It’s no secret that chiropractors are all fighting declining reimbursements and a growing portion of fees are being pushed onto the patient by the insurance payers. In fact, according to Athena Health Payer View 2012, the weighted Provider Collection Burden increased by 7 percent from 2010 – 2011. In other words, your patients are being forced to foot more of the bill, which then increases the burden on you to collect it.
Because these moves are precisely calculated by insurance companies, chiropractors tend to feel powerless at times. As a result, we often sigh and continue to take the beating. And while reality dictates that we cannot win every battle, we can minimize the damage done to us by insurance payers by learning to recognize which ones will give you the biggest headaches ahead of time. Certainly, you could easily say that no insurance plan is ideal, but with a little bit of homework, you’ll see that certain plans spell more bad news than others. Here’s how to spot the rotten apples: Read More
Of our entire 13 Things You Will Need to Change series, this post will perhaps represent the toughest challenge for many to chiropractors accept and overcome, which is why I have saved it for last. Before I spit it out, let me preface it with three quick thoughts:
a) The old revenue model, purely based on volume, is crumbling.Payers are paying less and less for adjustments and limiting care while expenses continue to increase.
b) Unfortunately, over the last decade or so, utilization has not increased; in fact, the latest stats indicated that the public use of chiropractic has either flatlined or decreased slightly.
c) Simple economics dictate that if the price of your service is decreasing, the frequency of which it is consumed is decreasing and the cost to deliver that service is increasing, you have an impending disaster in the works.
Thus, here is the single biggest change that chiropractors must make: Read More
This year, we are starting out with 13 things you need to do. Quite frankly, I don’t think the number matters. Whether it’s 4 secrets or 7 or 70, there is one absolutely necessary, super vital, umm—ultra important (what else can I say?) thing you need to do with this helpful information. In fact, I was going to wait to put this as #13 of our 13 things series but I’ve received so many whining emails lately about how the economy is killing their practice, I just have to put it forward now. Here it is: Read More
This post may come as a surprise to many of you as I don’t have any cool marketing names attached as a tagline that brand myself a self-proclaimed marketing “guru,” “genius,” “maven“ rainmaker or even noisemaker.
But, like it or not, our businesses all need marketing in some shape or form. And because of that, I am a student of many in this regard. Mostly, I don’t look at chiropractic marketing experts because the bulk of them have just borrowed their ideas from each other and a select few, from real marketing heavyweights.
As the healthcare landscape changes in 2013 and beyond, I believe that many chiropractors will be forced to take a more serious look at their marketing efforts. Some, in fact, who have not given a thought to marketing in a decade or more, will need to begin anew or face the consequences as they watch their numbers slowly take a dive. Newer DC’s will have to master marketing skills that they were definitely not taught in school, as most materials that would appear in such a classroom are dated by a decade at the least. So where do we turn? Read More
Here’s an idea that more chiropractors need to embrace in 2013 and beyond: the days of the solo doc may be numbered.
Why chiropractors fail to embrace the concept of a group practice, shared space, partnership or associateships is beyond me. For the most part, we are among the only sizable solo entrepreneurs left in health care. Sure you can still find the occasional massage therapist who practices out of their home gently kneading to the sounds of their Windham Hill cds. And I know there are lonely acupuncturists who would love someone else to share their moxa, but for now they sniff alone. Certainly, there are still naturopaths brewing their own tinctures in their back closet, happily (or not) by themselves. But many of these practitioners have tiny businesses and see few patients.
The rest of the healthcare professionals who have significantly broken the 6-figure revenue barrier – they work together. Except that is, for us. Unfortunately, as healthcare dollars get pinched into pennies, we may need to take a serious look at the feasibility of our “solo-ness.” Here are a few reasons we should consider aligning with similar minded DC’s: Read More
How do you measure success in your chiropractic business? Many coaches tell you to keep stats, CPAs love creating financial reports and even the most un-analytical chiropractors tend to know how many patient visits they had.
But what about the somewhat fuzzier indicators of good performance? They are just as vital to the success of your practice, but rarely examined, tracked or tweaked for better results. Today, we will be looking at those! Read More
If you are considering selling your chiropractic practice, selling a portion (through a Partnership/hybrid sale as mentioned in my Ultimate Chiropractic Exit Strategy book) or having an Associate do a timed buy-in/buy-out, pay attention – 2012 may be an excellent year to get this done!
Interestingly enough, if you are looking to buy a chiropractic business or buy-in via an Associateship or Partnership route, this year may be especially attractive to you as well. Read More
These days, it’s tough to tell where problems start. Some of you know you, doctor, are the primary contributor. For others, it’s the staff. Still others feel it’s insurance or even healthcare at large.
You all may be correct – which is why this article may help point you in the right direction…
Recently, I saw an interesting graphic that depicted the impact of identity theft on healthcare fraud. The graphic illustrated a little mentioned problem in the hunt for fraud and the audit frenzy that is occurring in today’s healthcare: thieves can steal a person’s (or doctor’s) identity and bill for services to receive reimbursement. And it’s happening all the time. Witnessed the millions recovered by Medicare for fraudulently billed DME (for example, wheelchairs provided and paid for by Medicare to dead people).
Before you think chiropractic is immune, think again of a larger issue that enables fraud to happen: patient’s no longer understand their health insurance. And if they don’t understand insurance, they are not only more apt to be victims of crime but also to not reap the full benefits due them. They are more likely to encounter problems that may get them upset at you. And, in turn, less likely to want to use their insurance for your care, thus, reducing your income.
With that in mind, below are a few vital, proactive strategies that chiropractors can employ to minimize our audit risk and to preserve good patient relationships: Read More
While Massage Envy® just celebrated opening its 800th location, most chiropractors would be thrilled to have 8 busy therapists – heck, even 4 – no make that, 2 busy therapists!
And although there are many in chiropractic (and many more in the massage profession) who poo-poo the notion of the Massage Envy® franchise and its business model, it’s hard to get around the fact that they are a phenomenal success.
On the other hand, I’ve heard from far too many chiropractors who have failed or who have massage departments that are limping along sans profits. So, an astute business person would look objectively at the two cases and wonder what can be learned here. Read More