The cost of PT is one of the biggest hurdles to patients coming to physical therapy. Patients struggle to estimate the cost of care, wonder what their insurance will cover and how to maximize their existing plan. As physical therapists, we can help patients navigate these questions and encourage them to seek treatment. You can use your marketing to educate and inform potential patients about different options to reduce costs.
When people are in pain, they often wonder what their best option is to feel better. In many cases, they will see their primary care physician who suggests tests, medications etc. It is only after 2-3 appointments without any improvement that the physician might prescribe PT. That is easily $100 in copays plus more in medical fees and prescription costs. What if the patient could save over $100 and come see you first?
In all 50 states, there is some level of direct access to physical therapy. But, most patients do not know that they can come see you without a referral from a doctor. You can use your regular marketing to let patients know about this option. It is important to explain things simply, but do not over promise. We recommend having a “Did You Know” style callout in your newsletter that explains direct access. Provide a description of the patients’ rights for your state—and encourage them to visit your website or call for more information. A website blog post on direct access can highlight more specifics and key details patients should be aware of before coming to PT.
As the months of October through December arrive, people have often used most or all of their insurance deductible coverage. Therefore, additional care can be covered at a lower or even no cost to the patient. This is the perfect time to get PT services. While there will still be routine copays, there should be significantly less out of pocket expenses.
However, the late fall and holiday season is packed full with activities and events. Taking advantage of their insurance deductible is not on anyone’s radar. PT practices should be actively promoting this savings opportunity during this time of year. Send out a postcard reminding people to use up their deductible. Write a blog post on how to maximize insurance coverage and share it on social media.
Additionally, you can engage a dedicated reactivation campaign. Look back and find patients who completed treatment in the first half of the year. Give them a call and see how they are doing. Are they pain-free? It might be beneficial for them to come back in for PT. And, they will save money since they have already used their deductible for care.
By removing barriers, you can encourage more people to get the treatment they need and see you for PT. Cost is definitely a factor in most healthcare decisions. Ways to save money or maximize insurance coverage are great tips to share with the community. Being a source of information and guidance transforms your practice into a patient’s advocate. They feel that you are on their side and are partnering with them to improve their physical condition. This establishes a positive relationship even before treatment begins, which only improves the results. It also creates a positive, shareable experience that patients will tell their family and friends. Thus, prompting word of mouth referrals about both your expert PT and patient advocacy and generating more patients for your practice.