It is Time to Review Your Fees?

Nov 1, 2022 | Member Providers, Providers

by Ray Foxworth, D.C., FICC • 

President & Founder, ChiroHealthUSA • 

Increased fees are sometimes essential to a high standard of care. Here’s how that works and why steeper fees don’t mean shallower motives.

Those in the healthcare sector are painfully aware that millions of Americans struggle to meet ever-increasing medical expenses. Such compassion for community discomfort is at the heart of chiropractic, a fact that can make some practitioners and business owners resistant to raising their fees.

This reluctance is rooted in the fear that escalating costs may prove a barrier to accessible chiropractic care, harming a clinic’s chances of survival. The harsh reality is that other factors can hurt your practice’s ability to perform effectively, which can only be countered by raising your fees.

The Forces Behind Increasing Fees

Maintaining a productive practice requires constant financial investment to a greater or lesser degree. There are four major contributing factors in 2022 that effectively support the argument for increasing your practice fees:

  • Staff Shortages
    The current scarcity of healthcare workers has been named “the nation’s top patient safety concern” in 2022, and The American Chiropractor spotlighted how hiring in our sector is feeling the strain. The shortage is forcing Americans to wait longer for treatment and increasing the burnout risk for existing staff members.
    Adding new personnel, improving your patient portal, or expanding your business technology, may be essential to meet public demand and retain patients that other practices may lose. Seeking new staff members with stronger bargaining power or investing in hardware/software will cost money, and your current fees may need to increase to afford them.
  • Escalating Legal Costs and Regulatory Fines
    It’s never cheap to fall afoul of regulatory fees, audits, documentation errors, or any other financial pitfalls that can cripple or close a chiropractic business. With HIPAA violation fines increasing annually (now pushing $2 million in maximum yearly penalties), it pays to have more money in the bank should the worst occur.
    You’ll probably have to consider raising your fees to make this happen, which could greatly protect your practice. While reflecting on risk, it’s a great time to learn more about CHUSAdefense.
  • Spiraling Inflation
    Inflation affects every sector, and it has soared during the 2021-2022 period. The cost of everything from activators and inclinometers to the pens on your reception desk is being affected. Your fees must increase, at least somewhat (and at least annually), to keep pace with inflation. Follow the Consumer Price Index regularly to make fee adjustments based on the latest numbers.
  • Shifting Reimbursements
    Every practice knows how fluid reimbursement levels can be. Payments to chiropractic physicians dropped sharply last year, which could easily happen again. An annual fee increase could provide some financial buffering if 2023 sees your practice being paid less.

Nobody wants to charge more or pay more, but the wheels of a wider economy keep turning. Increased prices may be the only way to move along with them and not be crushed.

ChiroHealthUSA offers a free overhead calculator that your business can use to start reviewing your yearly income and expenses and begin adjusting your fees accordingly. Remember: if you’re raising fees to stay in business while also providing value through high-quality care, you’re doing all you can. Contact us to learn more about what ChiroHealthUSA can do to help you and your practice.