By Bree Beynon, MT-BC & PBMTI Managing Partner

Hopefully you are reading this because you’ve decided to pursue a music therapy program for your organization – terrific!  You are joining the thousands of hospitals, hospices, assisted-living facilities, support groups and many more organizations that have adopted/are adopting a music therapy program to provide even stronger levels of care.  We are glad to know that something, or someone, has increased your interest on the patient, staff and cost benefits that go along with music therapy.

You’ve now got a challenging yet completely rewarding journey ahead in making the decisions that pertain to planning, creating, launching and sustaining such an important new program.  The goal of this blog is to highlight the differences between an in-house music therapy department versus a contracted music therapy provider, to help you find a fit that is best for you.

Spoiler alert – we are biased.  Many of PBMTI’s talented music therapy professionals have worked both for in-house music therapy departments, as well as with contracted music therapy providers, which gives us the benefit of seeing the decision from both sides.  Through this brief assessment, you’ll find we believe that higher value is provided by contracted music therapy providers over in-house programs, assuming the provider is qualified, experienced, professional, and passionate about music therapy.

For starters, lets look at the bottom line.

Based on my personal and professional experience, here are a few realities I’ve observed;

  • 50% more production value from a contracted provider (7-10 individual sessions vs. 4-5 individual sessions in a 8 hour day)

  • Quality management, training, reporting, evaluation and continuing education included at no cost to client.

  • Specific to PBMTI, clients earn a 21% cost savings for full-time programs due to absence of health insurance, retirement package, training, travel expense, and material costs (calculation based on national average of music therapist salary and cost of benefits).

  • Each contract hour is provided with a “no waste” policy, including only direct patient time and documentation.

  • Contracted music therapy hours are flexible and scalable to meet the needs of the patients and organization, unlike the fixed overhead and schedules of in-house team.

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about our incredible team of board certified music therapists  As I’m sure you can already see from PBMTI’s social media and thriving blog, we have a pretty amazing group of professionals on our team.

When asked what he thought was a benefit to hiring contract services, Trent B, one of our medical music therapists, shared, “Our clients will never have a gap in services because of the amount of experienced professionals that can cover if one has a planned or unexpected absence.”  It’s all about team work to provide consistent care.  Just another reason I love my job!

This team work means that the therapist you see day to day is receiving ongoing supervision and engaging in professional collaboration in the field of music therapy, all outside of their clinical hours- at no additional cost the client organization.  We consider it to be a rare and valuable experience to be able to bounce ideas for treatment off of the 11 different music therapists on our team, and we get to pass that value on to our clients.

If this post has provoked thoughts and/or questions regarding a music therapy program, we want to hear from you!  Even if you are not in our current service area (South Florida) we want to help connect you with the music therapy team that is right for you, and would be delighted to do so.