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Meet Susan Bass of Century City Physical Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Bass.

Susan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My business partner, Stacy Barrows and I worked part-time as independent contractors in a well respected orthopedic practice. Due to a multitude of factors, the corporation broke up and we were offered the physical therapy practice including the equipment. Within one months time, with no prior business experience or knowledge of how to operate a practice, we rented space in the existing medical building and started Century City Physical Therapy Inc. (CCPT) With no initial capital structure nor financial backing, Stacy and I were required to see patients outside the practice to help subsidize our new endeavor.

Neither of us were able to withdraw any income from the practice for the first 6 months and had no support staff. Within 1 year we were able to hire our first employee and work solely at CCPT. Our phenomenal culture of high-quality evidence-based care incorporating wellness with rehabilitation in an intimate patient-focused environment has sustained us for 23 years. Besides traditional physical therapy, we also offer complementary healthcare such as pilates, Feldenkrais®, and personal training.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No. Over the past few years with steadily declining reimbursements from insurance companies and MD’s joining larger hospital groups, our market share has been decreasing. Rents and labor costs continue to rise, quality physical therapists are expensive and hard to retain. A consistent flow of substitutes such as yoga, pilates, private trainers, and massage therapists continue to flood the market and confuse the public on the value of Physical Therapy.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Century City Physical Therapy Inc – what should we know?
CCPT is well established in the community with over 23 years in the same location. Our practice has a strong word of mouth referral base in addition to a large amount of repeat business from family and friends. We hire and train staff that aligns with the CCPT patient-centered culture and expects every patient to have a “wow” experience at the initial point of contact, be it the front desk or therapist, which differentiates our practice from others.

As Physical Therapists, we are the movement experts, and pride ourselves on helping patients achieve their maximum potential. We do not utilize aides or assistants, thus every patient receives one on one care from a licensed physical therapist who personalizes the treatment plan so every patient has the opportunity to reach their goals.

All the therapists have their Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Our practice is unique in that besides offering traditional physical therapy we incorporate Feldenkrais® and Pilates which encompasses the whole body.

I am most proud of the fact that my business partner Stacy and I have not compromised our initial business plan of providing high-quality care despite the substantial changes in the healthcare marketplace. We have an extremely close-knit family atmosphere which makes going to work a pleasure.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
As with any successful business, no one does it alone. We have had many supporters along the way. Number 1 is my business partner and friend Stacy Barrows who I could never have opened or sustained the practice without. Of course, there are our family members, husbands who consistently help with any problems or situations that arise.

My father was our bookkeeper for the first 20 years, our family members are on our board of directors, and our many friends who are always ready to help when needed. Our other main supporters were and are the Doctors of the orthopedic practice we started with.

Despite the fact that the orthopedics practice was breaking up, the individual doctors have always been supportive of our practice and continue to refer their patients to us and are always available when needed. We would not be where we are today without them.

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