In today’s blog, I’d like to talk about a statement I often hear from practitioners: “I cannot afford to stop servicing insurance patients”

My question to you is: can you afford to continue treating insurance patients?

I hear from so many clients who feel they are not being paid their worth for the insurance patients that they treat. Many practitioners are in a position where the fees they charge to insurance companies has not increased in several years, so they are being paid £30-35 per treatment for insurance patients, whereas self-payers are paying £60-65 per treatment.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to really think about whether you can afford to continue servicing certain insurance companies.

First, calculate what percentage of your patients are insurance patients. Then, work out how much time you spend servicing these patients. Don’t just think about the treatment time, consider all the time you spend on paperwork, submitting invoices, chasing up payments, etc. Once you’ve calculated this, you should be able to work out how much per hour you are being paid for each insurance patient you treat. If you are not happy with this hourly rate, then it’s time to seriously consider whether it’s time to ditch the insurance companies which are not paying your worth.

Another important calculation to do to help with your decision around whether to continue servicing particular insurance companies is calculating how many extra self-paying patients you would need to cover the income that those insurance companies contribute to your revenue each month currently. You’ll probably realise it’s less than you think!

You might also find that by no longer servicing insurance patients, you and your business are better off financially. A client I was working with recently was running a waiting list for self-paying patients, but continuing to treat his insurance patients. After doing the sums, he calculated that he could be earning an extra £5,000 per year by stopping servicing the insurance patients and attending to his waiting list instead.

If you’re worried about letting your insurance patients down, you might be surprised! When the client I mentioned above let his insurance patients know that he would no longer be servicing their particular insurance company, the majority of them decided to continue with their treatment as self-payers.

It’s really important that you are paid what you deserve to be paid, so go and do the sums and work out what the impact would be on your business.

We’re not saying ditch insurance companies completely – there are some insurance companies out there which treat practitioners fairly, but if you are feeling that you are not getting your worth from particular insurance companies, then look at the numbers and make a decision about whether you should continue servicing those insurance companies or not.

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