HNS Policy 


All chiropractors at the same location must participate with HNS.


To prevent confusion for members seeking care from "in-network" providers, all chiropractors practicing in the same physical location must participate in the HNS network or none of those chiropractors can participate in the HNS network.  This includes providers in a group practice filing claims under the same EIN as well as independent contractors.


Chiropractors in the HNS network may choose to add an independent contractor to their practice. It is important to remember that if an independent contractor is practicing in the same physical location as other chiropractors, then the independent contractor must participate with HNS or none of the chiropractors practicing at that physical location may participate with HNS.



What is an independent contractor? 


An independent contractor has been outlined by common law principles, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and finally the decisions of some courts.


The IRS and many states have adopted common law principles to define an independent contractor. These rules focus primarily on the level of control an employer has over a service or product, meaning, whether or not the employer actually defines what is being done and how it will be accomplished.


Common law principles further define independent contractor status by method of compensation. If a person is on an employer's payroll and receives a steady paycheck, clearly the person is an employee rather than an independent contractor, who likely receives payment in a different manner. 



Considerations in identifying someone as an independent contractor may include:

  • If the provider supplies his or her own equipment, materials, and tools.

  • If all necessary materials are not supplied by the employer.

  • If the provider can be discharged at any time and can choose whether or not to come to work without fear of losing employment.

  • If the provider can control his hours of employment thus indicating they are acting as an independent contractor.

  • If the provider is leasing the space he uses to practice.

  • It the provider employs his own staff.

When the services being performed are integral to the business, it is more likely that the person is an employee. On the other hand, work that is temporary and non-integral may imply independent contractor status.


These courts also use the "right to control" test. When the hiring party controls the way work is carried out and a product is delivered, the relationship between the parties is employer/employee. 



Employer Tax Liability 


An employer's tax liability is determined by the worker's employment status. When a worker is an employee, employers must pay state and federal unemployment tax, social security tax and workers compensation/disability premiums to a State Insurance Fund. When a worker is an independent contractor, the hiring party is not required to make any of these payments.


Should employers incorrectly define a worker as an independent contractor, they may find themselves liable for past taxes including FICA and federal unemployment tax. Safe harbors which allow employers to use the independent contractor status and avoid penalties include: prior practice of treating similar employees as independent contractors and the existence of a prior IRS audit where no taxes were required to be paid.