How Much Will Patients Pay For “Medical” Fitness?

patient pay cash for fitnessHealthcare professionals have the perfect audience for introducing a medical fitness program at their practices – their patients.  With almost 70% of the U.S. population overweight and 85% underactive or inactive, practitioners have a golden opportunity to capitalize on this hidden goldmine.

Medical doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors see patients each and every day that are overweight or obese and seldom get the minimum amount of recommended weekly exercise. Beyond the obvious health benefits to these patients, they often wonder if it is financially worth it to incorporate exercise into their treatment regimens, particularly when the place patients want to exercise is right at the practitioners office.

From over 20 years of experience in starting, growing, and operating medical fitness programs that promote a healthier lifestyle, the answer is a resounding “yes”.  Our research shows that the minimum patients are willing to pay for a well-organized, structured exercise program is approximately $99.00 per month or about $25.00 per week.  In fact, depending upon the demographics of a practitioner’s patient base, we have that the average monthly fee patients are willing to pay as ‘cash clients’ is closer to $149.00 per month.

For the healthcare professional who is looking to expand the purview of their practice to include helping patients be healthier through regular exercise, adding a cash-based medical fitness program on-site at their offices can add tens of thousands of dollars each month to both their practice and personal income.

Look At The Numbers And Do The Math

Right now, you have both active and inactive patients in your practice.  The typical scenario is that they visit your office when they have a symptom or health complaint that they can’t seem to resolve on their own.  You might see them for just a few visits or for several weeks at multiple visits per week if some type of therapy is required.  And most of these patient encounters are paid for at some percentage of your billed fee by the patient’s health insurance.  When treatment or therapy is complete or the insurance company refuses to pay any longer, you won’t see that patient again until they have another health complaint they are seeking help for.

Now imagine a different scenario of having a few hundred of your patients paying you $100 a month out of their own wallet to come to your practice and participate in an ongoing, structured and supervised exercise program that is both effective and safe.  Looking at the math of introducing just 300 of your “best qualified” patients who are already part of both your active and inactive patient files, this can create an almost instantaneous cash income stream of over $30,000 per month.

And this recurring monthly revenue doesn’t include fees paid for other essential “entry services” like health risk/exercise readiness assessments, progress assessments, metabolism testing, diet and weight loss services just to name a few.

Your “Best Qualified” Patients For Your Medical Fitness Program

Healthcare professionals are often surprised to find out how much money their patients are willing to pay them for something they already WANT and know they NEED.

While patients typically expect medical doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors to accept payment for services provided from their insurance company, the situation is different when it comes to paying for a medical fitness program at the practitioner’s office.  The reason is because they have already been educated for over 4 decades by the billion-dollar commercial fitness industry that if they want to exercise, lose weight, and feel better, they’re going to have to pay cash for it.

So who is your “best qualified” patient to participate in your on-site medical fitness program?  Here’s the demographics that apply – see how many of your patients you can think of while you read the list:

  • De-conditioned and/or overweight adult between the ages of 28 and 61.
  • Women and men
  • Experiencing a recurring loss of function and strength due to inactivity and aging
  • Non-Medicaid patient
  • Non-Medicare patient
  • Told they have to start taking medication for a lifestyle-induced condition
  • Told they have to increase their current medication for a lifestyle-induced condition
  • Told they have to start taking another medication for a lifestyle-induced condition
  • Told they have to lose weight because it is affecting their health
  • Told their blood work profile indicates they are walking a fine line between sickness and health

Why They Will Gladly Pay You

Even though most healthcare professionals realize that they have hundreds, if not thousands, of patients they could easily introduce to a medical fitness program right at their practice, some question why they would.  Here are two glaring reasons why they will gladly pay the person they already know, like, and trust with their health:

1) Approximately 11% of the U.S. population join health clubs and gyms, and attend on a regular basis.  However, most people who join stop going after just 8 weeks because typical health club or gym memberships offer very little or no direct supervision, no exercise program structure, no accountability, and no support.  In your on-site medical fitness program, you’ll be able to offer all 4 of these key components.

2) The low average health club or gym membership fees range from $20 – $65 per month, and even though they get little more than to “rent” their equipment, it sets the precedent for your patients to pay cash for your on-site medical fitness program in which you will be able to provide real outcomes and the steps to a healthier lifestyle.  In our centers, we have already proven that patients are willing to invest a little more money in themselves for a program that removes the barriers that prevent them from feeling better, looking better, and “being” better.

Now is the time for healthcare professionals to step into the arena of medical fitness and start offering a healthy-lifestyle profit center to their practices that their patients are already standing in line to pay them for.

Author:  Rich Farina, M.S., founder of The Medical Fitness Academy where healthcare professionals learn how to master the business of medical fitness so they can make a greater impact in their patient’s lives and get paid for it too.  The Medical Fitness Academy may be found at http://www.medicalfitnessacademy.com, where you can join for free and learn the strategies to become a wellness force in your community.  CLICK HERE to jump-start your own medical fitness program in your practice.

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