Monthly Archives: October 2006

Great Massage Billing Resource

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Tamara Felix, PhD, LMT who has made some extremely useful comments on this blog, and who I have interviewed in my Successful Therapists series, has a book I thought you should know about. It is “Medical Massage Therapy Billing Textbook for Oregon–CPT Codes, UCR Fees and the Law.”

Although the laws in the book are for Oregon, the laws in other states are the same, they just have different “numbers.” Besides, the first 2 chapters are on creating and building a successful, sustainable massage practice by writing, developing and implementing business, marketing and financial plans. Then in Chapter 4 she discusses at length the differences between wellcare clients and medical patients.

What I love about this, is that Tamara is extremely knowledgable about the laws and codes, but she is also a massage therapist and speaks our language.

And after talking at great lengths to Tamara, she sure knows what it takes to build a successful massage practice.

The book is $59.95 plus postage ($5.95). You can request it by sending a check to her office: The Right Touch, 1363 NE Cornell Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124; by faxing a request with your credit card info to (503) 844-6150, or by calling her office at (503) 795-9402.

Making More Money With Same Day Appointments

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Here is another gem from Tamara Felix, PhD, LMT of The Right Touch

Thank you for your article on “do you charge enough?” Absolutely timely, and I truly hope massage therapists across the country get it! The cost of living has more than trippled in the last decade, but most massage theraists are STILL CHARGING THE SAME as they did 10 years ago! No wonder they’re struggling…

Just had to share a new money-making strategy I implemented about a month ago… you will appreciate. I had not accepted same-day appointments for years due to the serious disruption to my schedule. However, I get a lot of same-day requests, and have accepted quite a few lately due to a lighter summer schedule… Still a disruption, and realized the great convenience I was providing was at my expense. Why not charge more? I informed my scheduling service and just started advertising — plastered signs on my office windows, updated my Guide to Services (menue), and on my website:

“Same-Day Appointments now available $99. Any service of your choice. Includes all urgent care fees.”

My scheduling service thought I was really pushing the envelope, but the next day had a same-day appointment with no qualms, pretty much every day therafter, and several every Friday!!!

Yep. People ARE willing to pay more for convenience! And, $99 is worth the disruption in my schedule. Now I’m considering adding an evening appointment or two to my schedule at $99.

Thank you for your generosity Tamara. To your ongoing massage success…

Establishing a 9 to 5 Massage Practice

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In response to a previous post about getting massage clients during day-time hours, Tamara Felix, PhD, LMT of The Right Touch had this to say…

Massage therapists are MEDICAL providers. If you are trying to establish a 9 to 5 practice (as I have successfully done for the last 12 years), the next time you have a client ask if you for an appointment in the evening after work or on weekends, ask the client how they handled their last medical appointment. Most employers provide 2-3 hours during a work day for medical appointments, which is what you are offering. The only difference is yours feels a whole lot better, and provides more health benefit than they realize!!!

Then ask the client if their employer offers a FLEX plan (caffeteria plan, etc.). FLEX plans cover medical services not covered by their health insurance. Massage therapy is not typically covered by health insurance without a prescription, and is a serious business requiring tons of documentation; but with a FLEX plan, they don’t need a prescription, and you don’t have to deal with their insurance. All the client has to do is simply supply a copy of your receipt to their human resources manager and they get REIMBURSED from their employer for your services!

So, then, not only will their employer provide the time for them to get a massage from you during your normall 9-5 day, but will also PAY FOR IT!

Happy massaging!

Thank you so much Tamara. We appreciate you sharing your expertise.

Getting Massage Clients That Fit Your Schedule.

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I recently got an email from a massage therapist dealing with the challenges of getting a massage business up and running. In particular, he had rented a massage space during the day, but was having a hard time filling his schedule with clients during those hours. He had no problem finding folks who wanted evening appointments. He asked for my advice and this is what I suggested:

As far as getting clients to come during the day… I have found that a lot depends on who your clients are. For example, I have often attracted massage clients who are also in the healing arts, many of whom are self-employed and have flexible schedules, like therapists and counselors. Or they are in professions like nursing which also does not have regular 9-5 hours.

If most of your clients have “regular jobs” it may be harder for them to take time off during the day. So maybe take a look at your target market and see if their typical work schedule is a match for the massage times you have available.

Once you get yourself established and start to get more and more referrals from existing happy clients, you will find that folks are more willing to take the time off work for a massage, just like they would for a doctor or dentist appointment.

But in the beginning, when you are building your massage practice and want to attract clients who can schedule during the day it will help if you target clients who don’t have 9-5 jobs.

If anyone else has suggestions that would help we’d love to hear. Just hit the comments link below.

Do Massage Therapists Work as Slaves?

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Today’s Success Snippet comes from Dr Michael Kruse, who has been nominated twice as Chiropracter of the Year in Washington State, and has referred thousands of his patients to massage therapy.

Listen to find out why he thinks we work as slaves!

This was recorded live at a North Cascade AMTA business panel featuring Dr Kruse, Sally Ledgerwood and yours truly.

Weekly Success Snippet:
“You Work As Slaves!!!”

listen right now:

Right Click Here to Download MP3/Audio

Reason #7: Why You May Not Be Making The Money You Deserve In Your Massage Business

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You are trying to do it all yourself.

At a certain point in your massage business you realize that you just can’t do it all yourself and you need help. If you are busy as can be, and are still folding sheets, answering the phone to schedule appointments, doing your own billing and bookkeeping etc, then I mean YOU.

Why are you doing work that you could hire out for $10 – $15 an hour (less in some states) when you could be building your business and even creating additional streams of income? And working towards true financial freedom? But instead you are filing forms!

And I don’t necessarily mean employees. There are inexpensive phone answering and appointment scheduling services. There are independent bookkeepers and laundry services, and even virtual assistants who can do billing and make calls for you from their own home or office (which can even be across the country).

I had a virtual assistant who lived in New Zealand. We communicated primarily by email and instant message, and never actually met in person