In our April edition of our monthly blog “May The Force Be With You”, we talked about how to stay digitally protected. This included tips on how to protect yourself online as well as how to protect your digital files.
This sparked some discussion amongst a few of our own members and staff on the topic of how to protect yourself as a therapist. This conversation brought up some tips and situations that therapists may not be be aware of, or know to think of, especially when just starting out in the industry.
Here are a couple of our amazing members’ experiences:
“I would probably use caution working somewhere that offers student massages, or employs people who are not RMTs, as I have heard of companies billing under registered therapists that work in the same location. I heard a rumor that someone I went to school with who didn’t graduate was practicing unregistered and his employers billed his clients under another practitioner’s name.
Another suggestion is maybe to check your schedule to see if any clients you haven’t seen have been added. Print out your schedule after every pay period and make sure the numbers add up. Then keep those records in case you are ever contacted by the CRA. That way you can show you were never paid for treatments that were charged under your name that you didn’t perform.
My friend that was contacted by Manulife to verify some recent charges looked at her schedule and none of the suspect charges were in her schedule. She had never even seen the clients in question. When she was reviewing a couple weeks later, the owner had added fake appointments, and even fake notes.
I’ve also read some articles about RMTs and acupuncturists being charged because they agreed to the insurance fraud and received cash or a percentage of fraudulent claims. I would say always keep records of everything so if you are contacted about fraudulent charges, the authorities don’t suspect you were at fault or part of the scheme.
I used to only stamp my clients’ receipts, so that only they had my RMT number, but with everything online now that’s not an option for most people.
I worked at one place where I paid commission at the end of the month on a percentage basis. That way I was able to issue receipts myself and do my own direct billing, so I didn’t have to share my RMT number with the clinic, only my clients. Again, that’s not something you find very often so I don’t know if that’s helpful. I hope you can find some more helpful tips. I guess my only one is to work for yourself!”
Another member of ours shared the following information to consider to further protect yourself:
“Make sure a proper hiring contract is delivered to include:
1. A detailed statement is received of what is being billed under your number to compare to your client’s treated.
2. This should also include a detailed income statement showing all tips to make sure the correct income is being paid to the therapist. I was in a situation where 10% of tips were being taken without my acknowledgment for 3 years.
3. Change your Billing number after you leave a place of work if you suspect it is being used fraudulently.
4. Have clear details on commission rates or rent so you know the exact fee being charged to clients and your pay.
5. A place of business can not make you sign a contract that you can not work for someone else as a subcontractor. This is your billing number, no one can limit your ability to direct bill for treatments rendered in different ways whether it is in clinics, mobile, or home-based. Beware of such dealings.
6. Discuss/detail how you will be paid based on how you want/need your taxes will work for you. Does your Accountant want you to receive 100% of your income and pay the rent or commission back? This will show a higher income rate for your business. Be clear on what you require. If you have a % split are your statements only showing the 60%? At the bank, this will be 100% income from their point of view. “
We hope these tips will come in handy for you and help to prevent any possibly fraudulent activity.