Academy of Chiropractic’s

Doctors PI Program

#95

 From the Desk of:

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


"Studin Top 10,
How to Screw Up Relationships with Lawyers"



#10 Make them ask you over and over for your paperwork

Lawyers complain excessively that doctors do not respond to lawyers' requests for documentation, even after the doctors have gotten paid and cashed their checks. Lawyers' business is about paper and if they don’t have it, they have no business.

#9 Use poor or improper grammar in your reports

Lawyers often can’t understand what you are saying because of improper or poor use of grammar. This will often give the courts or the opposing counsel an opportunity to twist your words and use it for their gain.

#8 Do not communicate with lawyers over non-compliance of patient’s treatment

Lawyers always want to know if the patient is not complying with doctor’s instructions, i.e. yours. If there is non-compliance, it destroys the lawyer's case. It bodes well for you to make sure the patient keeps up with treatment because it helps the patient get better and I personally do not care why patients keep their appointed visits; I only care that they do.

#7 Dress like a bum

When meeting a lawyer for the first, second or third time, until they get to know you, look the part. Perception is everything initially. If the lawyers do not know that you are the best-of-the-best, a poor appearance will create an impression that will linger way into the "Should I refer a patient to them?" period and you will not get the referral. Need help? Buy the book Dressing to Win by Robert Pante.

#6 Use street language when with a lawyer

Cursing, slang, telling jokes, etc...NO! You are a consummate professional. Act like one, especially on the first few encounters.

#5, 4, 3, 2, 1

These are all "deal breakers" with lawyers. If any of the following is prevalent in your encounters, the likelihood of any referral relationship is usually non-existent.

#5 Talk Treatment in the Meeting

When meeting with lawyers, the conversation should not be about your type of treatment. Simply put, lawyers don’t give a "rat’s ass" about your care. It has nothing to do with their business. If you are a Pettibon or ABC or Gonstead or...well anything, they DO NOT CARE. It has NOTHONG to do with their cases.

Even worse, if you try to convince them to get under your care, fahgetaboutit! They will never want to talk to you again. I see this over and over and it is usually with the doctors who do not want to change the name of their offices from "Wellness [something] Office" to "Spine and Injury Center."

Many doctors still think that "wellness" in their practice name will get them more new patients...They are totally clueless, as this will severely limit the referrals into their practices. If I have an acute problem or a trauma related condition, why would I go to a "Wellness Practice?" I probably wouldn’t and if I was a lawyer, I wouldn’t want to work with you.

#4 Have a CV that looks like a resume

Lawyers can’t use you if you do not have an admissible CV that has real credentials. Many of you have not even been asked by lawyers for your CV’s, so what’s the big deal? Simply put, you are probably breaking so many of the rules that the lawyers can’t take you seriously as an expert and are bypassing you at every level. You need to get their attention by creating a meeting with them so that you can get your message of education and credentials out to them. Use the US Chiropractic Directory, your educational binders and your persistence. Meet with the lawyers or the paralegals.

#3 Be the "king of crap" clinically

Lawyers are very smart and that goes double if you are talking to them in their specialty area of practice. They know the basics of bodily injury and in some instances, significantly more than the basics. If you give the lawyer a line of "crap" and back that "crap" up in your paperwork, the lawyer will base his/her case on your words.

As an example, a doctor writes the following in his narrative:

Upper extremity testing was normal however he states the little and ring finger feels numb which would correlate with the T1-T2 disc herniation. Once again...WRONG...This is VERY, VERY BAD and DOES NOT GET ANY WORSE.

From the Department of Neurology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Kerry H. Levin, Department of Neurology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195.

Neurologic deficits in the first thoracic (T1) root distribution are uncommon and not easily defined. Myotomal charts indicate that distal arm and hand muscles receive significant contributions from both the C8 and T1 roots. A patient with focal T1 radiculopathy is presented who demonstrated motor axon loss isolated to the abductor pollicis brevis muscle. This finding provides another source of evidence that the abductor pollicis brevis is the primary T1 motor structure in the upper extremity, improving precision in clinical and electromyography diagnosis.

As a result of the doctor’s clinically incorrect opinion, the lawyer could take this to trial because there is neurological sequella to a herniation. It will cost the lawyer upwards of $30-50,000 to take the case to trial. The lawyer could also have to take a loan to pay for the trial, as many do that as a matter of business, and also have to co-sign for his/her client, as clients often do not have good credit. On the witness stand, the opposing counsel, who will have known all along that the information is incorrect, will bring an expert and 5 textbooks to show that the "king of crap" is wrong. At the end of the day, the lawyer will lose the case, his client will skip town and he/she will be left with a $50,000 loan to pay back. Get the picture? The lawyers do...loud and clear!

#2 Beg and Plead for New Patients

When you meet with the lawyer, do you really think that he/she will send you a new patient simply because you took him/her to a fancy dinner and used that as a platform to beg for referrals? Wake up and smell the coffee!!! Lawyers will only work with you if they know you are the best-of-the-best clinically and that your work is admissible. Stop practicing failure technology and do what works.

#1 Pick and Choose Different Facets of the Lawyers PI Program to Fit Your Vision of What Will Work for You

Here is to all of you "smart doctors" who have taken a highly successful program, protocols, systems and action steps and have worked really hard to reinvent the wheel. Guess why it doesn’t work now?...Because you have screwed it up.

A prime example is a doctor who purchased the narrative template and then went to pick the parts that he liked to incorporate in his narrative. What he ended up with is some really good sections of a narrative that sucks just a little bit less than it sucked before he chose to put some of the sections in.

This program works really, really well. The averages, as I reported to you last week, are 5.19 new patients each month for the first 2 years and 9 new patients per month starting in year 3. Those are the averages; many are doing much better. In fact, some doctors get 30-40 new PI cased monthly. If you are not getting those numbers, then you need to figure out why.

The first step is to start at the beginning and read the consults over, examine your practice and procedures, your CV and your knowledge base. Putting the "book under your pillow" didn’t work in high school, college or professional school and it won’t work here. If you still can’t figure it out...call me.