Paying Cash for Physical Therapy is a Better Value
Most health insurance policies don't cover the entire cost of a physical therapy visit. If cash-based physical therapy rates seem high to you, realize that even with health insurance, many patients are still responsible for copays and deductibles of $50 or more per physical therapy visit. So, you will usually pay out of pocket for physical therapy whether you use your insurance benefits or not. What is different is the overall quality of the services and the value you experience at each visit.
For a physical therapy clinic to be in-network with insurance companies, they agree to accept an insurance company's rates, which are sometimes low. As a result, the clinic will try to make up for the reduced insurance rates by increasing the volume of patients they see. This means that patients might be double or triple booked on one therapist's schedule.
The result is an impersonal physical therapy experience and poor continuity of care with the following possible consequences:
Minimal face time with the licensed physical therapist, the expert you came to see
Different physical therapists for each visit leading to scattered, inconsistent care
Portions of your session supervised by a physical therapy technician or athletic trainer
Ultimately, the volume game traditional clinics must play significantly reduces the chances of you receiving quality care and will likely increase the number of visits you will require.
Cash-based physical therapists are out-of-network with insurance companies, meaning they refuse to compromise your quality of care. Removing the third-party insurance company from the relationship gives the purchasing power back to you as the patient looking for the best fit to help with your problem.
In the end, when you are an integral part of developing the goals and setting the plan of care, you help ensure your own improved outcomes. Paying cash for the services puts you in the right position to make the right decisions about your care.
Customized Treatment Plans Are More Effective
Because cash pay physical therapists are out-of-network with your insurance company, they have the freedom to create a customized plan to address your injury, discuss your goals, and collaborate with you on a plan of care. Furthermore, cash pay physical therapists are not playing the volume game by relying on large amounts of referrals to generate revenue. Rather, they are marketing their specialized skills and concierge services based on their ability to get results and provide exceptional patient care. They are dedicated to providing value and delivering results in as few visits as possible.
Your physical therapist can take the time to implement the techniques that will help you, answer your questions, adapt your treatment plan to your progress, and suggest improvements in your home exercise program.
By removing the headaches and demands of insurance companies, cash pay therapists are able to focus on what matters most: creating a personalized physical therapy experience where patients receive early access, attention, continuity of care, and immediate results.
Paying Cash Comes with Upfront Pricing
Paying cash for physical therapy eliminates the mystery and math you would ordinarily experience when visiting an in-network therapist. In-network PT clinics charge an average of $250 per session to insurance companies. If you haven't met your deductible yet, you would be responsible for the full cost of the visit.
Since cash pay physical therapy practices are out-of-network with insurance companies, they are not constrained by contracted rates and other insurance contract restrictions. However, you still have options for getting reimbursement for your physical therapy care.
Talk with your health insurance company. If your health insurance offers out-of-network benefits, you can also submit the billing claim to the insurance company for possible reimbursement. In the context of rising healthcare costs and high-deductible insurance plans, it's actually a growing trend for people to take back control of their healthcare decisions with strategic ways of covering healthcare costs.