The Quiet Mouse. . . Gets No Cheese

Are you a man or a mouse?  You were tops in your class out of chiropractic college, read every report on new techniques and technology and are the Leonardo DaVinci of the examination room.  BUT, it doesn’t matter; for, all your expertise, golden hands and charming mannerisms are not assets in a wanting waiting room.  You need patients in order to perform your medical miracles and prove to the world that you are a successful chiropractor.

The real world does not judge you based on awards, scholarships and grade point averages.  It measures your success, or lack of success, by full waiting rooms, happy returning patients and money!  How is your bank account?  Are you just scrambling to meet the rent…or do you own the building!

Your name is on the door of your own practice, but all the chiropractic patients are sitting in the waiting room of your competitive chiropractor five blocks away (a guy you know graduated in the bottom 10%).  It is time to wake up from your quiet practice and fight for your hunk of cheese.

The world of healthcare is changing.  The world of chiropractic is changing.  Dr. Spencer Johnson wrote the best selling book, Who Moved My Cheese?, a book that has been utilized in business schools, including Harvard, throughout the United States.  This book talks about the one inevitable in life—change.  Change can be good or bad—your choice; your perspective.

In today’s world of healthcare, we fight many demons:  HMO’s, PPO’s, HIPAA, and OIG.  More rules, less money; yet, if you can embrace change, you can find yourself on a new path with some new cheese.

In my last article, I talked about my trip to Europe with my friend, Dr. Gerarld Mattia.  Why Europe?  Because, in Europe, osteopaths, chiropractors, and physical therapists have limited third-party reimbursement; still, those doctors survive.  Why?  Because they understand change.

The Quiet Mouse...Gets No Cheese

The body changes as we age.  Not (rarely) always for better.  Patients run to anti-aging clinics.  Yet, I am of the opinion that the best anti-aging tool is the spinal adjustment.  Yes, doctors, as people change, their physiology changes, and you can make the difference.

With my clinics, we try to develop well-rounded practices, with cash, PI, and major medical.  Why, would anyone just want a cash practice?  Many of my clients make over a million dollars a year as chiropractors.  It is you, the reader, who need to ask, “How?”  The first part of the answer is, “Change!”  They embrace it.
The second part of the answer is, “You need a coach.”  If you are to excel at golf, tennis or any endeavor, you need a mentor; you need a pro.  There are so many tricks to the trade, it is impossible for you to know them all…and these aren’t things they teach you in college.  Of course, you are smart; and you’ve certainly proven, by the diplomas on your walls, that you can learn.  BUT, how much time and money do you have for expensive trial and error?
There are many good consultants. As I started my practice, I utilized them all.  Using a consultant was considered a part of my overhead, along with clinic rent, telephones and electricity. 

Today, smart medical professionals are ever more frequently turning to an experienced marketing pro to help them fill up those wanting waiting rooms.  The best experts come from the industry.  They’ve been there, done that.  They are results-orientated; they cut to the chase; they get the cheese for you.  They know what they are doing; you don’t.  It’s a known fact, when it comes to promoting your practice, you are a fool, if you have yourself as your own client.

In our ever-increasing competitive world, those who profitably survive, build a team.  The days of the fatherly chiropractor working from his home or storefront went the way of hula-hoops, pet rocks and fins on cars.  You need to build a multidisciplinary, professional group to be a success; and the first step you need to take is to hire a pro who has years of experience to get the job done right.

By forming a team with other medical specialists in orthopedics, pain management, neurology, radiology, rehabilitation, massage, athletic and beauty enhancement; you can build the practice of your dreams. But, first, you need to hire a coach to guide you through the tangles inherent in a multidisciplinary practice.  You must employ a pro, who has done this before. You don’t win the Super Bowl with a coach in his rookie season. 
Ask around, read the trade publications, or inquire with your local chiropractic association.  BUT…don’t wait around with an empty waiting room.  The only difference between waiting and wanting is the little  “i”, and that “I” is you!  You have got to want to be a success before you are one.

Tired of being the quiet mouse?  It is time to get going.  Hire a marketing professional before the Fat Cats eat you for lunch.

Again, I talked about the European reimbursement model.  Basically, they have little-to-no third party reimbursement.  Yet, the average doctor generates $100,000 cash in his or her practice.  Someone moved their cheese, and they found a way to survive in practice. 

What would you do if third party reimbursement went away?  Some states are working on PI or Worker’s Compensation reform.  In Florida, Worker’s Compensation is almost obsolete for the DC.  We, as a profession must STOP infighting and focus on the problems at hand.  One of the primary causes of back problems are work related and they (the politicians) are trying to remove us from the equation.  Ask your State Representative or your preferred medical organization to focus on the problems at hand—straight, mixer, who cares.  We, as a profession, must accept change and unite.  NO, we will not all agree 100% of the time—ever!  But, we are crippling ourselves, because we will not change.

To survive in practice you must change, change with the times.  Have you implemented your HIPAA Compliance Plan?  What about an OIG Compliance Plan?  If you don’t know what OIG stands for, you’re already in trouble (Office of Inspector General).  They regulate fraud, abuse, and fee splitting.  Your utilization of fees must be provided by their guidelines.  HIPAA may fine you, but the OIG can send you to jail.
The rules change—you must change!  Now, go get your cheese.  It’s waiting for you. TAC

Dr. Eric S. Kaplan, is CEO of Multidisciplinary Business Applications, Inc. (MBA), a comprehensive coaching firm with a successful, documented history of creating profitable multidisciplinary practices nationwide. Eric regularly lectures at his alma mater, New York Chiropractic College, and is a highly sought after keynote speaker for many conventions. He is known throughout the medical field for his extensive expertise in practice management, new patient development programs and organizing blended practices. Dr. Kaplan is a leading authority on Alter-native Medicine, the author of three best selling books, Lifestyles of the Fit and Famous, Awaken the Wellness Within and The 5 Minute Motivator. You can reach him at MBA Headquarters in North Palm Beach, FL at (561) 626-3004.

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