Chinese Medicine Business – Taking insurance

Do you take insurance in your current practice?  If so, approximately what percentage of your income does insurance represent?  If not, have you ever taken insurance as a Chinese medicine practitioner?

Z’ev Rosenberg

I take zero percent insurance.  I do sign paperwork or superbills that my patients prepare (I provide the superbill) if they wish to file for themselves.  25 years ago, I trusted a wholistic physician to bill insurance for patients he referred me, and then his office staff walked off with the patient files, so I never got paid to the tune of 7 to 10 thousand dollars.

David Berkshire

Yes I am in network with all the major companies and billing insurance makes up 80% of my income. The way I look at it is this: at the end of the week did I make enough to enjoy life….not the fee I get reimbursed by each client. Of course I also wouldn’t be very satisfied only seeing and helping just 15 people a week. I prefer to see 30 patients a week in addition to teaching.

Seamus Kennedy

Perhaps 3% of my patient base pays with insurance, though I have gladly supplied super bills since the beginning. It is an uncomfortable learning curve, but I believe it is an important part of serving the public, to remove current obstacles to treatment. I have just begun seeing MVA and WC patients as referred by local MDs.

Monica Rudestam

Yes, I do accept insurance and I probably bill insurance for 3/4 of my clients.

Emaline Gray

In Kentucky almost no insurance companies cover acupuncture. People’s supplemental insurance (Health Reimbursement Act- HRA- or Flexbile Spending Account-FSA) does cover acupuncture, so we take that. It’s just an insurance credit card we swipe. Otherwise people pay out of pocket and we provide them with a Superbill as a receipt in case they want to try to bill their insurance, and we do bill insurance for Motor Vehicle Accounts-MVA (Kentucky is one of the state’s that is still a no fault policy).

Since almost everyone is out of pocket we do all kinds of things to help since money is scarce in Frankfort. We’ve moved to a sliding scale for all our treatments (Full appointments $75-$105, Half Appointments $45-$75, Group Appointments $15-$35). Many patients don’t like to decide what they pay but are loving the sliding scale because it allows us to keep our price point low but provides the ability for someone to pay more if they can. And we also provide a payment plan for some people where they just pay a certain amount a month. Clearly, we are a little more about treating people than getting money. If we still lived in Portland though we would charge $100 a person easy from the start. But that is a different environment with a lot more practitioners, so one can afford to actually charge a little more what they are worth. Here we are the only option, so we don’t want to limit treatment to anyone because of money.

Eric Grey

I am in network with most of the insurance providers, and we use a biller to bill insurance for our patients.  I’d say about 70% of my business comes from insurance – though some months it may be more or less.  I’m fortunate to live in Oregon where so many insurance companies do provide alternative health coverage for their clients.  I don’t mind providing this service, and I feel that I see a much broader patient base by accepting this form of payment.

Ann Krueger

I do. I suspect a full two-thirds of my income comes from insurance.

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