Lawyers PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“The Privileged Few”
This consultation is comprised of 2 stories…
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from an old junior high school friend that I hadn’t spoken to in over 35 years. He is a chiropractor in a different part of the country and had read an article I wrote that was published in “The American Chiropractor.” He requested that I contact him, as he was very concerned with retrospective reviews and thought he was going to have very big problems in his office, along with other practice issues. Out of respect for our history of friendship, I called him back. We spent 45 minutes chatting about his life, his practice and why after 30 years in practice, he now only sees 35 patients per week.
If any of you have spent any time on the phone with me, you know I am not good at sugarcoating my opinion or the truth. He got me in my full glory (obnoxiousness). We determined that although he practices applied kinesiology, he doesn’t have to spend 20-30 minutes with every patient, clearing every reflex in the body and chatting about the patient's personal issues. We also discovered that he does not do a report of findings and he lets the patient decide what type of care they want as far as pain, reconstructive or wellness care. He then lets the patient make their own treatment schedule. In addition, he lets his front desk staff set policy regarding how payments should be made and when to recall patients based upon the “no recommendations” policy for care.
His practice cycles from 35 patients a week to 70 patients a week and repeats itself over and over. In discussion, he was able to recognize that the more he talks, the less time he has with each patient and the more patients he gets, the less time he has to talk. Therefore, he was at a critical mass with his practice and as he got busier, he spent less time talking and depriving the patients of what they perceived as their regular care. They, in turn, stopped coming in to see him. This cycle has gone on for decades.
As a result of the time he spends with patients, he has no time for his paperwork or any other task, causing a serious backup of his reports, SOAP notes and questions from lawyers and insurance carriers. This has caused his income to drop. Consequently, he stopped participating in-network with insurance companies, only accepting out-of-network and personal injury patients. He felt this strategy would reduce his paperwork. What he didn’t realize was the amount of paperwork required in order to get paid was no different in or out of network and that his requirements to keep notes wasn’t an insurance company issue, but a State Board of Chiropractic issue. This doctor uses a travel card with cryptic notes, does a minimal evaluation and rarely performs a re-evaluation on patients.
Now, here is the most telling issue; he firmly believes his problems are due to the poor economy, his patients’ inability to pay his fees and nothing else. I do believe there is some validity to that statement nationally. However, the national statistic does not reflect that to be true, as a rule.
You, “the privileged few,” know better. How do I know this? I have written about every one of this doctor's issues over the last 78 full consultations and the last 99 quickie consultations. As I was chatting with him and listening to his “tales of woe,” I was reflecting on how we didn’t miss one item in our discussions. His experience has been an exercise in futility, dooming his practice to be mired in abject failure!
You know better and are part of a very select group of professionals who have chosen to make a difference and have learned. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, go back and read…The answers are in your hands and if you still need help, call me. If you aren’t accomplishing everything you need to, it’s like the kid who grew up in a wealthy family complaining that his life didn’t work because of everyone else. Some people, regardless of what’s in their hands, still don’t get it, while others recognize it and ask for help. Read the consultations, e-mail me, call me, send me smoke signals, and I will help you. That’s what I am here for.