“Discount” for Advance Payment

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
July 5, 2001

Some chiropractors induce patients to agree in advance to come for 50 or more “adjustments.” Many years ago, a New Jersey chiropractor tried to capitalize on this fact to finance the opening of a new office. In May 1971,a classified ad in the Allentown Morning Call stated:

New Chiropractor Location Financing
$275 invest. Gives you 1 yr. treatments.
$150 invest. Gives you 6 mo. treatments.
Write Box xxx, Call-Chronicle

Curious about this, I replied and got the following letter from a chiropractor in New Jersey:

I am pleased that you are interested in my offer and hope the following will answer all of the questions you have.

For the past two years, I have been working with chiropractors in New York and New Jersey, an internship if you will, to sjharpen my professional ability. And now, for many reasons, not the least of which is the expense of a professional education, after six years of study to become a chiropractor, I must turn to my future patients for assistance.

I need moneys to furnish and equip and office in the Allentown-Bethelhem area. To acquire these funds, I am willing to exchange my services at a reduced fee for a prepaid, lump sum. A small investment of $275.00 will bring you one full year of professional, chiropractic treatments. An even smaller amount will give you six months of competent chiropractic therapy. In other words, a year is based on 100 office visits ($2.75) per, and six months on 50 office visits ($3.00 per). There really is no time limit of a year or six months. Your treatments will be counted as 50 or 100. If you are an invalid requiring stricktly [sic] house cally, the cost of your investment will have to be $600.00 for a year or 100 house visits.

I am sure you already realize the value in health and dollar savings to you. And I am as anxious to start your health program as you are. You may send money if you wish but that is not necessary at present. However, I would like to know if you are interested in my offer. After I have located an office, I will require the fee, prepaid, in order to furnish and equip it.

The price quoted in the letter was about half of what chiropractors typically charged. But as far as I could tell, the chiropractor did not open an office in the Allentown-Bethlehem area.

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This article was posted oon July 5, 2001