To all the travelers out there….

This Website is geared toward the Travelers (PT, OT, SLP, MD, Nsg etc) that want to have an interactive community.  Likewise, I encourage all professions, whether they have a permanent position, a contracting, or a PRN position to join and participate.  I, of course, am a Physical Therapist.  So this may have a bias to the PTs out there.  BUT…that means that all the other professions should submit blogs and articles to add to the blend.

Traveler: Third Party vs. Direct contract

I have been a travel Physical Therapist for over 3 years. I’ve had Third Party Contracts (large and small companies), direct contract, and extensive use of prn as a full time job.

Third parties can have a lot of pros and cons. If you don’t want to take the time or effort to find contracts or are worried about the legal side of contracts then I suggest using third parties. Now if you are adventurous and resourceful then doing a direct contract can be lucrative for you. In my experience, I’ve seen third parties take anyway from 17% (small company) to 33% (large company) of what they charge facilities. Seventeen percent is an extremely fair number in order to provide all the needs of the business side of the contract and a business to stay alive. I warn though, have a good comparison of local prn rates. I encourage you to be competitive.

Although direct contracts can be profitable and have some perks they also have cons. For one you have to pay both employee and employer taxes as a “consultant” receiving a 1099. This is includes the taxes, medicare, and social security. You have to make quarterly payments and be pretty accurate in your calculations. The perk is that any “business” expense you have you can write off. This includes travel, housing, food to entertain for business purposes, CEUs etc. When I first used “Consultant” I made a slightly better profit but had increased risk with the pitfalls of doing the process wrong. I recommend an LLC if you are going to do more than one “consultant” job.

I can make the same amount per hour prn as travel, what are the financial benefits of travel physical therapy?

Yes, the prn hourly rate and the travel contract rate are about equal if you negotiate appropriately. However, as a traveler greater than 50 miles from your tax home, you get to consider 40% of what you make as non-taxable. So for easy numbers, lets use 100k/ year. But 40k is not taxed. If you assume a 33% tax on that 40k that would be $13,200 that you get to keep. But you will have expenses when you travel. And you have to prove that you pay at least a rent at your tax home and your travel location. But there is no sent amount that is considered rent.

Interstate Compact Physical Therapy Licensure

There is a different portability act that is on the horizon for us traveling physical therapists. Doctors, Nurses, and EMS have a multistate interstate compact licensure. Meaning that, if you have a license in one state then you can treat in other states that co-exist within the compact.

This is great! If FSBPT approves to create such Interstate Compact Licensure for Physical Therapist then we will have less paperwork and fewer delayed contracts because our licensure hasn’t come through yet. Maybe, even fewer renewal costs. But that is putting the cart before the horse. Right now, there is only a task force and a “drafting team.” We really don’t know what is yet to emerge from this. It could possibly cost more or require different testing. As a licensee you would still need to know differences in practice among the compact states.

What you need to know:

  1. The Advisory Phase is complete. The Drafting Phase is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2015 so that it can be proposed to the 2016 Legislatures.
  2. This will apply to PTs and PTAs.

Why is this important:

  1. Emerging Telehealth
  2. Concierge Physical Therapists
  3. Unrestricted Mobility of therapists amongst the joined Compacts.

Check out these links for more information:

Important links to resources

Knowing more in your state and federally:

Recent Bills by state

Position Papers

Heard on the Hill Podcasts and PDFs

Workforce education repayment


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