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June 2009 Archives
Law of Cause and Effect
Thankfully, we live in a world in which every effect has a cause. Thus, there are no accidents. Most accidents are merely effects to which we have not acknowledged the actual cause.
Naturally, most of us attempt to uncover the cause when things don't go our way or as we expect. But remember, the fact that new patients manifest (or don't) is an effect. As are referrals, reactivations, low staff turnover, as is a profitable and emotionally fulfilling practice. All effects. Symptoms, actually.
If there are practitioners enjoying the effects you want (there are!), then you can have those effects too. Just be careful that you look in the right place. It's rarely what they do, but who they are. Because even a "doing" is an effect. The cause? Who you're being.
What kind of chiropractor are you being these days? Is it producing the effects you want?
I value your insight as a patient’s point of view, and wanted to get your opinion on fees. As I move to more of a cash based practice, and cannot rely on riding the tail of the insurance industry anymore, I am having a difficult time re-setting my fees.
My difficulty consists of my new patient fees. I perform a "hands on" exam as well as a sEMG/Thermal scan as well as a digital posture analysis on most patients. I also usually perform a front and side view full spine X-ray (two films 18-36 inch), on most adults and occasionally on a child, depending on the situation. I currently charge $180 for the X-rays and $45 for the exam for a total of $225. I was previously with a management group who thought this was too high and recommended keeping it under $100. They thought it might be a barrier to new patients. Their logic was to remove the money barrier so that they can have more money to give chiropractic a chance.
It's no wonder that my Chiropractic Opportunity weeks (where new patients are free) are so successful, but make me feel cheesy. Bill, what would you charge? And would you do any "free" promotions? I have also done the bring-in-something or charge-a-nominal-fee-and-donate-it-to-a-local-charity thing, but that also made me feel creepy. I would rather just donate on my own. Please offer your opinion!
Cheesy and Creepy
Dear Cheesy and Creepy,
Setting fees is suddenly a new experience for chiropractors as they disengage from the “price fixing” influence of insurance companies. Many find themselves in the same place as plumbers, hair stylists, lawyers, consultants and others who deliver services rather than products: “How much should I charge?”
Regardless of what you decide, here are some things to consider.
Continue reading "What Would You Charge?" »
Law of Sowing and Reaping
Plant seeds of doubt and you'll reap a harvest of uncertainty. Plant seeds of fear and you'll pick the fruit of scarcity and lack. Conversely, plant seeds of abundance, certainty and trust and you'll yield a crop of hope and healing. Plant love and your harvest will be bumper crop of still more love.
In other words, what goes around, comes around.
If you plant seeds of control and management in the soil of your patient relationships, expect a harvest of high maintenance patients who require emotionally draining supervision and who set you up for disappointment. And if you plant seeds of trust and personal responsibility, you will just as certainly manifest patients with high self-esteem who value accountability and wellness care.
The seeds you plant are up to you. It's your garden. Naturally, if you're unhappy with your harvest, plant different seeds!
We Americans seem to enjoy importing things British. In fact, some of our most popular television programming originated in England, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the Weakest Link and The Office.
Let’s hope a recent development in chiropractic doesn’t make it to our shores. Namely, a formal complaint to the General Chiropractic Council regarding the website content of over 500 chiropractors in the United Kingdom.
Apparently, this complaint is the result of an orchestrated campaign against the British Chiropractic Association, its members and the chiropractic profession at large. If you have the time (or stomach) to read the postings of this effort, you can do so at www.zenosblog.com.
What content could possibly prompt a complaint to the regulatory body? Growing hair? Restored hearing? Regrowing a missing limb? No. Any mention of how chiropractic may help asthma, ear infections, allergies, birth trauma, whiplash, bedwetting, colic, fibromyalgia or other visceral or organic health issues that cannot be substantiated by research.
Which begs the question. How much research is needed and by whom must the research be performed?
It’s been my experience that those who want “proof” never get enough of it, or of high enough quality to be satisfied. Even more misguided it the notion that applying a linear, mechanistic intervention to a vitalistic organism is somehow going to yield an accurate representation of all such interventions anyway.
Try explaining that chiropractic is valueless for these various permutations of the effect of subluxations to the parents of children helped by chiropractors. Or pet owners. Or those who tried everything the medical profession had to offer and only got results at the hands of a chiropractor.
Granted, this is one more reason to avoid practicing chiropractic medicine. By that I mean, adjusting patients in an attempt to reduce or ameliorate a particular ache, pain or symptom. True, it requires the willingness to confront what patients believe. Because they think you’re treating their headache or whatever. Instead, a more accurate and intellectually honest approach is to remind patients “…that chiropractic is not a treatment for anything. Instead, chiropractors reduce tension to the nervous system. When nerve interference, usually along the spine, is reduced, it is often unleashes the body’s natural healing and recuperative properties and your symptoms resolve. Shall we get started and find out?”
Earlier today, I completed a one-hour telephone consultation with a chiropractor. The anger I’m feeling might be similar to what you’d feel when presented with a child suffering from vaccine damage or a patient who was maimed by a medical mistake.
Just what has produced this angst? The suffering inflicted on this coachable chiropractor at the hands of the top practice management organizations in chiropractic. Finally, I’m present to the far-reaching and deleterious effects of these well-intentioned “coaching” programs. I’m fed up with the manipulative techniques taught chiropractors that are justified by a do-gooder mentality.
It would be easy to use this space to take pot shots at this parasitic industry that has sprung up from the confluence of low self-esteem, third-party reimbursement, a lack of business training and old-fashioned greed. Instead, allow me to deprogram some of the more common beliefs that come from brushing up against these chiropractic cults.
Continue reading "Deprogramming Chiropractors" »
Law of Identity
Horse. Zebra. Similar, but different. The Law of Identity is based on the ability to make distinctions with our language—something difficult to do if we're hamstrung by underdeveloped observational skills or crippled by a limited vocabulary.
For example. If you have the desire to have a practice of nonsymptomatic families availing themselves of care designed to maintain their health or promote wellness, calling them "patients," which comes from the Latin meaning "to suffer," blurs the distinction. Oh, they may begin care as patients, but at some point (if all goes according to plan) they're no longer suffering. If you want more these non-suffering regulars, you'll want to call them something other than patients. (i.e. clients, practice members, participants, etc.)
This is this and that is that. Success does not flow toward ambiguity, vagueness or those who are lazy with language. Rigor displayed here pays off later, but it's a distinction lost on many.
Turns out my tantrum (Deprogramming Chiropractors) has inadvertently hurt some people that I love dearly. Secondly, I may have underestimated the attention these musings and rantings receive. (It’s not exactly peer reviewed, if you know what I mean.) And worse, caused enough doubt that it might have prompted a coachable chiropractor not to get some needed help. Allow me to clear up some misunderstandings.
While it was convenient for me to paint all practice management/consultants with a broad brush, the fact is, there are some shining examples of what coaching can and should be. In fact, I’ll name a few of them in a moment. But first allow me to clarify:
• I remain unwavering against manipulation in any form—whether done on an adjusting table, in front of the X-ray view box or by a well-intentioned relative.
• I believe that anyone who wants to get better at just about anything can benefit from a good coach. (I have one.) Yet, if the client thinks success is something you do, rather than something you are, it’s possible to pervert even the best advice.
• A solid, stable practice is the result of referrals and reactivations. Advice, procedures, techniques or patient policies that come from me or anyone else that thwart these important “votes-of-confidence” from patients are counterproductive and ultimately damaging.
Clearly, the chiropractic profession needs committed experts who can help grow and guide chiropractors who want to go from merely good to great. Here’s why:
Continue reading "Broad Brush" »
Law of Reciprocity
You must first give to get. Giving creates a debt; an imbalance. The debt is paid by returning the favor.
A new patient referral can be gift or a get.
If you want more referrals, give more referrals. When appropriate, refer to the MD down the street or the pediatrician who "gets it." Refer patients to a good plumber, roofer or restaurant. Assume the role of a concierge, solving more problems than just their admitting complaint. Become the "go to" person for anything and anyone and watch your influence (and reciprocal referrals) grow.
The Law of Reciprocity takes time. The error that many make is they superimpose their own sense of time when invoking the Law. Trust it will come back to you, next month, next year or some time in eternity. But it always comes back. What you give away (good or bad) always returns.
One of my guilty pleasures, being a radio guy, is to listen to one of the best interview shows on radio, Fresh Air and its host Teri Gross. While generally heard on NPR stations, I monitor the current show on her website since I’m rarely in my car at 3:00 PM when her show is broadcast locally on KRCC.
One of her contributors (David Edelstein) recently offered a review of a new movie I’ll be seeing in Denver this weekend (and I urge you to see) entitled Food, Inc.
The content of this 93-minute documentary probably won’t surprise you or readers of Eric Schlosser’s book and movie Fast Food Nation. However, I share this to remind you that the tide is actually turning. There are a growing number of enlightened individuals in your town, in your state and in our country who are our brethren. They "get" the unhealthy influence of big farma and big pharama!
Remember, next time you’re at the grocery store, you’re voting. Remind patients that they’re voting too.
Law of the Lid
Patients rarely get healthier than their doctor.
If you want to help those with work injuries or suffering the aftermath of a car accident, you don't have to be very healthy. These victims rarely want health, they simply want to be made whole.
On the other hand, if you desire a practice full of cash-paying, lifetime wellness individuals who value true health, you'll need to be healthy. Not so you can project a "healthier than thou" attitude! Instead, from walking your talk and out of your abundance, you can be an authentic guide, a desirable example and an understanding steward.
Remember, true health is optimum physical, mental and social well-being. Sure, most of us could afford to lose some weight, however it's often the mental and social well-being that holds the greatest opportunity for improvement.
As Mahatma Gandhi so eloquently admonished, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in June 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.
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