Top 5 Complaints and How to Avoid Them: Fees and Billing
Posted On: October 19, 2022
Every year the College receives various complaints about naturopaths’ conduct, practice, and behaviour. The College is legally obligated to investigate each complaint that it receives. Although complaints differ, there are five areas of commonality that stand out and are most often investigated by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). This 5-part blog series will explore the top five areas of complaints and tips on how NDs can avoid them.
4. Fees and Billing
When the College receives complaints about fees charged by NDs, it’s typically the result of the patient not being aware of the fees to be charged for the services provided, prior to accepting the ND’s services. Complaints can also arise because of an ND did not issue itemized receipts that accurately reflect the breakdown of the services provided.
NDs are required to ensure that patients are informed of the fees to be charged and have a fee schedule that is accessible and transparent to patients. Any fees that may be charged should be clearly outlined and discussed with the patient prior to any services being provided.
Additionally, NDs are responsible for ensuring that all receipts issued to a patient are accurate and in compliance with the College’s Standards of Practice on Fees and Billing. While most NDs have clinic staff who are tasked with collecting fees and issuing receipts, the ND is always going to be the one person who is accountable for the billing practices used on their behalf.
Tips for avoiding fees and billing complaints:
- Address any billing concerns from patients in an open and timely manner.
- Periodically audit invoices and billing practices used on your behalf to ensure accuracy and compliance with the Standard.
- Clearly itemize in your receipts the services billed, fees for supplements, laboratory testing, etc.
- Make sure the patient is aware of all costs, including for costs for visits, supplements and lab testing.
- Ensure fees schedules are easily accessible (posted in your clinic or available on your professional website) and transparent.
- Charge patients the fees set out in your fee schedule and be sure to note any deviations in the patient’s record.
Would you like to learn more about the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee? Join us for our next edition of our In Conversation With townhall series, featuring the Inquiries and Complaints team.