Today, youth sports are far from the idyllic summers I spent on the ball field. Children feel pressured to perform. Overzealous parents scream at their children, the coaches, and each other. Kids are chauffeured to multiple practices, private coaching sessions, and then spend all weekend showcasing their skills in the hot sun. It is no wonder that 70% of children leave organized sports by the age of 13, according to research by the National Alliance for Sports.
Even more shocking than the demoralizing effects of youth sports, is the amount of 7 and 8-year-old children coming into sports rehab facilities, not to mention high school students having their dreams of playing in college shattered. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 3.5 million kids under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports-related injuries each year. Parents today, who make available every resource to help their children achieve athletic greatness, never even consider that many of the world’s greatest athletes are prolonging their careers by utilizing chiropractic care.
My son’s current passion is martial arts (TKD). Like any sport, it is physically demanding, so we make sure that he sees his chiropractor regularly. Recently, my son and I were sitting in the waiting room at our chiropractor’s office and ran into another family from TKD. After chatting for a few minutes, my son’s name was called and we quickly said our goodbyes. The mother looked quite surprised when she heard my son’s name being called and not mine. She asked me about it later that evening. This sparked quite the conversation between me and the other TKD moms about chiropractic care for children.
They had a million questions about chiropractic and children. In the end, I realized that most of the hesitation about having their children visit a chiropractor had very little to do with safety and everything to do with finances. As one mother of three stated, “It sounds great for families that can afford it.” She commented that a single visit per month would be the equivalent of a car payment. If her family of 5 saw a chiropractor AND her visits were covered by insurance with a $50 co-payment, she would pay $250 a visit. But, if she was taking her TKD-loving children to see the chiropractor to help performance and prevent injuries, her visits would NOT be covered by insurance because this would be considered maintenance care. At the allowed amount for her insurance, she would still be paying $47 per child per visit for a 98940.
I have met many providers who charge less than their actual fees for a 98940 when the adjustment is performed on a child, but this is a NO-NO! As a ChiroHealthUSA provider, you know that for each code in your office, there is only one fee. If a 98940 is $60, then it is always $60 unless mandated by law, contractual agreement, or documented hardship. The price does not and cannot be defined by the age of the patient. Incorporating a family plan into your ChiroHealthUSA fee schedule is an easy way to provide the entire family with the care they need at a price they can afford.
When I told the other parents that ChiroHealthUSA was offered at our chiropractic office and that I was paying the equivalent of one private lesson for each of my son’s chiropractic appointments, they were stunned. I wasn’t surprised several weeks later to run into two TKD families in the waiting room or to hear the child (not the mother) be called back to see the doctor. Educating parents in your community on the long-term benefits of chiropractic for their elite athletes, coupled with affordable payment options is a WIN-WIN for your practice and the local team! If you need to update your ChiroHealthUSA fee schedule to include a family plan, click here!
Kristi Hudson is the Director of Business Relations and Administrator of the ChiroHealthUSA Foxworth Family Scholarship. Since 2010, she has worked with state associations, COCSA, F4CP, and the CCGPP to provide educational awareness on changes within the profession. As of February 2016, ChiroHealthUSA has donated over $1,000,000 to support the chiropractic profession. To apply for the scholarship, go to chusascholar.com.
 JS Powell, KD Barber Foss, 1999. Injury patterns in selected high school sports: a review of the 1995-1997 seasons. J Athl Train. 34: 277-84.