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How hungry are you?

Thursday, February 25, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheri Ryan
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Dr Ray Foxworth, ChiroHealthUSA

If you’re like most people, you probably feel time-starved, stressed out and budget-crunched. Guess what? Your patients do, too. They crave convenient, one-stop shopping for their whole families. And as much as they might understand and believe in what you are doing for their health, they want that convenience from your practice, too. More importantly, they need that convenience to be affordable.

Today, more people are “self-insuring” which makes them more like a “cash patient.” In fact, with limited benefits, more patients are transitioning to cash when insurance runs out. This trend is expected to continue, and you should be prepared by having a wide range of payment options to keep care affordable for your patients. Today’s patients are health care “consumers," and they insist on knowing what their out-of-pocket expenses will be, often even before they come in.

In chiropractic, this has always been a challenge due to the way we run the business side of our practices—one fee for PI or Workers Comp, another for insurance, and still another for cash. Our front desk team learned to “dance” around the subject of “How much does it cost to see the doctor?” because the fees have been based on who was paying the bill. This not only creates confusion in your office, but a negative perception by the public. We should have one-fee schedule and stick with it, regardless of who is paying the bill. Can you imagine going into Ruth’s Chris Steak House and asking, “How much is a 10-ounce filet?" and the waitress replies “Well, it depends…how hungry are you?” Rightfully, you would think they had lost their minds. Imagine what our patients think when it comes to our charges.

Having a proper fee system is a first critical step. Perhaps your practice is struggling because your practice fees are purposely low because you are worried about the patient’s ability to pay. Or maybe your fees are set high to maximize the third-party reimbursement that may be available. This situation can get undermined if the doctor is cutting special deals, encouraging no out-of-pocket expenses for patients, or setting up “time-of-service discounts” that far exceed actual bookkeeping costs…typically in the 5%-20% range the OIG has opined to be reasonable in a recent opinion written for a hospital. All of these activities can cause problems for practice success.

A Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO) is a simple solution that allows you to safely and legally discount your fees so families can afford that one-stop shopping their schedules and budgets demand. You can maximize third-party reimbursements when insurance is available while offering affordable care for the whole family through ChiroHealthUSA.

Healthy, happy families are the foundation of a thriving, multi-generational practice and those families are more likely to refer their extended family members. This creates steady, referral-based revenue for you and establishes a satisfying, family practice community that benefits patients and DCs alike. ChiroHealthUSA’s Family Plan Fee Schedule makes it easy for you to offer affordable health care so that more family members—and their referrals—can receive a lifetime of chiropractic care.

Dr. Ray Foxworth is a certified Medical Compliance Specialist and President of ChiroHealthUSA. A practicing Chiropractor, he remains “in the trenches” facing challenges with billing, coding, documentation and compliance. He has served as president of the Mississippi Chiropractic Association, former Staff Chiropractor at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center and is a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic. You can contact Dr. Foxworth at 1-888-719-9990,info@chirohealthusa.com or visit the ChiroHealthUSA website at www.chirohealthusa.com.

 


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Alaska Chiropractic Society, PO Box 111507, Anchorage, AK  99511-1507 
    
Phone: (907) 903-1350   Fax:  (907) 770-3790   Email:  info@akchiro.org