Cracking the Code: How to Create a Cash-Based Chiropractic Practice

Are you a chiropractor yearning for freedom from insurance headaches and constraints?  Tired of someone else dictating your patient’s care?  With reducing reimbursements, higher deductibles, and more consumers willing to pay out-of-pocket, many chiropractic practices are making the switch to cash-based models.  

Making the decision to transition to a cash-based model from an insurance model should not be taken lightly and requires careful consideration.  While a cash model certainly requires less administrative tasks and can bring more predictability, it can reduce your overall client pool and the willingness of local physicians to refer.  Ultimately, both systems have their pros and cons and making the best choice for your practice depends largely on your market, personal preferences and business capabilities. 


Advantages of a Cash-Based Chiropractic Practice

Transparent Pricing

One of the biggest challenges in healthcare these days is a lack of cost transparency.  With so many variations in insurance reimbursements, high deductibles and unexpected costs, implementing any system that can offer more transparency is generally welcome.  In a cash-based model patients know the cost upfront, aren’t surprised by unexpected expenses and are often more invested in their care.  Remember too, switching to cash doesn’t automatically mean that you will reject insurance-based patients.  Instead, consider that you are shifting the task of seeking reimbursement to the patient so you can focus on what your primary skill set is- delivering high-quality, outcome-driven care.


Reduced Overhead Costs

With less efforts required to submit and navigate insurance reimbursement, your business operations are immediately simplified with a cash-based model.  Financially, this means that less billing employees will need to be hired, your payments are more immediate, and less overhead costs are incurred.  With these cost savings, it’s possible you can offer discounted treatments and incentives to market to potential new customers.


More Time to Focus On Patient Care

We all know that the documentation requirements and the bureaucratic red tape that comes with insurance can be daunting to say the least.  For one, the growing documentation takes away from valuable time spent on quality care and can quickly lead to burn-out.  And to add, visit caps can become super constraining, putting a limit on how much impact you can truly make for your patients.  Cash-based models allow chiropractors to foster more long-term relationships, impact multiple aspects of health and wellness and develop a plan that is truly most appropriate for them.  


Ready to Take the Plunge?

Here at Rehab Chiro, we help chiropractors of all experience-levels navigate the best payment model for their particular setting and make the transition to cash when appropriate.  Guiding chiropractors through the process of transitioning their practice to a cash-based system, we cover everything from managing patient expectations to setting up an effective system to maintaining a high standard of care.  

For those beginning this transition, the following are the practical steps we follow to ensure a smooth implementation and financial outcome.


Step 1: Define Your Target Market

The first step to become a cash-based practice is to specifically define your niche market.  Are you hoping to target athletes, active adults, or a more holistic population?  No matter what your goal, ask yourself who you WANT to treat and who you can bring the most VALUE to.  


Step 2: Determine What Sets You Apart

If you’re transitioning to cash, patients will automatically expect higher quality or added value.  What can you bring to these patients that others can’t?  What sets you apart from the local competition? Whether it is keen knowledge in specific nutritional plans, longer appointment times, or sports performance offerings, hone in your unique skill sets and highlight them.


Step 3: Consider Product Extensions

Integrated wellness is becoming a hot commodity particularly in cash-based models.  In a failing system that shuffles patients around endlessly between specialists, be a provider that is collaborative, communicative, and streamlined. Consider partnering with other healthcare disciplines to bring more comprehensive offerings to your patients and offer product-line extensions like orthotics, kinesiology tape and professional-grade performance modalities that can attract a wider patient population.


Step 4: Set Your Price

Perhaps the most challenging task, step 4 of a cash-model transition is determining your fees.  This is where knowing your value against the competition is critical.  Do your market research, consider your own experience and overhead expenses and create a pricing structure that is in line with the value you plan to bring to your clients.


Step 5: Optimize Your Digital Marketing

From a strong website to SEO optimization, creating a strong online presence is the next key step to growing your cash-based chiropractic practice.  Working with our RehabChiro consultants, we can create a 360 marketing plan that drives new business, keeps you relevant in the eyes of existing clients, and uses data analytics to ensure your efforts convert to profits.  


Step 6: Network Within Your Community

Although networking can be intimidating, it is extremely valuable when it comes to bringing in target clientele to a cash-based practice.  Participate in local wellness events, network with other healthcare providers and expand your reach via social media.  Be authentic, use these opportunities to educate, and “show-off” your distinctive offerings to drive business in the door.


Step 7: Provide Exceptional Care

The most important piece of developing a cash-based practice is an emphasis on exceptional care.  From their interaction with front desk staff to patient follow-up, provide an outstanding patient experience that makes the clients feel valued.  Employ active listening, treat every individual with compassionate care and go the extra mile.  Referrals are the easiest (& cheapest) marketing tool so focus on high-quality care and see that bottom-line grow.


Step 8: Monitor and Adapt

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to transitioning your chiropractic practice to a cash-model which is why continuous monitoring and adaptation are imperative. Keep track of performance metrics at regular intervals, be sure your marketing efforts can be measured and adjusted when your return on investment is not matching your target goal.  Especially in the early stages, be prepared to make adjustments in order to find that optimization and ensure long-term success.


Bottom line, making the move to a cash-based chiropractic practice requires strategic planning, well-implemented marketing and a commitment to expert-level care.  Although it can be challenging in certain ways, it can also bring you a new found freedom, higher quality of care for your clients, and a more meaningful impact on your patients’ overall health and wellbeing.


If you’re interested in learning more about how to make payment-model transitions for your chiropractic business, book a free strategy call today and join thousands of like minded chiropractors taking their business to the next level with RehabChiro Consulting.