Practice Management Tips

Q: I am interested in the field of occupational healthcare, but my approaches to industry have been unsuccessful in the past.  How can I break down the barrier I seem to be confronting?

A:  The treatment of most workplace injuries involves a “wait and see” approach, coupled with time off, bed rest, medication or surgery, and typically terminates in some degree of permanent disability.  This approach is unsuccessful and the statistics prove it.  There is little doubt that, if our occupational healthcare system is going to improve, the current strategy must change.  Chiropractic has a valuable role to play in revolutionizing the way the healthcare game is played.  However, chiropractors must learn to take an “inside-out” approach when offering their services to industry.  Many chiropractors make the assumption that industry speaks their language.  They make the fatal mistake of talking subluxation instead of prevention and rehabilitation.

Human Resource Directors are impressed with your ability to provide services such as DOT physicals, Drug Testing, Post-Offer Physicals, and Functional Capacity Evaluations—chiropractic adjustments are way down on the list!  Occupational healthcare services constitute valuable revenue centers for your chiropractic practice and, most importantly, they are the proverbial red carpet to treating workplace injuries.  Once you are on the inside—and have proven that you are a team player with the ability to significantly impact Workers’ Compensation costs—you have earned the opportunity to talk and deliver chiropractic.

Q: What is the most effective tip you can give regarding increasing collections in a practice?

A:  The most effective method for increasing your collections is to ask your patients for payment!  As Gandhi said, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”  Perceived value is an important concept to master when it comes to asking patients for payment.  Patients must perceive a value at or greater than what you charge for your service, or they will feel that your fee is out of line with the value they assign it.  It’s equally important for practice team members dealing with patient finances to have a high perceived-value for your services themselves. As the saying goes, you can’t sell what you don’t own!

In closing, remember, that person who asks the question controls the conversation.  Not only is it our duty to ask for and collect payments from patients, it is part of the healing process.  Patients who pay, stay, refer, and get better quicker!  Asking for anything increases the odds of getting it by 200%.  Once you master this skill—by exercising your asking muscle—often you’ll be surprised at how easy increasing collections can be!

Dr. Mark Sanna is the CEO of Breakthrough Coaching, LLC, a leading resource for personal coaching to chiropractic and multidisciplinary practices throughout the country.  He can be reached at Breakthrough Coaching, LLC, by calling 1-800-7-ADVICE.

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