Session 75: Introducing a Sliding Scale Platform

Welcome! Today’s guest is a therapist in private practice in Asheville, NC. Paul Fuglesang is the founder of Open Path Collective, which connects clinicians and individuals seeking therapists with sliding scale fees. This is a wonderful new platform to help people, and Paul is here to tell us all that we need to know about sliding scale fees. Join us!

Paul covers the following:

  • The main reasons for therapists to use sliding scales are to help everyone have access to mental health care, and to help therapists who are just starting out in private practice.
  • Paul began Open Path Collective to meet the growing need of clients for sliding scale fees. Here’s how it works:
    • Participating therapists in the network commit to at least one sliding scale client at $30-50 per session.
    • Clients pay a $49 one-time membership fee for lifetime access to the network.
    • Clients search the online database for the right therapist for them.
    • The non-profit cuts out red tape on both ends, and provides many member benefits for therapists.
    • In just three years, the collective includes 2000 therapists in 47 states, and they just matched their 3000th client!
  • Paul explains how he structures his private practice to include two Open Path clients at a time.
  • Paul uses a three-factor approach to the relationships that determine the need for a sliding scale.
  • It’s important to talk to clients about money and rates!
  • Sliding scales allow the clinician to give back, to gain helpful experience, to see more sliding scale clients in the beginning, and to lower the percentage as the business increases.
  • Starting out, clinicians have to tolerate insecurity until the practice is built and marketed successfully.
  • Paul explains how his life is richer because of the relationships with sliding scale clients that he wouldn’t otherwise have.
  • Join us to hear more about the changing face of affordable mental health care!




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