with any questions and concerns before they’re invoiced or the therapist is paid.
This is a very good system of checks and balances and probably one that is far better, simpler, and more cost effective than that of our government. It’s probably less corrupt,too. But let’s not get into politics. If we don’t have a timesheet signed by both the therapist and the facility, we start tracking it down to see what documentation is missing. It’s often hung up somewhere…the therapist had not submitted, or the facility is still processing. Easy to resolve.
We won’t pay our therapists without a timesheet signed by both the therapist and the facility. Why? Because those hours/visits have not been verified by the facility. So simple, yet so beneficial for the facilities.
Once facilities understand the simple checks and balances process of our timesheets, they often agree what a benefit it really is.
Do you agree? What system do you use to ensure your employees and contract staff are reporting accurate hours/visits and completing all necessary documentation?
I was a bit naïve, and thought I knew all the reasons a facility could use PRN Physical, Occupational, or Speech Therapy help. Well, I was recently humbled and introduced to yet another reason.
Now, you may be blessed with a large staff of therapists – so much so that caseloads on sick days and vacations can be absorbed by the group as a whole. If so, congratulations! But what about those facilities that aren’t blessed with numerous therapists on staff? If you’re a one-PT rehab facility, you could certainly use the help.
This is especially the case with a scenario I was recently presented. The rehab facility in question had one part-time PT, and another PRN PT. This arrangement was more than sufficient, but it wasn’t without a curveball. The facility was switching over to an electronic form of time clocks called Kronos. I’m somewhat familiar with Kronos from an employee standpoint as my former employer implemented this during my tenure…and I’ll just say that it had its advantages and disadvantages. It seems logical for a healthcare facility to progress to an electronic time clock system; after all, everything else in healthcare is going electronic.
However, there was a potential disadvantage in this particular scenario. Each employee must have their own Kronos user ID to log in to the system in order to clock in and out, which of course, isn’t free. I browsed the Kronos website, and couldn’t find pricing, but this particular facility was going to have to spend $200 on each employee annually in order to have them in the Kronos system. Ouch!
This begs the question from the facility rehab manager: Do we use our PRN staff enough to justify paying $200 annually for them to be in our Kronos time clock system?
Good question…and one I cannot answer. Only the facility can. And at best, it may be an educated guess and not a black and white answer.
But…would it be more economical for the facility to utilize contract therapists instead of their own employed PRN therapists? Maybe so, maybe not. And that answer may differ from year to year.
There are potentially more hidden savings with using contract therapists instead of PRN employed therapists.
1. Reduced HR hours to maintain personnel compliance.
2. Contract therapists may not have to attend mandatory HR training, which is usually a paid training, at least to some degree.
3. HR doesn’t have to pay for TB tests, background checks, drug screens, and more for contract therapists. These are all the responsibility of the therapist.
One last thing to ponder for this particular facility is the idea of contract therapists. If therapists are now required to be their own independent contractor, many are not used to this fact. Or maybe more accurate, the vast majority are not used to this fact. As such, the therapists will not want to pay for and keep current their TB test, background checks, drug screen, professional liability insurance, and other requirements that fall upon an independent contractor’s shoulders.
But there’s good news! MHSN can take care of these staffing headaches. A facility is able to choose from a pool of contract therapists for help as needed, and therapists within our network don’t have to worry about the responsibilities mentioned above; we do that for them.
So there you have it. I don’t know every reason for a facility to use contract therapist staffing…and I’m sure more reasons will continue to surface. In the meantime, do you Kronos?
What are your thoughts? Do you utilize electronic time clocks, and has it affected your PRN staffing of therapists? If you are a therapist on PRN staff somewhere, would you become an independent contractor if that facility asked you to?
I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts entitled “A Quick Start Guide to becoming a 1099 PT, OT, or SLP” that I would share a spreadsheet to help keep your documents organized. As promised, here is that spreadsheet!
Organization is crucial in your quest to becoming a contract therapist. Working for yourself means that it’s imperative for you to have any and all documents ready at a moment’s notice because you’ll frequently find yourself in a new setting or location with a totally different set of HR requirements.
Once you have all of your documents compiled, simply keep a hard copy on hand. If you spend a fair amount of time travelling locally for work, it’s a good idea to keep one with you at all times. This makes it simple to drop by the local Staples to send off your information by fax…or better yet, keep these files electronically, and you can quickly email them off to take advantage of that killer new opportunity on short notice.
Some of these documents will need to be kept current annually or biannually, which is as simple as setting a reminder on your smartphone to take care of these before they expire.
So what documents do you need? Check out our Quick Start Guide for details on these, but here is the spreadsheet that we use in the Metropolitan Health Staffing Network office to keep these documents organized on each and every Physical, Occupational, or Speech Therapist that works with us. It’s actually a modified version, but the meat and potatoes of it are still there. Just email me at email@example.com, and I’ll shoot you the form right back…promise!
Contract Therapists, what do you use to keep yourselves organized that differs from this? Everyone would like to know, so please share!