Three Ways to Know You Should Add an Insurance Panel
Infrequently do private practice owners want to add more work to their plate. However there are a few times when adding an insurance panel makes the most amount of sense for your practice. In this blog we want to help you identify the situations in which you might want to add insurance panels to your practice. In previous blogs we've talked about how you can reduce or limit the amount of insurances that your practice takes. The reason why that blog was written is because we have seen a lot of private practice owners take on more than they can handle in terms of insurance credentialing.
However, due to the impacts of Covid-19 there have been quite a few private practices that have never taken insurance that are wondering how they can transition to taking an insurance panel. The process for deciding how to take an insurance panel can be complicated but we would like to distill down the most important things to consider when thinking about adding an insurance panel.
Identify Your Ideal Clients
The first variable that is important to consider when thinking about taking on an insurance panel is your clinical objectives. Did you get into private practice to work with a particular population? Do you love working with veterans? Do you love working with elderly people? Do you love working with impoverished or disenfranchised people? Do you love working with young professionals? Do you love working with blue collar people?
Depending on how you answer those questions is going to determine which insurance panels you decide to take on. It is a good and noble intention that you would want to help people in a variety of situations. We would ask you to consider which populations you are seeking to help in order to guide the decision to join an insurance panel.
For example if you like working with elderly people you might want to consider taking on Medicare. That can be a very complicated task and you'll want to make sure that you are passionate about the population that you're working with before taking on a complicated task. You're going to need that motivation to carry you through the process of working with insurance anyway so you might as well have a greater goal in mind.
Run the Numbers
The second variable we would ask you to think about before taking on an insurance is your financial objectives. Not all insurance companies pay the same and a lot of insurance companies pay low rates for your services. It is important to be guided by your purpose for why you got into private practice because if you are driven by the money you are going to choose to work with certain insurance companies or not at all. However if you are going to take insurance companies that do pay lower rates then you are going to want to consider how that is going to factor into your profitability. There are lots of ways to think about financial modeling but for now we want to encourage you to think about and to project out what you need to make in your private practice.
Consider Your Schedule
The last variable we would ask you to think about is how much time you have to commit to administrative tasks. If you were currently flooded with work then it might not make sense to take on an insurance panel since there is a high level of time and attention to detail involved in applying to an insurance panel. However if you are finding that you have the time or if you have somebody that you can utilize to manage the insurance process then it would make a lot of sense for you to take on an insurance panel.
Typically an insurance panel can add between 4 to 8 hours in your work week. It is important that you consider the time commitment before taking on an insurance panel in your private practice. We think that decision should be made deliberately and with careful thought so that you can make the best decision for your private practice.
Ultimately sustainability within your practice is going to be important. The clients and community that you serve need you around for the long haul and taking on too many insurance panels can lend itself to burnout, but taking on selective insurance panels can lend itself to good sustainable growth within your practice.
If you have more questions or need help determining which insurance panels to take on in your practice we would love to have a conversation with you and help bounce ideas around to help you decide which insurance is best in your area. Feel free to reach out via our website or call us at 734-437-9432 and we would be happy to schedule a call with you to talk.