Another year has flow by, and to me it seems they just keep getting faster! Thank you for being a part of what made 2018 great for my clinic and me. My job is truly amazing because my patients are awesome.
I have a few announcements and I’m making some major changes in how I work in the clinic this year, mostly with how I schedule appointments. Here are the updates that you should know about:
Appointment Scheduling Changes
As mandated by our college, included in all appointment booking times is your intake interview and assessment, treatment time, homecare or remedial exercise instruction and billing. In the past, I’ve booked myself 15 minutes off between each appointment. This was meant to give me a small break between patients, or to catch up if I fell behind in the other things, but I’m finding it’s totally unnecessary. It means my work days are much longer than they need to be, and scheduling times are complicated with start times in 15-minute increments throughout the day. (I often struggle to remember what time an appointment started!)
For 2019, I’m removing the 15-minute break in-between appointments. This means appointment times will now start on the hour, or half hour only. A major benefit of this is that more appointments will be available throughout the day with my first availability being at 9am, and my latest being at 5pm – still on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On this note, please don’t be afraid to pass my name on, as I’ll have lots of new appointment availability in the New Year because I’m opening up more time! Worth considering also with this change is that if you are one of my clients who habitually arrives early for your appointments, you should expect to cross paths with the client before you, and you will have to wait until I and the treatment room is ready for you.
As I mentioned in the last email I sent out, as of January 1st 2019 appointment rates will increase to the following:
60 minutes $105
75 minutes $127
90 minutes $150
GST will still be included in all fees.
Medical Benefits Providers and Clinical Relevance of Massage Therapy
Lastly, near the end of 2018 massage therapy in Canada was placed under scrutiny of many medical benefit providers for various reasons. Fraud was found to be rampant within the complimentary healthcare industry, and specifically massage therapy clinics were noted. Here’s one of the news article that discusses some extreme cases: click here.
The costs to medical benefit providers and employers alike for covering massage therapy are increasingly high and with that, they are looking at ways to offer less massage coverage to you. They are suggesting that the amount of benefits they offer for massage take away the availability of treatments for major illness such as cancer, with some providers even equating most massage therapy to nothing more than ‘a really good nap’.
In light of this, I’d like to take this time to remind you that your insurance providers have a basic requirement that your massage therapy appointments be clinically relevant and medically therapeutic. The purpose of any medical insurance plan is to cover you incase of medical necessity. Treatments, when billed to your insurance provider must not be seen as a luxury to use up just because you have the benefits. This is not a problem I have in my clinic or with my patients. I do not believe any one of you views your treatments here as ‘just a luxury,’ but instead as therapeutically relevant – which is just more reason I’m certain I have the best patients! Each and every one of you has a relevant therapeutic reason for your treatment(s) and we discuss this and our treatment goals at the start of each appointment.
With that said, I think it’s a conversation that we need to start having, to help reduce potential for abuse with in the industry in general. It would be an absolute disservice to those who need massage therapy to maintain a pain-free, or pain-reduced quality of life, if medical benefit providers decided to discontinue covering massage therapy all together. So, please know that massage therapy appointments must be medically relevant in order for your insurance to cover them. Massage for luxury, is best booked with non-RMTs or paid for out of pocket and not billed to insurance providers at all. In my clinic, I will continue to offer and bill only therapeutically relevant treatments to your benefit providers.
That’s pretty much it for the news I have.
I want to offer one last thank you, for being such an excellent part of my clinic. You really are what make my job so great! I hope the holidays have been really good to you and yours and I look forward to seeing each of you in the New Year!
Wishing you health and happiness,