There is always a reason that someone creates a new business. The person gets frustrated with the status quo. The entrepreneur thinks that they can do things better, faster, more efficiently or simply be different from the competition. This is the ‘why’ for the business. Why was the business created and what does it stand for? I want to give you a little bit of insight of why I created New Leaf Physiotherapy, NLP.
The story so far, found on my website, is that a colleague and myself were discussing the need for a mobile physiotherapy service in Kelowna. That is true on the surface but it went deeper than simply a need.
New Leaf Physiotherapy was founded on the premise of reducing barriers to physiotherapy, as well as giving back to the community. Having a physiotherapist come to the place where the client was, eliminated a barrier. It was the barrier of mobility. For example, having to leave work, get to your car, drive to the physiotherapy clinic, find parking, pay for parking, get back to your car, drive back to work and then get back to the office. All of those steps could simply be eliminated for clients. New Leaf Physiotherapy arrives at the office, sets up, assesses, treats and leaves. Not only does it save the employee time but also the employer has less down time with their employee going to a medical appointment.
One thing that NLP takes very seriously is client confidentiality. Client’s might get concerned that their employer gets ‘info’ on their condition. This is simply not true. It is actually illegal for NLP to share your medical information, diagnosis or treatment with anyone, including a spouse, boss or anyone else. Unless you specifically state that you will allow us to chat with someone about your condition. An example of that might be your family doctor, massage therapist or your athletic trainer.
Another example of how New Leaf Physiotherapy helps to eliminate barriers is to treat parents of young or multiple children. Most parents cringe when they tell me that they go to physiotherapy and they have to take their 2 or 3 children with them. The children have to wait in the waiting room area and will most likely get into teasing each other, getting into a sibling tussle… It was too much of a headache and stressful on the parent. Going to see young Mothers and Fathers is a great way for the family to get the physiotherapy treatment they need and deserve with minimal stress. I can tell you how an initial visit usually goes and I find a difference between little boys and little girls. When I first arrive at the house, the children are really interested in me, my backpack and my big black bag, where the physiotherapy table is in.
They watch in awe as everything is set up in a couple of minutes. Little boys will ask some questions and hang around to watch some of the assessment. Once their curiosity is satisfied and find that I am working with Mom or Dad, they find it boring and usually leave. Little girls, on the other hand, then ask questions but really hang around and stay close to Mom or Dad. They seem to be much more curious and/or sensitive to the parents getting assessed/treated. They will even stay around for the first few treatment sessions!
Another way, New Leaf Physiotherapy has tried to eliminate barriers to physiotherapy is the financial barrier. Unfortunately, physiotherapy has a cost. This is why NLP prides itself on direct billing for our clients when possible! For example, Pacific Blue Cross has an amazingly simple website for us to access, from your home. We log into the website and within 2-3 minutes, we have billed Pacific Blue Cross and you only have to pay the remainder of what was not covered, if any at all. It is a pretty slick system.
Telus also has Telus Health, a way to direct bill multiple insurance companies on the client’s behalf. Manulife, Sun Life, Desjardins, Great West Life are some of the few insurance companies that can be direct billed. Telus Health is a much more complicated system than the Pacific Blue Cross system.
And there have been multiple times that when I have entered all the client information, the insurance company comes back and says that the policy cannot be billed directly. It can be a little bit frustrating for both parties, grrrr. The upside to that is that most extended health/benefit companies have an online portal. If you register with your insurance company online, you can submit claims, even when we try to online bill and get rejected. Most of the time you get reimbursed within 24-48 hours.
Giving back to the community has always been something that has been close to my heart. My parents tried to instill at a young age, to myself and my brothers, the importance of giving back to the community. My parents amassed thousands of volunteer hours, each. When my brothers and I were younger, they volunteered with the local community. As we got older and our Gido, went into St. Michael’s Nursing Home in Edmonton, my Dad started volunteering there as a way to spent time with his Dad. After Gido passed away, I believe I was 14 at the time, I am now 44, my Dad stayed volunteering at St. Michael’s nursing home. He still volunteers to this day for St. Michael’s. Now is helps with working Bingo’s and other fundraisers for the nursing home.
It is that type of longevity I would like to commit to in Kelowna. I love the city and community! I always try to improve the area/neighbourhood that I am working/living in.
How have I tried to help improve the community? You can see it on my blog posts, titled “Turning Over a New Leaf”.
In 2014, I gave $300 to a single Mom with a young daughter, that had a difficult time affording physiotherapy services. It was given to her for her daughters RESP.
In 2015, there was only enough money raised to help one family. Again, it was part of the New Leaf community, the Dad diagnosed with cancer, the son in-law in hospital with pneumonia earlier in the year, the daughter severe low back and hip pain and the Mom caught in the middle trying to take care of everyone. And the little Grandson.
In 2016, there were three blog posts about “Turning Over a New Leaf”, parts 1-3.
Who know what 2017 will hold? But as NLP’s business grows, we will be sure to help more people in the Kelowna community!
Now you have much more insight into what makes us at New Leaf Physiotherapy tick. Do you have any suggestions for other barriers for us to overcome? If so, please feel free to share with us your comments.