Lawyers PI Program
 
“Building a PI Practice”

 #27

 From the Desk of:

 Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP


“Getting the Lawyer to Want You in Their Practice Every Month”

   

The first question that always needs to be asked from the lawyers prospective is, “What’s in it for me?” Once you understand that concept, the rest becomes very easy and the applications, limitless. The answer is a simple one, money…and the game is always how to do it in an ethical scenario. I know I have said this many times over, but when dealing with the legal community you have to remember their game at the end of the day is to represent their clients to get them money for injuries sustained. In turn they get a % of what’s awarded through litigation, arbitration or settlement. 

 

Lawyers use knowledge to win their case. Knowledge of the law, their clients' injuries and what those injuries have done to their lives’ in terms of persistent functional loss. It is bringing this knowledge to the legal community that will create that paradigm shift in having the lawyers come to you. We now have to bridge the gap, in arming you with the tools and vehicles to get them to understand what you offer is what they need. Then we have to change their needs to wants. In other words, they need information to prevail and then…they want you to be the doctor to deliver it. 

 

You might have noticed that I didn’t say they want you for their clients because you are a healer, you can cure every disease known to mankind, that you can grow hair on a cue ball, make the deaf hear and the blind see. I learned that the hard way. One of my closest friends is a neurosurgeon that helped perfect ambulatory spinal discectomy. Patients no longer had to be in the hospital for 3-5 days and then endure a 3 month rehabilitation period. They went into the hospital and out the same day, and because of the arthroscopic nature of the discectomy, they were usually back to work in 2-3 days in some capacity. 

 

These were groundbreaking results when first introduced. As I started referring my patients to this surgeon that needed consultations and surgery (when indicated), I got a lot of negative feedback from the legal community. They had no problem with clients needing surgery and him performing the surgery. They had a problem because he never commented on functional loss and he didn’t clearly articulate the bodily injury if surgery wasn’t indicated. In the end, they informed me that unless he cleaned up his reports, they would recommend that their clients be seen elsewhere. That included me too, if his documentation didn’t change and I continued referring to him. 

 

To me, this was a very expensive education as I aligned myself with the best surgeon not only in town, but perhaps in the country, and it hurt my business. My solution to this dilemma was the following: After hours of talking to the surgeon, he was not willing to change his way of reporting injuries, so I sent my patients to a different surgeon for consultations, and the ones I thought were absolute surgical cases, I sent to him. After a year, the surgeon asked me why he was no longer seeing the volume of cases from my office and I told him the truth. As a result, he realized that his poor documentation hurt his business and now he writes a very good report, reflecting the truth of his patients, and the legal community is happy to have their clients see me knowing that I use this neurosurgeon. 

 

I know this is a very “long winded” story to make a very short point….Credentials do not matter to the legal community if they cannot use your work to prevail in their cases. What will be worse is not the referrals you won’t get in the future, but that the lawyers will also leverage their clients away from your care, to get them to a doctor who speaks their language in the written format, regardless of your healing abilities. 

 

Enough of what doesn’t work; let’s now focus on what does…Education and documentation. 

 

In the past consultations, I have shared with you how to use your patients to bring the lawyers to the table to discuss their cases, and based upon my personal results and the results of most of you nationwide, the formula works. It’s time to bring it to the next level and get the lawyer to invite you into their practice every month to sit with them. 

 

The last 20,000+ lawyers that I have lectured to along with the dozens nationwide respond to the bi-monthly educational fliers every month and have confirmed that the information being shared is integral in the lawyers prevailing in their cases. You need to bring that information to them in a more sophisticated manner. Go to www.DoctorsPIprogram.com. Click on “Educational Materials,” and open each of the bi-monthly educational fliers. I have posted them in a non-protected Microsoft Word file for you to customize. On the bottom of each flyer, you can now solicit as you please. Therefore, place your practice name, doctor’s name, address and phone numbers. Add to the bottom the following sentence: “Clinically correlating causality to bodily injury and persistent functional loss.” Those are the magic words to get a lawyer to understand that you speak their language.

 

Get 3 ring binders that have a plastic cover in front and slide into place a cover page for your office. Have printed all of the bi-monthly educational fliers in color and have them 3-hole punched. Also add your CV for the lawyer to have and use. You now have an educational binder that has a customized front cover, all of the bi-monthly educational fliers in color and your CV. This book has now become a very valuable tool for the lawyers to prevail in their cases because you are giving them the knowledge or power to prevail on the most important topics in their cases…The medicals! Do not assume that they know the medical components, as they do not use them every day. I just finished (no more then 10 minutes ago) reviewing a case for an attorney that has been practicing personal injury for 30 years and averages over 500 active cases at any time. As experienced as he is, I still have to review the medicals with him on many cases. His focus is the legal aspect of the case (as it should be), and my job is to further explain the medical components, then provide him with the written explanation or the documentation of what’s wrong with his clients. I do this by offering to do a “Plaintiff IME” or pointing out the medical results in his files. To summarize, you have to constantly teach the legal community of what you own, the medical issues. 

 

When you meet with a lawyer, give them a copy of the educational binder and inform them that 2 new topics are published monthly. You will either meet with them for breakfast or deliver to them the updates in color to add to their binder. Over the last month, I have lectured to 200+ lawyers and 100% were very excited for the doctor to meet with them monthly to get the updates. Why? Because it gives them the leverage to prevail in their cases and they now need you to keep them informed. That is how to create the paradigm shift, get them, in an ethical way to need you more then you need them. During the meeting with the lawyer, make sure that you review each of the pages in the educational binder to make sure that they understand all of the subject matter. The reason is twofold; to make sure that they understand and to demonstrate to them that you know the subject matter as an expert. 

 

I took the time to educate the lawyers; you need to proceed using the same strategy. Do not make the mistake of focusing on referrals…that will come over time. Focus on the needs of the legal community and meet their needs. In turn, they will meet your needs and the referrals will flow without asking. 

 

The next consultation topic is how to use your local Bar Association to get referrals from the legal community and use the educational binders as the vehicle to have the lawyers want to meet with you every month.