Pros: the clinical staff
Cons: micro-management, very top-heavy management, mis-management, pay cuts, staff cuts, with extravagant spending on unnecessary, "showy" things.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. YES, I have become a disgruntled employee--but I wasn't always. I've been doing this over twenty years and have always been in love with my job. That was until ATI bought my old company out. I have to believe all these glowing comments and reviews are from people who are in or near the Chicago area, where – more... the company started, and have been there since it was small, grounded, and had a handle on what it was doing.
Unfortunately, the company is buying up everything it can get it's hands on, and becoming too big, too fast. They're trying to manage every region like it's Chicago, and it's NOT. They don't understand, and refuse to try to understand, that in more rural areas, there are constant, seasonal, and very predictable fluctuations in patient numbers. Always. Every single year. So when summer comes and the patient load takes a dive, they start screaming about numbers and laying off staff. The earlier comment from "Sinking Ship" wasn't an exaggeration...there truly are daily phone calls and emails demanding to know why numbers drop, and where are our referrals--as if we clinicians (who, by the way, are earning their money for them) have any control over who gets injured and when.
Administratively the company is extremely top-heavy, and there's a huge layer of middle-management who, while being completely unnecessary and who are getting paid a lot of money to essentially do nothing, have to do something to keep their jobs, so they're the ones constantly hounding about the numbers, making all of their clinical directors and staff absolutely miserable in their jobs. They're paying all these people loads of money, remodeling all the new clinics to meet the ATI 'look' (which nobody but them cares about), replacing perfectly good equipment with brand-new equipment with the ATI logo on it....and all the while, cutting hours, cutting staff, cutting pay, and making people miserable.
The worst part? Patient care. The company will drone on and on and on about it's Mission Statement, but by being so greedy and micro-managing so horribly, they make it very, very difficult for the clinician to provide truly good patient care. And the patients KNOW it. I can't tell you how many negative comments we've heard in the last few months, and patients are leaving. Even with the predictable cycles, my own clinic has not picked up since school started back up again, like is has every year until this one. Why should it? There's a wonderful clinic two miles up the road that has all the bells and whistles (like us), a great staff (like us), and is a privately-owned 10-location outfit where the owners are totally in touch with what's going on in their clinics. Their clinics are adequately staffed by happy people content in their jobs and happy with their company. Oh, I could go on and on...
This company needs to take a lesson from Novacare. 15 years ago, Novacare was also buying up everything they could across the country, including the company I worked for at that time. They made all the same mistakes that ATI is making...micro-managing, cutting staff, cutting salaries, creating miserable employees and unhappy patients.. And guess what? They tanked. Patient care was a joke. Company stock took a huuuuuge nosedive. And they had to start closing clinics because as PTs and PTAs left, so did the patients. Neither company seems to understand that patients aren't coming to "Novacare" or "ATI"... they're coming to Mike, or Sue, or whoever's treating them. They don't care what the brand name is. It all starts with creating and maintaining the relationship between patient and clinician, but they make it sooo hard to that.
Bottom line is....well, the bottom line. Basically, they put on a good show of it all being about the patient, when the truth is, it's all about the numbers and the cash flow. It's sad, because they really do have the makings of a great company, but they've completely lost touch with how to make that happen and instead, things are on a rapid . decline in the other direction. I know dozens of people in many other newer ATI clinics. Know how many are actually happy? ONE. The rest of us are all looking for other opportunities. Frankly, I'm ready to get out of physical therapy altogether. – less