I have been a physical therapist for over 10 years. That is hard to believe given my incredibly youthful face…
During that time, I have seen and done some amazing things! I have also seen some things in the medical field that I was less than thrilled about. I have been in the system, and I know who the system benefits…let me give you a hint, it is not the patients and it is not the therapists.
The system is designed to benefit the insurance company. Let me present to you, the basics of insurance.
You subscribe to an insurance company and their program. Your insurance program then goes around to providers and offers them to be “in-network” with their company. Basically, they are negotiating rates that they will pay with your provider. Insider fact, the rates are not good. They are often negotiating rates that are less than 30% of what your provider charges. Additionally, they are usually telling your provider what they will and will not pay for… certain tests…certain procedures…certain things that would actually benefit you, but they won’t cover!
So your provider agrees and then decides that for them to be able to make money, pay their staff and stay in business, they now have to see 3x the amount of people. This is why your doctor’s office is booked out for months at a time. This is why you only spend 5 minutes of face time with your doctor and THIS is why you see your therapist with 1-3 other patients when you go for your therapy appointments. This is why you spend 5-10 minutes with your therapist at your sessions and why you work with a technician for the rest of your session.
When I was working in the system, I saw tons of patients and didn’t see great results as consistently as I would hope. I would also see patients for a LONG time…8-12 weeks at times, and that was without a surgery! When I had to split my time between all the patients that I was seeing, I was unable to help patients as well or as in depth as they needed.
In addition to that, I was getting burned out. I would see 20-25 patients a day, have to complete their notes, address their issues and oversee whoever was my technician to be sure that the insurance company would pay our charges appropriately. The feeling of burnout made it so I was less driven at work and less likely to be able to help the person that was in front of me, the person that I wanted to help! Which contributed to more burnout….
It is a vicious cycle and it is not one that the patient or the provider benefits from.
So I decided to change
I left the insurance-based system. I couldn’t help anyone if I was burned out and I couldn’t help anyone in that system…there were just too many to see at that time! I loved my patients, I loved my co-workers, but I just couldn’t keep practicing that way.
I started Backward Arrow Physical Therapy in order to help patients more and better! Now, I work with patients one-on-one, without insurance telling me what I can and cannot do! I see patients get better in less than half the time! Sometimes as fast as ONE VISIT! I’m able to help them get back to what they love and want faster and better than I was in the clinic!
Is your time worth the cost (1-8 visits, 1 hour each)? Do you want to get back to your goals faster? Do you want to get in to be seen quicker (I can usually see patients the next day!)? Do you want to have a full hour devoted to you and your progress, instead of working with other patients that may be at different stages or have different problems than you have? These are the things that are different about BAPT. So is it worth the cost, you tell me!
Let’s Do the Math
Let’s face it…you may have insurance and you would like to try to benefit from its usage as much as possible. This is what we have been conditioned to think over decades and generations of big pharmaceuticals and big insurance companies.
The first question that I ask is, when was the last time that you were legitimately pleased with your insurance company. You either pay an arm and a leg, they will not cover a problem you thought they would, or you are confined to their “in-network” providers. So far, none of these options really sound like they are adding up to a great experience. Insurance companies care about their shareholders, not their account holders!
So let’s compare the numbers and see how they add up. In this example, we will be comparing the cost of money, but ALSO, the cost in time (because time is money!)
Insurance Based Model
As you can see, these graphs show not only the cost of fixing your problem, but the time it takes to fix them as well!
Consider the expense and time involved even if you have paid your deductible for the year! The cost is still significantly more than what you would think by having insurance to help! Also, consider the amount of work missed by trying to make all of your appointments and the amount of fun things you missed out on waiting to get answers. During that time, you were not able to workout, compete in your sport or activity or play with your kids as much as you might like!
Also think about the time cost for physical therapy. With many insurance based clinics, you will see your therapist for 10-15 minutes of your session. The remainder of your session will likely be with a technician. Technician’s have minimal formal training and are unlicensed in the field of physical therapy. They are there simply to take you through your routine that your therapist has prescribed for you. If there is a problem, legally, they cannot handle it. You can only hope that they tell your PT or that your PT is around for you to consult within your session. So, in reality, you are paying your co-pay and your insurance deductible for LESS time with your PT! Ultimately, that makes your PT even more expensive!
However, there is another way! At Backward Arrow Physical Therapy, we want to show you a better choice! Take a look below!
So, as you can see from the graph, your time that you are hurting is significantly less as well as the time spent on treatment. With cash-based physical therapy, you are in control of your treatment! You are not having to wait to see physicians and schedule on their time. You are able to more quickly address the issues you are having!
While the actual cost may be SLIGHTLY more, you are actually spending less on a “time cost” basis. At BAPT, you work with your physical therapist in a one-on-one appointment. You will not work with a technician. You will see better, more lasting results and you will get treatment that is specific to you, not treatment that is directed by someone who may be unqualified. This means that you are actually spending less money AND getting more time to see your PT. Ultimately, your time and your money are valued more in this type of scenario!
Ultimately the choice is yours! Will you value your time, which is the ONLY non-renewable resource you have? We frequently see patients that have already spent money and time in the insurance-based world, only to then come to see us so we will actually solve their problem! You will choose where your values lie, but we recommend that you spend less time being hurt and more time being seen!