Is it time for you to choose insurance for your therapy practice? Many mental health providers are starting to accept insurance now that payers are covering more of their services. In the past, many insurance providers did not cover mental health services, causing therapist to charge their clients out of pocket for their time. This made therapy inaccessible for many individuals who could not afford the price. While numerous providers are eager to start accepting insurance, you might not know where to start or how to choose insurance for your therapy practice. The process of offering insurance can be complicated if you do not know where to start, but not impossible.
Pros of Accepting Insurance for Your Therapy Practice
Make Services Accessible to Clients
For decades, there have been mile-high boundaries preventing many individuals from getting help with their mental health. This is devastating for those suffering from mental health-related issues who need the attention of a professional. One of the biggest barriers to mental health care has been cost. Either a client’s insurance did not cover mental health services, or they could not find a therapist that took their insurance. This forced them to pay for the entire cost of therapy out of their own pocket, which is unrealistic for so many. In 2021, more payers are covering mental health services than in recent history and if more therapists took insurance, more patients could access affordable mental health services for the first time.
Getting payment from clients is not always easy. By joining a provider panel and choosing insurance for your therapy practice, you get the chance to earn reimbursements for the services you offer, which can have a huge impact on your revenue. This allows you to get your payment faster and in-full more frequently.
In the eyes of clients and the community, offering insurance is a great way to build credibility. Since there is a vetting process involved in getting onto a provider panel with a payer, offering it can build trust between you and potential clients.
Cons of Accepting Insurance for Your Therapy Practice
Accepting insurance for your therapy practice is a time-consuming process. The reality is that you have to apply to each payer to be able to get onto their provider panel. This allows a therapist to bill directly to the payer and receive reimbursements. The application process can be quite lengthy, sometimes taking several months to reach approval.
Choosing to offer insurance for your therapy practice is exciting, yet extremely intricate. Not only does the application process take time, learning how to bill effectively is also more involved than just handing a client an invoice. You have to know your billing codes in and out or utilize billing software to be able to
maximize your claims and grow your bottom line. Offering insurance for your therapy practice can also force you to face a claim and denial management process that you have never had to manage before. This is easily addressed with the right combination of mental health billing software and services.
How to Choose Insurance for your Therapy Practice
Research Your Area
When it comes time to actually choose insurance for your therapy practice, it is best to do your research. Take time to determine what insurances other therapists in your area are accepting, and why. Also, take time to figure out which insurance is most used in your area by clients. The best way to choose insurance for your therapy practice is to pick the one you know that clients will be looking for.
Compare each Payer
Once you have made a list of all of the payers that are popular in your area, you then need to narrow it down and choose insurance for your therapy practice that is the right fit. Compare how each payer works, the experience other providers have with them, and what issues you might run into down the road. Providers should also compare payers to see which ones might offer additional services to those on their panel such as marketing opportunities.
How Long Will It Take to Enroll?
Picking insurance for your therapy practice will take time, but that time will vary for each type of payer. How long will the enrollment process take? Knowing this information before you get started can help you determine what insurance to offer.
Choosing insurance for your therapy practice can be complicated, but it can also be worth it. Accepting insurance means decreasing barriers to mental health services for individuals in your community, earning more in reimbursements, and increasing your credibility.
To learn more about an EHR that can help you streamline and organize your practice management, click here.