Chiropractic advertising on Living Social and Groupon has become very popular lately because it has proven to be a successful means of marketing.
Chiropractic clinics may use these tools, but there are still issues regarding compliance of which they must be aware. In order to remain compliant a couple of questions must be asked.
The first being, can a chiropractic clinic offer deals in the state? Each state has its own set of chiropractic rules and regulations, so you’ll need to determine if you are even allowed to offer deals in your individual state.
If your state does allow deals to be offered, you must be extremely careful with your advertising for the deals.
Why is that?
There are three laws that you need to be considerate of when advertising chiropractic deals.
These laws are:
- Stark Law
- Anti-Fee Splitting Law
- Anti-Kickback Law
These three laws are related to how a chiropractic clinic’s billing department handles their money.
So, as an example, let’s say that your chiropractic clinic uses Living Social to advertise a deal for a service which is valued at $1,000, but your clinic is offering it for $500. Now, since you advertised through Living Social they are going to want their cut. When you get paid the $500 for the services, you will then need to pay Living Social whatever fee you agreed upon to run the deal.
As soon as you do that, you run afoul of all three of the laws previously mentioned; the Stark Law, the Anti-Fee Splitting Law, and the Anti-Kickback Law.
It must be noted that typically, if the chiropractic patient responding to the ad is not a recipient of federally funded insurance (i.e. Medicare or Medicaid), you are not subject to those laws because they are federal laws. However, most states have their own equivalent laws.
So technically in this scenario, you may not be in direct violation of the Federal laws, but you may in fact be violating similar state laws that bear the same restrictions. So before you advertise a deal on Living Social, or Groupon, or any similar online service, make sure that you will be honoring both the Federal and State laws that regulate your chiropractic clinic.
Violation of these chiropractic laws can result in disciplinary action against your license to practice as well as other non-chiropractic financial and criminal penalties.
With all that in mind you must be wondering, how can your chiropractic clinic advertise legally on sites like Living Social or Groupon? You do have several options here, but ultimately the best option you have is to find a good chiropractic healthcare attorney and have them review your chiropractic advertisements before they are published.
In the broadest terms, if you do offer a deal and money does not directly exchange hands, and you are not splitting any money with the advertising site, it is likely that you will be ok.
To give you an example, if you offer a deal on Living Social where chiropractic patients pay $50 for $100 worth of services, and that entire $50 payment goes only to Living Social, you have a sound argument to indicate you did not violate any of the federal laws identified here.
But again, it is highly recommended to have all chiropractic advertisements, regardless of the value or contents of the ad, to be reviewed and approved by a good chiropractic healthcare attorney before publication in order to minimize any risk of legal violations.
To view this blog as a video click this link – Chiropractic and Living Social/Groupon Deals and Advertising video.
To view the rest of our video blogs relating to Chiropractic visit clinic doctor chiropractic youtube channel.