Chiropractors are in the business of caring, naturally looking for any way to keep that care affordable for current and prospective patients. Sadly, harsh financial realities can and do come, forcing healthcare providers to charge more for their services.
Two of those realities in 2023 are the ever-present force of inflation and the latest rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Inflation affects your fees because it simultaneously impacts a chiropractor’s personal finances and their professional income; the former due to a higher cost of living, and the latter to the public’s hampered ability to pay for care services and health insurance. How much have prices increased? According to one article, school lunches saw an increase of 254.1%, fuel increased by 65.7%, and eggs, 49.1%.
Dr. Mario Fucinari voiced his concerns last December, spotlighting how a CMS final rule – now in effect – decreases reimbursement rates for 2023 and reduces Medicare payments by almost 4.5 percent. Chiropractors thus entered the new year with reduced financial prospects as practitioners and a higher cost of living as people.
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.
“How much of an increase is fair?”
This is the big question! Chiropractors must ensure that “fair” applies primarily to them. You can’t help patients if your practice falls into debt or closure. Help yourself by accurately calculating and then covering overhead and operating costs.
Whatever amount is necessary to meet those two ends will help you finalize your fee rates and fight inflation. Our President and founder, Dr. Ray Foxworth, D.C., FICC, defined the five essential factors necessary for successful fee calculation:
- Your fixed monthly expenses
- The average number of monthly office visits over the last year
- The average income per visit
- Average monthly income
- The average cost to deliver care
These should reveal how much you need to break even. From there, you can set a percentage markup that creates a fair profit for you and still provides value to your patients. Reviewing the market average for services in your zip code is another fee-setting step. Finally, you could use tools such as the chiropractic fees calculator from ChiroCode or fairhealthconsumer.org, a valuable resource for calculating per-code market values in your area.
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 prices to stay in business while 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, your practice, and your patients.