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6 tips for marketing your billing company to mental health practices

Due to increased demand, many mental health practices may be open to having a billing company assist them. Here are tips to market to them.

Medical billing company manager reads about marketing your billing company to mental health practices

At a Glance

  • Mental health services are in high demand, leading many practices to be overwhelmed and consider outsourcing their billing.
  • When marketing to mental health practices, billing companies should research the unique challenges these practices face, craft tailored messaging that shows understanding of their pain points, and highlight specialized service offerings that cater to their needs.
  • Billing companies can leverage things like metrics, testimonials, referrals from existing clients, and mental health-specific technology to demonstrate their expertise and build trust with prospective mental health clients.

Patients seeking mental health services are on the rise. The COVID-19 pandemic caused not only mental health practices to be more in demand, but the billing companies that serve them. According to a study in the JAMA Health Forum, the use of mental health services increased by almost 40%. Many of these practices prefer to outsource their billing operations to a company with expertise in the complex field of mental health billing.

If you are a billing company seeking to expand your client base to include mental health practices, there is no better time to do so. Many mental health practitioners are overwhelmed; according to the American Psychological Association’s COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey, the percentage of psychologists who reported not being able to meet the demand for their services rose from 30% in 2020 and 41% in 2021, to 46% in 2022. Due to this increased demand, many mental health practices may be more open to having a billing company assist them.

To help you with marketing to this segment, we’ve compiled some tips to effectively market your billing company.

Medical Billing Benchmark Report

Identify pain points 

Before marketing your company to these practices, first identify and understand the specific challenges they face. These “pain points” are issues that make them consider outsourcing to a billing company. Acknowledging the challenges associated with high patient demand will engender respect. 

The reimbursement landscape for the field is unique. For instance, many mental health practices are particularly at risk for denials, as many insurers carve out mental health from other medical services. They also often struggle with coding and patient collections. Doing this market research helps to be better prepared when pitching to mental health practices and increases your chances of landing them as clients. Potential clients will always pick billing companies they feel are aware of the nuances involved in mental health billing.

Engage in targeted marketing 

Mental health practices are a distinct kind of independent health practice. You're unlikely to stand out if you use the same marketing materials that you use for practices that don’t offer mental health services. Consider developing and crafting marketing and communication materials (such as social media posts, email campaigns, and in-person pitches) that are tailored to them. These materials should acknowledge the unique pain points you discovered in the data gathering process and explain how your billing company can help them. 

Your marketing materials should acknowledge the unique pain points you discovered in the data gathering process and explain how your billing company can help them. ”

Doing this step lets prospective clients know that you don't take a one-size-fits-all approach with clients. It will boost their confidence in your ability as a billing company and can increase the chances they'll trust you with their practice's finances.

Expand your service offerings

Mental health practices are now busy more than ever. They need help with more than basic billing. When you're marketing to them, consider offering adjacent services like credentialing, scheduling, insurance verification, and appointment confirmations — office tasks mental health practices often have difficulty with. Providing these services lets prospective clients know that you are dedicated to improving their operational efficiency and success.

Play up your experience

Highlight your expertise in the billing industry when marketing your services to mental health practices. Make available metrics to show how you improved your clients' bottom lines. Go further and showcase testimonials from current, satisfied practices in your client base. This should be included in your marketing materials and on your website. However, with that said, don't worry if you don’t have previous experience billing for mental health practices. Although having experience in the mental health field gives you an edge, any solid experience will go a long way towards building potential clients' confidence in your company’s ability to manage their reimbursements.

Ask for referrals 

Practices in many different specialties routinely refer patients to mental health practices. Often, trusting relationships have developed between these practices, and you can benefit from this. Ask your existing clients to refer you to the mental health professionals they typically work with.

Ask your existing clients to refer you to the mental health professionals they typically work with. ”

Referral marketing is often successful because word of mouth is powerful. Hearing first-hand from a satisfied practice owner can be just the push a mental health practice needs to sign up with your billing company.

Leverage the right technology 

Potential clients want to know that you have the right tools to help them bill more efficiently. More specifically, they want to know that the tools and software you use can cater to their specialty’s specific needs. For instance, mental health practices expect that your billing software is ICD-10 compliant and your EHR is 2015-certified. Coding and billing for group visits is commonplace for mental health practices.  If you're offering practice management services too, the software you use should have capabilities and features created with mental health practices in mind.

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Lisa Eramo, Freelance Healthcare Writer

Lisa A. Eramo, BA, MA is a freelance writer specializing in health information management, medical coding, and regulatory topics. She began her healthcare career as a referral specialist for a well-known cancer center. Lisa went on to work for several years at a healthcare publishing company. She regularly contributes to healthcare publications, websites, and blogs, including the AHIMA Journal. Her focus areas are medical coding, and ICD-10 in particular, clinical documentation improvement, and healthcare quality/efficiency.

Reviewed by

Elizabeth Woodcock

Dr. Elizabeth Woodcock is the founder and principal of Atlanta-based Woodcock & Associates. She has focused on medical practice operations and revenue cycle management for more than 25 years. She has led educational sessions for a multitude of national professional associations and specialty societies, and consulted for a diverse range of clients.

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