ApexNetwork Physical Therapy


ApexNetwork Physical Therapy continues to expand throughout the country

with appealing business models that focus on quality of care and business.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Knighthouse Media

ApexNetwork Physical Therapy is known as a disruptor in the healthcare industry for being the first in the United States to develop a physical therapy-only franchise model in 2008. “We have been ranked seven times on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 and have always been considered part of the health and fitness category,” Director of Franchise Operations Jason Baxter says. “What’s interesting this year is Entrepreneur created a specific category for physical therapy. We are excited that we were instrumental in helping drive this change.”

The Illinois-based company was founded in 1997 by friends who partnered to open up their first physical therapy clinic in their hometown of Highland, Ill. ApexNetwork got its start by seeing injured workers and specializing in industrial rehabilitation services, but its patients soon started asking for their family members to receive therapy. The company soon progressed to seeing patients with private insurance.

“Our first clinic was in an old truck depot; the front part of the building provided space for physical therapy, and the back part was for industrial therapy, complete with stairs, ramps, ladders and even half a truck cab,” Baxter says. “As we continued to be approached with other opportunities, we continued to expand in a fashion to allow us to monitor and improve the offering and support. Our strategic approach allowed us to take a proven system to physical therapists to help them achieve their dreams of opening their own clinic without having to recreate the wheel.”Apex2 info box1

Today, ApexNetwork is a leading resource for outpatient physical therapy with 70 locations in nine states including Illinois, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida and Virginia. “Our mantra is to provide excellent quality of care and physical therapy services in an upscale environment,” Baxter says. “We would rather have 50 very successful clinics than 500 mediocre clinics not only in terms of quality of care, but also from a quality of business execution standpoint. We are in the medical business, and the things done in the clinic can be life-changing for people; We take that responsibility seriously.”

Resourceful Partner

ApexNetwork prides itself on being a good partner to physical therapists who do not have the business acumen to open their own practice. “The healthcare sector is more challenging than retail because you are dealing with insurance, legislation, licensing laws and there can be a lot of unknowns,” Baxter notes. “I think one of the things that’s attractive about ApexNetwork if you are a therapist is that you can bring your skills and relationships to the table, and we can provide the rest.”

Apex Billing is a separate service started by ApexNetwork to oversee billing and collections for its franchisees. “The owner/operator can go in and treat patients and does not have to work directly with the insurance companies to get paid for their services,” Baxter explains. “We do that for them.”

ApexNetwork offers four business models to date. ApexNetwork continues to stay involved with its owner/operators by hosting meetings and training and development classes regularly throughout the year.

ApexNetwork continues to keep a close eye on the changes within the healthcare industry to support its franchisees, ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest legislation and technology options. For example, Telehealth is already a major focus for physicians, and several states are considering legislation changes to allow the Telehealth model in physical therapy.

Moving forward, ApexNetwork will continue to focus on growing its number of locations, listen to feedback from its franchise owners to continue to refine processes and implement ways to continue to improve the overall financial success of its clinics. “By doing this, our ultimate goal is to provide improved methods and support that will help our franchisees become more successful,” Baxter says. “We are reinventing the wheel, and that’s why people love franchises."



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