The option to become a preferred provider may not last. Two of the largest insurance companies have closed to new providers in most counties of Washington State. However, as of this writing, at least 2 of the most popular insurance companies are still contracting new preferred providers, Aetna and Kaiser Permanente.
Here’s a LINK to get you started with the insurance credentialing process.
Become a preferred provider
grow your practice…
Two perceived notions make some massage therapists reject the idea of becoming a preferred provider. First, the reimbursement rate. Next, the difficult and time consuming process of medical billing.
The reimbursement rates for an in-network provider currently sits at around $60 per one hour massage. While this is less than most therapists charge for cash pay clients, there are some really good reasons to have a balance of both cash and insurance pay customers.
1. A full schedule. There are a lot of massage therapists that you are competing with for clients. Accepting insurance gives you a huge advantage and quickly fills your schedule.
2. Free advertising. Once you become contracted, the insurance company will add your practice information to its list of preferred providers. Patients in your area can easily find you.
3. Referrals. Physicians in your area will refer their patients to you for treatment if you accept that patient’s insurance. Once you establish a relationship, they will think of you for their cash-pay patients as well. Your insurance patients may refer their friends and family who may be insurance or cash-pay.
4. Altruism. You will be providing more people with access to the amazing benefits of massage therapy.
Medical billing is indeed time consuming and at times, difficult. But you don’t have to go it alone. A billing service such as Ethical Billing Solutions will make it easy for you. In fact, using our system for billing will make your entire practice run smoother. Once your practice is set up with us for medical billing, the day-to-day process is simple.
1. Utilize online scheduling. Set up your practice to use an online scheduling service. There are many that are reasonably priced and if you like, we can help you find one. You have the choice to schedule your clients yourself or allow them to schedule. Most online scheduling companies also provide patient appointment reminders through email or text. We highly recommend this feature. If you really prefer the old school paper appointment book and handwritten accounting (or somewhere in between), we have ways to accommodate that.
2. Benefit Checks. You or your patient will provide us with their insurance information, we will check their benefits and pre-authorization requirements and relay that information to you and/or your patient. This is done through a HIPAA compliant online link, so benefit checks can be requested when it’s convenient.
3. Once the system is in place, we access your appointment and insurance payment information online. Then we provide a monthly accounting to you that shows patient appointment details, payments received and accounts receivables.
That’s it. Pretty simple…