Out-of-Network Billing, Private Pay, and How to Help Clients with Christine Li from Mentaya | POP 980

Share this content

Do you want to get insurance benefits for your clients while you can still be paid your full cash fee rate? How can you make therapy accessible to your community without sacrificing your income security from having to deal with unreliable insurance networks? Have you heard about Mentaya?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about out-of-network billing, private pay, and how to help clients with Christine Li from Mentaya. 

Podcast Sponsor: WellReceived

A photo of the podcast sponsor, WellReceived is captured. They are a therapy and practice support app.

Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by the influx of patient calls you receive? Receptionists are expensive – but you can’t afford to let your patients go to voicemail.

You care for your patients, so you try to phone them back. But more often than not, it’s too late. They’ve gone to another clinic. When you partner with WellReceived, you capture every opportunity. Your calls are answered by professional medical receptionists 24/7. And they can support you with more than just message taking. They offer:

New patient intake,
After-hours service,
Bilingual services,
Medical appointment scheduling,
Medical live chat, and so much more.

All this, at a fraction of the cost of an in-house receptionist. Your patients are WellReceived’s priority. As a Practice of the Practice listener, you can get an exclusive 50% off your first 3 months of service. Head to WellReceived.com/joe to start growing your practice today.

Meet Christine Li

A photo of Christine Li is captured. She is the founder and CEO of Mentaya. Christine is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Christine Li, the founder & CEO of Mentaya, is an enthusiastic advocate for therapists. She firmly believes that therapists can build successful cash-pay private practices while being part of making mental healthcare accessible.

Christine started Mentaya to simplify the complexities of out-of-network billing, ensuring that therapists collect their full cash rate while helping clients use their insurance benefits to get up to 80% back on private pay therapy. Before Mentaya, Christine was a product manager at Google, where she mastered the art of building delightful product experiences.

Visit Mentaya, and connect on Instagram.

FREEBIE: Sign up to Mentaya with the code JOE to try the Instant Benefits Calculator for free for a month!


In this Podcast

  • Creating the services that therapists need 
  • Terminology to know 
  • Why people are moving away from taking insurance 
  • How Mentaya helps you 
  • Christine’s advice to private practitioners

Creating the services that therapists need 

Christine wants therapists to thrive through out-of-pay and private network since she understands the value of therapy, as well as how important it is to be accessible. 

Before I even started Mentaya, I talked to a lot of therapists because I didn’t want to be one of those people who, you know, came in with a tech-background and was like, ‘I’m going to just solve this problem …’, I wanted to do my research and talk to therapists. (Christine Li)

People in business know that the right product needs to serve the right needs, and therefore Christine made sure to speak to therapists to understand their pain points and what they are struggling with so that she could design a product that helps them.

From this research, and Christine’s background, Mentaya was born. 

I was like, ‘There’s a huge gap here where people don’t realize that they might have out-of-network benefits, and be able to get insurance to cover part of the cost of therapy, even if [you] are private pay. (Christine Li)

Terminology to know 

  • In-network or panelled: when a therapist works with an insurance company and takes client insurance which means you have to bill insurance to be paid out 
  • Out-of-network, private pay, or cash pay: where the client pays you the full cash fee
  • Superbill: a PDF form that shows a client has seen you which they can give to their insurance companies for reimbursement 

Why people are moving away from taking insurance 

The research has shown that insurance payout rates to therapists often have not kept up with inflation, and some have even gone down, meaning that the therapist gets less payout from the insurance for the same work as before. 

Obviously [therapists] want to be accessible, but they’re starting to get fed up with the low rates [and] … taking insurance is not being sustainable financially for them anymore. (Christine Li)

Many therapists have started exclusively doing cash pay since they are frustrated with insurance companies paying them less and less money for the value of their time and expertise. 

Therefore, a company like Mentaya is great since it allows clients to get insurance payouts while the therapists can be paid their full fees. 

How Mentaya helps you 

You can think of Mentaya as your out-of-network billing and admin team. Through Mentaya, you can get access to a checker for your client’s benefits so that they can see what they can get back, which is also a great marketing tool for you. 

Additionally, Mentaya’s team takes care of submitting all of your claims to insurance, and all they need from you is to verify when a session happens and will take care of any follow-ups with a direct support team for the clients. 

Christine’s advice to private practitioners 

You are making a huge difference in people’s lives! 

Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Periods, PMDD, and the Stories We Never Tell with Heather Hendrie | POP 979

Events – click on the event’s dropdown

Sign up to join the free webinars and events here

Podcast Launch School

Practice of the Practice Podcast Network

Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale

Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share the social media below!