Hurdles for Cash-Only Practices

April 1, 2006

I love the idea of starting a cash-based practice — no insurance sounds perfect! Are there any drawbacks I haven't considered?

Question: I love the idea of starting a cash-based practice - no insurance sounds perfect! Are there any drawbacks I haven't considered?

Answer: The single biggest hurdle cash-based practices face is building business. Patients may be slow to join a practice in which they always have to pay out of pocket. You'll need to invest in marketing and education. Try to keep costs and debt low at first.

You also may encounter resistance from the medical community. Some feel that physicians who run cash-only practices are catering to the wealthy. This certainly need not be the case (your charge for a simple office visit can easily be less than a patient's ordinary copay these days), but it can be the perception. Just brace yourself and be prepared to educate other professionals.