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November 2012 Archives


Is Chiropractic Too Expensive?

Does chiropractic ask too much of patients?Much of my three-decade plus career in chiropractic as a non-DC has been spent giving new meanings to some of the more unhelpful patient behaviors that chiropractors encounter. The underlying theme has been patient education, which morphed into managing patient beliefs. (I regularly assert at speaking gigs that if you have any hope in attracting a tribe of cash-paying practice members, you’re actually in the belief-changing business, not the pain relief business or the spinal curve restoration business!)

More recently my attention has turned to the dynamics surrounding disembodiment. In other words, how “connected” are patients to their bodies? Can they detect subtle changes that warn of the need to make change? Or do symptoms need to be full blown before they can “hear” their body speak to them?

I’ve suspected that there was another facet that explained why chiropractic, despite its common sense basis and side-effect-free success, is unable to gain acceptance, traction and critical mass. I think I’ve put my finger on it. Tell me if you agree.

Continue reading "Is Chiropractic Too Expensive?" »


Monday Morning Motivation

The patients easiest to get, are often the ones that are easiest to lose.

Lob some money at an advertisement or induce patients with a coupon and you'll like snag some warm bodies with spinal problems who need your help. When they get the superficial relief they want, they leave and must be replaced.

Turns out, the easier it is to get someone's attention, the less their attention is worth. Take the easy path of lowering your fees or screaming symptoms and your practice will never have lasting sustainability.

Instead, consider the referral patients you're earned through delivering compassionate care. Or patients you helped your first year in practice when you were on fire and so appreciative. Or the patients who showed up after a screening or resonated with your luncheon talk.

Do what others won't and you'll get a higher quality patient. It's how great practices get that way.

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Are You Reporting or Selling?

Is yours a sales session?Many chiropractors pay for their practice twice. First, by borrowing six-figures to learn what's needed to pass board examinations, and then again by hiring various practice management coaches to teach them what their chiropractic college didn't or wouldn't.

Since few chiropractic colleges seem interested in graduating successful practitioners in favor of producing successful board-examination-takers, an entire industry has sprung up to fill gap. Apparently, with the increasing demands of the CCE and state licensing boards, there's little room during an academic week to shoehorn in even one class that addresses the post-graduation prospect of actual practice.

Thus, many chiropractors pay additional thousands to learn the headspace and procedures to actually practice chiropractic and deliver their valuable services on a win/win basis with patients. Besides other unhelpful pathologies, this has overwhelmingly turned the report of findings into a needless sales session.

Continue reading "Are You Reporting or Selling?" »


Monday Morning Motivation

You will discipline yourself or someone or something else, will.

Because we live in a world in which every effect has a cause, you can rest assured that we will be accountable for everything we do or leave undone. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

Charging insurance companies for care you didn't deliver.
Arriving late and being unprepared for the first patient of the day.
Cash payments that go unreported, becoming spending money.
Making recommendations based on a patient's insurance coverage.
Manipulating patients, justifying it as being in their best interests.

You have countless opportunities to cut corners or otherwise abuse your power and authority. When the suffering comes months or years later it's easy to forget that a cosmic debt is merely being repaid.

Be fastidiously honest, even to a fault. Be impeccable with your word. Keep your promises. Especially when you think no one is watching. Because you are!

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obamacare.jpgWith the Supreme Court ruling and the election results behind us, the United States seems certain to fully implement a form of socialized medicine known as Obama Care. We join with citizens in the rest of the first world in relinquishing part of our personal responsibility to the federal government. Now, we can make uninformed decisions about our health, consume foods that promote diabetes and even abuse ourselves, knowing that the financial burden of its subsequent treatment will be borne by unseen taxpayers.

Against this backdrop, many chiropractors in the United States have been holding their breath, waiting for the election to be over. Now, they have their hand out, hoping that the takeover of one seventh of our gross national product by the government will result in a “practice stimulus package” of sorts. The expectation of far too many chiropractors is that the payment for patient care that formerly came from private insurance companies will be replaced by checks from the United States Department of Treasury.

Highly unlikely.

And you don’t have to read all 2,000-some pages of the legislation to reach the same conclusion.

Continue reading "Obamacare" »


Monday Morning Motivation

Used to be chiropractors were known for being the wild ones. Not so today. Far too many chiropractors toe the line and seem constrained by what others think. They go beige. Politically correct. Neutral. Head down.

There is a huge market waiting for those who have the courage to take a stand. It's waiting for you to kick up some sand. Confront the business-as-usual mindset. Tell the truth.

If you recognize that you've become domesticated, coloring inside the lines, consider this an invitation to turn some heads, raise some eyebrows and make some waves. How else will your community learn the truth about the true nature of health and healing?

Stop playing small. The only way to be attractive is to polarize, risking the possibility of repelling. Virtually leader has disciples and detractors. The only way you can attract your tribe is to have the courage to plant your flag.

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The Numbers Game

numbers gameI propose that all chiropractic seminar speakers implement a voluntary ban on the speaking of patient numbers from the stage. Let’s put a stop to the “How would you like to be seeing 100 patients a day?” And the, “Why aren’t you seeing 500 week like I am?” Or, “If you were a real chiropractor you’d be a member of the 300 club.”

Granted, the numbers game is convenient. But virtually meaningless. Without the context of knowing about your marriage, the revolving door at the front desk, your fees, collections, location and how your children resent you, how many patients you saw “back in the day” is irrelevant.

Visit numbers are an effect or result, not a cause. Chasing some mythical number is classic symptom treating and a sure-fire recipe for frustration. Comparing yourself with others in this way, or believing that you’re a second-rate chiropractor because you aren’t serving as many as someone else, is absurd.

There are a couple of reasons why chiropractors do this. And they share one thing in common.

Continue reading "The Numbers Game" »


Monday Morning Motivation

Do patients say goodbye?

Saying goodbye is a social signal sent when one party leaves another. You do it all the time with friends and relatives. But if patients don't say goodbye on their last visit it could mean several things:

1) They're afraid you'll collapse into a weepy puddle.

2) They're fearful you'll try to talk them out of their nonnegotiable decision.

You create these imagined patient reactions by how you reveal your attachment to what they do. Maybe you seem more interested in their health than they are. Maybe you make them ashamed because they lack the discipline or interest in prioritizing their health as you do.

By making a patient feel small or having such a pedestrian goal as merely feeling better, you make it emotionally unsafe for them to announce their last visit. The result? It obstructs reactivations by imagining your "I-told-you-so" scolding should they return.

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Dear Bill

Q: "I love your MMM every week. This is the first time I've ever responded regarding a MMM. I've been in practice for 30 years and I still love what I do. But this MMM intrigues me. I always treat a patient like I want to be treated. And I wouldn't want to be scolded or belittled. However, even with very good communication, I still experience patients returning after a hiatus with their tail between their legs or expecting to be scolded. What is the best way to defuse this? I just love them up. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I do the best I can and still some patients react with fear. Is that my responsibility? I'm always willing to look in the mirror, but isn't that some of their stuff?"

A: There's a simple action step you can implement to defuse this all too common patient reaction.

Continue reading "Dear Bill" »

About November 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in November 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2012 is the previous archive.

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Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.