If you have been seriously considering transitioning to a cash-only practice, then this article may just be able to help you decide. After all, getting to that point may have taken you some time and a lot of thought.
First let’s define cash-only. Cash refers to payments made by credit card, check, or paper green money – and that’s it. No more elaborate explanations.
Now let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of being in-network with insurance providers versus being out-of-network also known as cash-only (almost).
Pros of Being In-network
- Regular patient referrals
Being in-network allows you to have regular referrals to help increase your patient base. Insurance providers will have your name under their accredited clinics thus get a steady stream of referrals every month.
- Get patients’ foot in the door
Once you get these referrals through the door, you can now offer other services and charge full price for them. You can upsell services that will really bring value to new patients. They will be willing to pay out of pocket for high value services. However, this skill of presenting additional services may take some practice to become really good at.
Cons to Being In-network
- Paid less than the market value of your services
Unfortunately, being in-network will mean you will be paid less than the market value of your services. Insurance providers will reimburse you with less than the full price you will otherwise charge your cash-only patients.
- See a higher volume of patients
Then there’s the domino effect of having less reimbursements for services rendered. Doctors who are in-network typically have to see more patients for better cash flow and make a decent living.
- Lower quality of care
Another result of reduced payments and higher volume of patients is lower quality of care. Doctors may be forced to provide less than optimal care just to accommodate the volume of patients coming in.
- Patients not willing to pay out of pocket
Some patients only want to do want their insurance covers and are not willing to pay out of pocket for a more comprehensive care. As much as you would want to provide an extensive care to address their conditions, you are limited by the patient’s insurance coverage.
Pros to Being Out-of-network
- No fee structure
Since you will not be working with insurance providers, you can create your care plans based on a pricing structure that makes sense to you. You will be able to charge full market value for the services you provide.
- Less paperwork
There would be very little paperwork to deal with when you are out-of-network. You won’t even have to work with a third party to process insurance claims.
- Patients know they will get better care
While patients may be paying more, they also know that they get their money’s worth. People usually won’t have any issues spending a bit more for their wellness if they know they will get value for their money.
- See less patients
Since you are able to charge full market value for your services, you will not have to work yourself to the bone seeing patients after patients just to make a decent living. You will be able to go above and beyond in the quality of care you provide.
Cons to Being Out-of-network
- Work harder to get new patients
Since your office won’t be getting a steady stream of referral from insurance providers, you will need to have several marketing strategies in place to ensure new patients are coming in every month. It’s better to have at least five different marketing faucets that you can turn on and off as needed.
- Patients do not understand the difference between in-network and out-of-network chiropractors.
Unfortunately, there will be some patients who will not know the difference when it comes to chiropractors who operate in-network and out-of-network.
If you have been accepting insurance for the longest time, transitioning to a cash-only practice will take some time as you adapt to the new way of doing business. Looking at the pros and cons of going out-of-network, the decision is easy and now may just be the time to make the switch. Are you willing and ready to take the leap? Learn how to keep attracting new patients to your practice with our PDF downloadable on How to Create a Marketing Plan.