I’m excited to share this tool and the fascinating story of how it came to be. It’s not every day a New York City psychiatrist finds himself in the software business, disrupting the insurance and claims industry!

When Vatsal Thakkar first opened his own practice, he decided on the cash-based model because he wanted to spend more time with each patient. He found the experience of helping his patients inspiring and “magical” compared with what he saw among many of his in-network colleagues who had to see 20-30 patients a day.

Throughout the years, Thakkar found ways to streamline the process of filing out-of-network reimbursement claims for his patients. He discovered how incredibly valued this service was to his time-starved patients and how much additional business it was bringing in for the practice.

It was clear there was a need for something to help patients get their out-of-network reimbursements, so he decided to sell his practice and create a system that would simplify this convoluted process.

More specifically, we discuss these cash-based practice topics:

  • How the cash-based practice model helps foster therapeutic doctor/patient relationships and protect patient privacy — things that are especially critical for a psychiatric specialty.
  • What features made the practice sellable even though Dr. Thakkar was the sole physician seeing patients.
  • The early approaches that got his practice established online in a way that created a reliable stream of new business for years to come.
  • How giving presentations helped create a strong referral network that became a source of new business for the long term.
  • The key competitive advantages that a cash-based practice can offer compared with an insurance-based practice.
  • How Vatsal arranged the sale of his private practice, including determining valuation and how the transition was handled in a way that led the majority of patients to stay on.
  • How the practice’s willingness to file out-of-network reimbursement claims on behalf of patients became a deciding factor for a large portion of their new business and contributed to growth.
  • The cost options for using the Reimbursify system to file claims and how the app can contribute to the growth of your practice.
  • Why there is currently a trend toward lower deductibles for private insurance and how that creates a big opportunity for a cash-based practice.
  • How you can explain the reimbursement-filing process to patients.
  • Why W9s are not required in order for a reimbursement claim to be processed by an insurance company.

Resources mentioned in this episode: