At a Glance: SLPs in Private Practice Report Rising Wages, Increasing Denials Here’s what private practitioners had to say about earnings, sources of payment for services and struggles with insurance denials in ASHA’s 2013 Speech-Language Pathology Health Care Survey. Speech-language pathologists who own or co-own a private practice showed a 12 percent increase in their median salary from 2011 ($65,000) ... At a Glance
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At a Glance  |   January 01, 2014
At a Glance: SLPs in Private Practice Report Rising Wages, Increasing Denials
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / At a Glance
At a Glance   |   January 01, 2014
At a Glance: SLPs in Private Practice Report Rising Wages, Increasing Denials
The ASHA Leader, January 2014, Vol. 19, 28. doi:10.1044/leader.AAG.19012014.28
The ASHA Leader, January 2014, Vol. 19, 28. doi:10.1044/leader.AAG.19012014.28
SLPs in Private Practice Report Rising Wages, Increasing Denials
Here’s what private practitioners had to say about earnings, sources of payment for services and struggles with insurance denials in ASHA’s 2013 Speech-Language Pathology Health Care Survey.
Salaries, wages and per-visit rates
Speech-language pathologists who own or co-own a private practice showed a 12 percent increase in their median salary from 2011 ($65,000) to 2013 ($72,798), according to the survey. Hourly wages ranged from $40 to $60, depending on the number of hours worked per week. The median home health visit wage was $70, up from $66.24 in 2011 (a 6 percent increase).
Payment sources
Private practitioners work in many settings, including contracting to schools or health care facilities, or seeing patients in their private office or the patients’ homes. Because of the potential variability and instability of reimbursement rates from public and private health plans, private practitioners also bill patients directly. In 2013, when asked whether or not they receive payment for services from various sources, private practice owners and co-owners reported that their most common source of payment was patient private pay, followed by private health insurance (see bar graph).
Note: From 2013 ASHA SLP Health Care Survey. n ≥ 531
Medicare enrollment
Congress passed legislation allowing private practice SLPs to bill Medicare directly in 2008 rather than having to bill through another provider. By 2013, more than a quarter (28 percent) of private practice owners and co-owners had enrolled as a Medicare provider, up from 22 percent in 2011.
Note: From 2011 and 2013 ASHA SLP Health Care Surveys.
Denials by private health plans
Anecdotally, ASHA members report that denials by private insurers have increased in recent years. Survey results supported this by showing that nearly half (45 percent) of private practice owners and co-owners had more denials from private health plans in 2012 than in 2011 (see chart).
Note: From 2013 ASHA SLP Health Care Survey. n = 662
Image Not Available Additional survey data for SLP private practitioners are available at on.asha.org/slp-healthcare-survey.
 
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January 2014
Volume 19, Issue 1