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06 October 2023

Taking Control of Your Clinic: Transitioning Away from Insurance Dependency

Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s been a hot topic in the industry for years – the reliance on insurance companies in physio clinics and other healthcare practices. As someone who has been through the ropes, I want to share my journey and insights into why I decided to break free from this dependency.

When I first started my clinic nine years ago, I faced a crucial decision: should I rely on working with insurance companies or opt for private payers? It’s a decision that many clinic owners and practitioners have grappled with over the years. Initially, the allure of insurance work seemed like a safe bet, promising a steady income and a consistent flow of patients. However, my experience over the years has made me question whether it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

Let’s address the merits of the insurance model first. It does offer financial stability, and it can attract a broad range of patients, making it an appealing choice for new clinic owners. However, the longer you’re entangled with insurance companies, the more you realise the downsides – administrative red tape, payment delays, and limited treatment options dictated by insurers.

I made a bold decision right from the start: no medical-legal contracts. While some may have considered it a risky move, I saw the drawbacks outweighing the benefits. Insurance companies were driving shorter appointment times, reducing our fees, and undermining our expertise. They expected us to work miracles in a limited number of sessions, penalizing us if we requested more.

The focus on insurance-driven care compromises the core principle of providing personalised, evidence-based treatment tailored to each patient’s needs. Clinics often find themselves prioritising treatments more likely to be covered by insurance, rather than what’s genuinely best for the patient’s long-term health.

Financially, it’s essential to evaluate your clinic’s dependence on insurance patients. If a significant portion of your income comes from insurance, it’s time to do the maths and explore ways to reduce this dependency. Transitioning away from insurance work requires strategic planning, and it won’t happen overnight. Start by gradually replacing insurance patients with private payers, monitoring your revenue streams along the way.

Alternative revenue streams, specialised services, and treatment packages can help offset the loss of insurance income. True innovation thrives when you have the freedom to provide the care you believe in, unburdened by insurance restrictions.

Engaging patients through personalised care and expanded services not only improves their outcomes but also enhances your clinic’s reputation. When I decided to part ways with Bupa, we communicated openly with our patients about the reasons behind the decision, and many chose to continue seeing us as private payers.

Transitioning away from insurance work is a commitment that requires careful planning, communication, and a smooth financial transition. However, it’s a decision that can ultimately lead to financial autonomy, improved patient care, and the freedom to innovate within your business.

In conclusion, taking control of your clinic and reducing your reliance on insurance companies is a bold move, but it’s one that can pay off in the long run. As healthcare professionals, we deserve fair compensation for our expertise, and by making this shift, we can work towards that goal collectively.

Remember, you have the power to shape your business on your terms, and it’s time to put that power to good use. If you are asking yourself  ‘where do i start?’ Book a free business and marketing audit call with my team, we can dive into where you are now, where you want to be and what is getting in your way, click this link and lets chat. Until next time, take care, and keep treating your business with the care it deserves.

Katie

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