How Much Do Home Health Physical Therapists Make?

home health physical therapy salaryHow Much Does a Home Health Physical Therapist Make?

This is one of the most common questions I see from new grads and current Physical Therapists who visit PTProgress.

The average range for a Home Health Physical Therapist salary is between $77,000 and $88,000. However, it is very possible to earn over $100,000 in Home Health Physical Therapy as we’ll show you below.  Of course, a home health PT’s salary is different than a traveling PT salary, which we discuss in a different article!

The biggest factors contributing to this wide range in salary include: location, setting, experience, specialty, and census. “Census” refers to the volume of patients available to be seen or treated.

Is it better to get paid hourly or per visit for home health?

In the field of Home Health Physical Therapy, it is very common to see the following pay structures:

  • Pay per visit
  • Pay per hour
  • Salaried

I’ve had experience with all three of these compensation setups. They each have their benefits and downsides.

Short answer: If the census or volume of patients is very strong in your territory, you can make quite a bit more money in home health care when you are paid per visit.

home health documentationInterested in Home Health Therapy?

You absolutely need the Home Health Therapy Documentation Templates. 

Save 30 to 60 minutes a day!  —–>

Home Health Physical Therapy Per Visit Pay

Let’s look at example of a week in the life of a home health PT who earns the following per visit rate:

 

$90 per evaluation
$80 per discharge
$70 per follow up visit

*Example: In an average day, let’s assume you will see 6 patients. We’ll say you have 1 eval, 1 discharge, and 4 follow up visits. If you work 5 days a week, your earnings amount to: $2,250 pretax each week or $9,000 a month.

Annually, this amounts to $112,500 assuming 50 weeks worked a year.

Of course, it’s important to realize that your responsibilities as a Home Health PT involves documentation and contacting physicians after your visit with the patient. This means that you will be working between your visits as well as after you’re done treating patients that day.

Home Health Physical Therapy Salary

As a salaried home health PT, your compensation is not directly dependent on the number of patients you see in a day. Of course, as a salaried PT, you can expect your employer to set productivity standards for you to maintain. Before you sign up for a salaried position as a home health PT, make sure you fully understand these productivity standards and what happens if when the patient census is low or you do not meet productivity. Based on experience and communication with other PTs, a common expectation of 30-35 patients per 40 hour week is standard for salaried home health PTs.

Home Health Physical Therapy Hourly Rate

Some home health Physical Therapists are paid hourly. The good news with an hourly employee is that you are paid for the work you do. However, like the salaried PT, you are also held to productivity standards that may be difficult to meet depending on the patient census in the area.

The hourly rate for a home health Physical Therapist who makes $112,500* is: $54.08 per hour.
*See the example above

Weekend Home Health PT Jobs

If you are interested in taking a weekend job as a Home Health PT, you will probably find quite a few opportunities. I did this as a newer graduate, and here are a few takeaways I learned from it:

Sometimes the work rolls over to the weekday. When you start a new patient on a Sunday, you might not be able to reach the physician for the verbal order that day. This means you will likely need to reach out to the physician office the next weekday. I found this to be difficult because my main work schedule was 8-6:30pm Monday – Thursday. Working 4, ten hour days allowed me a nice 3 day weekend to pick up home health shifts. However, the follow up during the week was nearly impossible.

The money was great, but my time was gone. As the weekend PT, my per visit rate was above average, but I only saw 3 to 5 patients a weekend. On Friday I may have seen 3 patients, but only 1 or 2 on Saturday/Sunday. I found that most patients didn’t like to get started before 9AM, so treating even just 2 patients a day took an entire morning. I would try to budget 45-60 minutes for each visit, but with notes and follow up, a day of treating 3 patients might require 4 to 5 hours of my time. At an average of $80 per visit, I earned $240 or $48 an hour.

Should I Do Home Health PT?

Home health Physical Therapy is likely to continue to grow as the population continue to age. Whether you’re looking for a traditional home health setup or contracting with a long term care facility, you’re sure to find a lot of opportunities in this field. Be sure to ask plenty of questions on productivity standards, patient census, and territory management before you sign up to become a home health PT.

Any suggestions for someone considering a home health PT job?

*featured image credit 

Download the Home Health Documentation Templates

If you’re a new home health therapist, this guide will save you time and headache as you can actually spend more time focusing on the patient’s needs and treatment.

If you are a veteran home health therapist, this guide can give you fresh ideas on ways to efficiently document your treatments.

home health documentation example

 

Here’s what’s included in the Home Health Documentation Template:

  • Initial Evaluation Summary Example
  • Physician Verbal Order Examples and Script Template
  • Objective Measurement Handout
  • Daily Note Assessment & Documentation of Treatment
  • Progress Note Statements on Goals
  • Discharge Summary Examples
  • Goal Setting Template and Examples

The goal setting examples are enough to save you at least 5 minutes per patient. With 6 patients a day, that saves you 30 minutes each day.

What is your time worth in the evening? Personally, I would have paid $100 to someone for their documentation templates if it would save me over 3 hours a week in documentation headaches! 🙂

Start your home health career off right with the first and only documentation guide available online. Written by a therapist, for therapists.

Download the templates below:

Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.

9 thoughts on “How Much Do Home Health Physical Therapists Make?”

  1. I would like to have documentation sample. I am PTA, english is my second language and this is a great opportunity for me to grow professionally.

    Reply
  2. I wanted to ask how much should I ask for hourly rate, per visit rate and how much if salaried rate. I have 1 year of OPD experience and I’m planning to venture out to home health.

    Reply
  3. I was a home health PT for 12 years. Leadership in the organization especially in making all members of the team accountable for expected documentation is important. Documentation and communication for a PT evaluation could take up to 2 hours ( write up, medication reconciliation, communication with physician, communication with other members of the team,/ family, etc). Ongoing daily notes could take 30 min with the expectation that notes are performed with the patient, which is highly unrealistic.

    I did per visit for 3 years because I wanted full control of the number of patients I saw per week. At the time I was teaching part time and/ or involved in clinical grant funded research. Once this changed and my part time rate/ hr moved above the per diem rate, I switched to 24 hour part time position ( so there were benefits like earned time and 401k). The productivity was 18 patients/ week and an evaluation was worth 2 patient treatments ( due to the large time commitment for documentation.

    When seeking out a job in home health, which can be very rewarding, discuss geographical coverage area also because the larger the area, the longer your day. Mileage is usually paid the federal rate but long days due to increased driving time can get wearing ( because you will still have documentation when you return home).

    There is a lot to consider. I loved it and loved working with my patients, but you also need a strong administration that will support technical issues ( most agencies use the EMR), insurance issues Etc abd don’t rely on you to have to go into the office to get these areas attended too. This just elongates your day further, and with computer issues, could delay your documentation.

    So ask all questions related to how the hierarchy functions. Whose responsibility is it to fix certain issues, geographical coverage, productivity, accountability of nurses and their documentation vs PT and their documentation, etc. Please don’t just look at Payscale. To deal with all these issues esp if you have to do much yourself, the pay sale should be close to $100/ visit at minimum and close to $120-130/ evaluation. This is a challenging position….I have identified huge medication errors, sent patients emergently to the hospital, identified pneumonia’s and DVTs with hospital admissions in conjunction with collaboration with PCPs, and had to deal with patients who refused hospital transfer despite being in medical distress.

    As I said, challenging but worth it. But home PTs should be paid what they are worth and what they have to deal with on a daily basis.

    Reply

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