The world of allied health is vast, covering all sorts of disciplines dedicated to helping people improve their well-being. Private practices in this field come in all shapes and sizes, designed to meet the unique needs of both healthcare professionals and their clients.

Knowing about the different types of private practices can help you choose where you’d like to work as a contractor or shape your own practice to align with personal preferences as an owner. In this blog, we’ll dive into various private allied health practices, spanning from the traditional solo practice to innovative online-only, hybrid, and multidisciplinary models.

Solo Allied Health Private Practice

The Solo Allied Health Private Practice is a classic and straightforward model. A single healthcare provider operates independently, offering their services to clients. This model allows for full autonomy and control over the practice’s operations, making it an attractive option for those who value independence.

Characteristics

Independence

A solo practitioner operates independently, offering their services to clients without partners or associates.

Control

The practitioner has complete autonomy in decision-making, from client care to practice management.

Personalised care

Clients benefit from one-on-one, personalised attention from the solo practitioner.

Advantages

Autonomy

The practitioner has full control over their practice and decision-making.

Direct client relationship

A close, direct relationship with clients is established.

Simplicity

Practice management can be relatively straightforward.

Lower overhead costs

Operating expenses are often lower, including room rentals and software subscriptions.

Challenges

Limited diversification

The scope of services may be limited to the practitioner’s expertise.

Overwhelming responsibilities

Managing all aspects of the practice alone can be overwhelming.

Limited growth opportunities

There are fewer opportunities for revenue growth.

Low security

In the absence of work, there is no revenue, forcing a choice between receiving full pay and focusing on business growth.

Standard Private Practice

A Standard Private Practice typically involves a small team of allied health professionals of the same discipline, such as physical therapists, speech therapists, or psychologists, working together under the same roof. This model enables practitioners to collaborate, share resources, and offer a broader range of services to clients within their discipline.

Characteristics

Small team

A small team of allied health professionals collaborates under the same practice, offering a range of services.

Shared resources

Practitioners in the team usually share resources, administrative staff, and office space.

Variety of service

Clients can access a broader spectrum of services from different practitioners within the same practice.

Advantages

Collaboration

Collaboration among practitioners allows for a richer client experience and more comprehensive care.

Resource optimisation

Shared resources can lead to cost savings and operational efficiency.

Diverse services

Clients benefit from a variety of services within the same practice.

Growth opportunities

More practitioners offer increased opportunities for revenue growth, including the addition of different services.

Challenges

Coordination and space management

Coordinating schedules and responsibilities among multiple practitioners can be complex.

Practice management

Managing a team of professionals requires effective practice management which can be costly and time-consuming.

Higher overhead costs

Operating costs rise with a team, encompassing rent, administrative support, marketing, and software expenses.

Multiple Locations Private Practice

Some allied health practices expand to Multiple Locations, either within the same city or across regions. This approach allows practitioners to reach a broader clientele and capitalise on brand recognition.

Characteristics

Expansion

This practice model involves the expansion of a single allied health practice to multiple physical locations, which can be within the same city or across different regions.

Client reach

The primary goal is to reach a broader clientele and increase the practice’s footprint to serve a more extensive geographic area.

Brand consistency

These multiple locations maintain consistent branding and practice standards while tailoring services to the local community’s needs.

Advantages

Broader client base

Expanding to multiple locations increases the potential client base, capturing clients from different areas.

Geographic diversification

The practice can diversify its reach and tap into underserved or high-demand regions.

Economies of Scale

Sharing administrative and operational resources can lead to cost savings and greater efficiency.

Replicability

Once a successful process is established, opening new locations becomes easier through a replicable process.

Challenges

Administrative complexity

Managing operations across multiple locations requires effective coordination and oversight.

Consistency

Ensuring consistent quality of care, practice standards, and branding across locations can be demanding.

Logistics

Logistical challenges may arise in areas such as scheduling, staff management, and resource allocation.

Independent Group Private Practice

A Group Private Practice is an organisational model that involves multiple allied health professionals working together within a shared physical location. This approach promotes collaboration and synergy among practitioners who may work in different areas of allied health.

Characteristics

Group of business owners

In a group practice, each practitioner operates as their own business owner, responsible for their hours, fees, and policies.

Shared resources

Group practices often share their administrative and operational resources.

Variety

Group practices may comprise allied health professionals from the same discipline or a range of different disciplines.

Advantages

Collaboration

Practitioners can consult and collaborate, leading to a richer client experience and more holistic care.

Shared costs

Overhead costs, such as rent and administrative staff salaries, can be distributed among the practitioners, making it more cost-effective for each individual.

Diverse services

Clients have access to a variety of services within the same practice, saving them time and effort in finding different health providers.

Independence

As each practitioner manages their own business, they often have the autonomy to make independent business decisions.

Challenges

Coordination

Working in a group requires coordination of schedules and resources, which can become challenging as the number of practitioners increases.

Unconventional aspects

Some elements of group practices, such as administrative processes, may differ from what clients expect in a standard clinic, potentially causing confusion.

Practice management

Reaching consensus on the best management processes among multiple independent business owners can be challenging.

Practice culture

Maintaining a cohesive practice culture and ensuring practitioners share a common vision for the group can pose difficulties.

Satellite Private Practice

A Satellite Private Practice serves as an extension or branch of an existing allied health practice. These satellite offices are strategically located in different areas or regions to offer more accessible services to clients.

Characteristics

Strategic locations

Satellite offices are strategically positioned to address specific needs in various geographic areas, targeting underserved communities or high-demand regions.

Centralised support

Satellite offices often benefit from centralised support, such as administrative assistance and shared resources, maintaining consistency in practice operations and standards.

Tailored services

Practices can adapt their services to meet the specific needs of the communities they serve.

Advantages

Existing infrastructure

Satellite practices typically leverage the infrastructure and brand recognition of the main practice, reducing startup costs and facilitating a smoother expansion process.

Enhanced accessibility

Satellite offices bring allied health services closer to clients, improving accessibility and reducing travel time.

Resource sharing

Satellite practices can benefit from shared resources and administrative support from the main practice.

Challenges

Coordination

Coordinating operations across multiple locations can be logistically challenging.

Resource allocation

Serving a satellite office requires administrative and practice management resources, potentially burdening the main practice if the satellite office is not profitable.

Consistency

Ensuring consistent quality of care and services across satellite offices is essential but may require extra effort.

Online-Only Allied Health Practice

The Online-Only Allied Health Practice is a modern and flexible model that leverages technology to provide services remotely. These practices commonly employ telehealth consultations via phone or video, allowing practitioners to reach clients regardless of their location.

Characteristics

Virtual services

Practitioners leverage technology to provide remote services.

Geographic flexibility

Practitioners can serve clients worldwide, transcending geographic limitations.

Technology-based

Online-only practices often communicate and manage their workload via online business and communication platforms.

Advantages

Wider reach

The practice can reach clients beyond local boundaries, expanding the client base.

Cost savings

Overheads related to maintaining a physical location, such as rent and outgoings, are significantly reduced.

Flexible scheduling

Both practitioners and clients benefit from more flexible scheduling.

Challenges

Regulatory compliance

Navigating licensing and regulatory requirements for cross-border services can sometimes be complex.

Limited physical interaction

The absence of face-to-face interaction may be challenging for certain clients and practitioners.

Team cohesiveness and culture

Building a cohesive team with aligned values and goals in a virtual environment can be challenging.

Reliance on technology

The quality of service and client experience can hinge on the smooth operation of the systems used.

Limited applicability to some disciplines

Online delivery of health services is more suitable for therapy-based services, such as counseling.

Hybrid Allied Health Practice

The Hybrid Allied Health Practice combines both in-person and online services. Practitioners offer traditional face-to-face consultations while also incorporating telehealth options to meet the diverse needs and preferences of their clients.

Characteristics

Combination of in-person and online

Practitioners offer both traditional in-person consultations and virtual services.

Flexibility

Clients can choose between in-person or online appointments based on their preferences and needs.

Adaptive model

The practice adapts to changing client demands and technological advancements.

Advantages

Client-centric

The practice is able to cater to diverse client preferences, enhancing accessibility.

Adaptability

The practice can adjust to evolving healthcare trends and client expectations, while still offering traditional one-on-one services.

Cost savings

Incorporating telehealth can lead to cost savings and greater flexibility.

Variety

The ability to work both in a practice setting and from home can introduce variety into the practitioner’s workweek, helping prevent burnout and work-related stress.

Challenges

Balancing schedules

Managing both in-person and online appointments requires effective scheduling and coordination.

Insurance and reimbursement

Navigating insurance and reimbursement for virtual services, if different from in-person services, can be complex.

Team culture

As practitioners’ schedules vary, assembling the team can be challenging, potentially hindering the development of a cohesive culture.

Information clarity

Clients may find it confusing to determine which practitioners are available in-person or online, particularly if many practitioners offer both options.

Multidisciplinary Allied Health Practice

A Multidisciplinary Allied Health Practice brings together professionals from various allied health fields, creating a comprehensive and collaborative environment. This model allows clients to access a wide range of services and expertise under one roof.

Characteristics

Diverse services

The practice brings together professionals from various allied health fields, offering a wide array of services.

Collaborative environment

Collaboration among practitioners from different disciplines is encouraged to provide holistic care.

Shared resources

Administrative and operational resources are shared among practitioners.

Advantages

Holistic care

Clients can receive comprehensive, integrated care addressing multiple aspects of health.

Collaboration

Practitioners can consult and collaborate on complex cases, enhancing the quality of care.

Referral opportunities

The practice can facilitate referrals among practitioners, promoting a seamless client experience and increasing client retention.

Challenges

Coordination

Coordinating among diverse disciplines can be complex, requiring effective communication.

Practice culture

Maintaining a cohesive practice culture and shared vision for client care can be challenging.

Setup and structure

Different allied health disciplines require different setups, with some demanding more physical equipment than others, making the initial fit-out complex.

Management and administration

As different allied health disciplines have varying processes and quirks, the owner or manager must possess a deep understanding of how they each function and how they can collaborate effectively.

Allied health private practices come in various forms, each with its own set of advantages and challenges. Choosing the right model depends on your areas of work, goals, and preferences.

Whether you opt for a traditional solo practice, a group of experts, a satellite office, or an innovative online-only, hybrid, or multidisciplinary model, the key to success lies in understanding your target audience, embracing modern technology, and delivering high-quality care tailored to your clients’ needs. The ever-evolving allied health landscape provides ample opportunities for allied health professionals to thrive in their chosen practice models.

Want to discuss what private practice model would be best for your goals? You can reach out to our private practice coaches to talk about your options.