5-Reasons Why You Should See a Cash-Based PT

Cash-Based or Out-of-Network PT

I know what you’re thinking, “why would I ever pay out of pocket to see a PT when I have insurance?!” I thought the same thing too before I began this practice, “why would anyone be interested in seeing an out-of-network provider when they pay into medical insurance each month?” Seriously, what’s the big difference?

Here’s the truth…you are paying for high quality, personalized services. You are investing in your health. If you’ve ever been to your traditional outpatient PT clinic before, you know a lot of times your therapist is splitting time between you and 1-3 other patients or trying to catch up on hours worth of documentation while a high school aide is walking you through your exercises (no shame, that was me 10 years ago). How much are you really getting out of PT with this model?

And let’s be honest, we will easily drop $100-$200 on new clothes, to get our hair done, for concert tickets, but we hold our breath when it comes to spending money on our health, one of the most crucial elements in our lives. 

Here are my top 5 reasons why you should see a cash-based or out-of-network physical therapist:

#1. You get 1-on-1 time with a Doctor of Physical Therapy

As I stated above, high quality and personalized care. You never have to worry about being switched to a PTA or different provider. Evaluations are 90-minute of my undivided attention, treatment sessions are 60-minutes. You will have access to my email and personal phone number should you have questions about your home exercise program, manual techniques, etc.  in between sessions.

#2. Ability to treat the whole body rather than only focus on one area

Some insurance companies will restrict therapists to only treating one body part at a time. Example: You injured your ankle but you are also having lower back pain. You would have to have two separate sessions of therapy versus with Pelvic Solutions, we are able to address your symptoms as a whole. (Hint: we have muscles in our back that run from the base of our skull down to the pelvis. It is common that pain in your pelvic region may be stemming from another region of the body, and vice-versa)

#3. Lower frequency of sessions

With 1:1 evaluation/treatment time and ability to treat the whole body, your therapist is allotted additional time to educate you and is able to address all areas of concern leading to faster results. Most patients in a cash-based setting are seen 1x/week rather than 2-3x/week in your traditional outpatient setting.

#4. More flexible scheduling

See above! Lower frequency of sessions means more time during the week to schedule your appointment rather than being bogged down by 2-3 other PT sessions. Not to mention my practice is mobile saving you additional time out of your day that you would otherwise spend driving to appointments or waiting in the lobby on the provider.

#5. You may actually save money in the long run

No I’m not joking you may actually save money! If you are paying a $50 copay per visit to see your in-network provider 2-3x/week for 8-12 weeks that’s going to run you anywhere from $800-$1,800. Not to mention if you have not met your deductible you are still responsible for covering your portion of your PT visit. And depending on your plan, your copay may or may not count towards that deductible. For my services, at an average of 4-6 treatment sessions following initial evaluation you are looking to spend $850-$1,150. Plus, many insurance companies will reimburse for out-of-network PT.

With that said, make sure you understand your coverage for out-of-network providers.


Dr. Olivia Rutledge, DPT

Pelvic Solutions

"We help women eliminate pain and leakage so they feel empowered to stay active and return to doing the things they love."