I want to open up this question to YOU!!!! Please take the survey at the end of this post.
I recently had a call with a friend who has a cash only practice. He charges $632 for the initial consult and $6,000 cash for a 6-month clinical care program. At first, I scoffed at hearing this. I thought, in my mind, it was a ridiculous business model. Why? Because we average approximately $84 per visit, historically, as a traditional insurance-provider practice. This cash-only business model was actually insulting to me – as I have trained very hard, and have spent a lot of time and money to earn my credentials. What makes my friend so much more valuable than me when we have a similar amount of training and expertise?
Why would I want to continue as an insurance-participating medical practice if I could make the “Big Bucks” as a cash practice? My primary argument is that you can’t scale a cash practice. By the way, my friend has admitted that he is having a difficult time scaling and getting away from working IN the practice, so he can work ON the practice.
But what if you could do both? Offer insurance-based services while scaling and growing – and let your patients decide what is valuable to them by giving them cash options? Historically, we have given our patients very little additional options for their service. We give them the time and treatment that their insurance allows. We may sell them an additional product for cash (usually less than $40) that enhances their at-home follow-through.
I believe that only your patient/customer can really decide what value is to them. However, I must give them the options. Then, they can make an informed choice and decide what would be best for them.
Be clear what they get with their current insurance program.
Create an environment that is safe and gives permission to increase the value that is important to them.
Be transparent and authentic – not sales-y or deceptive.
Suspend your bias about what you think is valuable to your patient.
Give them options and be quiet …………………………. let them choose.
Prime your potential patients before they come in that they have options and this a benefit to them. (On website, on welcome e-mail, folder, testimonials.)
My vision is to be a hybrid model of insurance and cash options to empower my patients to choose what is valuable for them. My friend Brian Yee is the best example of a hybrid model that I know of at https://motionstability.com/.
Please share your thoughts and experience on this area of integrating cash with insurance to leverage and open the door for patients who initially walked through your door because you accepted their insurance.
My business coach, Michael Hyatt, says, “Ten percent of your clients are willing to pay ten times what you currently charge. You must create an option for those clients.”
I will share the result of the survey next week!!!!
Take the Survey!
Grateful to be on this journey with you,
Dr. Matthew Harkness