TAC: How did you become involved in chiropractic, Dr. Stabile?
Stabile: I was injured in an automobile accident in 1964, and was having extreme lower back pain. One of my college friends, who was planning on attending chiropractic college, advised me to see the chiropractor that he was being treated by. I had been to numerous medical providers, including two orthopedists, two neurologists, and a neurosurgeon, and had had physical therapy.
After over a year of treatment with little to no results, I took my friend’s advice and saw the chiropractor. After an examination and X-rays, he advised me to begin chiropractic treatment. I felt that I had given the medical community ample opportunity to help my condition, with no positive results, so what did I have to lose by giving chiropractic a chance.
After 6-8 weeks, I was so impressed with the improvement that I decided to investigate a possible career in the chiropractic field. I called Columbia Institute of Chiropractic and spoke to Dr. Marty Greenberg, who made me an appointment for an interview. For me, that was the beginning of the most rewarding career that any human being could ever dream of or hope for.
TAC: What type of patients do you generally treat or attract?
Stabile: The patients we attract in our office are varied. We have a family practice, so we get all types. We see lower back, neck, mid back, headache and extremity pain patients. It is emphasized that they have problems due to subluxations, which were caused by injuries, poor sleeping habits, repetitive trauma, poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, attempting to perform tasks that they are not physically capable of doing, stress and a host of other causative factors.
TAC: What techniques do you use?
Stabile: We use Cox, Activator, Palmer, Diversified, S.O.T., Flexion Distraction, Applied Kinesiology, Pearce-Stillwagon and Grostic, as well as some other techniques, which are modifications of the standard ones. The reason for using so varied a number of techniques is based on the specific needs of the patient, their tolerance to force or non-force techniques and the desired result. Not every patient reacts the same to every technique. Just as medications affect different individuals differently, so does the administration of chiropractic adjustments. You must take these differences into consideration when developing a treatment plan. The desired goals are positive results for the patient. To achieve this result, we must use all the tools at our disposal.
TAC: What type diagnostic testing procedures do you use?
Stabile: We X-ray every patient, excluding children (unless they had trauma), whom we X-ray based on their individual circumstances. X-ray is essential to establish the presence or absence of pathologies, such as arthritic changes, fractures, genetic idiosyncrasies, and a host of other information that is necessary in the proper determination of what techniques would be most beneficial to the patient. X-ray is a window into the body that will reveal a multitude of information, if properly used.
We also use the MicroFet Muscle Testing Machine to establish baseline muscle strength, as well as retesting to evaluate the improvement the patient is making with treatment.
The Millennium 2000 (see tool kit) is used on every patient, man, woman or child. This diagnostic equipment is used to determine spinal range of motion, thermo-graphic and surface electromyography. These tests are used to establish a range of motion, muscle function and nervous system function benchmark, which will enable us to assess, objectively, the outcomes resulting from chiropractic treatment.
The MicroFet X-ray and the CLA Millennium 2000 are also excellent means of patient education.
The explanation of results of these tests has proven to be of immeasurable help in educating the patient. With X-ray they can see first hand what structural and functional changes have resulted to the spine due to their condition.
TAC: Tell us your most amazing patient success story.
Stabile: There have been many amazing patient success stories over the past 35 years. I have treated over 18,000 patients. I had a patient that was referred to me by his wife. He was suffering from long-time severe neck pain and stiffness, and also had been totally deaf for over 10 years. He began treatment and, after 4 or 5 weeks of treatment, he was extremely improved. He had a Friday appointment and, when he left, he made another appointment for Monday morning. That Monday, his wife called and changed the appointment to 3 p.m. that afternoon. She came in with her husband and asked if they could talk to me privately in my office. They then began to recount the happenings of the previous Friday and Saturday.
The wife explained that, on Saturday morning, when she went down to the kitchen, she and her husband were having coffee when her husband stated that he was hearing a strange clicking sound. He had become very adept at lip-reading and, because he had previously had normal hearing, he would read lips and his mind would hear the voices. This time, his wife noticed that when she answered his question about the clicking sound coming from the clock, he was not looking at her and he could not have read her lips. They explained that they went to the ear specialist on Monday morning, who confirmed that he had regained his hearing. He said that he’d noticed something different on the Friday afternoon after having his adjustment and, by Saturday morning, he was able to hear very clearly.
TAC: What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
Stabile: We use a short, but concise, Web-site, which we have both as our own and the Verizon Web Page. We are in the Verizon Phone book, the Yellow Book that is from Gannett Publishing Co., and we have newspaper ads in the local papers. We also mail to all the new residents of our city and the surrounding areas and we use a company that allows patients to go on the Web and ask for a chiropractor or chiropractic, and it prompts them to put in their zip code, which causes it to return with a chiropractor in their area as well as a link to our Web-site and a number of other similar programs. We also participate in the better insurance plans.
We do new patient lectures in our office and we offer a coupon to the attendees allowing them or someone they know to receive a Millennium 2000 scan, necessary X-rays, and a complete chiropractic examination. This has enabled us to bring in new patients without the burden of the large initial expense, which often times keeps people from entering a practice.
The best way to get patients is by referral, because they are already somewhat educated as to the benefits of chiropractic, due to the results and enthusiasm that the referring person will instill in them.
Keeping patients has become an ever-increasing problem. We have established a number of financial options for patients in our office. We have established plans ranging from prepaid treatment plans, family payment plans, monthly payment plans, etc., to enable people to receive the necessary care, while lessening the financial burden.
When all is said and done, the most important factor involved in patient retention is patient education.
TAC: With your practice being a Family Practice, can you give our readers your advice about setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system?
Stabile: With our practice being Chiropractic Family Practice and with today’s economic climate, we must be ever aware of the need to be creative with the financial needs of the patient as well as the ability to offer various methods of payment. We accept all the major debit and credit cards, checks and, the almost forgotten, cash.
The advice I can give regarding setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system is to do as I have done. PUT THE NEEDS OF THE PATIENT FIRST and ALL ELSE SECOND!!!!
When setting up a practice, be sure you equip the office with whatever equipment is necessary to deliver the best chiropractic healthcare possible. Choose reputable manufactures and distributors that will stand behind the equipment and will educate you and your staff on its proper use.
Choose a reputable computer equipment vendor that will only recommend what you need and not what he needs to make the most money. The most invaluable part of a computer system is the technical support necessary in the initial set-up and educational process. Follow-up technical support on a daily basis is also invaluable. Life System’s (see tool kit) technical support has proven to be the most reliable, with capable, qualified and friendly employees.
To function efficiently, an office must have rules and procedures. Set up a list of office tasks and identify the responsible person to perform the various tasks. Develop a set of detailed instructions, which outline the proper steps involved in performing the various tasks. Cross-train employees, so that, in the event of illness or vacation, the office will be able to function efficiently. Have a patient education plan in effect. Have a patient office policy statement, which the patient reads and signs on their first visit to your office. This should contain all the information necessary to insure the patient knows what they are responsible for and what the office responsibilities are. Give the patient a copy of this when you give your report of findings. This one document can prevent an immeasurable amount of grief, if the patient does not follow office policy.
TAC: What do you foresee in the future of chiropractic?
Stabile: There is nowhere for chiropractic to go but up. With the historic never-ending struggles that chiropractic has endured and has successfully overcome, if we continue to present a united front, we will endure the storms and become stronger. If we maintain our positive attitude, are truthful and steadfast with our beliefs, we will be successful in one of the most positive impacts on the better health of mankind.
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
Stabile: We must first educate ourselves, our patients, other professionals and the public about chiropractic and the subluxation complex. We must educate the patient about the chiropractic adjustment and how it restores nerve function and aids the body in healing itself. Chiropractic has been around for over 100 years without being destroyed. I can only remember a quote from B. J. Palmer that goes something like, “You are not to fear the medical community. They will not destroy chiropractic. Chiropractors will be the ones to destroy it.”
If we unite, love chiropractic, and respect its art, philosophy, and science, and practice what we preach, then we have nowhere to go but up.
Clinic: 3000 square feet facility in Teaneck, NJ.
Office Hours: Mon. & Wed., 8 AM to 1 PM & 3 PM to 7 PM; Tues. & Thurs., 3 PM to 7 PM; Fri., 8 AM to 1 PM. Emergency service available 24/7.
Techniques: All recognized and popular techniques are available, including Cox, Activator, Palmer, Diversified, S.O.T., Flexion distraction, Applied Kinesiology, Pearce-Stillwagon, Grostic, as well as some other techniques, which are modifications of the standard ones.
Staff: 3 DC’s, Office Manager, 2 CA’s, 2 Insurance Administrators
Patient Demographics: 40% Male, 60% Female, 10-15% Children, 30-40% Families, 10-15% Elderly.
To give you a clear idea of what an amazing chiropractor uses to run his practice, we’ve asked Dr. Stabile to share with us some specific products & equipment that he uses to reach his practice’s goal of bringing health into his community.
2-Zenith Hi-Lo with drop pelvic and headpieces
1- Flexion Distraction Table
3-DC 101 Tables
CLA Millennium 2000 range of motion, thermal
and SEMG scan
MicroFet hand-held electronic muscle tester
1-Spinalator Inter-segmental traction table
2-Chattanooga combination EMS and Ultrasound Machines
1-Medx Low Level Laser
4-Chattanooga EMS machines
1-Chattanooga high volt galvanic and interferential machine
1-Anatamotor combination static intermittent traction and Inter-segmental traction table
2-Ergowave Inter-segmental traction tables
2-G5 Percussive massage units
The Chiropractic Practice Ace and the regulations which have been established as a result of legislation do not permit the recommendation, sale or dispensing of nutritional supplements in New Jersey. We are permitted only to advise patients on general nutritional matters.
Physician Desk Reference CD: We give our patients a printout of the medications they are taking and their use, contraindications and side effects.
Rehabilitative Physical Exercise CD: We develop and print patient exercise tailored to specific patient needs.
Life Systems: ChiroOffice, Chiro and ChiroPad: We do our billing and patient record keeping with this software. It is the essential and premium software for chiropractic office management. I would recommend it most highly. See Ad on pg. C-2
Paraphrase is a drag and drop user customized data base program which comes as a stand alone or can be used in conjunction with ChiroPad.
Bennett Accu-Tech (Terry Yochum) X-ray unit.
Konica X-ray Film Processor
OTHER COMPANIES I LOVE:
Harlan Equipment: Medx Laser
Dale Surgical Supply—Therapy equipment and supplies: Headrest paper and patient supplies.
Medical Arts Press: Business cards, stationary, envelops, HICFA forms, etc.
New Jersey X-ray
Emerson X-ray Solutions
Chirotech Table Repairs
Foot Levelers: Spinal-Pelvic Stabilizers.
You may contact Dr. Albert Stabile, Jr., D.C., F.I.C.C., C.C.P.C.P., at Associates in Chiropractic Family Health and Wellness Center, P.A,, 381 Park Street, Hackensack, NJ. 07601 or call 201-342-6111; fax 201-342-9117.