This is my favorite question that I get on a daily basis from potential clients. I run a cash-based physical therapy practice. This means I do not accept insurance, and collect for services at the time of treatment. I elected to go this route in the summer of 2017 after spending 2 years in an insurance-based outpatient orthopedic clinic. Over that time I experienced all the highs and lows of working in a clinic of that type, from the stable income with good benefits to the extreme caseload of seeing 100 patients within a week by myself! I realized after moving into a management role that all the wonderful and idealistic things I was told in PT school as well as by my employers really weren’t holding up in the real world. I learned that our marketing was targeted towards physicians, and that it was important to push for more visits and overload the schedule over ensuring a younger physical therapist has time to grow and focus on quality patient care. I definitely had some questions about where my future was after seeing the decline of my healthcare experience into more of a mill type setting. If the start of this story sounds a bit depressing, it’s because it is. This is a growing reality among outpatient clinics in this country due to drastically increasing healthcare costs, severely reduced reimbursement, and the development of bloated giant PT companies that begin to lose touch with what’s really important….the client.
That’s where this starts to take a happy turn. I think we can do better. In what is becoming a growing trend, I have started my own hybrid physical therapy company with the goal of shifting the focus back to the patient. By eliminating insurance from the picture I can spend all my time focusing my treatment on what really matters to my client without the red tape and restrictions of insurance companies or PT companies that seem to treat clients/patients as the product instead of the customer. In being able to provide a better and more complete service to my customers, I can get better outcomes in a reduced period of time all while developing a strong relationship with each individual who steps into my clinic. I want to change what physical therapy means to the average person by making it a better service. People will hopefully begin to see that physical therapy is not something you’re ordered to attend by your physician, and it’s not a reactive relationship where you only go when things break down. These are both concepts instilled over time predominantly based around what insurance will cover. I am passionate about seeing my clients directly as there first choice for musculoskeletal needs, and then continuing that relationship with check-in appointments to prevent the onset of injuries and promote the best possible performance of the activities that are most important. I no longer take insurance because I want to practice freely, provide a new and improved service for my customers, and promote a better quality of life for individuals in my community and all across the world. Let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard when it comes to our health. We can do better.