Many therapy and rehab clinics want to offer aquatic therapy, but they do not have an on-site therapy pool. They look around at the local community swim-center, Holiday Inn or an unused pool in a local YMCA.
Let's assume for a minute that you have found a potential site for your aquatic therapy needs. You still need to ask yourself the following questions before diving into a relationship with an existing pool:
· Who "owns" the rights to the patients you see in the pool? Are they yours, to take with your when you decide to leave, or are they the pool's (to keep by hiring another therapist to take over your schedule)?
· Even if you are allowed to "take" your patients with you, will they want to travel the distance to a new site? Will your new pool be close enough to keep your clientele, or will you be starting from scratch when you move?
· Who owns the equipment that you use? What if you buy equipment — is it yours to take with you?
· Who is ultimately responsible for the pool's physical liability — you or the pool? In other words, if someone slips and falls (or drowns or cuts himself, etc.) while at the pool, whose insurance will cover that situation? (Note: we are not talking about malpractice insurance here. Your malpractice insurance would cover situations of negligent care during your treatment times. We are talking about "environmental" risks which have nothing to do with the care provided). Is it necessary to name the rental facility on your liability policy, your workers compensation, and your malpractice insurance to protect the facility from lawsuits?
· Who is ultimately responsible for the cleaning and care of the pool? What happens if your patient causes an pool shutdown (for a fecal accident or vomiting, etc.). Who is responsible for the pool care which must occur? What happens if the pool's standards are lower than your own?
· Who is responsible for the lost revenue that occurs with the above situation?
· How will you be told of patient cancellations? How will you notify patients of pool closures? Will you be allowed use the receptionist or phone systems of the facility or will you use your own mobile phone?
· What happens if the water temperature is unsatisfactory? What happens if it vacillates from day to day? What happens if the extra costs of heating the pool to a usable temperature are more than your leasing facility envisioned?