Special Episode: Modern Therapist’s Consumer Guide on Thrizer
Curt and Katie talk with Raunak Sharma, owner of Thrizer, a modern payment processing app for private pay therapists. Thrizer is a modern payments solution built for therapists. You can charge clients securely, receive payments seamlessly, and enable insurance reimbursements automatically. We chat with Raunak about Thrizer as well as his perspective on the finances of therapy, specifically out of network billing. We explore the challenges (and ineffectiveness) of super bills as well as a new solution (ThrizerPlus) that will help clients only pay what they owe.
This is the Modern Therapist Consumer Guide, a series of special episodes to help modern therapists navigate products and services specifically designed for therapists and their clients. We dig deeply into the companies, the people, and the products and services so you can make smart decisions in building your practice and serving your clients.
Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.
Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.
Interview with Raunak Sharma, Founder and CEO of Thrizer
Raunak is the Founder and CEO of Thrizer, a payments app for private pay therapists. A therapy-goer himself, he got tired of the struggle to leverage his out-of-network benefits and get reimbursed for his sessions, and wanted to build a solution to help both therapists and their clients. Thousands of therapists now use Thrizer daily to securely charge for appointments and upgrade their client experience.
In this podcast episode we talk about out of network billing and payment processing with Thrizer
Interview with Raunak Sharma, Thrizer
2:04 How did you decide to create Thrizer? How did you put together the business?
3:08 What are the values that guide your business and business decisions?
4:51 When therapists are putting together their private pay practice, what should they consider when designing their financial systems? (i.e., Private pay, Insurance-based, Out of network billing)
8:14 What does out of network billing involve?
10:34 What does out of network billing look like when using Thrizer?
12:59 What kind of out of network rates are people getting?
15:33 How often are clients wanting and able to use their out of network benefits?
18:49 How does Thrizer work?
21:22 How do you actually have enough information to create a claim?
24:22 How can you make a profit if you are only charging the 3% processing fee?
26:40 What is ThrizerPlus?
31:21 What makes Thrizer different than other payment processors and/or other out of network billers?
32:40 What’s still a work in progress at Thrizer?
34:04 Special offer from Thrizer for our Modern Therapist audience
Curt and Katie Chat – Our review of Thrizer
36:19 What do you see as the deciding factors when deciding whether to use Thrizer for payment processing and out of network billing (or not)?
A Special Offer for the listeners of Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast from Thrizer
Go to bit.ly/moderntherapists and use the code MODERNTHERAPISTS for free payment processing on your first $2,500 of payments.
Email: Raunak at thrizer.com
Who we are:
Curt Widhalm, LMFT
Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at: http://www.curtwidhalm.com
Katie Vernoy, LMFT
Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at: http://www.katievernoy.com
A Quick Note:
Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.
Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.
Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:
Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy:
Connect with the Modern Therapist Community:
Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/
Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):
Curt Widhalm 0:01
This is the Modern Therapist’s Consumer guide a series of special episodes to help modern therapists navigate products and services specifically designed for therapists and their clients.
Katie Vernoy 0:11
We dig deeply into the companies, the people, and the products and services so you can make smart decisions in building your practice and serving your clients.
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide, where therapists live, breathe, and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm, and Katie Vernoy.
Curt Widhalm 0:37
Welcome back modern therapists. This is the Modern Therapist’s Consumer Guide, with Curt Widhalm, and Katie Vernoy. And this is one of those podcasts where we talk about really cool people and the things that they’re doing in our field and things that might benefit your practice. We are joined by Raunak Sharma, CEO of Thrizer. And we are super excited to have you here and talk about Thrizer and about all of the wonderful features and the way that you’re helping out therapists and clients in the reimbursement space. You’ve heard our partnership with them at a lot of our Modern Therapist’s podcast episodes as sponsor and partner. And we really just wanted to share with you a little bit more about what their services are all about and how it works. And they’re just really cool people. So rather than getting too long in me introducing you, we start a lot of our episodes with Who are you and what are you putting out into the world?
Raunak Sharma 1:38
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Curt. Great to be back. Great to see you again in Katie. My name is Raunak Sharma, I founded Thrizer. And we say that Thrizer is a payment platform that’s built for therapists. And our unique differentiating factors that we’re integrated or connected with health insurance companies, to help clients automate and offload the out of network process.
Katie Vernoy 2:04
So how did you decide to create Thrizer? How did you put together the business? How did you decide what pieces you wanted to have in this payment processing application?
Raunak Sharma 2:14
I’ve been a longtime therapy goer, as I call it, for many years now. And so you know, my my desire to build something in the mental health space has been there for a while. And I kind of just started looking at what problems I personally was facing as I went to therapy. And, you know, my, my therapist, or a lot of my therapists during my search didn’t accept my, the insurance carrier that I had. And so I’ve had a lot of experience with just receiving super bills, submitted them to my insurance company waiting for the reimbursement back, and kind of all the struggles that went along with that. So when I went out to improve the mental health space, I knew that this was an area I wanted to tackle and I wanted to approach it in a unique way. And I think, you know, as we’ll kind of talk about what Thrizer does, how it works, I think that we’ve we’ve really found a good solution to differentiate ourselves.
Curt Widhalm 3:08
Okay, you’ve described your mission, what is the values that guide your business and your business decisions? A lot of our audience really likes to know that we support good people, and we wait to get people talking about like, what is it that’s really underneath all of this and guiding you?
Raunak Sharma 3:28
Well, the the founding principle, I guess, you could say was that this idea that therapy should be accessible to all. So you know, therapy changed my life, it’s changing millions of people’s lives. It’s a, you know, absolute game changer in your healing and recovery growth process, just a wonderful tool to have. And, you know, there’s just a strong belief that, you know, people who who want or need this should be able to get it. And you know, as, as I’m starting to build in the mental health space, we realized part of the problem is the gap in what providers need to take care of their clients and earn what they’re worth. And so that became another value of ours, that providers should be paid what they’re worth. And we believe that these two things together can drastically improve outcomes for all. But you know, it traditionally, the way to bridge that gap was health insurance. And, you know, when it comes to mental health, we all know that health insurance can be a little bit outdated. And there’s so many struggles that come with that. So, you know, building Thrizer was a way to tackle this issue of, you know, how can we make therapy accessible to all while still making sure providers are paid what they are worth because they go through a lot of their own training, schooling, the struggle to get a license, struggled to get clients, it’s a lot and you know, the last thing you want to be doing is getting super low rates or fighting for their money.
Katie Vernoy 4:51
Part of what Curt and I have talked about a few different times in the course of this, it’s it five years now that we’ve been on the podcast? The there’s a lot of different things that come up around money for therapists. And there’s a lot of different options for therapists and like how they get paid for their work. You know, we’ve we’ve had the debates around getting paid your worth, getting paid what you need to live, a livable wage, we’ve we’ve had a lot of those conversations, but but even in deciding your practice, there’s that element of am I private pay? Do I take insurance? Do I do out of network billing? You know, there’s a bazillion different payment processing options. And so when therapists are actually putting together their practice, and making this decision, what do you think they should consider in designing this part of their practice?
Raunak Sharma 5:39
Yeah, you know, first and foremost, I think the financial realm of the businesses is important. And it’s a touchy subject, because, you know, it isn’t the healthcare field, and it’s specifically mental health. But, you know, I mean, therapists are people, they, they, you know, they to take care of their clients to practice to provide their best of care, they need to feel supported, they can’t be stressed about their income. So I mean, setting up a private practice, you know, you’re gonna want to consider things like, you know, how much can I earn? What is going to be the cost of, of that revenue? Or what of the software that I’m using? Things like payment processors, or EHRs. And then actual cash flow is something that is important and a huge problem with insurance. And so yeah, I mean, as you know, kind of earnings, a lot of people don’t accept insurance because of the low rates. And so when you’re kind of deciding, going down that route of how to get paid, that that’s a huge consideration. On top of that, when you do accept insurance, you’re you’re the provider itself is going to be waiting for reimbursement. So that can impact your cash flow, could put stressors on your practice. So another huge consideration. And then yeah, general cost, I mean, you know, payment processors are all in the same realm of around a 3% transaction fee. So you know, it’s a major cost, whether you go in network or out of network, that’s kind of the the rate that you’re looking at, for whenever you charge your clients card. But yeah, I mean, I think that if you do the networker, or if you’re doing something like courtesy billing or out of network billing for your clients, you’re either gonna pay, you know, either you’re gonna have that cost is going to fall on the client to do that work themselves, you can help them out that’s going to cost your time. You can get a baler that’s going to cost you money. So it’s, those are kind of things to consider. I mean, they’re each each one has its pros and cons. Of course, working with insurance attracts a lot of clients in its own way. And yeah, I think the last category is what you know, what to consider when you design this part of your practice, and how you get paid is also the client experience. So you know, if you do make the decision to not go network with insurance, how can you support your clients in the best way so that they’re also concerned about their money and can focus on what they came to you for? And, yeah, so I mean, things like out of network billing applications can really help improve that. And so it’s a huge consideration, because that will help you improve your outcomes, retain your clients. keep everyone happy.
Curt Widhalm 8:14
We get into out of network billing a little bit, I think that a lot of therapists know, okay, there’s a network and there’s some work that goes around that. A lot of therapists know about super bills and just kind of providing some paperwork where it offloads a lot of the work to the clients to submit things to their insurance companies. What does it look like for out of network billing?
Raunak Sharma 8:36
General, kind of generally, what a therapists will do is hand their clients a super bill. And it kind of just works the same way as in network, it just is it just falls on the client to do the process, right. So they’ll submit that claim to an insurance company, the insurance company processes the claim, approves or denies it, and then sends the reimbursement funds back to the client. So it’s kind of what the therapists would be facing if they were in network, right? If they were in network, they wouldn’t be the one submitting the claim waiting for the reimbursement. But the super bill is kind of a way that a client can go to the insurance directly say, Hey, I had this medical service, medical appointment, I paid this much money, can I get reimbursement for this based on my health plan? That is the general process of what out of network billing is.
Katie Vernoy 9:23
Well, I think that’s what people typically do. And I think that’s what you’ve done as a client right? Raunak it’s something where it’s so inconsistent. The client has to remember to submit it, they have to follow up. I know I do some of this. Curt Do you also do courtesy billing sometimes? So Curt doesn’t do courtesy billing. So we need to tell Curt what courtesy billing is. Because I think it helps the clients a lot.
Raunak Sharma 9:49
Yeah, yeah, I mean, courtesy billing is a lot of therapists do offer that and it’s it’s a way for it’s a good middle ground because they’re saying hey, working with insurance is really stressful on me, I don’t want to go down that route. But I also feel for the client, I want them, you know, I don’t want them stressing about their money. So I’ll also generate your super bills, your claims, I’ll submit them for you, I’ll help you track that reimbursement follow it follow up that I think I think the issue that can come with that is a lot of times therapists, you know, they’re gonna call insurance through and reach like their general helpline, like, they don’t necessarily have the infrastructure to make the process any more transparent or more streamlined. And so I think using tech is a really is a really good way to bridge that gap.
Katie Vernoy 10:34
So what does that look like? Because I know for me, the courtesy billing I do is actually with like a CMS 1500 form. I try to, you know, I just basically don’t accept assignment and it goes through or except when it doesn’t, and I have to reach out to Thrizer and get help. But but with a company like Thrizer, what does out of network billing look like in that regard?
Raunak Sharma 10:56
So there’s a, there’s a few key things there. One, our tech is integrated with insurance companies. And what that means is like, we’re not going to an insurance portal and like typing in our super bill, or the CMS 1500. Like that is generated automatically after the appointment, directly submitted to their insurance. The you know, with integrations, what comes is is real time claim statuses. So we ourselves can pull the status of those claims at any time, and reflect that in our system. So, you know, again, that adds so much transparency, a lot of times you’re submitting a super bill and wondering, okay, like, it’s been four weeks, where is that? Like, what’s going on with that?
Katie Vernoy 11:38
Well, I can do that I can even have that happen with a CMS 1500 form, like I put the information and I send it off, I have no idea. And so you’re saying that with with your system, you get real time information, because you’re actually integrated into the insurance?
Raunak Sharma 11:53
Katie Vernoy 11:54
Oh wow. That is great.
Raunak Sharma 11:55
And it starts with the benefit check, right? I mean, clients themselves will have to understand that they have out of network benefits. And either that’s you falls on the therapist or the client themselves. And you might use platforms to check that in real time. But a lot of times, you’re telling the client, hey, like call this number on the back of your insurance card. And that is probably one of the most frustrating experiences to kind of try to find someone who gives you a consistent answer. So you know, the benefit of companies like Thrizer and you know, companies in general, who work at a greater volume with insurance companies is that we don’t necessarily we have our own direct representatives that we work with frequently. And what that means is like when we when we have a question on a claim, or we need to get something resolved, we’re not calling the 1-800 number on on an insurance card, right? We have direct contact lines, we get answers faster. And that’s because of the amount of volume that we work with them. And so you know, it’s for us, it’s easier to get claim statuses, it’s easier to understand where something went wrong. And you know, and that’s after, if, if after the answer, isn’t there in real time for the clients.
Curt Widhalm 12:59
For those of us who are operating outside of these systems, what kinds of out of network rates, are you seeing clinicians get on this kind of stuff?
Raunak Sharma 13:08
Yeah, yeah. That’s a good question. And obviously, a question that I get frequently. So out of network rates, whether you use a platform like Thrizer or not, are pretty consistent. I mean, it’s always paid according to what’s in the health plan. And I think what’s good information too, for people to understand is that out of network appointments are reimbursed on what’s called an allowed amount, which is essentially an insurance company saying, you know, here is the maximum amount we’re willing to reimburse for this specific medical service. Right. So a lot of times people get confused, because that’s not necessarily the same as what you charge. So a lot of therapists will come in and charge, you know, $200, $250 for their session, and there’ll be an insurance will come to you will look at that and say, Okay, I understand this is your rate, but we’re only going to allow quote, unquote, $150 of that. And so, the insurance will reimburse based on that 150. Now, though, what what happens after that is dependent on the client’s insurance plan, right? Do they have a copay? Do they have a coinsurance? So if if a client doesn’t have a copay or coinsurance they’re going to be getting that full $150 back in reimbursement. And if they have, say, you know, a $25 copay, they’re going to be getting $125 back in reimbursement and that’s kind of how that works. So when we talk about reimbursement rates, we’re actually talking about allowed amounts, and you see, you know, companies like United, Cigna, Aetna, kind of the bigger payers having larger allowed amounts, and that makes sense. And allowed amounts vary, again, depending on the client’s insurance plan, how much they’re paying in premiums. But you know, we’ve seen allowed amounts as high as $250 as low as $100. So yeah, it’s you know, not not a super direct answer there. But, you know, what you can say is that, you know, it does vary based on insurance and kind of taken across the all of Thrizer as clients, we get between a 75 to 80% reimbursement rate on average, which again just should be taken with a grain of salt because there’s there’s there’s so much variation. But yeah, you know, all in all very, very good rate of reimbursment. The issue just always comes back to how can we get the money from the insurance company to the client in the most transparent stress free, quick manner possible?
Katie Vernoy 15:34
My thought process is you are, are you still considered a startup at this point? You’re in the startup phase. So I know that you you go through funding and that kind of stuff. How big of a deal is this out of network billing? Like, clients trying to get there out of out of network benefits, is that something that clients want to do consistently? Is it something that is, you know, do you have numbers on that, like, how many clients if given the choice and given given an option where it’s almost like, a an insurance claim? Because it is. Like, if they were able to do it easily and not have to like slog through the superbill process or talk to the insurance company themselves? How often do clients want to use their, their out of network benefits? Do you think?
Raunak Sharma 16:20
Yeah, and yes, okay, we are definitely still a startup. Yeah, we’re not quite at that that stage yet. Hopefully, soon. So yeah, I mean, coming into therapy, and a, kind of dividing this between clients who are longtime therapy goers, and the clients who are just coming into therapy. Yeah, I mean, if if they’re going to be working with insurance companies directly, we, you know, I, we see some pretty low percentages in how you how many people actually utilize their benefits. And, you know, even lower to how many people actually get reimbursement. So, you know, just from my experience talking, no hard data on this, but I would say, you know, for a lot of the private practice therapist that I talked to, you know, less than, you know, 50-40% of their clients actually accept that superbill and submit it to the insurance. Because either, you know, they’re like, it’s not worth it, nothing’s gonna happen, or they don’t want to put in the effort if something does go wrong. And then within that 40%, even less really, like successfully can get reimbursed. So I mean, it definitely happens. And it is important to a lot of people. But yeah, I mean, coming in coming in to therapy, it’s a very high percentage, especially for a private pay therapist who is talking with a new client. Having something like Thrizer out of network biller is can be a really powerful tool to have that client come in and start having sessions. Because, you know, educating them on their out of network benefits saying that you have this is, you know, it takes away that financial stress. And so you’ll see a lot of the new clients who come in do attempt to use their out of network benefits, especially when they’re using something like Thrizer. It’s the whole reason they come to us.
Katie Vernoy 18:09
But I think there’s an element of if they have that out of network benefit, they are more likely to be able to stay longer or to attend sessions more frequently. And it feels like it actually allows for a stronger therapeutic experience for folks who can’t just afford to pay out of pocket every week.
Raunak Sharma 18:29
Absolutely. 1,000%. And yeah, I mean, when when you’re not super worried about, you know, how is this impacting my, my family’s income? How am I going to pay my mortgage? And you’re just focused purely on how can I use my time in therapy to grow and achieve my goals? You see some really powerful outcomes.
Curt Widhalm 18:49
Let’s talk about actually how this works. Like when somebody is interested in signing up for Thrizer. What’s the onboarding process? What does it look like from the therapist user end of things to actually do all of these wonderful things that you’re waxing poetic about?
Raunak Sharma 19:08
Well, we have built Thrizer to try to be as self service as possible and quick to get started. The benefit of going out of network is that you’re not waiting on insurance companies to panel you, to register you, whatever messy messiness that process entails. So really getting set up with Thrizer is like getting set up with a Square, Stripe, PayPal, whatever payment processor you might use. You know, you’re going to create an account, you’re going to enter information about your practice, like your tax ID, your NPI, practice name, address, things like that. And you’re going to add your clients to Thrizer that that entire process there takes less than a couple of minutes. What happens after you add your clients is they they get notifications to you know, an email to join Thrizer. And their onboarding process is also very quick. Again, it’s similar to setting up like a PayPal. They’re gonna go in, and they’re gonna create their account, connect a payment method and the difference is, of course, they enter their insurance information. So that that’s what the setup process actually looks like, very quick from both ends. And, and really it’s from, from a clinician standpoint, it’s really just putting in the key information that you need to start collecting payments from your clients. After that you treat Thrizer like any other payment application, right. You’ll have your appointment with your clients, as usual, use your EHR, as usual, the difference is, you’ll just log into Thrizer to hit charge once that appointment and, and the way that Thrizer works is that charging the client and submitting the claim happens simultaneously. So anytime you charging a client for an appointment, the claim is automatically generated submitted directly to the insurance. So there’s no there’s no work for the clinician or client, though the client will be notified, hey, this claim is generated, submitted to your insurance, log into your portal to see status at any time. And that’s how the general process works. And I kind of talked about earlier, like the status will update in the portal in real time. And when that reimbursement does kick in, it kinda is directed directly back to the client via direct deposit.
Katie Vernoy 21:22
So we’ve had some questions online, because we’ve we’ve been partnering with you for quite some time now. And there’s a lot of questions about how can you make a profit if you’re doing all this stuff just for the payment processing fee? And do you have enough information actually, to do a whole bill, super bill or CMS 1500 form. Speak to the business practices and the quality assurance that you have in place so that we can reassure all our folks, we’re asking the questions, the burning questions that they’ve had about how this actually works.
Raunak Sharma 21:55
Absolutely. And, yeah, I’ll address both those points. I mean, first I’ll kind of talk about the how the claim is actually generated. So there’s two sets of information and then one that you enter one time, and then two that you’ll enter anytime you charge your client. So when you set up your Thrizer account, you will set it up with your NPI tax ID, practice name, practice address, all of that is inputted and that all that information populates on a claim each time it’s generated. But you don’t need to sit and type that each time. Same with a you know, the client specific information, their member ID, their date of birth, things like that is all a one time entry. And then the last thing is the clients ICD 10 code. So their diagnosis. That of course can be changed can be edited, but you don’t need to enter that each time. So a lot of the information needed for a claim isn’t stuff that you need to populate. It, it’s stuff that is stored, you know, you enter once it’s stored you change as and when you need to. And a lot of that is generated each time you have a claim. And then the other side of stuff is there’s a few things right that kind of you’ll confirm as you add a charge at Thrizer. One is the amount that you charge the client. So that’s the billed amount that’s going to go to the insurance. Two is the type of appointment right? Are you do an individual therapy session, a couples, group, medication management, etc, etc, the length of the appointment, 45 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour, one hour, etc. And those set of information is what generates the CPT code on our claim.
Katie Vernoy 23:36
You also have location on there too.
Raunak Sharma 23:38
Katie Vernoy 23:39
If you do it virtually…
Raunak Sharma 23:43
Exactly. Yeah, last field you would enter as you’re adding the charge is the location. And so right so kind of it’s we try to make it so that you’re not sitting entering all the needed information each time you add a charge it’s as streamlined as possible, and you really only need to enter slash confirm what you need to before hitting charge.
Katie Vernoy 24:02
So I mean, I’ve used Thrizer. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty easy, it’s straightforward. And you’re able to you know, kind of put all of that in. It goes straight through it also tells you if the payments going through or not. And so that you’re able to follow up with your client, if if they, you know if like their credit card doesn’t go through whatever. And and so that’s that’s pretty straightforward, I will assure everyone all of the information is there that you need for a claim. But it still doesn’t explain how you’re charging so little. I mean, it’s only that 3% payment processing fee and you know, there’s there’s not a lot more that you’re actually charging anybody: the client or us. So, how do you make money because that’s very little per claim. If you’re if you’re if you’re still at that, you know, Stripe 2.99% plus a 30 cent charge per per claim. So how do you do it, Raunak? What is what is actually happening here?
Raunak Sharma 25:00
Yeah, and I think that’s the that’s why I think we have such a powerful differentiator in focusing on kind of the financial infrastructure side of healthcare. And the focus for us has been, you know, there’s so much friction when you talk about the movement of funds, from patient to provider to insurance, and so forth. So a lot of our focus is, is, hey, how can we partner with leading payments companies to improve these systems in healthcare. And so when we’re talking about payment process, and we’re not, we’re earning our money, the same way that Stripe does, for example. I mean, we have partnerships with with companies like that. And so it’s just that we have this extra side of insurance billing. And so you know, the the payment processing fee that we charge is, you know, it’s efficient, it earns us quite a bit of revenue. And we can support a large amount of our operations that way. If you if you guys kind of see, and we’re starting to get much louder about a paid service called ThrizerPlus. And again, it comes down to having that in house financial infrastructure. It gives us the option to launch features like ThrizerPlus, which which makes, you know, essentially what it is, is it’s a payment plan for for clients, right? So they have the option to instead of paying in full and waiting for reimbursement to pay just their copay, and opt in for Thrizer to wait for them. Features like that.
Curt Widhalm 26:32
See that louder and slower. So that way people can understand just how cool that is.
Raunak Sharma 26:35
Yeah, and yeah, exactly. And we’re starting to really get loud. I mean, we kind protected this last year, it was a overwhelming success, people love it. So if you have, if you go into thrizer.com, right now, you’ll see we have a whole page set up for it. And it kind of explains how it works. But essentially, you know, we kind of talked about the standard process, you’re going to be going and paying your therapist $150, for example, for that your session, and then Thrizer at least takes care of the everything else. And you know, maybe in a week or so you’ll or you’ll get that $125 back. And you know, for a lot of the people that works. That’s great. For others, they’re saying, Hey, I don’t want to pay $150 and then wait for $125 back, like I don’t want to be subject to random delays that may happen or just paying that $150 up front and then waiting is putting a burden. So we have the opportunity for people to opt into something called ThrizerPlus, which says, Hey, instead of paying $150, and waiting for $125, back, just pay $25 up front, and allow Thrizer to wait for that $125 for you. And that specific feature to tie this back into your previous question, Katie, that specific feature costs money for the client and features like that is is how we continue to kind of monetize this platform.
Katie Vernoy 27:59
So I’m sure that some of this will, will shift over time. And because this is going to be an evergreen episode, we can talk more about kind of ballpark. But if a client opts into Thrizer plus and basically says I’m not paying up front, I’ll pay, you know, obviously once you figure out the benefits, all that stuff, I’ll pay what I owe: the copay, or the coinsurance or whatever, in general terms, how much more is it to pay for ThrizerPlus.
Raunak Sharma 28:21
Yeah, so currently, the fee that we charge is a 5% fee of the reimbursement amount. So the amount that Thrizer is fronting, quote unquote. So you know that 5% is not going to be based on the $150 rate is going to be based on the $125 rate that the client is getting back. So going back to my previous example, the instead of paying $150 and waiting for $125 back, the client has the option to pay the $25 copay plus a 5% fee, which 5% of $125 is about $6. So they’ll pay that $25 copay, the $6 Thrizer fee for a total of about $31. And, you know, going from $150 to paint $31. It can help a lot of people out and you know, we’re seeing an incredible amount of people go down this route. Because that essentially to them, it’s just like, hey, that’s, that’s a copay.
Katie Vernoy 29:17
To clarify the options. So regular old Thrizer is therapists just use Thrizer as a payment processor, they still get their full fee up front with a 3% payment processing fee taken taken off, and then clients are are in there, they get reimbursed to their bank account, assuming that’s how it works. I think you and I talked about sometimes they’ll get sent checks, but mostly it’s reimbursement through to you know, actually deposit direct deposited into their bank account. But if they opt into ThrizerPlus, they pay, let’s say $31. The therapist gets paid $150 and Thrizer waits for the $125 to come back.
Raunak Sharma 29:58
That’s right. Yeah, I mean, so the beauty of this is that the therapist earns their rate either way. So whether the client chooses ThrizerBasic, or ThrizerPlus the therapist is still going to get their $150 minus that 3% processing fee. So the option of ThrizerPlus exists for clients specifically, whether they you know, what works better for you? Do you want to wait for that reimbursement? You know, totally fine. We make that as fast as possible, or do you want to pay your copay that option with ThrizerPlus is there as well?
Curt Widhalm 30:29
I’m just stunned in thinking that there’s people like, Yeah, well, we’ll wait on the insurance companies coming back, you guys must really have that influence with the insurance companies that you’re willing to be like, No, look at me. You’re paying me now.
Raunak Sharma 30:44
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, we, and again, it kind of comes back to, we talked about what I think why I think Thrizer is, has a great differentiator, it’s because we focus a lot on the financial infrastructure of healthcare. And that’s really in the space that we’re building, if you really want to look into what we do. So yeah, I mean, when we just tried to make the movement of money much faster, and much more seamless. And given that we give people more flexibility, better cash flow. And and, you know, more and more.
Curt Widhalm 31:21
So you mentioned a little bit earlier, a lot of these payment processors all cost around 3%. What else makes Thrizer different in this space?
Raunak Sharma 31:30
And yeah, I think that is really where we differentiate. So from other outer network billers, it’s it is these payment processing slash financial infrastructure side of us that it makes us really different and more streamlined and more simple and powerful. From payment processes itself the differentiator for us is, is the integration with health insurances, right? So I mean, you can go to someone like Stripe or Square, it’s just that you’re going to be handling the super bills on your own whether you or the client does that. So I think we’ve done something really cool in connecting the payment processing world with the health insurance world and and allowing those two things to work together. So you know, we can automate the the mess and maze of health insurance, while also giving clients flexible payment options, streamlined reimbursements, and full transparency into their claims. So yeah, I mean, we differentiate via payment processors that way, because we have this whole health insurance side to us. And so that’s why we like to brand ourselves, as you know, we’re a payments platform for mental health care professionals.
Katie Vernoy 32:40
What’s still a work in progress, what are some development that you can share with our audience?
Raunak Sharma 32:45
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, when I talk about Thrizer, I love to talk about kind of the grand vision and what we’re building. But yeah, you know, it is definitely a work in progress. And it’s, it’s tough building these two monsters in under one product. So you know, I were really excited about a lot of things to come in, I think that we’re having some major improvements to our ThrizerPlus process, because of the amount of volume that we’re seeing and the demand we’re seeing for that we’re making insurance even more transparent. So we’re adding things like real time benefits widget for our customers who you know, can log into Thrizer, and they get on a call with a prospect. And the prospect says, Hey, I don’t you know, you don’t accept my insurance, you’re going Thrizer you can log into Thrizer, plug in their insurance information and say yes, but you know, you’re gonna get X amount back and reimbursement. And you can check that in seconds. And to continue to improve our integrations with health insurance companies, our infrastructure to make it Thrizer, faster, more clear, more simple. And we just go based off a lot of feedback that we get from our users. So just trying to make the platform more intuitive, more self service, just cleaner, more seamless. Thrizer definitely is a work in progress. It’s not perfect, but we’re, we’re super excited for all the changes that are coming.
Curt Widhalm 34:04
And you have a special offer for our audience.
Raunak Sharma 34:08
Absolutely. Yeah. For all my friends at Modern Therapist’s. Yeah, I mean, we like to offer you know, people who come in through our partners like this just kind of free payment processing for a period of time. So the the offer is essentially, you know, you can come in to Thrizer and test out a bunch of payment and see how the process works. And you’re not going to have to pay that 3% payment processing fee. And the figure is $2,500 in payments. So what that what that again, what that means is you’ll you know, the for the first $2,500 that you charge in Thrizer there’s not going to be a 3% fee tacked on that. So you can come in, enjoy Thrizer, see how it works, see for yourself the benefit and kind of risk free see that this is the real deal.
Katie Vernoy 34:56
And so I think you have a special link, it’s like Bitly/moderntherapists.
Raunak Sharma 35:02
Katie Vernoy 35:03
ModernTherapists, I think it’s the has ‘s’ at the end. So we’ll put that in our show notes so people can find it, because that’s an awesome offer. That’s so amazing.
Raunak Sharma 35:14
Yeah, yeah, that’s actually one of the things we’re we’re going to be improving to kind of our whole referral promotion process. So there’s a way for you to enter referral code in as you sign up for Thrizer or from your Thrizer account, and that promotion will apply.
Katie Vernoy 35:29
Right. And I think our code is moderntherapists. Right.
Raunak Sharma 35:33
Katie Vernoy 35:35
Curt Widhalm 35:37
And where can people find you, follow you? Obviously thrizer.com?
Raunak Sharma 35:43
Yeah, I mean, you know, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. First email@example.com, super simple. I’m a, I’m pretty responsive. I think Katie, hopefully can attest to that.
Katie Vernoy 35:54
Raunak Sharma 35:55
Every try to be responsive like immediate. Yeah, you know, we’re getting much more active on Instagram, on LinkedIn, on Facebook. So, you know, at Thrizer dot app on any of those platforms.
Curt Widhalm 36:08
And we will also include links to those in our show notes over at mtsgpodcast.com. And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm, with Katie Vernoy, and Raunak Sharma.
Katie Vernoy 36:19
All right, modern therapists. So this is the time in the episode when Curt and I pull aside and let you know our thoughts about the folks that we’re interviewing for our consumer guide episodes just to give you our take on who this is right for who it may not be right for. And you know, just anything else, we think it’s good for you to know, if you’re making a decision on whether you’re going to use their products. So Thrizer, I’ve used Thrizer for a while, I think that there is a lot about it, that’s really, really good, and I’m enjoying their support, I’m enjoying the service that they have. I think there’s still a work in progress, there’s some streamlining they’re going to do. And as they do that, I think they’re going to just be unbeatable as as a as a payment processing application.
Curt Widhalm 37:07
And I think from my end of things, I run a group practice, we do a lot of just issuing super bills through our current EHR. And this looks really exciting for a practice like ours. We’re not versed in insurance, we issue out super bills once a month, and a lot of the work ends up going to the client side, and especially where we’re focused on making the client experience better. Being able to actually look at how this works and being able to see how entering client information into this would work. Even if it means kind of having two separate systems for billing, it makes it seem so much better on the client. And for a practice like ours, where we’re not like fully versed in insurance sorts of things. I know, in the EHR system that we use, we could do out of network billing, we could issue things, but that form just kind of seems a little intimidating. And it feels like if I pushed the wrong thing, am I now just like it on an insurance panel that I didn’t mean to sign up for something, am I gonna get checks that I don’t really want to have sent to me. I want to get paid for the services in a reasonable amount of time. I don’t want to be waiting around forever for things, I assume that my clients feel the same way. As a consumer. When I go to my providers, and they give me a super bill, sometimes, you know, if they hand me a paper, one at the office, sometimes I lose it before I even get to my car, let alone if it makes it to my house, and then it gets set down someplace and I don’t find it again. This just seems like something that ends up being a lot, just out of sight out of mind for just a few extra clicks on our end as clinicians and to me that makes it all worthwhile. And especially if the processing fees end up being cheaper than I can get them elsewhere. It all just sounds like a bonus to me.
Katie Vernoy 39:10
I agree. I think for folks who have not done any insurance, who are only doing super bills, switching to Thrizer makes a lot of sense, especially for larger practices where that payment processing fee difference is going to make a difference. For folks who are already billing insurance, which I was so I’m able to do some of the super bills or courtesy billing, and it’s not scary to me. I think the the benefit here is for folks who already know how to do the forms and could do them in their EHR. The benefit is to have whether it’s Thrizer plus so that the client can actually pay less and so there’s not that they’re they’re not agonizing waiting for the reimbursement. ThrizerPlus is an amazing add on. I think the other part is the work for the therapist, even if they know how to do courtesy billing can be much less if they’re able to offload some of this to Thrizer. Because they have that those relationships with the insurance company. The other thing, too, is, you know, let’s say I do courtesy billing through my EHR, which I’m able to do, clients get a check and then have to deposit it, they actually do direct deposit for a lot of their clients. And so it’s super easy on the client side. Versus on our side, even if even if it’s not that hard for you to do in your EHR, it still is a little bit more friction in some ways for the client.
Curt Widhalm 40:36
So I mean, the offer to get the free months worth of things, this is worth spending the time just testing it out. I give it you know, my, you know, 4 cardigans out of 4, like, go and try it.
Katie Vernoy 40:53
Well, I think one thing that we also do is Who was it? Who was it not for? And I think potentially, for folks who have a hybrid practice or a primarily insurance practice Thrizer doesn’t add a lot of benefit to you.
Curt Widhalm 41:05
Katie Vernoy 41:07
You’re already doing the insurance, billing, maybe you already have a biller. And so they don’t do in network Insurance billing as of now. And so I think it’s that thing of for folks who are deeply into the insurance world, it may not add benefit, it might just add complication.
Curt Widhalm 41:22
And I think, you know, if you’re somebody who’s followed us on the podcast for a while here, we’re not going to tell you something that, you know, you need to buy every product and I think that this is just one of those moments where yeah, it if you’ve got the system down like Katie is describing. Don’t Don’t do it. If it’s not right for you.
Katie Vernoy 41:47
Certainly you can check it out. You can you can get an account and check it out to see if it might streamline some stuff for you. But I think if you’re an insurance practice, completely an insurance practice, this isn’t for you at all. But if you’re a hybrid practice, it may be. It just depends on how many private pay clients you have and how much you’re wanting to offload that. But I think it’s it’s primarily for those of us in private practice, who are private pay that don’t know how to deal with insurance, don’t want to deal with insurance at all. I think this is a really good thing to check out to see if it’ll work and if you can put your systems in place for it.
Curt Widhalm 42:23
Check them out!
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