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May 2007 Archives
If attempting to serve two masters doesn't dissuade you from taking assignment, consider the multiple passages in the Book of Proverbs that warn of the dangers of co-signing on someone else’s loan. It got me to thinking. In some ways, isn’t this pretty much what taking assignment is?
When you co-sign a loan, you’re agreeing to make the payments if the primary borrower defaults. Naturally, in the case of taking assignment, you’re not making payments—you’re delivering chiropractic care. But you’re doing so without the assurance that you’ll be paid, and if you are paid, when and how much you’ll get. When you “co-sign” with the patient to accept what the insurance company will dole out, the only loser is you. The patient gets what they want. The insurance company makes a greater profit by cutting your bill. And you get caught holding the bag.
Continue reading "Is Taking Assignment Scriptural?" »
After 26 years as a non-DC attempting to serve chiropractors by advocating the patient's point of view, it still astonishes me how much this profession is held back by its fractured in-fighting. And no wonder. After a recent seminar, in which I heard chiropractors using sloppy language while asking questions, it prompted me to identify some of the many distinctions that chiropractors make—either consciously or unconsciously, that produce the bifurcation in chiropractic:
Continue reading "Why We Can't Get Along" »
Are things going great? Fantastic! Things aren't going so great? That's fantastic too. Just remember the wisdom Solomon's wise men inscribed on his ring to provide guidance in either situation: This too shall pass.
If you're enjoying an endless supply of new patients, 100% compliance and zero no-shows, remember, this will pass. And if you're struggling to pay your bills and you're questioning your career choice, know that this too will pass.
Neither extreme is sustainable. It's when we face challenges that test our resources and creativity that we feel fully human. We don't want it too easy--or too difficult.
Same with patients. Ask patients to participate in their recovery by urging a change in their diet, exercises or making some other change. Too difficult and they'll become discouraged--or too easy (because you're doing all the work) and they won't appreciate it, it'll invite dependency, or worse resentment.
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When I wrote last week’s post (Why We Can’t Get Along) exploring the language barrier that exists in chiropractic, I had no idea that a low-pressure system was simultaneously blowing in one more attempt at unity between the ACA and the ICA.
My guess is that the ICA rejection of the overture initiated by Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA) wasn’t merely obstructionism or the inability to understand the savings that could come by eliminating redundant staffing, office space, lobbyists or the continuing confusion among lawmakers. It’s something much deeper.
So what’s the problem? Here’s my take.
Continue reading "That Unity Thing. Again." »
The meaning of the word "health" has become corrupted.
You and I know health as optimum physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. But patients think it's about feeling good or being symptom-free.
Perhaps a more helpful communication strategy, especially in the stress-filled world of patients is to substitute the concept of ease instead.
Physical ease: Balance, alignment, poise and freedom of movement.
Mental ease: Confidence, harmony, creativity and peace of mind.
Social ease: Comfort around strangers, fearlessness and generosity.
Naturally, a lack of ease is the perfect introduction to dis-ease, the precursor to disease. Help patients understand that subluxation is merely their body's best survival strategy in attempting to accommodate the stress in their life. Since patients understand stress, linking chiropractic care to an improved stress response can better justify on-going chiropractic care.
What if it's actually ease patients want, not health?
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The debate over whether to use the term subluxation or joint dysfunction, adjust or manipulate or care instead of treatment pales in comparison to a much larger conflict gathering on the horizon: national health care. More specifically, should chiropractic be included in any type of national health care plan, or should it remain outside whatever Congress and the next president concoct?
I’m guessing that the most recent push for merger talks between the major chiropractic political organizations is actually motivated by the hope that chiropractic will speak with one voice during the ensuing “negotiations” about what role chiropractic might play in such a plan.
If it were only that easy.
Continue reading "Freedom or Security?" »
I’m a Seth Godin junkie (Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, Small is the New Big, etc.), so when I heard that he had a new book I immediately bought it sight unseen. The Dip is about a topic that I’ve never seen written about before: when to quit (and when to stick with it). When do you give up on a product, service or business that isn’t going well? What are the signs that indicate the wisdom of persevering through The Dip? How do you create barriers to entry for others?
Seth will remind you that much of our culture is based on quitters. For example, if every member of that gym you belong to showed up, there’d be a line for every treadmill and Stairmaster! The entire workout industry is based on people giving up or not fully using what they bought (timeshare anyone?).
Patients quit too.
In 75 short pages, Seth Godin will reveal the one thing you need to aim for to avoid “Death-in-the-Dip.” Discover why emerging on the other side of the dip is where the action is. Just be sure to avoid Cul de sacs and of course, The Cliff!
What if all the focus on doing this or doing that was replaced by a greater emphasis on being?
Instead of wondering what you'd need to do to stimulate referrals, consider how you'd need to show up so patients would be inclined to refer. Instead of concentrating on what to do to generate new patients, what character would you need to posses to attract vast numbers of new patients? Instead of the content and form of your report of findings, what if you invested your energy into being confident, optimistic, certain and compassionate?
Who you're "being" begins with your beliefs. Do you believe you're a spine fixer? A symptom reliever? A healing facilitator? A visit schedule enforcer? A problem solver? A health care provider? A skeptic converter? A miracle worker? A healer? A coach? An educator? A savior?
The number of patients showing up for you is merely a reflection of who you're showing up as for them!
One more thing about the upcoming national health care scheme you may want to chew on as the election approaches and you develop your position.
Remember, nationalized health care will be coming from the same folks who brought you the Swine Flu vaccination, the Just Say No! drug campaign and the Bird Flu hoax. Combine the waiting in line at your Department of Motor Vehicles with the waste of the Pentagon and you can begin to imagine the fodder for the comedians on the late night TV talk shows.
You want to be part of, and be identified with, such a system?
Continue reading "Take a Number For Better Service..." »
“Where does Polysorbate-60 come from, Daddy?”
When one of Steve Ettlinger’s children poised that question after reading the list of ingredients on the side of a Hostess® Twinkies® package, it prompted him to find the answer. The answer, along with where the other 26 ingredients in a typical Twinkie come from, each became a chapter in his book, Twinkie, Deconstructed.
If you have an interest in nutrition, or want to catch a glimpse behind the processed food industry, you’ll enjoy this easy read. The book is arranged in the same order as the list of ingredients in a Twinkie. Thus, wheat flour is up front, and Polysorbate 60 shows up as chapter 19. (By the way, you’re probably familiar with the crème filling. The word cream is spelled that way because to get a 26-day shelf life, no dairy product is actually used. Yum!)
Greater impact can be achieved by removing, rather than adding.
We seem inclined to think that by acquiring more techniques, knowledge or procedures we'll enjoy greater success. But that's window dressing. You and I show up fully equipped. Instead...
Remove procrastination, rather than adding to your to do list. Remove interferences, rather than adding a work-around. Remove distractions, rather than adding more hours. Remove generalities, rather than adding excuses. Remove complexity, rather than adding new procedures. Remove attachment, rather than adding blame. Remove deception, rather than adding compromise. Remove friction, rather than adding force. Remove distrust, rather than adding rules. Remove tension, rather than adding relief. Remove doubt, rather than adding faith.
Our influence is blunted and our vision obscured by the needless baggage from the past. By believing we lack the ingredients of success, we tend to search, collect and accumulate. Instead, shed what is no longer needed. Simplify. Grow.
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in May 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.
April 2007 is the previous archive.
June 2007 is the next archive.
Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.