Posted on November 10, 2020
No matter what industry you’re in, difficult conversations are part of the job. The longer you work, the more frequently you’ll have, what feels like, the same conversations over and over again. In the world of client services, it’s even more true. Even though you’ve been down this road hundreds of times, every client experiences it for the first time and it’s your responsibility to guide them like it’s your first time too.
For therapists, your job isn’t just to help heal old wounds and sherpa clients through emotional breakthroughs; you also have to know the ins and outs of insurance and be able to communicate administrative payment information.
As a therapist myself, I got tired of taking both mine and my patients’ time with circular insurance and payment conversations, which is why I helped found Advekit. The best reason for therapists to sign up with us? You never need to have the following conversations with your clients again.
From a patient perspective, it’s understandable why they’d want to find a provider who takes their insurance. As a therapist, you are likely an Out of Network provider, or only a provider for a few panels. When a prospective client calls to inquire whether or not you take insurance, it can cause a drop in your stomach when you have to tell them no, have to explain what a Superbill is, and/or proceed to explain why you are not paneled.
With Advekit, by the time prospective clients arrive for their initial consults, they have been informed of whether or not you accept insurance … and they’re okay with it. This is because when a patient signs up to be matched with a therapist they are presented with full transparency of therapy costs, with their personal out of network coverage explained in real-time. Advekit’s proprietary technology allows for clients to run their insurance benefits live on our site, and we educate them on their specific benefits.
In fact, most of our therapists are out of network providers, so we help clients understand how to leverage those OON benefits. With this question and explanation off the table, you can both spend more time deciding if it’s a match based on more important criteria than insurance.
Once a patient agrees to see a therapist who is not in network, or isn’t paneled, the insurance conversations don’t stop. There is of course the matter of patients wanting to submit their bill to insurance for reimbursement. Yes, understanding a superbill is a matter of a quick google search, but as a therapist, you want to make sure your client understands the bill you issue so there isn’t payment frustration on their end, and your patient is adequately reimbursed if eligible.
Advekit eliminates this complicated conversation between you and your client. We bill out of network on your client’s behalf so there is less burden on both of you to navigate the insurance maze. You always get paid your rate upfront, while Advekit waits for reimbursement –– instead of you or your client. Our technology enables clients to only pay what they owe, and for you to get paid immediately following the completion of a session.
This is such a difficult and awkward conversation to have with clients. Person to person, of course you understand that life happens, things come up, and sometimes last minute cancellations occur. However, you are running a business, and without this cancellation fee, you could lose out on income because of circumstance or a client’s inability to prioritize sessions. While there are always exceptions to the rule, the rule exists for a reason. As a professional, you often have to decline a client’s request and charge them a fee.
With Advekit, we collect the client’s payment information and their agreement to your cancellation policy, including fees. This helps streamline payments, avoid confusion, and prevent both client and therapist from being in a difficult position.
Again, another conversation that can elicit empathy from a therapist as a person, and professionally, it’s tough to react without emotion. This is a very difficult conversation you never need to have again with Advekit. We handle payments and reimbursements, so if a credit card or other forms of payment are declined, you never need to worry about getting paid on time, or engaging in a potentially awkward conversation with clients.
Avoiding confrontation is not the goal, but rather making space for more productive conversations centered around a patient’s health and well being. By having less back and forth about administrative issues, it helps eliminate potential misunderstandings that could jeopardize a patient's progress or delay your ability to get paid and run your business.
If you’re looking for an easier way to handle insurance and payments with your clients for your private therapy practice, Advekit could be the answer.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.