The above question is one I have to answer somewhat often, and I’m now getting plenty of Physical Therapists asking me how I respond to it. Luckily, I have already written this section in my cash-practice guidebook, so I get to use the ol’ copy-paste for this post! I love efficiency.

When someone asks me why my clinic doesn’t take insurance, there are a few things I want to convey in the answer:

  • The level of treatment, one-on-one time, and results you typically receive at a standard physical therapy clinic that accepts insurance
  • How the treatment and results provided at my Austin clinic are different and much better on average
  • Why providing this superior service (hour-long, one-on-one, etc) would not be possible if I billed insurance
  • The fact that I can provide receipts with the necessary codes for them to send claims into their insurance and possibly receive reimbursement or application toward their deductible

My response is generally something like this:

“The reason I have a fee-for-service practice is because there’s no way to treat patients the way I feel is most effective and accept insurance while not going bankrupt. Insurance companies only reimburse about half of what is billed.

In order to make a decent profit, clinics that accept insurance often have techs and assistants providing care, they use modalities like Ultrasound that I feel are usually a waste of time, and therapists have to treat multiple patients each hour.

Because this is an out-of-network practice, I can spend a full hour one-on-one with each patient, and the focus is primarily on manual therapy. I do not have patients pay to do things in the clinic that they can do on their own, and the manual therapy techniques I use are extremely effective.

Between the full-hour treatments and the effectiveness of my hands, I usually have patients maximally recovered in fewer than half the number of visits they would need at an insurance-based clinic.

With the time savings of fewer clinic visits, and the value of feeling better so much sooner, most patients feel that the out-of-pocket expense is more than worth it. I can also provide receipts with the codes needed to send in self-claims to your insurance company. Depending on the plan, many of my patients receive some level of reimbursement or at least have the costs of my treatments applied to their deductible.”

Your target customer should value quality

If the prospective patient is not convinced by these statements, then he is probably not the type of patient I want to work with anyhow. Even when I wasn’t slammed busy, I never desperately chased after potential business and you shouldn’t either. “Playing hard to get” doesn’t just apply in social/romantic situations. It applies to business as well, and if you don’t make someone feel like you’re seriously in need of their business, he will likely be more interested in what you have to offer. I’m not saying to be impolite or act as if you don’t care what decision they make. Just don’t appear desperate, even if you currently are.

Related post: “Financially Justifying Cash-Based Physical Therapy to Prospective Patients

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