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Behind the List with William Werner


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William Werner, at Select Physical Therapy's Camp Hill office, is regional director of Select Medical's outpatient division. Therapist Renee Long works with a patient in the background.
William Werner, at Select Physical Therapy's Camp Hill office, is regional director of Select Medical's outpatient division. Therapist Renee Long works with a patient in the background. - (Photo / Stuart Leask)

William Werner is the regional director of Select Medical's outpatient division.

Q: What does your company's outpatient division include?

A: We have three major brands in Central Pennsylvania. First Choice Rehab Specialists became a Select Medical company in 2011, with 12 offices from Carlisle to Lebanon. We have two NovaCare Rehabilitation offices in the city of Lancaster and one in Elizabethtown. We have three Select Physical Therapy locations — in Harrisburg, Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg.

What does your division do?

Our core business is outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy. We also do orthopedic and low-back rehabilitation and work strategies. We treat everyone from pediatrics to geriatrics; from athletes trying to get back into the game to weekend warriors.

What sets your company apart?

We are the sole providers in Central Pa. of the nationally recognized Metabolic RX weight-management program. We also offer computerized gait analysis, which is a specialized service that nobody else was doing. We can also do instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization, which helps identify problem areas so we can be more specific with our treatment.

How has your field changed over the years?

The way insurance companies require us to document things to back up what we are doing and why is more detailed. I also think there is a higher need for our services now with an aging population.

What are some of the challenges your industry has been facing recently?

Reimbursement has decreased year over year. Higher co-pays for patients limit people's ability to come in for the recommended number of visits. Many people can't afford it, so they just don't do it.

What do you see for the future of your business?

I see more direct access. That means patients can come to us without a doctor's script. It saves them the co-pay of going to a doctor who is just going to refer them to physical therapy.

I also see that reimbursement is going to be done based on outcomes — a pay-for-performance model with three different tiers. You will get reimbursed based on how your results compare to the average outcome. That's going to be big.

What is your business model?

We have a shared vision across all divisions — to provide exceptional patient care that promotes healing and recovery in a compassionate environment. We put our patients first, and each clinic is community run. So you are going to be greeted when you walk through the door and get a friendly voice the first time you call. Some of our clinics are joint ventures, so based on how well-known the brand is in the market, we might keep the name.

About William Werner

Time with the company: 10 years

Education: Master's degree in physical therapy, Duquesne University

Professional involvement: Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce

Family: Wife, Nicole; daughters, Sophie, 4, and Riley, 8 months; son, Colin, 2

Hobbies: Watching Pittsburgh Steelers and Notre Dame football, golfing

Editor's note: This story has been modified to correct the year First Choice Rehab became part of Select Medical.

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