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"Whats" and "Whys" of Cash-Based PT

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

The mission of MBody You is to transform the health-care experience in order to help individuals discover their current abilities, embody their movement, and maximize their athletic potential.

With insurance reimbursements dropping and high-volume clinics (clinics that see multiple patients at once) on the rise, many physical therapists are moving to a cash-based model. At MBody You, we want to be able to spend quality, undistracted, 1:1 time with our patients. Sadly, most traditional physical therapy clinics do not lend to this. We want to take some time to explain to you what cash-based physical therapy is, and answer the following questions:


1. What are benefits of choosing a cash-based physical therapist?

2. Why did MBody You switch to a cash-based model?

3. Can I submit for out-of-network insurance reimbursement?

Let’s dive into it…


What are benefits of choosing a cash-based physical therapist?

  1. Highly skilled and specialized physical therapists: Patients may have access to more skilled physical therapists within the cash-based model. A physical therapist who is a board-certified specialist has gone through rigorous training and testing to specialize in his or her particular area. The American Physical Therapy Board of Specialities has established 10 specialties: orthopedic, neurological, pediatric, women’s health, geriatric, sports, cardiovascular/pulmonary, clinical electrophysiology, oncology, and wound management. Patients should properly research their providers to see who is best for them. If a clinic is not willing to speak with you or answer your questions pre-treatment, it may not be your best option. Physical therapists have a unique relationship with clients, and it is important that the relationship fosters success for the client.

  2. Faster results with fewer visits: Most clinics will want to see a patient 2 to 3 times per week. If you have a copay, this can easily add up to $100-200 per week. Additionally, physical therapists at these locations will typically see more than one patient at a time, which works for some invididuals but not for all. Unlike larger systems with multiple PTs, cash-based practices have the flexibility to devote your entire session time to YOU with the same PT every time. Additionally, because of the extra time that is dedicated 1 on 1, the frequency of visits will likely be lower. If you are dedicated to your rehab and sticking to recommendations, you may even only need visits every other week. Cash-based practices have the luxury of treating you without having to stand by insurance and systematic regulations.

  3. One-on-one care: Cash-based PT’s may have much fewer distractions when treating you. Because they do not need to worry about insurance reimbursement, there is typically less documentation and paperwork to be done. This allows them to focus their time solely on you, what you are saying and feeling, and getting you back to your personal goals. PT rehab should not be a cookie-cutter model, meaning that everyone with knee pain gets the same exercises and treatments. Find a PT who will listen and empathize, and can tailor your rehab specifically to your goals.

  4. No surprise charges: When traditional clinics are in contract with health insurance companies, you may notice some surprise charges on your bill. While you may not notice this if you have a low deductible or low copays, it can really pack a punch if you have a high deductible. With cash-based services, you will know EXACTLY how much your plan of care will cost. It may even be cheaper than traditional services if you have not met your deductible!

  5. No waiting in lobbies and waiting rooms with other patients. No commute. PT on your time.

Why did MBody You switch to a cash-based model?

MBody You aims to transform traditional health-care and make it more individualized and effective. Here’s a quote from PT and owner of MBody You, Mary Beth Foreman:

“I have a strong passion for treating youth athletes and performing artists. While working in the traditional insurance-based model, I became increasingly frustrated with having to manage multiple patients at once, projects, and job responsibilities within a 10-12 hour work day. Taking on projects of things that I am passionate about (like dancers, gymnasts, overhead athletes) was expected to be on my own time. It got to the point where I essentially had no free time for fitness, spending time with family, and doing things that I love. Additionally, I love being able to get to know my patients and build a relationship with them. Interruptions from multiple patients, documentation, or other clinic duties were affecting my treatment sessions. Over the past few years, I have become highly skilled and effective at physical therapy and I want to be able to effectively share that knowledge with patients that I work with.”

Can I submit for out-of network reimbursement?

Potentially! This depends on your specific insurance plan. For help on figuring this out, head to and click on the PDF titled "OON".

Cash-based PT may not be right for everyone. BUT, if you answer "yes" to any of these questions, it can absolutely improve your quality of life...

Are looking to invest in your health, liveliness, wellness, and function?

Are ready to take the next step and commit to excellent, specialized care?

MBody YOU will meet you AT YOUR CONVENIENCE as we offer both telehealth and mobile services. I have seen tremendous outcomes with both models. As you may be more aware of now, Telehealth is virtual visits. This is a great option for someone who is very busy and needs a quick and convenient option for care. Mobile PT means that we will bring our equipment to your house, office, or practice (pending allowance of your team) and treat you when and where it is best for you.

Questions? Interested in scheduling?

Contact for a complementary consultation to discuss your needs!

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