Earn More Revenue For Your Practice With Private Pay Clients
Are you interested in getting more private pay clients for your therapy practice?
Glad you’re here. That’s exactly what we’re discussing in this post.
One of the best ways to grow your private therapy practice and create a lifestyle that you love is through accepting private pay clients. We’ve discussed the virtues of the private pay model before and, if you need a primer, be sure to check out this post:
So, if you’d like to target private pay clients, you probably fall into one of three groups:
- You’re just starting out and not sure how private pay will actually pay the bills for your private practice
- You work primarily with third party payers but would like to switch over entirely to a cash pay model
- You want to keep a third party payer model but also incorporate more private pay clients
No matter which group you identify with, your biggest question is how to find the type of client who will actually pay for your services out of pocket.
As an in-network provider, it’s a lot easier to find clients— you get listed on the insurance company’s provider list and that alone can bring in all the clients you’ll ever need.
But when it comes to private pay, you don’t have the marketing arm of an insurance company at your disposal. Instead, you must actively look for clients who have the need, want, and ability to pay for your services.
So, what’s the secret?
It’s all about positioning.
Before beginning your marketing campaign, you must decide on your unique value proposition. This proposition is how you’ll separate yourself from the competition and woo the kind of client who is willing to pay for your services out of pocket.
There are many different strategies for creating your unique value proposition. Below, we’ll take a look at the best ways you can separate yourself from the herd and appeal to private pay clients who are willing to pay you what you’re worth—or at least what you’re willing to ask for. Let’s get started.
How to Position Yourself to Get More Private Pay Clients
What service can you offer that no one else in your town offers? Offering a generalized service isn’t enough. You need to have a hook—something that lets potential clients know that you’re different from your competitors. Otherwise, why would they pay for you out of pocket when they can simply go to an in-network therapist for much less?
Specializing communicates that you are an expert in a specific area. Perhaps you offer marriage counseling for those who’ve experienced widowhood, or you provide therapy services to teen overeaters.
Getting specific with what you offer will help get you in front of the clients who need your help most. And, guess what? They will pay you for it. By positioning yourself into a sought-after niche, you’re perceived as an expert. You can charge a premium and know that people are willing to pay for it as long as the service is a recognized need in your area.
Offer Short Waiting Times
One of the worst parts of insurance is the long wait times. There are a lot of waiting periods enacted on a client, but the insurance company isn’t always the one to blame. Sometimes, you’re simply booked to the max and you can’t possibly squeeze another client in.
That’s what it’s like when you depend exclusively on third party payers to support your private practice. More times than not, insurance companies will negotiate for such low rates that you’ll have to see a lot more clients than you may prefer in order to make a decent profit.
However, with a good mix (or exclusive model) of private pay, you can advertise shorter waiting times.
In-network therapists are often booked, and a client may have to wait three to six months, if not longer, to get an initial appointment. However, if you accept a fair amount of private pay, you probably have a lot more room in your schedule to see clients sooner rather than later.
Privacy is one of those fundamental human rights that’s quickly becoming a thing of the past. But it doesn’t have to be—especially in your private practice. While you no doubt adhere to HIPAA standards and take care to protect your client’s confidentiality, there’s someone you can’t guard from when you’re accepting a third party payer, and that’s the third party payer.
When you and your client go through a third party payer, a little bit of that confidentiality is compromised. The third party payer, whether a private insurer or a public program, can learn sensitive information about your client. Your client may not want their information shared.
In this case, you can emphasize privacy as one of the selling points for your private practice. The client can use your services discreetly without fear of getting denied by their insurer for future care.
Advertise your private practice as the ultimate a la carte service. While insurance companies often impose rigid treatment options, when you open your private practice to private pay, you’re no longer bound by the demands of the insurance company. Together with the client, you can create a treatment that makes sense for their unique needs—not their insurance plan.
Offer Service on Their Schedule
One of the best ways to attract the attention of a paying customer is by offering flexible hours. Instead of opening your private practice Monday through Friday, 9am to 4:30pm while everyone else is at work too, expand your office hours. Consider coming in later and extending your hours to close at 8 or 9pm.
Another option is to open your practice on the weekends. Weekends offer a huge opportunity to attract a private pay client who can’t justify taking time off from work during the week.
Offer Unique Services
In addition to creating a niche for your private therapy practice, consider offering unique and new services that no one else in your area is offering. Let’s take a look at two examples:
Online therapy – Take your mental health practice online. Some clients enjoy the idea of not leaving their home to seek help. All of it can be done from the comfort of their sofa. Plus, it’s another level of privacy—your client won’t need to worry about who sees them come in or out of your office.
Another benefit to offering online therapy (for you) is that you can open up your service to everyone in your state. You’re not limited to who’s willing to drive to your location.
Bilingual service – Do you speak another language? Consider offering that as a key differentiator and reaching out to that specific community. Whether it’s Spanish, French, or some other language that has a strong representation in your community, if you offer service in this language, be sure to advertise it. Some clients are willing to pay to communicate in their first, or only, language.
Simple Strategies For Saving: Both Money & Your Time
To increase the amount of private pay clients, you’ll have to think outside of the box with your marketing, and even your offerings. You’ll need to convince a potential private pay client why your service is worth it. The good news is you are worth it, and all it takes is positioning yourself in a way that helps the client see your value.
Don’t forget that time is money. You could be saving valuable hours with a practice management software that keeps your practice’s invoicing and billing organized. Breathe a little easier throughout the day, and try a 21-day free trial of our therapy note software, no credit card required.