There’s no question that healthcare is currently at the forefront of your patients’ minds these days.
Between increasing costs for doctor visits, medications, and insurance premiums, they may be concerned about more than just their back or neck pain. They may be worried that they may not be able to continue seeing you because their insurance does not allow for chiropractic visits or they may be in danger of losing their coverage altogether. At the same time, you are probably keeping a close eye on the current debate in Congress over the federal healthcare budget, particularly if you accept Medicare payments.
Even if you don’t, you are also likely concerned about the increasingly lower payments you are receiving from insurance companies.
The truth is that both you and your patients are probably frustrated and thinking that there must be a better way to provide and receive proper healthcare. A new, innovative practice model may actually be just the answer both you and your patients are seeking in order to offer a simple, effective means for your patients to obtain quality chiropractic care and you to get paid quickly without having to go through the hassle of insurance red tape.
How does it work, and what are the benefits for you and your patients?
How does a membership practice model work?
The concept of a membership practice model first started within primary care medicine, but soon found its way into integrative care, particularly among DCs, due to the fact that chiropractic care is not necessarily fully included by all insurance providers. The best analogy for a membership practice model is to think of it like an annual gym membership. You select from a range of set fees that entitle you to different levels of access to the gym’s facilities, trainers, and classes throughout the year.
Once you pay that fee, you can go to the gym as often as you like throughout the year, without having to pay additional fees. You can also sign up for as many trainer sessions or gym classes as your membership level allows.
A membership practice model works the same way. Your patients can select a level of care that best meets their needs and pay an annual membership fee that covers services such as a certain number of visits, additional access via phone or email, discounts on products you sell, ancillary services such as nutritional counseling, or whatever else you wish to include in your menu of offerings.
Benefits of a membership practice model
Your patients get the benefits of a membership practice model because now there is no question about what services are or aren’t covered under their insurance. Once they pay that annual fee, they are entitled to that level of service. There is no more worry about if their insurance pays for chiropractic care, or if you are in or out of their provider network or take their insurance.
It’s a simple, direct, payment for service transaction. Your patients receive high quality healthcare without having to fight with their insurance company over access.
From your standpoint, a membership practice model makes sense because now you are not forced to go through a third payer (an insurance company or Medicare) to get paid. Your patients pay that set membership fee up front. There’s no more arguing over what your percentage of the fee should be, or having to chase down either the insurance company or the patient to get your part of the payment after you’ve provided care.
You don’t have to worry about proper coding of services to prove that you are not trying to defraud anybody.
A membership practice model allows you to do the exact thing you love the most – care for your patients – without having to drown in paperwork or worry that your patients may end up leaving because their insurance company won’t provide them access to your services.
The truth is that a membership practice model is the best of both worlds for you and your patients. Your patients get quality care, and you get to run a successful practice without the administrative hassle of dealing with insurance companies or Medicare. You and your patients get to spend quality time together.