Fees, Billing and Accounts Standard

Recently Updated Updated: March 1, 2017

Date Approved: December 13, 2016

Practice-Scenario

Practice Scenario:

Lower Cost, Same Quality Care

Marie knew it was a misconception that PTs weren’t allowed to adjust their fees. The College has no restrictions preventing these kinds of independent decisions.

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Lower Cost, Same Quality Care

Marie was thinking about making some changes in her pricing. The clinic employing her was owned and operated by a physiotherapist; the business model allowed every PT to set their own rates. Some of Marie’s recent patients had been students with financial limitations, and elderly folks in the same boat. She’d responded to their situations with occasional discounts. Marie knew it was a misconception that PTs weren’t allowed to adjust their fees. The College has no restrictions preventing these kinds of independent decisions. The only provisos are; to ensure that no matter how low Marie went with her price, the quality of care she provided didn’t descend with it and that any invoice accurately reflects how much was actually charged to the patient And of course it was in a patient’s best interest to get the same level of care for less cost. Marie even considered a reduced fee for her regular customers, whose word of mouth might help bring more patients into the clinic. A business strategy!

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1. Accountability

Physiotherapists are accountable for any fee, billing or account that uses their name and registration number.

Physiotherapists must be aware of how their name and registration number are being used.

2. Accuracy and honesty

Physiotherapists must ensure that any fee, billing or account that uses their name and registration number is an accurate reflection of the services and/or products provided.Physiotherapists must never charge fees or create billings or accounts that are inaccurate, false or misleading.

Physiotherapists must not charge a fee or accept payment from a person for a service that has been paid for in full by another payer.

Physiotherapists must have a written process for routinely reviewing their fees, billings or accounts. This review process must ensure that:

  • Any fees charged are accurate and reasonable

  • Billings or accounts are accurate

Physiotherapists must be able to demonstrate that they did the review.

If the physiotherapist discovers inaccuracies or errors, they must:

  • take reasonable steps to correct the inaccuracies or errors, and

  • document the finding, what action was taken, and the outcome.

3. Fee schedule

Physiotherapists must ensure that there is a written fee schedule for each funding stream. The fee schedule must state:

  • Fees for assessment, reassessment and treatment
  • Fees for other services or products
  • Fees for administrative tasks: (such as photocopying a patient record, completing a form, etc.)
  • Late payment penalties or interest charges
  • Charges for cancellations or missed appointments.

Physiotherapists must ensure that fees are not excessive.

Any departure from the established fee schedule can only be to reduce fees.

4. Communicating fees to patients

Before providing care, physiotherapists must ensure that patients are given clear information about fees, and that they understand the information. This includes:

  • All fees that might apply to the patient
  • How bills or accounts for services are calculated

  • Any financial policies that might affect the patient, such as payment expectations and late payment charges

  • Methods of payment that are accepted.

  • Physiotherapists must provide an itemized account for services and/or products if the patient or a payer requests one, and it must be provided free of charges

  • The physiotherapist must ensure that patients are notified of balances due in a timely way and that refunds are promptly paid.

5. Fees for packages of service

Physiotherapists must not charge a set fee for packaged or bundled services (i.e. a block fee) unless:

  • The patient is told what services are covered, the cost of each service and the total cost    

  • The patient has the option to buy one service at a time    

  • The patient has the option to receive a refund for unused services    

The fee for each service appears accurately on the billing or account. These restrictions do not apply to block fees that are required by a payment plan.


Related Laws and Legislation

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