GW Alumnus Builds a Better Clinic

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Alumni Josh D'Angelo treating patient on treatment table in sunlit room

How do we create a physical therapy practice that aligns with both patient and PT values? This was one of the questions GW alumnus Josh D’Angelo, PT, DPT, OCS, asked when he co-founded MovementX, a private physical therapy practice.

D’Angelo and his partner Keaton Ray, PT, DPT, OCS, launched MovementX in 2018 to deliver worry-free health care to patients while removing barriers to practice for physical therapists. “Myself and my cofounder said, ‘If patients are frustrated with the traditional experience and providers are also frustrated, there’s got to be a better way to do this.’ …and that better way was to design our own unique model of care where we empower physical therapists to deliver care at the top of their skill sets,“ D’Angelo said. MovementX emphasizes putting patients first with services it offers onsite, in-clinic and through telehealth in more than 12 states, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

D’Angelo, a 2013 graduate of the George Washington University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, faced several challenges in starting the business. These included finding suitable documentation and scheduling systems, ensuring HIPAA compliance, establishing referral sources and establishing expertise with communities.

“All of the traditional operations that go along with a PT practice, we had to build from the ground-up,” he said. Most importantly, he wanted to build a team of passionate and talented individuals. MovementX now boasts more than 50 physical therapists and staff members.

D’Angelo thinks physical therapists are uniquely positioned to succeed in entrepreneurial ventures. “The way physical therapists learn to think is perfectly suited for being effective entrepreneurs,” he said. “For example, in school you learn how to evaluate and assess a patient. You get your subjective and objective data, and based on that develop a list of impairments. With this list of impairments, you develop a hypothesis and treatment plan for how you can help your patient. Say that treatment works really well, let’s double down on that treatment. Say it doesn’t work, let’s adjust the treatment strategy to get the outcome we seek.”

D’Angelo says entrepreneurship also requires a great deal of trial and error. Endurance and perseverance are key, which prompted his recent presentation at the 2024 American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting. 

Like any health care practice operated by a clinician, there is a difficult balance between running an effective business and delivering quality patient care. “It looks different for everyone,” D’Angelo said. “The litmus test for me was asking, ‘Am I taking great care of my patients?’. If I’m thinking about business problems or not thinking about the patient in front of me, I know I need to make a change.” 

This balance extends to the space and needs of the business model. MovementX currently offers multiple services in the wellness realm, ranging from older-adult online exercise classes, personal training. “The world needs more great providers, regardless of their title, getting into the space of health and wellness,” he added. 

What’s in the future for MovementX? D’Angelo hopes to continue expanding the company’s impact and would like to become a clinical education partner with GW.

Additional information about MovementX and its physical therapy services can be found here