Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 1102
Office Systems 97 OS

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. -Mark Studin 2006

Lawyer wants me to take a reduction and won’t show disbursements


Guest Doctor: So, one of the bigger firms in the area where I practice, who I've been trying to get in with called me up and said, will you guys take a slip and fall case? After being in the program for this amount of time, I said to myself, probably not a good idea, but since we don't have any dealings with this firm and they're the biggest from over in the city that's closest to it, I took it on because I know currently I've been over to the ER.

Dr. Studin: Even if you get nothing, it's good advertisement.

Guest Doctor: So, we treated them, we worked it up. Of course, there was nothing, nothing permanent. And he calls me up, it says: “well, since we didn't find anything permanent, we didn't do so well, would you take $1,000 on a $6,000 bill? ”That’s not even going to cover my operating costs on this.

Dr Studin: Do you want to know how to answer him?

Guest Doctor: Yes.

Dr Studin: The answer is our policy is we never take more than a third of the case, ever.

Guest Doctor: I was just texting him that exact thing.

Dr. Studin: $6,000 is less than a third whatever percentage less you take than your third will take us less than our third and we're a team player.

Guest Doctor: And I said that to him in the first call. I said to really be fair with this, I'm going to need to see a settlement sheet. And he goes, well, I can't do that. That's lawyer client privilege.

Dr Studin: Yes

Guest Doctor: I'm going to call the client that I did all this work on and that I spent many hours writing up these reports, which you base your any settlement on.

Dr Studin: Correct.

Guest Doctor: I think he must have reached out to him before because he was played stupid and stonewall now.

Dr Studin: Right I'm going to reach out to the client and get permission.

Guest Doctor: Right.

Dr. Studin: There you go!

Guest Doctor: I did that.

Dr. Studin: And the client said yes?

Guest Doctor: He was going back and forth, he said, I hired a lawyer to get to get me 60%.

Dr. Studin:: So, forget what he says, because I don't trust anybody. Here's what you tell the patient. I have a $6,000 bill that you are responsible for. Your lawyer was trying to on your behalf, make me eat that and actually pay you to come into my office. Okay? That's what your lawyer is trying to make me do. I don't want to hurt you and hit you up for the extra, you know, he wants to give me $1,000. I don't want to hurt you when send you a bill for $5,000. The only way I'll do a reduction is if I see a copy of the disbursement sheet. So Mr patient, you have two choices. You want to give him permission or I'm going to hold you responsible for $6,000. It's really that easy.

Guest Doctor: okay.

Dr. Studin:: You understand? I'm not looking to hurt you, but there has to be transparency in the relationship.

Guest Doctor: I think that he got into him before that I had a chance to call them.

Dr. Studin: It doesn't matter if he got them, tell them: “listen, this isn't the White House where you don't want to show you the taxes. There's a little bit different. Bottom line is that, if you want me to take less, you've got to do it in a transparent environment. I'm happy to take, I don't want to hurt you.”

Guest Doctor: Well, I think he kind of pointed it to the lawyer thing what I said.

Dr. Studin: No. The lawyer is going to say it's unethical for me to release that without my lawyers approval. So the ball's in your court right now. You missed, the patient has to make a decision. Do you want to be held responsible for the full bill or if you want me to take less and you're responsible for nothing. The only way I'm going to do that is with having transparency in the finances and the case. If you don't want to do transparency and you're trying to hide something, well then everyone's trying to screw me, and me pay you to come into my office. I guess that's expensive to process patients, but if you want me to, to not hold you responsible for another penny, I have no problem with that as long as there's transparency with the finances. Once there's transparency, I'm a team player. Until this transparency, I'm not so nice. And you would do the same, but you've got to give your lawyer permission. Your lawyer's going to tell you don't do it, don’t do it, don’t do it. But at the end of the day, I'm not coming after the lawyer. I'm going to have to come after you, which I don't want to do. The lawyers fighting for his money. You are fighting for your money and I'm just fighting to ensure I'm not getting screwed even though we're willing to treat you for a tremendous amount of money. I mean, what's your half 55/60% full.

Guest Doctor: Yeah, About that.

Dr. Studin: Okay, so let's figure 60% of $6,000. It cost me $3,600 to treat you before taxes. That's my cost to treat you. That's what I had to pay. Lawyer wants to be to take $1,000. I should pay you $2,600 to convenience. So, you guys get money. That's what your lawyer is asking me to do and I'll do it with transparency. I guess I'm not looking to hurt you, but if your lawyer wants me to do with blindly.

Guest Doctor: Then he goes, well I’ll get you on the next accident case. I said, I have a meeting with you over a year ago and I haven't seen anything come through your office. So that doesn't really mean anything to me.

Dr. Studin: Right. Your words not so good.

Guest Doctor: I mean, should I take a bullet for this particular thing and hope for, for visits in the future or should I be a prick.

Dr. Studin: Plus, I met with you a year ago and you sent me nothing. Now you send me this case and you want me to pay for it. And now you want me to pay to have my patient come in, your client convinces so you can make money. The client who make money and I should pay for that. That's what you're asking me to do. First, you send me nothing for a year and now you send me a case where it's costing me. At the end of the day it's going to cost me, and I'm not telling you, I'm not willing to lose money on this, but you should be willing to be transparent because my patient's going to be willing to be transparent. And if not, then why would I want another case from you when you're going to want me to keep sending me nothing in that pay for this. I mean, I'd love to have a relationship with you, but right now your words not that good. You've got no credit in the bank with me, zero.

Guest Doctor: All right, I'll give him a call.

Dr. Studin: Call the patient first.

Guest Doctor: Yeah. I mean, he's kind of dodging me now since we had the little texting going on Friday and he's like, don't text anymore, deal with my attorney. So those two had already talked to.

Dr. Studin: Then tell the lawyer that if there's transparency, I'm a team player. If there's no transparency, you're asking me to pay you to make money, I should pay so you and your client can make money. And I'm not saying I'm not willing to do that. And I know you offered me a future case. I've known you for a year and you send me nothing. The first case I should pay you when you want me to trust you, you haven't built up that trust yet. But again, I'm willing to do that if there's transparency. If there's no transparency, my bill is $6,000. Pay me a $1,000. I'll go into the patients for the other five. I'd rather you pay me zero and I'll go after the patients and the whole thing. And you have a lien and you can't disperse any money unless I made whole. No one gets anything. And without transparency on my budget you can collude with your patient anyway you want and coach them wants to tell me, but I'm not releasing it. I'm not going to be willing to release anything. Zero. I mean what's the difference. I lose $2,600 a $3,600 I've already lost the money. Transparency, I'm a team player. No transparency, no scene. And that's just the way it is. And he could yell and scream and hoot and holler and do whatever he wants on you. At this point in time. You might even want to write them a letter.

Guest Doctor: Yeah, that might do better. I said, listen, I need to talk to my billing staff and my wife about this. Cause this guy came in here like he knows the place.

Dr. Studin: So, what you should do is From now on don't say building staff and wife stopped that and needs to talk to my lawyer before I joined, okay? Your language has to change.

Guest Doctor: I've got to tell you; I didn't expect this from this guy. We had a nice lunch together. I know that he's busy and he's just not sent it in.

Dr. Studin: That's okay. You got a hand John from him. So, listen, here's how the leadership story based on advice, which is me. Don't stay advice from counsel. Just say advice and send me a copy of the letter before you send it. Do it now. Get it to me within the hour.

Guest Doctor: Okay. I Got a couple of new patients. I'll have that like two hours.

Dr. Studin: Two hours is fine, but I'm leaving at four and I need at least a half an hour to review it.

Guest Doctor: There's no rush on this. I told him I would let them know by the end of the week; he doesn't have the check yet.

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