Billing Insurance? What you need to know, what WE need to know

Billing Insurance What You Need to Know

You may already know we accept patients who are billing a workers compensation claim or a personal injury insurance claim. What you may not know is how this process works, and what we need from you to make sure the billing process goes smoothly.

(Please note that we cannot bill major medical insurance for your sessions! If you wish to submit your receipts for reimbursement, we’d be happy to supply one for you, but let us know ahead of time.)

Before you can book your appointment with us, there are some things we need from you, and some things you should know.

Tell us!
Before you book your appointment, please tell us that you’re billing worker’s compensation or an insurance claim. These sesssions have a higher price (to cover our costs in going through the billing process), and so our records stay current. If your session is scheduled as a regular session, you’ll be responsible for the charges! Don’t do that. Keep us in the loop from the beginning. If you’re booking online, just be sure to select “Medical Massage” from the menu.

Get us all your forms
Every client has to do the basic intake form, but if you want your insurance claim to cover your sessions, we’ll need a bit more than that.

Referral
This is like a prescription for massage. If you’ve seen a doctor for your injury, and they’ve referred you to us for massage, you should have a document from them that includes the doctor’s name and billing codes for your diagnosis. A referral IS NOT your medical history, your medical records, or just the name of your doctor.

Records Release
Laws have been established to protect your medical information, so we may need your signature on this form to get the information we need to charge the right parties for your sessions. This one’s the quickest and easiest. All we need is the date and your signature. It’s only a precaution, but at least it doesn’t take much of your time.

L&I/PIP Disclosure
This is one of the most important forms we need you to fill out. No line of this form can be left blank if you want insurance to cover your sessions! No insurance agent or contact info? How are we supposed to bill them if we can’t even find out where to send it? No policy number or date of injury? How are we supposed to specify on the bill what we’re charging for? It may be annoying to track this information down, but just understand that it’s necessary if you want to avoid paying for your sessions.

I know I’m in for my neck, but why can’t you rub my feet while you’re at it?
If you’re billing insurance, they will only pay for treatment of the areas specified by your doctor. If our records show that anything else was done, there’s a risk they won’t pay for the session. Which means you would.

We’re happy to be a part of your recovery, and appreciate your efforts to help the whole process go more smoothly.

If you have any questions about this process, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

425-243-7705

Or email us at billing@goodliferenton.com

Tom Gunn is the billing coordinator, marketing director, and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can hire him to grow your social media presence by contacting him at tomgunn@gmail.com

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Top 10 Ways to Save on Massage

Dollarphotoclub_54430718 - cropped

Massage seems expensive, and for many it’s difficult to afford. While we make every effort to deliver value while keeping our business viable, there are several ways you can save money on massages at GLM. In fact, we checked, and there are at least ten ways you can save money on regular massage.

1. Prepaid packages

Your employees or co-workers can all share one redemption code, getting everyone more massage and saving everyone money.

Yes, we’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating. Prepaid packages are far and away the best way to save money on massage at GLM. Prepaid packages are somewhat like the memberships you may be familiar with at chain clinics, but without the monthly billing and tight restrictions. Packages allow you to save by pre-paying for your massages at a lower rate. In fact, you get a free massage if you buy 5 or more sessions at once. These allow you to go into your session without even the slightest concern about what it costs and whether it fits in with your finances at the moment.

Packages can be shared with as many people as you like. We highly recommend getting together a pool of friends or co-workers to go together on a package and share it among yourselves. This can be a great little employee perk or gift for the family. We’ve previously written with much greater depth about how these work, so be sure to check out previous posts or our Services page on the website.
Bottom Line: Get free massages! Who can say no to that?

2. Military discount

Armed Forces Discount

We’ve just unveiled a great new benefit for members of the armed services and their families. You can now get 15% off single sessions when you present your military ID at checkout. Keep in mind that this discount does not apply to prepaid packages and can’t be combined with any other offer.

Bottom Line: Save up to $24 on a single session!

3. Boeing employee discount

Boeing Employee Discount

We’re proud Renton natives with strong ties to the community–not unlike a certain airplane manufacturer in the area you may have heard of. We are a part of the network of companies that accept the Boeing employee discount card, and we’re the only massage clinic on that network in the Pacific Northwest. While we’re not officially affiliated or partnered with Boeing, this one is dear to our hearts: almost all of us here at GLM have family ties to this major local employer.

The Boeing employee discount allows for 15% off single massage sessions when you present your Boeing ID or employee discount card.

Bottom Line: Save up to $24 on a single session!

4. Featured enhancements

Aromatherapy Promo

Every few months we highlight one of our session enhancements. These are little extras you can add to your session. Which one you choose really depends on what you hope to get out of the session. While many have been designed to enhance relaxation, many of them have also been created with muscle therapy and treatment in mind. Normally these range in price from about $5 to $30, depending on what you choose. These can make a huge difference in your massage experience, and can be a great value even at full price.

Our current enhancement as of this post is aromatherapy, and is on sale for $3, which is 40% off. For those of you reading this after February 2016, check our Facebook page or website for information on which enhancement is available at a discount right now.

The featured enhancement discount is a great way to try our different available session enhancements without spending as much, so you can decide whether you’d like to try it again in future sessions.

Bottom Line: You may only save a few dollars here or there, but the added value here could be incalculable.

5. Last minute bookings

Massage Openings - Smile

Did you know we have a Twitter feed? We use it for all kinds of things, but its primary purpose is to give our clients a timely update on last minute massage openings. Every morning, we look at at the schedule. If there are any slots that have not yet been booked, we’ll announce it on the Twitter feed. If you book the session, either online or over the phone, and mention that you saw it posted on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll get $5 off your session. This discount is perfect for those who have flexible and unpredictable schedules.
Bottom Line: Save $5! If you do it that way regularly, that could really add up over time.

6. New practitioners

Massage therapist standing by massage table with hands crossed

As of this posting, we’re growing very quickly. We have a lot of space to use, and we’re doing our best to make the most of it. Whenever we take on a new practitioner, we make an effort to promote their availability. We recruit only the best practitioners, but when they’re first hired, they’re still not known to our clients.

To entice you to give them a try, we often provide a discount for a period of a few months. The amount of the discount may vary, but it’s usually considerable. When we first brought on Christie Ellis, for example, we offered a $15 discount on all her sessions. On a 60 minute massage, that’s about 20% off a one hour session!

While we don’t have any deals running for new practitioners as of this posting, we are definitely going to be hiring more in the coming months and years, so watch the website, Facebook, and Twitter for announced deals.

Bottom Line: You’ll be saving in the neighborhood of $15 or more!

7. Regular promotions

Hot stone therapy

We routinely offer discounts on certain services. For instance, November is always Hot Stone month. Last November we offered $30 off 90 minute hot stone massages booked during for that month.
You never know when something else like this will come up. So, again, be sure to keep an eye on the website, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you have any questions about our discounts and would like to know more, please feel free to give us a call during our normal operating hours of Monday through Friday 9 AM to 9 PM, and Saturdays 8 AM to 8 PM.
Bottom Line: It all depends on the specific promotion, but the savings here is usually a significant percentage off.

8. Insurance reimbursement

Health claim form

We don’t directly bill health insurance, but that’s not to say you can’t have insurance pay for your massage. Some insurance companies will pay for medical massage even if it isn’t offered under your plan. To hedge your bet, we highly recommend getting a referral from your doctor along with a billing code for a diagnosis of what you need treated with us. We can then generate a receipt after your session which you can submit to them for reimbursement.

Also, if you have a flex spending account or a health savings account, massage is usually eligible for spending using one of these alternatives to traditional health insurance. These typically are available through some kind of debit card you can charge, but see your insurance provider for more information on how to use these instruments on your specific plan.

Bottom Line: You might be paying full price at first, but can you jumping through a few hoops could get you the low, low price of FREE.

9. Upgrades

Four hands massage.
Four hands are better than two!

We love our clients, and want everyone to at least try some of the services we offer. In that spirit, the more you upgrade your session from the standard session, the more you save.

Allow me to explain:
A single standard massage session for 60 minutes is $70. Not bad, but have you considered that a session twice as long is only $120? That’s $10 off per hour of massage!

Consider also our Four Hand sessions. With two practitioners working on you at the same time, they’re able to accomplish twice as much in the session. A sixty minute Four Hand session is $140–just as much as two one hour sessions. But consider how much time and gas that saves you! You’re using half the fuel and time out of your schedule, which is money in the bank. You also get not one, but two free enhancements with the session, adding much more value and saving you even more money.

Couples sessions are also a great way to save, especially if you and you and a friend or a significant other both come in regularly. Why not come in together? And since our couples packages include a free enhancement and a chocolate truffle for each of you, you’re getting $160 worth of service for only $120 in a 60 minute couples session.

Bottom Line: Your mileage may vary, but upgrades are definitely a great value.

10. Insurance claims: personal injury/L&I

PIP ad

We also take worker’s compensation claims or bill your session to auto insurance if you’ve been in an accident and have a doctor’s referral. To book a session under these circumstances, be sure to call us at 425-243-7705, email us at TheGoodLifeMassage@gmail.com, and take a look at our previous blog post for more information.

Bottom Line: Again, does FREE sound like a low enough price for you?

 

The True Cost of Your Massage

Some things just aren’t worth getting cheap. Low price tags are undeniably seductive, but too often the old chestnut about getting what you pay for turns out to be true.

Beyond quality, however, it’s important to consider how much it costs to bring you the things that you love. With this in mind, so much of what we take for granted– or even belly-ache over the price of–can suddenly seem like a bargain. Massage is one of those things. Let’s take a moment to break down the costs our massage price covers:

Overhead
This broad term is too easily glazed over, but in our case, these are just a few of the things we need to cover to provide you the massages you love:

  • laundry – not only do we have to pay for the machines and maintenance, the actual process of keeping our sheets and towels clean takes considerable cost and effort. While we try to be thrifty, we try to purchase products that will effectively remove unsightly grease stains and disinfect, all while not leaving behind any perfumes or odors. Checking all those boxes comes with a cost.
  • equipment – Did you know that most professional massage tables Massage therapist standing by massage table with hands crossedstart at about $600? Then there’s the towel warmers, the heating pads, the sheets, the music players, computers, printer, furniture, etc. It all adds up very quickly.
  • power – the heating, lighting, and air-conditioning for the whole clinic is fueled by a significant portion of the fee you pay for a massage.
  • rent – we love our clinic, and many of you have told us that you share that sentiment. But it doesn’t come free! We went out of our way to find a great deal on this place so we can keep our costs as low as possible while providing you a great massage experience.

Promotion and sales
If you’ve ever come in with a voucher, consider yourself lucky. Those promotions have done wonders to bring in new clients. But that has come with a considerable cost. Each of those sessions fulfilled actually costs us far more than we get paid for it.

Social Media Networking Time

This blog, our Twitter feed, Facebook page, and Pinterest boards also cost us in time and money. There are also costs that come with advertising and networking as we try to bring in new clients.

Education
Sure, massage practitioners don’t have the student loans of doctors, but they don’t get anything near the pay of doctors either. Most LMPs have to take on some debt in order to afford their training. Doing paid massage work is their time to service those debts one big payment at a time. The less they get paid, the more the interest piles up over the years.

Just as a side note, the training to become an LMP is far more extensive than you might think. It takes hundreds of long hours studying anatomy and physiology, not to mention the hours spent practicing and learning techniques. Amy Gunn, one of our owner/operators, even spent some of her training examining dissected cadavers at a local university. So no, becoming an LMP doesn’t involve the kind of training you would need to become a doctor or a nurse, but the layman might have a hard time telling the difference.

And the training doesn’t stop there! Washington state law requires that LMPs acquire about 12 hours a year of continuing education. There are always fees that come with that training, and your massage practitioner is paying for those.

Healthcare
Most LMPs simply can’t afford health insurance, and have to rely on either the state or pay out-of-pocket for their healthcare costs. Most clinics, like ours, likewise can’t afford to offer health insurance as a benefit. It should be noted, however, that our practitioners are able to purchase supplemental insurance at reduced rate.

Liability insurance
This protects the practitioner in the event they get sued. However, that insurance protection is a requirement for an LMP license in Washington state, and comes with regular costs that need to be covered.

Wages
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LMPs make an average of about $18.25 an hour in Washington state as of 2014. While we pay our practitioners well above that average, you need to understand that their pay is per massage hour. Given how hard massage can be on the muscles and joints, most practitioners can’t stand to do more than six massage hours in a day, and no more than about 20-25 total hours in a week!

With that kind of pace in mind, the experienced, skilled LMP who makes you feel like a million bucks isn’t taking home much more than the teenagers serving you iced tea and chili cheese fries.

Feeling guilty yet?
All kidding aside, we realize that the cost of a massage is a stress for many, if not most people. We’ve tried to do everything we can to make sure that our business remains viable. It’s a real balancing act trying to keep the lights on, keep our practitioners working and happy, and satisfying our clients at the lowest possible price. But we love the challenge. We may not have the lowest price point in town, but the quality and experience we offer our clients is second to none.

If paying full price for massage is difficult for you to manage, we have created several ways to pay for a massage, including prepaid massage packages offered at a significant discount. We can even bill against a workers compensation claims or personal injury protection claims for car accidents.

Whatever you manage to work out, we appreciate your business. Each day we’re grateful for the chance to do what we love. Anyone hoping to get rich as an LMP might want to consider doing something else, but that’s just it: we do this because we love it.

Before you balk at our price or go elsewhere chasing a bargain, considering the costs involved could transform your perspective.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. Follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

We May Not Bill Insurance … But (!)

At GLM, we don’t bill health insurance. That doesn’t mean your massage treatments are a cash-or-nothing proposition, though.

We accept L&I and PIP claims. Also, several health insurance packages that include flex spending accounts or health savings accounts allow you to use those benefits on our services.

Alphabet Soup
What’s L&I and PIP and how will help you pay for your massage?

L&I stands for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry. L&I will pay for massage therapy in cases where you may have suffered an injury at work, or are physically suffering as a result of things do you at work. The process starts when you submit a claim for worker’s compensation. You can submit a claim either through their website or over the phone.

PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection, which may be a part of your auto insurance policy. This insurance covers all or part of your medical care expenses after a covered accident.

If you find massage difficult to afford, cash is not your only option at GLM.
If you find massage difficult to afford, cash is not your only option at GLM.

In both of these cases, we need a few pieces of information before you can get your massage and submit your claim:

  • a referral from a doctor
  • billing codes for your diagnosis
  • the name and contact information of your insurance agent (PIP), or case manager (L&I)

Be advised that if, after we submit the claim, L&I or your insurance company refuse to pay for the services rendered, you will be personally responsible for full payment.

Health Savings Accounts and Flex Spending Accounts
Your health insurance plan may include flex spending accounts or health savings accounts.

Health savings accounts allow you to spend part of what you pay each month on healthcare expeses. The approved expenses can cover almost anything related to health from bandages to regular massage treatments.

Usually these HSA plans give you a debit card for use on approved expenses. To charge your massage to that account, we would need that debit card or at least complete insurance information.

Flex spending accounts work in a similar way, allowing you to use a fixed amount of money on health care expenses not traditionally covered by health insurance.

If you think your health plan may allow you to pay for massage with flex spending or an HSA, see the details of your plan to find out more about how to take advantage of those.

If you still have a hard time justifying the cost of regular massage and don’t have any of these options available to you, don’t despair. At GLM we have some great options to help bring down the cost of massage and minimize the impact on your finances. Check out our previous blog post about how prepaid packages can save you real money in the long term while giving you the regular massage treatments you need.

Tom Gunn the director of marketing and the blog editor at The Good Life Massage. Follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.