The continued decision whether to be in or out of network is increasingly becoming more difficult due to the ever-changing environment of health insurance. The modern insurance arena is getting worse, not better, and as modern chiropractors, we need to adjust on the fly, pardon the pun.
In my private practice, we continue to stick with the insurances that still are somewhat fair to us, but that has left us with only a couple that we can afford to be in-network with and provide our level of care that our patients deserve and expect. We have a few insurance companies that max at a $40 office visit.
Health insurance companies are forcing Chiropractors between a rock and a hard place. Many Chiropractors have had to choose only to provide care that the insurance company pays for, which isn’t much. And many times, the chiropractic adjustment is the only thing they will reimburse.
In our practice, we do a lot more than just adjust our patients. The adjustment is important, but not the end all be all too fixing your pain and injuries in many instances. Don’t get me wrong, for some of our patients; the adjustment is all they need and gets wonderful results. But many need more to get quick and effective results. And the bottom line is, results are what matters most.
To give you a brief history of Health Insurance and Chiropractic (and many other medical fields), the reimbursement has been slashed by considerable amounts. For instance, let’s take the year 2000. A
total office visit reimbursement used to be about twice as much as it is today, with the patient having a very small copay and the insurance paying the rest. Fast forward to now, Insurance companies are reimbursing Chiropractors (and many other doctors) half of what they used to and now putting the majority of the burden on the patient.
So not only has the total reimbursement been cut in half, the insurance company is putting the vast majority of the bill on the patient. What the result has come in most Chiropractic offices is a lower level of treatment and more out of pocket cost to you, and for lesser care! It is a frustrating and vicious cycle that has occurred. Again, this isn’t limited to just Chiropractors.
In light of the ever-changing (not for the better) insurance environment, we continue to attempt to provide our patients with the most VALUE for their care. Our Doctors have spent a lot of time and money being certified in Active Release Techniques, Graston Technique, sports rehab modalities and more. I know many other Chiropractors that are investing heavily in their post-graduate education as well.
We have made the EASY decision not to bend under the immense pressure of insurance companies and lower our standard of treatment given to our patients. We have made the decision that we will continue to offer the best conservative care available to our patients.
We completely understand that cost of healthcare is always an important decision for our patients. We all have to make those same decisions in our personal healthcare too. That is why we are striving to always offer the most VALUE for their care. We can’t control the COST because unfortunately, the insurance companies control that. But we can control the Value of care patients receive out our office.
So, to wrap up this little “rant,” we want to assure our patients that we are continuing to find the best and latest methods of musculoskeletal care to get you feeling better the fastest possible way. Therefore, the value of your care will be high and ultimately allow you to save money in the short, medium
and long term. It’s on you as the provider to communicate the value you are providing, which isn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish.
That is the key in the new healthcare environment.