It’s been a year since Englewood Spine Associates opened its doors to the public. During that time, we’ve experienced some highs, some lows, a pandemic, and, ultimately, great success. Today, we are pleased to share our journey over the past year with you as we celebrate our first birthday.
Our journey began in September of 2019, when Dr. Cole identified and sublet a space that would later become Englewood Spine Associates. In less than two weeks’ time, he onboarded a staff of four, initiated training, contracted with a billing company and established a medical record system. On September 15, we welcomed our first patients to the practice.
As we built the practice from the ground up, our first priority was our staff. We drafted personnel and compliance manuals to guide staff members on conduct and stocked the office with the newest equipment and supplies to support their success. Simultaneously, we began building our client base by reaching out to Dr. Cole’s former patients to inform them of his new venture with Englewood Spine Associates.
Though we were growing steadily, cash flow was limited due to delays in billing and credentialing. For the first four months, the practice relied predominantly on a bank line of credit. But by January, we began to see improvements in cash flow from services rendered the months prior. With an eye on expansion, we built an in-house radiology capability and contracted for the new equipment and required renovations.
The practice was thriving and on a positive trajectory of growth. Then COVID-19 hit.
By mandate of the Governor, all elective surgeries were stopped. Elective surgeries account for 95%+ of our surgeries, so this was a setback, to say the least. We looked at the external factors, weighed our options and ultimately decided to keep the office open to patients while guaranteeing all staff members their regular salary.
We applied for and received a PPP loan to cover the shortfalls while maintaining our full staff. Between the PPP funds and the revenue coming in for services rendered before the forced shutdown, we were able to successfully weather the storm without any staff reduction.
Additionally, we made the strategic decision to continue on with our marketing and public relations firm as we shifted our marketing focus to personal injury, motor vehicle accidents and workers compensation attorneys. Ultimately, our goal was to increase awareness of our services despite the upheaval going on around us. We began telemedicine for those patients who did not feel comfortable coming into the office and continued to see other patients, in-person. In early summer, we resumed elective surgeries, which drew in even more patients.
Opening a practice and getting it off the ground is hard enough during “normal” times; throw a pandemic on top of it, and you’ve got a series of unknowns and decisions that can either make or break a business. Fortunately for us, the decisions we made as a business gave us a foundation of strength as we rode the waves of uncertainty—all while continuing to serve patients and maintaining a full staff. Today, we are once again back on a path of growth. We recently added a physician’s assistant to our now growing team and maintained a positive cash flow. As we head into our second year—and, hopefully, for all of us, a bright 2021—we are committed to providing continued education and exceptional service to our clients and the community we serve. We know that one size does not fit all, which is why we customize our treatment plans based on each individual, whether you’re seeking treatment for the first time, coming to us for a second opinion or anything in between.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 201-608-5656