3 Ways Billing Insurance Can Grow Your Practice
Billing insurance can be a great way for you to grow your practice. There are a lot of strategies and schools of thought when it comes to growing practices, but a tried-and-true strategy is to make your practice accessible by becoming in-network with a third-party insurance company. This allows care to become affordable and allows people to gain access to care that they may not have access to otherwise. If your goal is growth, there are three key areas that you will need to focus on in order to leverage insurance billing to benefit your practice.
In this blog we are going to lay out three strategies that you can use in your practice to leverage insurance billing to grow your practice. We love seeing practices grow because it means that more people are getting the help that they need through difficult times or even good times. Our hope is that we can help eliminate some of the barriers to entry when it comes to taking insurance. We want to make it easier for you, your clinicians, and your clients to get the care that they need.
Outsourcing Billing Activities and Maximizing Your Time
The first strategy that you can use to grow your practice through insurance billing is to see more clients. We intersect with practices when the billing has become more time intensive than is worth it to the provider. For example, in the early stages of a private practice a practice owner may have more time on their hands to focus on things like billing. However, as they grow or get more referrals they have less time to focus on billing or other administrative tasks. Usually at this point some money has been lost because of the lack of time to focus on billing. All the while the clinician has focused less on higher level business growth and their clients. This can have a detrimental effect not only on the practice but also on the client and clinician. We want to help detail out how you can use your time to focus on business growth instead of insurance billing.
First, you will need to know where your time goes. A lot of the time business owners will track where their time goes and then make changes to their schedule to ensure that they are focusing on only those tasks they can do to grow the business. We would recommend you begin to track how much time you are spending on insurance billing. This can be as simple as journaling where your time goes, using a Google Calendar, or even finding an app that tracks your screen time. Once you know how much time you are spending on billing tasks you can begin to narrow down how to gain that time back.
Second, once you know how much time you can gain back you can begin the process of strategizing where to use that extra time. Let’s say you are growing a successful practice and you have less time for billing but you don’t want the billing to be neglected. You find that by outsourcing the billing to somebody you trust you can gain 8 to 10 hours of your week back. 8 to 10 hours a week of client time can translate to quite a bit of money every year. Therefore, the best strategy is to see more clients with the time that you’ve gained back.
It is likely that you will see an immediate increase in revenue and profit as you see more clients. The other option that you have available to you is to use that time for other business growth activities. You can interview qualified therapists, you can invest in yourself through continuing education, you can spend that time resting, or whatever else you deem necessary with that time. Time is the only thing that you cannot purchase more of and therefore is invaluable to the growth of your practice.
Most if not all of the practices that come to us during this transition see immediate relief not only in their schedule but also their clients feel an improvement in the amount of time that the therapist has devoted to their case. As an added benefit, revenue and profit tends to go up. This usually continues until the therapist has more clients than they know what to do with and then they hire.
Diversification of Revenue Streams
The next strategy that you can use billing to help grow your practice is by diversifying your revenue streams. In a private practice where a therapist sees clients, there is only one revenue stream. However, by paneling with a variety of insurance companies you can help dilute some of the risk in private practice and depend on revenue from a variety of sources. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many practices that were based on private pay clientele are now starting to take third-party insurance because their clientele need to utilize that payment modality. Due to the broader market changes, your practice will need to adapt and shift to meet the needs of your area.
The other way that billing insurance can diversify your revenue streams is by giving you time back to focus on other non-clinical revenue streams. For example, you can teach at a local college or you can develop online courses for new and developing therapists. Furthermore, if you are in the stage where you need to hire and train staff, those staff then become diversified revenue streams for your practice as well. You need the time to be able to do this well, so we recommend devoting as much time to those activities as possible.
We have had the privilege to watch practice owners go from the sole source of income for a practice to developing multi site practices, online E courses for clients and therapists, writing books, hiring tens of therapists at a time, or any other venture that generates more income. All of that is possible with a consolidated strategy of taking third-party insurance as well as developing systems for their private practice that allow the business to run without their involvement.
A good goal to aim for is to develop a practice that can grow without requiring your time in the location or on any day to day activities. If you are able to develop a business that can grow without your involvement then you have the time in space and skills to help more people through a variety of ventures.
Marketing Opportunities for Your Practice
The final strategy that you can use billing insurance to help grow your practice is with marketing. Insurance companies are in need of mental health therapists. The COVID-19 pandemic did nothing but highlight a mental health demand in the United States and insurance companies are keenly aware of that need. Since there is a high demand for mental health services, when they get a new provider on a panel they want to market that provider to their members as quickly as possible. Obviously, you would not want to depend only on the insurance company marketing your practice but it is to your benefit that they want you to see clients as much as they want their members to see you.
We recommend that you post your listing from the insurance company on your website and anywhere that you are marketing your practice. You can also ask the insurance company how they can market your practice with more market depth. We recommend developing a relationship with your provider area consultant to see if there are any Content channels that the insurance company would utilize your skill set on. Some insurance companies host webinars or seminars that you might be eligible to participate in. We would recommend leaning into the resources that insurance companies have at their disposal to market your practice. This is only one way that you can work at your practice, but it can be a reliable source of clients as you develop and grow your practice.
As we said in the beginning of this blog, our chief goal is to help remove the barriers of billing by helping give direction and guidance when navigating the complex world of insurance. We know that it is not easy to work with insurance nor is getting paid self-evident. Those factors combined with the stressful world of business ownership provide more than enough challenge even for the most ambitious individual.
We hope that this blog helped to give you clarity and direction, and we would love to engage with you no matter where you are in the process of building your practice. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have and we look forward to speaking with you!