Letter from the Owner
To the Community of Whidbey Island:
All of us at Harada Physical Therapy love serving you. For us, work is a fun place to be, in large part due to the incredible people we get to meet, work with, and help every day. As the owner, the past few years have been quite challenging. We cannot continue to operate as we have been in the past and must evolve to meet these challenges. To provide care for you, we will be making some changes.
First, we will be opting out of contracts with our lowest paying insurance providers. For example – Medicare (which leads the way for all other insurances) - continues to cut the dollar amount reimbursed to physical therapists. Thirty years ago, Medicare averaged a reimbursement rate of $32.91 per physical therapy code (that is equivalent to $66.46 currently). In 2023, the rate was only $33.89, with more cuts proposed in 2024. This is while expenses within our business have increased, and minimum wage has tripled from $4.90/hr to $16.28/hr to keep up with the high cost of living. In short, insurance companies are paying us less than ever while operating costs have never been higher.
I have decided to continue our contract with Medicare to best serve the Whidbey Community. However, Harada PT cannot afford to accept the low rates other insurances pay for our services, and we will be ending contracts with them. We will make all clients aware of any changes to their benefits well in advance. In addition, out-of-network benefits or self-pay options will remain as an avenue to continue providing services to those who are covered by insurances we no longer hold contracts with.
Second, as some of you may have heard, we will not be renewing our lease for the Coupeville clinic. It has been a great 9+ year run in a town that holds a special place in my heart. However, the ever-changing landscape of physical therapy that includes a nationwide shortage of physical therapists and the insurances challenges mentioned above have made it difficult to keep this location open. We have started the transition of combining our staff into our Oak Harbor location where we hope to continue serving our Coupeville clientele. For the time being, we will continue to operate under limited hours in Coupeville until our lease has run its course.
As a business owner, I am constantly balancing the economics of running a successful business, fairly compensating my employees, and being able to help as many members of the Whidbey community as possible. I thank every one of you who have supported Harada Physical Therapy over the past 20+ years and appreciate your understanding while we continue to evolve and grow. Your support allows us to do what we love best, which is helping others to live their lives to the fullest. Thank you for trusting us with your health and we look forward to another great year on Whidbey.