We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Kyle Willets and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Kyle, what should our readers know about your business?
Short story? Anger and love.
When the American Physical Therapy Association honored me for being one of the most promising new PT’s they probably didn’t anticipate that I’d leave the profession 3 years later. As humans, the big leaps in life are inspired by either an attempt to avoid pain or pursue pleasure. To catalyze my business, it took both.
In my early career, I saw patients for 10 minutes and then handed them off to a rehab aide. I saw patients get 50% better and then be discharged from their care only to have the same issue return or worsen. I saw patients receive the same cookie cutter treatments with no attempt to individualize their care. Time and time again I saw patients getting pushed through a system that did not have their best health as a priority and I was saddened and incensed.
At the same time, I started to learn about other models of care and healing methods – yoga, Ayurveda, Functional Medicine, nutrition science, Reiki, meditation, mindfulness, and habit science. I studied these methods ravenously as if I couldn’t absorb them fast enough; as if they held the missing pieces between my well-meaning, yet reductionistic PT background and the care I felt my clients deserved.
So, years later, provoked by the cracks of in traditional insurance-based PT and pulled by my love for creating individualized and effective health plans for patients, I created something that was a first of its kind, Alpine Fit – a cash-based, holistic medicine and PT practice that addresses health issues at root cause level.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Alpine Fit is not your typical physical therapy clinic. I’m proud of that. The standard physical therapy practice is run like a mill with each therapist seeing 3-4 patients/hour and utilizing aides and assistants to fill the gaps. At Alpine Fit, you’re treated like you’re the only one and this is because you are. When you come to us for care you get an hour of one on one care from a therapist who is energized to work with you and puts 110% of herself into solving your issue. Our therapists are dedicated to not only solving your issue, but making sure it won’t come back a few weeks later.
Initially, one of the biggest hurdles I faced in creating a practice that gives the time and focus to provide exceptional patient care was having “the insurance conversation” with new clients. Understandably, patients wanted to use their insurance for physical therapy and I needed to help them understand that the care they want and deserve is not available in an insurance model. Especially in Colorado, the reimbursement rates for PT are so low that you can’t pay a physical therapist a living wage without increasing the volume of patients – that’s why the standard clinic has to do that; it’s survival. The fall-out, however, is that the quality of care is effected. Even with the best practitioners, the high volume of patients changes they way they can practice and the quality is diluted. In the end, often the patients that come to Alpine Fit are the patients that have not gotten better at the high volume practices and know that they deserve to have the full care, not the diluted version.
At Alpine Fit we’ve decided to be 100% uncompromising in your care. We don’t compromise your care for insurance companies or any other entity. We give you what you need. We want our therapists to be compensated fairly for the education and experience they have and avoid the burnout that is rampant in our profession. We do this because we not only care about our therapists, but we care about you and we know that when a therapist is supported, the care you get will be the best possible.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Donna Lignon – Boulder Pilates
Photos by Michael Allen and Benjamin Buren