Transitioning from an insurance-based to a cash-based practice might seem like a scary thought, but plenty of chiropractors have made the switch.
If you’re trying to figure out how to transition from an insurance-based to a cash-based practice, you might be happy to know that according to the Chiropractic Economics Salary and Expense Survey, most patients are already paying on a cash basis: 40% of patients are cash, compared to 31% who use group health insurance for treatments.
How to Transition from an Insurance-Based to a Cash-Based Practice? Change Your Mindset
Making the switch does require a change to your mindset. Not every patient will want to convert to cash. You may lose a few people. However, you will also gain different types of patients.
Switching to cash doesn’t mean you must reject insurance patients. You are just shifting the burden to patients to seek reimbursement.
Define Your Marketing Niche
It helps to define your marketing niche. For example, when paying out of pocket, patients expect higher quality care. Since you are relieved of the burden to create care plans to fulfill insurance company reimbursements, you have more time to focus on care and not worry about whether you will get paid for doing the right thing for your patients.
You may also be able to offer discounts for treatments based on reduced overhead and administrative tasks. That can be a significant benefit, especially when trying to attract new customers.
Invest in Long-Term Care Plans
Long-term care plans offer the most consistent pay. They also tend to provide better long-term outcomes for patients.
A long-term care plan approach can also significantly increase long-term client retention. Most practices will shift their focus slightly from bringing in new clients to developing long-term relationships with patients, which increases client lifetime value.
Consider Product Extensions
Many chiropractors planning to transition from an insurance-based to a cash-based practice add product-line extensions to supplement their income and broaden their client base. These include providing products and services such as:
- Kinesiology tape
- Spa or sauna
Another strategy that many chiropractors have chosen is to expand into integrated health practices. While 64% of chiropractors operate independently, 27% operate within a multidisciplinary clinic setting, such as working in conjunction with a medical doctor or providing complementary services on-site, such as physical therapy, licensed massage therapy, or acupuncture.
Educate Patients about Cash Practices
One of the keys to transitioning a cash practice is educating patients about how it works and how it can benefit them. It’s important to discuss the cash model and educate clients about the health and wellness benefits of long-term care rather than just treating their immediate symptoms.
The key for patients is value. When they are paying cash rather than relying on insurance, they want to know exactly what they are paying for and why it’s important. Explaining the value of care plans should include both the health and financial benefits.