Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 298

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time.

"Double Your Practice Next Week"

Out of all the consultations I have written, #19-21 are probably the most significant and relevant to growing your practice in a short amount of time. The adage goes, "It's not what you have, it's what you make of what you have," and this is exactly the point. I have been remiss in not talking about this sooner, but if I created too many more consultations previously, you would really get mad with too much homework!
 
In consultation #20, I give the formula and meaning of PVAs and their relationship to pain care, rehabilitation care and wellness care. I also shared with you the resultant financial situation you create with each level of PVA. The formula is so simple; increase your PVA and your volume and your income will increase. However, along the way, please do not forgetthe higher the PVA, the more complete the spinal correction of your patients with a resultant increased level of wellness no matter your philosophical beliefs.
 
Last week, I spoke to a really smart (academically...aka book smart and street...well...not so smart) doctor who has been in the program for almost 3 years and his volume is way too low. When I asked him about his practice, he stated that he has a PI practice and as soon as the pain goes away, he intentionally releases the patient from care so as not to anger the lawyers. To make a long story short, his PVA is 13 and has continually been 1 or 2 new patients away from financial ruin if a patient(s) did not show up. This is a practice that is on survival month to month and is VERY STRESSFUL. What's worse, is that an aspirin or Advil can do the same job as he is doing, but at a far more economical cost. There can be no long-term corrections made with so few visits. After 2 phone calls and some education about eliciting clinical findings in an honest and ethical manner, this doctor realized that he does have a legally defensible reason to continue care to create positive changes beyond resolved symptoms. His PVA and practice will double in a few short weeks and he will be off of financial stress for the right reasons.
 
With that being said, the single most important part of your practice is education, education, education. As there are MDs in this program as well as chiropractors, the story does not change. No matter your discipline, you have to take the time to educate your patients about their conditions and their care. Repeat after me, "Mrs. Jones, I have found the cause of your problem and I am going to help you." That is the ice-breaker that opens the emotional trap door. I have had patients, many of them, that have started crying with that statement because many have spent a lifetime looking for answers. The good news about chiropractic is that we usually deliver more than we promise as chiropractic has that ability. It is then that your WRITTEN REPORT of FINDINGS will take the patient to the level of care you desire based upon your education and educational program. The reality is that some will only want pain care, while others will want reconstructive care and the balance will want wellness care. You get to offer what you want and depending upon the level of the patient's education, he/she will get it. The end result, your PVA increases and more people get well. There are other things that increase your practice and many of them lead to excitement, energy and FUN. 
 
I attended a meeting last night with 20 DCs and the speaker talked about having fun in your office and how that fun turns into great energy and always results in a busier practice. The speaker was Dr. Penny Schwartz, a 25 year practitioner, with the energy and courage of a lion! She recounted her last year though a calendar review of all the events that she did. Everything from a Valentine's Day party to a Halloween party to a St. Patrick's Day party and, of course, a holiday season party in her office for her patients and staff. She had events in her office for each one and it always created energy and fun that carried throughout the year. It brought up memories for me of all of the patient appreciation months that I had, the mandatory Halloween costumes for the staff, the beach parties in the office for patients and every other fun thing I did year after year for 26 years. I did it because it was fun and generated energy and always increased my volume. 

1 very special program that I did was the "No More Hunger Project" and included my staff and patients in the process. To learn more about this, please go to http://lawyerspiprogram.com/index.php/for-doctors/no-more-hunger. If you do not want to create a project on such a grand scale, then have a food drive in your office...Every can of soup helps.
 
Another great project is to have your patients bring in pajamas for needy children that often go to bed in the same clothes they have worn for days or weeks. Please go to http://pajamaprogram.org/ and learn more about that program to get your staff and patients to participate.
 
Clinical excellence and fun are not mutually exclusive. By participating in all of these programs, your PI patients will also give feedback to the lawyers thanking them for the referral, which in turn will improve the lawyers opinion of you and your office. Positive feedback is good, whether it be of your clinical excellence or the great job you are doing. It makes you "user friendly" vs. the patient that tells their lawyer, "That doctor is smart and I do feel better, but he is a pompous ass and never has time to talk to me." Get the picture? Create excitement, have fun, get busier and help others. Does it get any better than that?

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