Billing PIP for massage therapy is almost over. The new bill is in effect, and we can’t bill auto insurance if the patient’s policy was renewed after July 1st this year.
If it’s an older policy, the patient is still covered for massage therapy and acupuncture, because the bill can’t revoke an existing contract.
Very soon, all policies will have been renewed, and Florida massage therapists will have a tough time in 2013 and beyond. Don’t think you won’t be affected if you’ve never billed insurance!
In the next three years, even more massage businesses will close.
Chiropractors and rehab clinics that specialize in PIP billing will let most of their massage therapists go. What they used to do was hire therapists right out of school who are happy to get any job, pay them $15-25 per hour, and bill $200. That’s not going to work any longer. Patients will have to pay out of pocket for massages, and we all know they don’t pay $200–especially not for treatments by inexperienced therapists.
If you’re a massage therapist in Florida, you will be affected.
Even if you have never billed auto insurance because you didn’t want the hassle (and my office staff can relate), you will feel the pinch–because suddenly there will be more massage therapists out of a job, trying to get work anywhere, lowering their outcall rates.
You think we have had a crazy drop in pricing since 2008? It will get worse.
Here’s what you have to do:
1. check how much of your income comes from PIP billing.
If it’s more than 50%, you should find a different job. Seriously.
2. focus on self-pay clients.
Make a list of your best self-paying clients. Think about ways to retain them when the war on price will start. Make scheduling easy, don’t ever reschedule, listen carefully to what they like about you, and get them to give you reviews. Don’t make these ten mistakes.
3. don’t lower your rates
You can’t win the war on price. There’s always somebody willing to give a massage for $20.
Go for quality instead. Be the best you can, specialize, find a niche.
Get an account on LinkedIn and join the “Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers” group. There’s LOADS of free business advice, and in the “promotions” section you’ll find blogs that explain how exactly you retain and reward your best clients.
I’m happy to see the “Auto Accident” oriented clinics go under.
I know my business will suffer. Not much, fortunately, since our membership program helps retain the clients who are happy to pay out of pocket.
What are your thoughts on the future of massage therapy in Florida? Scroll way down and leave a comment!
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