Direct Contract Myth Busting

Mar 06, 2024

Too often I see an SLP/OT/PT direct contractor "hopeful" stopped right in their tracks because of a myth floating through the meta-verse.  Nothing stops forward action like overwhelm or fear, which can be triggered by these myths.  So, let's chat through the most common that I hear so we can overcome them and get your ball rolling! 

Myth 1: Contracting is only for large agencies.  This myth is likely driven by larger districts with bid processes that cater to large agencies.  However, that is not the "norm" in contracting. There are many  districts out there that prefer to contract directly with who they'll be receiving services from OR a small therapist-run business. 

Myth 2: Contracting is for established private practices only.  When I last polled my customers, 45% of them EXCLUSIVELY served schools with no private practice or private client on the side.  Contracting can actually be an awesome way to have private practice autonomy while also enjoying the perk of having a school schedule and summer's off! 

Myth 3: All School Contracts Require You to Submit an RFP/Bid. Again, this is a general myth that came from some very specific districts in very specific states!  In my state, very few schools require you to complete an RFP/bid or even register as a vendor.  Also, many states that do use RFPs/Bids don't have a horrific bid process.  

Myth 4: School contracting is only for providers that want to work 5 days a week. I think this myth likely just comes from the assumption that "school vacancies" are a full-time job. However, myself and many other contracts actually only serve schools a set number of days a week!  Caseload overflow, rural districts, evaluation only, niche contracts are examples of set-ups that cater to those that only want to provide direct therapy a few days a week. 

Myth 5: The only time to obtain school contracts is in the spring. In my years of school sales and contracting, my "hottest" sales times have always been in the mid-summer for brick and mortar and fall for virtual.  Unless the district uses a rigid RFP process, they're likely trying to exhaust recruitment efforts for in-house hires.  They often exhaust these efforts through May which then is when they'll start considering other options.  Although I encourage all providers to start reaching out in March, don't wave that red flag if you don't have anything come April.  They're out there!  Persistence and patience are your friends. 

Ready to get started?  Download the "FREE Checklist" and my other tools on my page and check out my other tools to guide you.  There's a school out there waiting for you to take this leap! 

❤️ Elise