Jenny Williams felt called to pediatric OT since high school. But shortly after graduation, her job in an insurance-based setting where she had to see as many as 15 kids back-to-back in a day left her burnt out and disillusioned. She switched to treating adults as a break, but soon felt the pull to return to her specialty in sensory processing for kids.

After 9 years in the field, she finally decided to create a practice of her own. To avoid the miserable lifestyle she’d observed among insurance-based practice owners, she settled on the cash-based model. Delays with her office construction meant she finally opened her doors just as last year’s pandemic shutdowns began in her small town. Undaunted, she arranged her schedule to allow for in-person treatments and continued seeing patients throughout 2020. Now just 18 months later, she has a 6-month-long waitlist and is currently looking to hire a full-time therapist.

In this interview, Jenny explains how she decided to open an out-of-network pediatric OT practice and what has contributed to her rapid success. She candidly shares how she got started, what she’d do differently, and what elements bring a steady stream of patients to her door who are willing to wait months for a chance to work with her.

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More specifically, we discuss these cash-based practice topics:

  • How she overcame her doubts—and family fears—to gain the confidence she needed to go out on her own.
  • The renovation difficulties that put her plans for opening on hold for a year, and what she learned from that experience.
  • How her personal network unexpectedly brought her a school-based client that allowed her to begin working before her office was ready.
  • Why she decided the cash-pay model made the most sense for her pediatric OT practice despite her concerns that many of the families who needed her help would be unable to pay out-of-pocket.
  • How she structured her practice schedule to enable in-person visits amid pandemic shutdowns.
  • The specialized training that shaped Jenny’s practice and paved the way for the incredible results she now offers her patients.
  • How she enticed her first patient family to give her an opportunity to test out her methodology in order to learn what worked best.
  • The approach that allowed her to simplify her scheduling, while actually enhancing patient care. 
  • A mindset shift that enabled Jenny to get comfortable promoting her services to families in a way that increased conversions.
  • How to help an admin gain the skills needed to field prospective patient calls.
  • Lessons learned that Jenny believes would have made it easier to build a successful cash-based OT practice. 
  • Why she found it unfair to patients to let her expectations about a family’s financial limitations influence her recommendations about the plan of care.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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