Like it or not… Good Faith Estimates are now part of providing cash-pay services as a private practice owner.
You like many practice owners have taken steps to incorporate this into the client intake process. However, many private practice owners are missing the step about posting this policy on your website.
Here is what’s stated in the official policy:
“Information regarding the availability of a “Good Faith Estimate” must be prominently displayed on the convening provider’s and convening facility’s website and in the office and on-site where scheduling or questions about the cost of health care occur.”
And the part about websites is what caught my eye.”
Please note, I am not a lawyer or a compliance officer. And I’m in no way qualified to give any sort of legal advice. The goal of this article is to point you in the direction of available resources in addition to consulting a lawyer to ensure your private practice is in compliance.
Background Information about the No Surprise Act and Good Faith Estimates
Everyone can pretty much agree, gigantic surprise bills are no fun! Preventing this from happening around medical bills is the spirit behind the No Surprise Act. This began rolling out in 2022 although overall enforcement has been limited.
However, it’s a good idea to be compliant earlier versus later.
And because I’m a copywriter and not a legal mind, I encourage you to review the CMS website about No Surprise Act.
What is a Good Faith Estimate for Occupational Therapy Practice?
Here’s the skinny on what you need to know in super plain terms.
Good Faith Estimates are a written estimate you need to provide to clients regarding cost of receiving services through your clinic.
Estimates need to be provided to uninsured or self-pay clients so they don’t get surprised by the costs of services when they receive the bill.
So this does not currently apply to your client who uses a government-funded program (Medicare or Medicaid) or in-network private insurance. There is a whole list of requirements around how you do this!
And many resources are out there to make it easier. See below for some good places to start.
Resources to Educate Yourself and Implement Good Faith Estimates
American Occupational Therapy Association
They provide an overview of the requirements and how it impacts your documentation
- No Surprises Act Good Faith Estimates for the Uninsured or self pay applies to occupational therapy practitioners.
The American Psychological Association
This organization has put out a handful of resources to help therapists.
While not directly related to physical, occupational, or speech therapy, it’s helpful to review some of this information.
- Basic Steps for Starting Your Good Faith Estimate Compliance
- Understanding the No-Surprises Act: How to Provide Estimates for Your Services
- FAQs on No-Surprises Act and good faith estimates
- They even provide an example of a notice that should be posted in your office or on your website.
NY Therapy Guide & Iris Kimberg
She specializes in compliance issues for rehab therapy practices and offers a fact sheet and a Good Faith Estimate Template
Check it out. (I’m not an affiliate here, just trying to get you to some resources).
What steps help make your private practice website compliant with No Surprises Act ?
In addition to verbal and written notifications you provide to patients, you also need to include this information on your website.
Some steps to consider taking:
- Name that you’re following the No Surprise Act
- Include a link to the No Surprise Act: https://www.apaservices.org/practice/legal/managed/good-faith-estimate-notice.pdf
Make sure this opens in a new window so the reader doesn’t leave your website
- Include a statement that clients are entitled to a Good Faith Estimate.
An example statement for your website might read:
“In accordance with the No Suprise Act, you’re entitled to a Good Faith Estimate that outlines the expected costs of services with us.”
Extra note: If your website is part of your EMR (like Simple Practice), check and see if they include what you need to make your website No Suprise Act compliant.
Expanded Examples of Good Faith Estimates on Private Practice Websites
These two organizations went a little more in-depth with providing this information on their websites.
Keep in mind, it’s ok to check out examples of what others are doing but it’s not ok to take their words and plop them onto your own website.
This is an example of in-depth coverage of a Good Faith Estimate.
This is another in-depth answer. They put this on its own page and gave it a spot on the menu.
Where to put the No Surprise Act Disclaimer on your website?
There are several options here. What you pick depends on how you have your website set up. Look for where your statement and link will fit in well with the rest of the flow of your website.
Here are some options:
- Include this information where you cover billing, insurance, and other payment information.
- You could create a question and answer on your FAQ page.
There are lots of templates for purchase online if you don’t currently have this.
Helping You Capture Everything For Your Private Practice Website
As an OT turned copywriter, I understand the nuances that come with creating a private practice website. From SEO, to representing what you do, to thoughtful explanations of logistics like insurance, I’m here to help you create the website words for your private practice.
I can’t provide legal advice or write the policies for you. What I can do is ask really good questions that help you cover your bases.
My website services include done-for-you web copy and website consulting.