Like many of you, I don’t have much time to fool around on the internet. But this morning, it only took me two minutes to find these three Groupon offers from various chiropractic clinics around the country:
Initial Consultation and Adjustment ($90 value)
$30 – Save $60!
Initial Chiropractic Examination, X-rays, Consultation & Adjustment ($155 value)
$35 — Save $120!
Chiropractic Package for One Person ($285 value)
$39 – Save $246!
It’s enough to make a grown DC put his head down on his desk and cry.
Every one of these chiropractors could be putting his or her practice at terrible risk. Quite simply, we’re not allowed, as a profession, to dramatically discount our services, offer free treatments, or provide gifts or free meals for potential patients that could be considered an “inducement”. Practices that improperly induce patients to seek care or services—for example, by providing coupons for care or supplies, gift cards upon completion of care, discounting of co-pays or co-insurance amounts or waiving deductibles—may find that they are in violation of the law if they aren’t careful.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) says: “Providers must take care to educate themselves about the requirements of state and federal fraud and abuse laws, statutes and regulations. Before any new advertising or marketing practice is undertaken, the legal implications must be considered. For example, it is the view of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that “routine waiver of deductibles and co-payments by charge-based providers, practitioners or suppliers is unlawful because it results in:
- false claims
- violations of the anti-kickback statute, and
- excessive utilization of items and services paid for by Medicare.”
So what will that mean to you and your practice? It isn’t pretty. If your discounts trigger inducement violations, you can expect to pay fines up to $10,000 per occurrence. That’s a pretty expensive slap on the wrist. This means that a small practice could be just one audit away from serious financial hardship, maybe even bankruptcy.
You can, however, offer discounts legally. ChiroHealthUSA is a Network that works in conjunction with a Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO.) That means you can stop stressing about what you charge for non-covered services or discharging patients from active treatment, because you will be able to offer them safe, legal discounts on maintenance and preventive care.
There is no cost to you to join, and an affordable $49 fee per patient family per year is easily recovered in the first patient visit. ChiroHealthUSA providers also have access to our on-going webinar series featuring the best and brightest minds in the profession on issues such as reimbursement, documentation, coding, patient finances, staff scripting and training, and billing and collections
We offer a free webinar every Tuesday that explains the benefits of becoming a ChiroHealthUSA provider as well as how to easily offer membership to patients. Register here.