I don’t know about you, but when I graduated from Chiropractic College, I thought I’d open my doors, charge folks a single fee for each service, maybe have to deal with a little insurance, and that would be that.
Looking back, I had no idea of what I was getting into.
Like most of you, I became a chiropractor to help people. I suppose I understood that I’d also be the owner of a small business, but I didn’t really understand all that being an entrepreneur would entail. Even if I had, I surely couldn’t have predicted how complicated and highly regulated chiropractic would become: Medicare and OIG compliance, private insurers and records requests, coding and documentation requirements. And wow, not just an hourly rate for my skills, like many service professionals, but an entire fee schedule. Oh, wait, and now I have to learn how to speak a whole new “language” called ICD-10?
For a while, I thought exactly what I hear today from so many of my colleagues: “I don’t have time to deal with all that! I just want someone to do it for me so I can get back to my patients!”
Here’s the thing. The rules are real, and the risks of not following them are high. Give a partially insured patient a bit of a break, and boom! You’ve just may have created an inducement violation. Offer a free exam or x-ray to help get new patients in the door, and bam! Inducement or anti-kickback violations could have occurred. Call a few of your competitors around town, ask what they charge, and then base your fees on what you learn? Oh, my. Now you’ve gone and engaged in illegal price-fixing under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act…oh wait, you didn’t learn about that your last trimester in school? Me either, or maybe I was sick that day…yea that was it.
All of these actions, no matter how ignorantly or innocently undertaken, can mean big fines. They’re also likely to win you a trip under an auditor’s microscope, one that may well turn up documentation errors and result in recoupments so large they can put you out of business.
If you’re tired of dealing with all the STUFF (I cleaned it up for those easily offended), I offer you the same solution I created for myself: ChiroHealthUSA. ChiroHealthUSA is a network that works in conjunction with a Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO). That means you can stop worrying about accidentally doing something that can land you in hot water, because you’ll be able to offer your patients safe, legal discounts on their non-covered services, including, maintenance and preventive care based on your practice’s single actual fee schedule, the one you decide and set for yourself. Don’t know how to set a reasonable fee schedule? No worries. We’re happy to point you in the right direction. While we can never tell you what to charge, there are resources you can use to make sure your fees are compliant AND profitable.
There is no cost to you to join ChiroHealthUSA and patients have an affordable $49 fee per patient family per year that is easily recovered in the first patient visit. ChiroHealthUSA providers also have access to 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. That means you have a safety net, no matter how complicated regulations become. We’re here with the latest updates and information you need to be protected and profitable.
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.