Fyzical Redefines PT Business
A Sarasota-based company has quickly turned physical therapy into a business that can be franchised around the nation. Entrepreneur magazine this month recognized Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers as one of the top 20 new franchise companies in the US or Canada, and company officials continue to expand the reach of medical disciplines participating in the new business model.
Fyzical began franchising in 2013 and to date boasts 206 locations with another 25 under construction, according to Kevin Mercier, the company’s director of marketing. The company, founded by Jim Abrams, began as a solution for physical therapists’ offices having trouble keeping the doors open following significant cuts in reimbursements. “Many of these individuals didn’t go to business school, they went to physical therapist school,” Mercier says. Fyzical helped offices develop a new business model where service revenues were supplemented with product sales while new business practices uncovered financial efficiencies. Health care continues to evolve, but Mercier says the business model will eventually wean franchises off of reimbursements so that such shifts in the marketplace don’t threaten company viability.
While the franchises were originally marketed to physical therapists almost exclusively, as the company expanded its model to help otolaryngologists and more recently audiologists, the interest in the Fyzical model grows as well. The company also incorporates a balance program developed by Brian Werner of the Werner Institute of Balance and Dizziness in Las Vegas. Mercier says that presents an important service for the medical professionals to offer. “It helps patients who don’t know where to turn,” he says.
Fyzical locations now operate in 35 states and the corporate headquarters remains in Sarasota. The company today ranks as the sixth largest physical therapy company in the United States. In Entrepreneur’s listing, which lists Fyzical at Number 18 on its Franchise 500 list, it commends all companies on the list for innovative business models. “These companies are already getting attention in the franchise world for their innovative products and services, marketing methods and technologies,” writes editor-in-chief Jason Feifer.