The reason I got into the field of physical therapy in the first place was because of multiple sports injuries and surgeries that required me to have physical therapy in my teenage years. Even though these were some of my hardest times and a struggle to endure, I recovered and returned to sports and realized how fulfilling the PT career could be. And I really didn’t want a boring job where I couldn't be active. I decided I wanted to own my own practice early on, but always thought it would look like the typical traditional outpatient practice. While I was in school getting my doctorate I was introduced to alternative business models and thought I could do a ‘hybrid’ practice - a little bit of everything. Like many Physical Therapists, I began my career working in a traditional clinic and quickly realized that the healthcare industry in this country is broken. Therapists, no matter how passionate they are about helping people, are tied down by the rigid rules of insurance companies, unable to use their skills to truly help every patient that comes through the door the way they want to. Sometimes practice owners are forced to decide between being profitable or being ethical. This is not just a problem in PT, if you have ever sat in an MD’s office for an hour only to spend 5 minutes with the actual doctor and told to come back in 3 months, then you know this problem is rampant across the entire medical industry. If you have ever been to Physical Therapy and felt like just a number or like it didn't really work, this post is for you. I found a better way!
Having a ‘direct pay’ practice means I do not accept insurance and work solely on a private pay basis, the payment is transferred directly between us and the cost is FULLY transparent. The first words I usually hear when I tell someone that I don't accept insurance is, "that must cost a fortune" , or "that sounds really expensive". Guess what-- it's not, and it's important that you know why it's worth it ! Yes, you are paying out of pocket, but you are getting a high quality, personalized experience in return.
We usually don't think twice about going out to buy nice clothes and dropping >$100 on dinner and drinks in a single evening, but when it comes to paying out of pocket for better health care we suddenly freeze up. We have been trained to think that just because we have insurance, we have to use it or God forbid we pay out of pocket. But remember-- your health is worth it and is the best investment you can make. You have car insurance right? It covers you in an accident or if your car is damaged and the cost of repair will be high. Does your car insurance cover your gas? What about your oil changes and tire rotations? Weekly car wash? If it does please send me a link to their website so I can sign up! :)
It's time to change the conversation around direct or ‘cash pay’ physical therapy and healthcare in general, because the reality is that it's a very affordable and effective way to get you back to doing all the things you love!
1. More one-on-one time with your therapist and personalized attention.
This is 100%, without a doubt, the most important piece to me (and my patients as well)! I don't have to worry about billing insurance companies and being reimbursed for my time, so I have so much more of it to give to my clients. I used to spend 1-2 EXTRA hours documenting for insurance and I would have rather just seen more people. Your time is spent with me, I do not use an assistant or a tech, and only see one client at a time so you have my undivided attention. Most PT's went into this business because they love working with and helping people. This therapy approach really allows me to stay true to my values and give 100%- you reap the benefits! The end result is a completely individualized treatment plan to correct your specific deficits and help you get better faster!
2. Builds a strong patient-provider relationship.
When you work with KFix, we are a team. All that one-on-one time allows me to get to know you and your goals extensively. I value the concept of a strong community and supporting others. Play a sport? Send me your schedule and I’d love to make it to a game! Have a workout class you like and think I should try? I love to experience new ways of exercising and having a deeper understanding of the activities my clients participate in!
3. Yes, It may actually save you money in the long run.
Quality over quantity is an important concept here. More one-on-one time means we get a lot done in a single visit. AND I update your home program on a frequent basis. On average, I only see my patients 1-2x/wk but it is for a full hour. Sometimes we need a few visits, sometimes its several months to prepare for a big competition or recover from surgery. Either way, it gives you plenty of time between sessions to work on your program and start to see results. More importantly, it empowers you to put in the work which = getting better, FASTER. With more efficiency in our PT sessions, this often works out to be much less than actually using your insurance.
Take this scenario for instance: a patient with a high copay of $60 per visit who needs to go to PT 2-3x/wk for 8 weeks will spend close to $1440 over the course of their care. During their visits, they are likely only spending ~20 minutes of actual one-on-one time with their PT. And might not even get the same PT every visit! That's a lot of money and time for little reward. Not to mention they may get a surprise bill 3 mo later because their insurance co may not have fully covered the cost of the visits. Take that same patient with the scenario of signing up for our 8-pack offer at $1240. The math is a no-brainer!! Time better spent AND depending on your out-of-network benefits, your insurance company may actually reimburse you for your visits! I provide my patients with a superbill on request.
4. More freedom to address multiple issues at the same time.
Often during my sessions with clients we uncover other areas that cause pain or limitations. These weren’t the primary complaint and reason for coming to PT but because of the freedom our direct pay plan-of-care allows, we can address these areas as well without going through all the medical red tape. So long as it doesn’t detract from the main goal, we can target multiple areas every other area or even combine in a session.
5. Empowering you to help heal yourself.
A good Physical Therapist will not "heal you" - they will teach you to help heal yourself. Physical Therapists do not want you to use us as a crutch, we want you to take your health and wellness into your own hands. You have the potential to help heal yourself, I just want to guide you and unlock your full potential. By choosing direct pay PT, you have already taken a huge step towards empowering yourself, because you have made the commitment to invest in your health. This approach motivates us both to give it our best effort and get everything out of your investment into the process.
6. Your health is worth any amount and is the BEST investment you could ever make.
It is so expensive to be sick and hurt all the time. Prescription drugs, imaging, time off work to make appointments- all these costs add up! I truly believe that health is worth investing in from all areas. Nutrient-dense foods, getting regular exercise, seeing the provider that YOU want are all way better uses of your time, energy, and resources than playing defense with your health. We only get one body. Yes we can replace and repair some parts, but there’s a reason no one wants a used car with 100,000 miles and a poor Carfax history, they just don’t run right and end up costing a lot more to maintain than a well-kept vehicle :)
All of this really comes back to one main point. The direct pay model Physical Therapy has the ability to provide you with the highest quality of care. Aren't we all looking for a better experience with health care these days? I can promise you that high quality, affordable care still exists and your insurance company does not have to be the barrier.
For me, I could not be happier with the choice that I made to leave traditional clinic life behind. My intentions have always been to put my patients first and give them the care they deserve. I can now say with certainty that I am able to provide them with a better patient experience than they would get anywhere else.
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