Dear Bill | Announcing Cash Practice
Posted by Bill Esteb on Aug 19th 2020
I'm switching from an insurance practice to a cash practice. Do you have a letter that I can use to announce this policy change to my patients?
Just keep in mind two things that I stressed in my Converting to Cash program. The first is that you don't want to go cold turkey. After making this important decision it's tempting to want to cut the cord and be done with it. Understandable. But you risk putting your practice into shock. Ease into it over the course of several months. Start by announcing your new policy to patients using one of the least popular insurance carriers. Then the second least popular, etc.
The second thing to keep in mind is far more important. Jettisoning insurance assignment is a practice marketing decision even more than a financial policy choice. By eliminating insurance assignment you will have the burden of attracting more people interested in health care rather than merely pain relief. Be sure to review Going Commando as you contemplate the implications of your new policy.
Here's a stab at the text of a patient letter. It's not included in my 50 Patient Letters, but probably should. Naturally, edit as you see fit:
I've struggled over this for months. So, here goes.
Beginning (date) I will no longer be taking insurance assignment. That is, I can no longer process your insurance as part of my practice. Instead, we will be rolling back the clock almost three decades and accepting fee for our services in the form of cash, check or credit card.
Back in the day, we handled the insurance paperwork for our patients as a "personal service." Patients appreciated the fact that we would take care of their health and all the paperwork. All they had to do was meet a small deductible amount and come up with a modest co-payment. After a month or so, the insurance company paid us and all was well.
Then things changed.
Nowadays, when we submit insurance claims for our patients, the delays, foot dragging and stalling techniques pale in comparison to the "claims adjusting" that arbitrarily cut my paycheck by as much as 60%! But what can I do? Your insurance policy is an agreement between you and them. By doing you a favor, they cut my bill!
So, beginning in (month) we'll being supplying you with the documents you'll need to receive reimbursement from your insurance company. And rather than months, you're likely to be paid in weeks. And instead of your $100 claim being arbitrarily reduced to $62.37, you're more likely to be reimbursed in full.
You'll still benefit from the coverage of your policy (as limited as it is), but you'll be the one dropping it in the mail, instead of me. After all, it's your policy, not mine.
This really isn't a big deal. But it is a major departure from the "way we've always done it." Most people are threatened by change. I'm energized by it.
Whew! That wasn't so bad!
PS. We'll still be offering annual care plans ($000), along with an affordable fee for those who prefer to come in on a per-visit basis ($00) and everything in between. Obviously, we'll still accept Medicare, but our primary focus will be working with people who want to optimize their health, and know the value of it.
Hope that provides a starting point for your own announcement letter.
Thanks for the question!
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