Why Charging Patients For A Biomechanical Evaluation Makes Sense

Jenny L Sanders DPM

Let’s face it. Insurance reimbursements are shrinking while the costs of maintaining a successful podiatry practice are increasing. Critical to surviving in this challenging environment is finding ways to increase revenue sources without increasing overhead or staff costs.

In my office, a comprehensive biomechanical evaluation is a non-covered service that most patients routinely and gladly pay $150 for. The biomechanical evaluation with scanning requires 45 minutes and includes non-weightbearing and weightbearing measurements as well as walking and treadmill running (if appropriate) evaluations and shoe analysis.

If the patient elects not to pay this fee, then I will still make a custom orthotic. However, a simple walk up and down the hall is the only information I will use to determine the custom orthotic prescription. In this case, I schedule 30 minutes for scanning only and bypass the evaluation entirely.

The key to making this work is discussing the fee upfront, including what’s involved, so there are no surprises when payment is due. When discussing the benefits of custom orthotics with patients, I clearly explain why a comprehensive biomechanical evaluation is necessary. I also stress that this is not something patients can get at a running shoe store or in a physical therapist’s office. Once they understand the importance of this service as integral to their treatment, they almost always want this valuable add-on.

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