Optimal Therapy finds the optimal solution for referral management

“I couldn’t begin to tell you how many good things LeadingReach has provided for us. It’s allowed us to save time, save manpower, be more accurate, be more accountable with our staff, and build relationships with other providers.”

Tarra Maruyama, VP of Operations

  • 22 Providers
  • Serving the Las Vegas Metro Area
  • 12 locations
About Optimal Therapy

Optimal Therapy is a multi-location provider of physical and occupational therapy services in Las Vegas. Serving the community with ten separate outpatient clinics, Optimal’s licensed therapists provide services within numerous specialties, including pediatric therapy, post- surgical therapy, and wound care.

Mergers and acquisitions are quite common in all industries but for some reason in healthcare, they tend to come about very quickly and often without warning. Seemingly in an instant teams from both organizations are left to decide who has the better process or technology to now try and apply to the other side.

This was true as well for Optimal Therapy, a full-service provider of physical and occupational therapy in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Formed by a July 2019 merger between Optimal Physical Therapy and Affiliated, each of which previously operated 5 outpatient clinics, now found themselves operating 10 outpatient clinics with different staffs and processes. Once the clinics merged, the teams had to quickly figure out how to combine processes and make the teams work together efficiently with a now increased referral volume. “We’ve always been focused on growth,” says Tarra Maruyama, VP of Operations at Optimal. And this growth mindset requires that Optimal successfully handle referrals with a common process. “At least 80% of our business is derived from physician referrals, so we definitely had to align our team’s strategy so they could continue to market to and communicate with physicians for those incoming referrals.”

The Challenge

Referral management at any multi-location high-volume practice can be a challenge, but the merger made matters especially difficult, as Maruyama can attest. “We had two different ‘old school’ processes before LeadingReach,” explains Maruyama. “When the referral was faxed in, the Affiliated side would drop it into Google Drive and start their scheduling attempts. On the Optimal PT side, we would drop it into Box [a cloud content management platform], punch the referral data into a spreadsheet, and then we would manage the spreadsheet as far as who we’re calling, follow-ups, response, all that good stuff. And then when we needed an individual referral, we would upload it into our shared EHR system.”

Maruyama was on the lookout for an alternative to the two disjointed processes for referral management. A lot of research and review of some solutions didn’t bear any fruit for Optimal until Maruyama recalled how a few years prior to the merger Optimal PT joined another physician network, Complete Injury Management (CIM), which utilized LeadingReach. She remembered they used LeadingReach for referral processing within the CIM network for some time and thought “You know what? We could really use this for our own needs!” says Maruyama.

“We had two different ‘old school’ processes before LeadingReach.”

The Solution

Optimal PT ultimately signed up with LeadingReach and the ability to standardize across all of the locations was an immediate big hit.

“This has been a drastic change from the pre-LeadingReach era when they needed multiple systems to track referrals, whether it was Google Drive, Box, or spreadsheets. With LeadingReach, it’s a one-stop shop,” says Maruyama.

Now Optimal can not only process referrals more efficiently, management was primarily impressed by the metrics and reporting provided by the LeadingReach platform. “I can pull
a reports showing our top ten referring doctors, where our process bottlenecks are, or really anything we needed an answer for” says Maruyama. “The Affiliated CEO loved the fact that we could track this,” says Maruyama. “He said ‘this is something that we need to go for.’ “

Patient scheduling could be streamlined as well, which is especially important for a provider with as many clinics as Optimal. “Where we have multiple clinics, we’re able to enter their zip code, say ‘where do you want to be scheduled?’ and look at it globally,” says Maruyama. “It also provides reminders to provide patients with educational tools. It makes it a seamless process from the moment that we received that referral.”

“This has been a drastic change from the pre-LeadingReach era when they needed multiple systems to track referrals, whereas with LeadingReach it’s a one-stop shop.”

The Results

LeadingReach has added business value to Optimal in numerous ways, which Maruyama lists off. “A tracking system which allows us to set metrics and hold people accountable. Set those KPIs, be able to see where we’re at. And it’s a visual thing, where you can log in and see this percentage is below where we need it to be. What can we do to be better today? The follow-up with each other, the accountability. Structuring the data in order to allow us to grow.”

Maruyama loves the ability of LeadingReach to examine various metrics on referral processing. “It allows us to see the time from when a referral hits to the time that we’re getting them in. Is there a disconnect? Is there a time lapse? Where do we need to improve?”

LeadingReach has also helped with Optimal’s marketing efforts. Optimal recently added a marketing team, and LeadingReach provided the data to guide them. “Having this data to start with was key for them to know which direction to go. Instead of trying to figure out tools to help them build the data, and THEN go out and market.”

To other healthcare groups not currently using referral software, Maruyama has several reasons for recommending LeadingReach. “If they were tracking referrals like we were, I couldn’t begin to tell them how many good things LeadingReach has provided in that transition for us. It’s allowed us to save time, save manpower, be more accurate, be more accountable with our staff, and build relationships with other providers.”

“It just works,” Maruyama sums up. “LeadingReach is filling the need perfectly.”

“LeadingReach gives us a tracking system which allows us to set metrics and hold people accountable.”