Many private practice clinicians come to me with the goal of getting more private pay clients. Most are fed up with having to deal with insurance companies and with not being able to provide the care their clients want and need. They are also frustrated with the reimbursement rates that they receive, and for not being paid for the collateral work they feel is necessary but not reimbursed.
If you are equally frustrated and looking into increasing your private pay client base-then read on about some things you can do to get more private pay clients.
If your goal is to get more private pay clients-you first have to understand why people will pay out of pocket. Here are the main reasons someone would pay private pay:
- For privacy; they want to use a therapist or pharmacy unconnected with their regular doctor or insurance plan. Insurance companies have access to a lot of information about them and the patient may be worried about being denied future care
- They may not get the care they need. Insurance companies will only pay for the treatment that they think is effective, and necessary
- They may not get the therapist they want. The patient is oftentimes limited by the insurance company’s list of approved clinicians and may not get one in a convenient location or with enough experience with their problem
- They may not get a therapist who offers the type of treatment they are seeking. Oftentimes therapists with specializations who are accepting insurance may get filled up and not be accepting new patients. Additionally, therapists with certain specializations only accept private pay clients
- They want to see a therapist at the frequency they want, not what the insurance will pay
- They want to see a therapist who only accepts private pay because they believe it is worth paying private pay
- They want to see a clinician in a location/manner they want such as online therapy
- Now knowing why people pay private pay- the logical strategy in getting private pay clients should address the client’s reasons for wanting a private pay clinician.
- Many clinicians therefore design their practice around these needs. In my observation of effective private pay clinicians with whom I have worked- they share certain characteristics in their practice marketing and strategy. They are as follows:
- They offer a specialization that requires extensive training and experience and for which there is a scarcity of providers in the area
- The treatment they offer is extremely effective and they are skilled at it
- Their clients are satisfied and refer others to them unsolicited
- Their practice is niche oriented
- They have a targeted marketing strategy that oftentimes includes demographics
- They oftentimes offer treatment at early morning, evening, or weekend times
- A growing number are offering treatment via internet and a growing number have posted videos online
- A good number offer workshops, seminars, and training
- Many use print, broadcast and online media. All have online visibility through a website, internet directories, niche related blog articles and social media
- A number participate in community networking activities to build referral networks, and are members of referral groups
- They exhibit enthusiasm with their work, a dedication to their craft, and a striving to better their skill set
- A number are involved in their professional association activities
- Oftentimes they have businesses coaches or marketing consultants like me working with them on achieving these goals
The bottom line here folks is that if you want an insurance-free private practice or more private pay clients- it is going to take some work, time, and investment on your part, to position yourself to get more private pay clients. But with dedication, clear focus, and support- you can have the practice and lifestyle that you desire.
What has worked for you in building your practice?
What are your biggest challenges in building you ideal private practice?