Two Fee, or Not Two Fee. That is the Question.
Friday, January 30, 2015 09:13 PM

By: Dr. Ray Foxworth

I spend a great deal of time connecting to colleagues at state association events across the country. But when I'm home, I like to get out and enjoy the fairs, festivals and events of my community. I'm amazed, and sometimes even amused, at the wide variety of things being offered at these events

Almost every booth at every festival brings a smile to my face-except the booths run by many chiropractors.  I see DCs offering free initial consultations. One booth said, "Come in for first exam and treatment and the rest of your family gets a $10 initial visit!" I see DCs offering coupons discounting services by as much as fifty-percent and more. I see DCs selling raffle tickets, with the grand prize being one of their services.

Great intentions, but poor execution. I am pretty sure none of these docs thought they were doing anything wrong. But every one of the examples above represents inducement or a dual fee schedule. Every one of those examples could be considered illegal in many states or at least raise the eyebrows of those in the auditing/recoupment business – formerly known as insurance companies.  If you're doing anything like it, or even close to it, please realize it is increasing YOUR risk of an audit.

I'm a chiropractor myself, so I get how easy it is to slip into this sort of thing with the best of intentions. You want to boost your business. You want to reach out to potential new patients. You want to accommodate people with financial struggles. You want to give back to and be a part of your community.  But if you cross that line into non-compliance and get caught, you aren't going to be able to do any of those things. You'll be busy gathering all your records for an exhaustive audit that could end in hefty fines and, at the extreme end of things, loss of your license and/or worse.

So what's a doc who just wants to keep business robust, help patients, and be an active part of the community to do? I asked myself that question years ago and came up with the answer: a Discount Medical Plan Organization (DMPO). And that's exactly why I founded ChiroHealthUSA. We're a network that works in conjunction with a DMPO that allows you to offer legal discounts based on your actual fee schedule, so you can help uninsured, underinsured, and partially insured patients get the care they deserve.

Being a ChiroHealthUSA provider is also something you can legally advertise, talk about, and, yes, take to your local health fairs. In fact, you can sign patients up for membership right at your booth. The cost to the patient is minimal-just $49 per year per family-an expense easily recovered in savings on the first visit alone. And there is absolutely no cost to you or your practice. If you choose to have a "capped fee" for your new patient visit, you can tell your patients,"As a member of ChiroHealthUSA, no matter what doc needs to do on your first visit, the cost will be _____ or less." Why did I use a BLANK? Because YOU get to set your own fee with ChiroHealthUSA!

It is incredibly easy to trip over that line into non-compliance. Fortunately, it's equally easy to learn how to avoid it. We offer a free webinar every Tuesday that explains in simple but thorough detail how to get started with ChiroHealthUSA and how to get patients enrolled. To register, just go to our website at www.ChiroHealthUSA.com