Can RMTs Count on Workplace Benefits Anymore?

I’m hearing rumblings from RMTs about requests to confirm patient/client visits, producing treatment plans for workplace benefit claims (previously unusual), and patients/clients who confirm their benefit plans are being scaled way back. Insurers are seeking to reduce fraud and protect employers from escalating costs, and these means more accountability on the part of providers…including massage therapists. What are the implications for RMTs who, according to the 2003 study commissioned by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, show 3/4 of patients/clients use workplace benefits to pay for care? According to Karla Thorpe, Associate Director of Compensation and Industrial Relations, employers are not eliminating plans but they are tightening up.

“If costs cannot be contained, the long-term sustainability of employer-sponsored benefit programs will be in jeopardy. So how are employers responding? Are they drastically cutting benefits? The short answer is no. Instead, organizations are focusing on doing a better job of communicating the value of benefits to employees and enhancing employees’ understanding of the cost implications of their behaviour—perhaps causing employees to think twice before changing their glasses’ frames or heading for a massage.”

Always trying to stay ahead of the curve, I’m planning to write an update on RMTs’ reliance on workplace benefit plans and how recent shifts in consumer and insurer behaviour are affecting their businesses. What’s your experience? Is it getting harder for you to be compensated by third party payers? Please joint the discussion on Facebook!/groups/8195862171/ or write to this blog. Thank you.

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