How the self-directed movement can help you build your allied health business

Stuttering girl and speech therapist doing exercises

If you’re working as an allied health professional, or working towards a career as one, it would be hard to miss the industry momentum towards person-centred approaches heralded by the introduction of the NDIS. But did you know that a similar movement has been taking place in aged care since the introduction of Consumer Directed Care in 2017? If you’re considering a career in Allied Health, or already have one, this is great news, particularly if you’re interested in building your own business. 

Not only are independent Allied Health practitioners increasingly in demand, there are easy ways to find and connect with new clients directly and build ongoing, successful working relationships.

Even if you’re not sure about whether you’re ready to dive in completely working for yourself, there are ways to ‘dip your toe in the water’ and start branching out on your own gradually.

Mable is an online platform where people who are ageing, or those with a disability, can find and directly engage with independent workers they choose. Consumer Directed Aged Care and the NDIS are giving greater control to people seeking support by providing individuals with their government funding directly, and the power to make decisions about how to use it. Here at Mable, we see the impact daily, as more and more clients use the platform to find and manage teams of people who support them with different aspects of their lives.

On the flip side, as health care practitioners, this means that when you’re choosing to work with a client, the terms of your working relationship are no longer dictated by a provider, but by you and your client directly.

Your work, working for you.

The move towards greater self-direction means that clients can now pick and choose where their supports come from, and are no longer beholden to a large provider to tell them what support they can receive and when. This individualisation means that existing workforces, and they way they are managed, are simply not up to the job of meeting the demand of the thousands of individual clients who want their support delivered in a way that works for them and their life.

It’s also opening the door for many allied healthcare professionals to become not just employees but service providers. So, why should you consider working for yourself?

Supplement your income – A large proportion of the allied health workforce undertake part time or casual work. This workforce shift is, in part, a natural consequence of a market that’s demanding more tailored, flexible services. With Mable, you can supplement your income by working flexibly with your own clients around your existing commitments.

Get on the front foot – The self-direction movement is only set to grow. By developing the skills needed to work for yourself, you’ll be at the forefront of this industry change, and as such, can make sure you’re part of an independent workforce that’s reaping the rewards.

Avoid burnout – Unfortunately, large caseloads, limited time and the emotional stress that can be associated with work mean that the health care professions and burnout often go hand in hand. Working for yourself allows you to set the parameters; you choose how many clients you work with, and you negotiate with your client about how much time is needed to provide the support they’re looking for.

Deliver continuity of care – Similarly, your relationship with your client is an ongoing one, allowing you to set goals and work towards achieving them together.

Work flexibly – Whether you’re heading towards retirement, working around family commitments or undertaking study, you can choose the hours you work and when you do them.

Making Mable work for you

Currently, if you’re a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist or any other sort of allied health professional, you can join the Mable platform. It’s free to sign up, and when you do, you’ll be taken through an onboarding process which will include submitting some references and qualifications and creating a detailed profile about yourself outlining your skills, experience, focus areas, availability and even a little about your personality.

You set the rates that you want to charge and you will only pay a fee to Mable once you begin to work. The fee is a flat 10% of the rate which you agree with clients. .

Once you’re ‘live’ on Mable, your profile will be viewable to clients who will approach you by messaging through the platform. You’ll also be notified when suitable jobs are advertised in your area, and if you’re interested, you can get in touch with the client directly to find out more. The platform is simple to use, and you can download our mobile app to manage your clients, jobs and messages on the go.

Best of all, the terms of your engagement are completely decided between you and your client. Together, you will negotiate what services you’ll provide, when you’ll provide them, and the rate that will be charged.

There are a range of resources available to help you get started working with client with NDIS funding. Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) has introduced a course designed to help Allied professionals to navigate the scheme and you can also find more resources on the NDIS website. Remember, with Mable, you don’t have to go it alone. If you have any questions, you can contact our team on 1300 73 65 73.

Ready to take the first simple step towards building your allied health business? Sign up with Mable today.