Can we advertise free exams or discounted services to new patients?

Developing a marketing strategy for your chiropractic practice is extremely important, especially if you are in a highly populated area with many different practices closeby.  One question that is frequently asked is whether a practice can advertise free or discounted exams or services to new patients.  These dramatic discount offers can get new patients in the door and can help a clinic grow and extend their reach.  Todd Crabtree, a chiropractor and attorney with a business degree, offers advice and resources regarding this and other common questions about how to run a chiropractic clinic on his website.

Guidelines For Advertising Free or Discounted Chiropractic Services

You are allowed to market free or discounted services to potential new patients in the area, but you must keep the following guidelines in mind as you develop advertising strategies:

  • The biggest issue with these types of discounts is that you cannot provide them to Medicare patients. Federal law prohibits Medicare patients from receiving free (or even dramatically discounted services).
  • When you advertise, you must include disclaimer language that these discounts are not applicable to those patients who have federally funded insurance.
  • Radio or TV Ads must have the 456.062 disclaimer language (general disclaimer language).
  • You must allow these discounts for those paying for services via a third party payer.
  • If you offer free x-rays, you must use the language, “Free if medically necessary.”

Other Important Advertising Considerations

As you develop or refine your advertising strategy for your chiropractic clinic, you should also keep these other important things in mind.

  • Testimonials: You can use testimonials in your advertising as long as the patient has provided written consent.  These testimonials must not contain information that is not true or is misrepresented and it must be removed if requested by the person who gave it.
  • Partnering With Social Media For Discounts: We have also received questions about whether chiropractic practices can partner with social media companies like Groupon or LivingSocial to give new patients “deals” on their services.  While this is possible, you should always have your health care attorney review any contract you are planning to sign.

If you have questions or concerns that you are looking for clarity on related to advertising your chiropractic practice, contact Todd Crabtree for more information. His unique background as a chiropractor, attorney and businessperson has inspired him to use this background to create an online business that provided electronic health records, billing software and services to chiropractors nationwide. He provides advice and information to chiropractors all over the country.  Call him directly at 651-351-2899 if you are looking for assistance with any aspect of your practice.

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