Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 258
"It's Always About the Money"
Not really, but it is
I met with a doctor yesterday, and have had two conversations with doctors over the last few days who had the same issues. They have all met with attorneys and have done so for quite some time, but are not getting the referrals. The question that begs itself is, "Why do these doctors struggle so much, yet others have a revolving door of new patients flowing into their offices from lawyers, literally?" Not just 1 or 2 doctors, but many. The answer is plain and simple; the lawyers of those less successful doctors still do not realize that by not working with you, they are losing MONEY because of your clinical excellence and your ability to have your work admitted into testimony.
I spoke to a lawyer yesterday that I have known for 20 years and he still has NEVER gotten it. I said to him, "I don't understand why you are willing to give up an additional 30% in income." His response was that he didn't understand. My reply was, "With most of the lawyers I work with, my doing P-IME's and rendering the reports required, along with filling in all of the blanks in testing, results in their settlements increasing about 30%."
I explained to him my personal policy where if a case is lost and there is no money, I will not bill the patient. In all my years, I can't remember not getting paid (from the lawyer losing) because we all know after reviewing the records for 5 minutes which cases are good and which should be disposed of. There is no need for you or the lawyer to work on them. They should be dismissed. The lawyer said, "I have always wanted to work with you at that level and I have over 100 cases to send you. We should have started years ago. Let's get started." As a note, I get $1,500 per P-IME.
Regarding other lawyers I spent time with yesterday, I simply said that the doctors I was with and myself are all credentialed in MRI interpretation, electrodiagnostic interpretation and accident reconstruction so that our opinions can be admitted into testimony along with our ability to clinically correlate causality, bodily injury and persistent functional loss. There is no longer a need to bring in the radiologist, orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist and accident reconstructionist. We, the chiropractors, can do it all and on the majority of your cases, the lawyer cannot afford to bring all of those specialists in. In the end, you, the lawyer, has to chose and it often costs you your case. In addition, I went on to explain that if we treat your clients, our testifying fees are nominal and we will go to court for you without hesitation.
One lawyer's eyes 'lit up" in front of me as he realized I just saved him a lot of money for future cases for all of the reasons just articulated. Although it's always about the money, that is not your concern. Once you understand the needs of the lawyer, the language of the lawyer and the required triaging of the case and can communicate that verbally and on paper with your CV, the game is over!!! With that, you never have to discuss money because you are not about the money and never will be. You are about the needs of your patients as clinically indicated. However, the lawyer is all about the money and he/she will get it if he/she positions him/herself properly with the doctor he/she HAS to work with in order to prevail in an honest and ethical scenario.
Lastly, when I explained that I review cases and often recommend that many should be dismissed because of lack of credible objective findings, they were equally impressed. Not working on a non-fruitful case also makes them money and your recommendations lend credence to your integrity. This is how to become the lawyer's "go-to doctor!"