There are many approaches when it comes to payment for services from a healthcare provider. This is true across all disciplines (i.e. DC, OBGYN, DO, MD). Many times this is dictated by in-network or out-of-network status between the specific insurance plan or company and the provider. With chiropractic, most of the time, chiropractors fall on two ends of the spectrum. One side being in-network with as many insurance plans as possible and the other side being in-network with absolutely none. There are definitively pros and cons to each side, which is discussed in more detail in a previous blog "Understanding Chiropractic: The Pros and Cons of Insurance and Chiropractic Care." Our approach, in regards to payment, is simple: pay-as-you-go.
Our Chiropractic Payment Philosophy
We focus on paying-as-you-go; largely due to our confidence in our approach. We know what we offer in services and knowledge compared to our competitors here in Wichita. It is one of the main reasons we opened in Wichita: to fill the gigantic void of movement-based healthcare. We offer the best evidence-informed chiropractic care, the leading evidence-informed physical therapeutic approaches, and the most advanced soft tissue therapies known across the entire industry. We know what we know and can back it by not funneling someone into a bundling system, up front payment plan, scare tactics, or large treatment plans. In our opinion, these approaches should be abolished. Our confidence comes from understanding that our knowledge will back up our pay-as-you-go model.
Advantages of Pay-As-You-Go
We believe that paying-as-you-go is superior to other methods for multiple reasons. One main reason is that it is convenient for you as the consumer. It allows you to take charge of your health and treatment approach. When you pay-as-you-go, you get the most for your money. You can evaluate if the negotiated treatment plan is something you are interested in. You are not stuck wasting time and money. It gives you autonomy of your healthcare. When you get stuck in prepaid, large treatment plans there is normally a clause, within agreement of payment, that the money spent is non-refundable. In my opinion, this approach is focused around financial gains, herding you through a visit, and not maximizing the outcomes of care.
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
- Buckminster Fuller
Stating this, there are times when more visits are needed up front to improve the speed of recovery, however, there must be a balance. The treatment plan should taper off, limiting the number of visits as fast as capable. It's not, "you need to come once a week for the rest of your life." This is a hidden, long treatment plan approach.
Pushing the Chiropractic Profession Forward
We, as a profession, will never win everyone over to the concept that chiropractic care can help a variety of musculoskeletal ailments, other than lower back pain and neck pain. However, we can still do better. There are many avenues that the chiropractic profession can progress through to improve the viewpoint of the public along with other healthcare professionals. By ingraining a pay-as-you-go approach into our model and openly discussing it, hopefully we can draw others, from our profession, into adopting the same principle. We, as a profession, must take action to better serve our communities. Pay-as-you-go needs to be a standard for care.