During the Fall of 1996, and just a few months into their marriage, Steve Atcavage told his wife, Susie, that he wanted to practice as a physical therapist independently, and open his own office.
The couple had each graduated from Temple University’s Physical Therapy Program with Master’s degrees a few years earlier in 1994. Both were working for hospital systems. Although Susie was not keen on the idea of pursuing a business venture, she recognized her husband #s unhappiness working under a corporate umbrella, which, even 15 years ago, pushed numbers and the bottom line.
Steve wanted the autonomy to use his skills and focus on patient care. And the rest is history for CPT & CPT first opened its doors in the Forest City community in October of 1997 within what is believed to have been an old sewing factory. Initially, Steve was solo within the office with the assistance of a front desk assistant. He saw patients, managed the bills and even managed submitting the claims to the insurance companies. He was working from guidance provided by his father-in- law, Eric Linde, that it was important Steve understand all aspects of his business. By his own admission, understanding and submitting insurance claims was a struggle. Steve remembers being open for several weeks and the first insurance check arrived in the mail. He recalls, It was for $34. And I wondered how I was going to make it work.
Suzanne joined the practice approximately one year later, when CPT acquired the contract to provide services to the residents of Forest City Nursing Center, and did so for several years. Despite the introduction of managed care, which had a minimal presence when CPT first opened, CPT continued to grow. Steve and Susie stuck to their goal of patient centered care and the use of evidence based medicine. Both were awarded the Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2005.
The two had a desire to be in charge of their careers, wanting their main focus to be placed on providing a valuable service and care that would yield results. The approach seemed to be well received by patients and produced favorable patient outcomes, which in turn helped to manage the services provided within the changing insurance climate. The commitment to this premise, they believe, has allowed CPT to expand to four locations.
Additional offices exist in Hawley, Dunmore and Carbondale. Staff has grown to more than 20, with some members now with the company more than a decade.
They both give the highest praise to every staff member. Even though the vision #for CPT was Steve’s, they both know that the practice could not have become a success, let alone survived, without the knowledgeable and committed people who work with them. Each employee brings something to the table and knowledge, personality, skill, vision, motivation, teamwork and the combination of everyone’s efforts has supported the company.
The Atcavages identify the communities in which their offices exist as the second driving force behind CPT’s success. Patients have the right to choose where they go for medical care of any kind. And so, it is well recognized that the support shown by the residents of the four communities in which CPT has a presence, are a cornerstone ingredient to the longevity of the business.
Today, occupational therapy services are also offered. Between the two disciplines, CPT offers expanded care within areas such as lymphedema management, balance and vestibular disorders, advanced manual therapy, sports medicine and orthopedic care. The extensive list of services provided is a testament to the diverse and complementary backgrounds of our team of physical and occupational therapy specialists.
Both agree that they will remain committed to the original vision that drove the inception of CPT, patient-centered care and autonomous practice. The current economy, challenges to the Medicare program and insurance costs to patients test this position. But the couple pledges that service and results will remain CPT’s commitment to their community and people who need rehabilitation care.