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Sliding Scale Fee set-up



I would like to know how to set up a sliding scale fee schedule for my office.

Can anyone tell me where I can find the guidelines on how to do that?

Does anyone have any input or feedback regarding this?




I'm not sure I understand what guidelines you would be looking for. I guess you mean income verification, etc.? In our sliding scale clinics we just do a $15-$40 scale and literally have a box on the wall that people pay in. There is no criteria whatsoever, it's all up to what they feel is appropriate. Other clinics will say if you make between $0 and $25k/year, for example, you should pay $15, $25k - $50k/yr ($30), etc. - but these are only recommendations, people could still pay just what they want unless you are going to dictate it to them or control it somehow. Now this will all be null more or less if you take any kind of insurance because charging different rates is basically illegal.

I think your structure will depend more on what you are offering, what your local market is, and your own personal overhead to ensure you can continue to operate a business while doing sliding scale treatments.


I was checking the book - Points fro Profit, by Honora Wolfe, Blue Poppy Press ISBN 1-891845-25-X, page 271 talks about the sliding scale and the CD that is includes has forms that can be filled in by your patients. Some of their comments are to protect you from people who would use you by claiming low income.


Just a comment to include the concept of stewardship of health and worthiness issues. Asian medicine is the highest quality treatment avaialble for most conditions. Lowering fees is often enabling patients to lower their commitment to healing. In my experience I set up an acupuncture clinic with several LAc in a local free clinic for patients with real need issues, and stopped a sliding scale in my regular practice, as this willingness to have a sliding scale involved worthiness issues from myself and promoted them in patients.

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