Brian Hartz, MPT, DPT, OCS, CSCS started his independent private practice, HARTZ Physical Therapy in 2000 and has grown the business to include 6 locations in Central Pennsylvania and 42 employees.  During that time, Brian has maintained remarkably low employee turnover and has spoken nationally on the topic of employee engagement and retention.  Brian is passionate about private practice PT, employee engagement and giving back to the community.

Candidate Statement

I would like to thank the Nominating Committee for slating me as a candidate for Director of the Private Practice Section (PPS) of the APTA. I am honored to be considered for the position.

I started my private practice 24 years ago, opening a small clinic in my hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing team who has helped to grow HARTZ Physical Therapy to 6 clinics and 42 employees.  Living in Central PA, there is no shortage of competition in the outpatient physical therapy market.  With both hospital systems and physician-owned clinics (who often aren’t too fond of referring outside of the system), we have had to find creative ways to continue thriving in this competitive market.  

I am committed to continued participation in the Private Practice Section of the APTA, specifically providing resources for smaller clinics who often have a tougher road to success, but not an impossible one!  I have gained an incredible support network through my involvement in the PPS, specifically the Peer-to-Peer program.  For the past seven years, I have routinely presented employee engagement strategies to help PPS and CSM attendees learn actionable strategies and systems to make an impact in their clinics immediately.  I was fortunate to participate this past year as a member of the PPS’s 401K Focus Group to research and develop an opportunity for smaller members to access an innovative and cost saving 401K platform that is leveraged through the APTA’s membership. My goal is to continue to help growing private practice owners overcome obstacles and avoid pitfalls utilizing innovative techniques and drawing on my 2.5 decades of private practice experience.

I am accustomed to working with a team to get things done as evidenced by my community involvement.  In addition to managing my practice, I also served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center, a local non-profit offering outpatient therapy to children. Leading a board of 25 to oversee the operations of the center as well as achieving full engagement of each board member has provided invaluable experience working with a team.

Private practice owners are an amazingly resilient group of leaders, but there is no question we are facing some daunting obstacles in our profession.  I’m confident that with a little creativity and persistence, we can move the needle in the right direction on these issues. 

First, we face continual threats to reduce reimbursement as well as unequal reimbursement for providers outside of hospital-based and physician-owned clinics.  We must work together to educate our lawmakers about the hidden cost savings inherent in choosing physical therapy as the first option for musculoskeletal injuries. In addition, more work must be done to improve reimbursement equity between the mom-and-pop one-clinic practices to the largest hospital-based clinics.  I believe that educating our employees and patients to be advocates for what we do, can go a long way to address this issue.

Secondly, it is no secret that the post-COVID era has made it difficult to find great employees and keep those employees engaged and motivated once hired.  The ongoing obstacles to entry into the profession, such as high student debt and limited upward income potential make it more important than ever to ensure you take care of your staff.  Finding creative ways (not just financial) to separate private practice owners from others in the industry will be a cornerstone of my candidacy. 

Innovation is the key to success and I believe that new ideas can lead to some amazing breakthroughs in our profession.  As Director, I plan to bring not only my experience starting a business from scratch and propelling it to a period of sustained growth, but also my unique perspective on employee engagement and retention to better the PPS member’s experience.  I will bring a combination of new ideas and tried and true methods which will help me serve the membership of the PPS.  I would be honored to serve you on the Board of the PPS and I humbly ask for your vote.