Practice Management


Winning Leaves Marks
Practice Management
Written by Dr. Eric Kaplan, D.C., F.I.A.M.A.   
Thursday, 23 September 2010 13:32

Winning Leaves Marks

by Dr. Eric Kaplan, D.C., F.I.A.M.A.

 

Early in my chiropractic career, I wanted to know why some doctors made it and others didn’t. I wanted to know what the winners know. Winning and success go hand in hand. If you win, you are a success. So I began my journey; I began searching for the secrets of success 30 years ago. I discovered an interesting principle: success leaves marks. A wise man who had studied success for more than 50 years concluded that the greatest success principle of all was, “Learn from the experts.” I spent my time studying from the likes of Doctors James Parker, Sid Williams, Larry Markson, David Singer, Jim Gregg, John Hoffmann, Ian Grassom, and Dominick LaForte, to name a few. If there was a seminar, I was there, watching, listening observing. Winners win for a reason. There is a system to winning. Winners Learn from the Experts If you want to be a big success in any area, find out what other successful people in that area are doing, and do the same things, until you get the same results. When I studied the interviews, speeches, biographies and autobiographies of successful men and women, I found that they all had one quality in common. They were all described as being “extremely well organized, disciplined, and sincere.” They used their time very, very well. They were highly productive and they got vastly more done in the same period of time than the average person. WINNERS • Set and achieve big goals • Learn and grow from overcoming obstacles • Develop a character of persistence and unshakeable self-confidence • Get the support and cooperation of others • Focus on priorities and concentrate on key tasks • Learn the key skills required for success • Ignore “nay-sayers” and keep their eye on the prize Winners Are Both Effective and Efficient High performing men and women are both effective and efficient. They always do the right things, and they do them in the right way. No person I know is more efficient than my wife. She would not expect less from me; I love her for this. Winners are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality and quantity of their output. As a result, their contributions to their professions have a higher and, therefore, much better result than the contributions of the average person. Average to me is defined as “the best of the worst and the worst of the best.” Don’t be average in your work. In my discussions with hundreds of top doctors over the years, I have found that they all have one thing in common. They have taken the time to sit down and create a clear blueprint for themselves and their future lives. Even if they started the process of goal setting and personal strategic planning with a little skepticism, every one of them has become a true believer. Mark Victor Hansen once said, “You must state it to create it.” Winners Are True Believers Every one of them has been amazed at the incredible power of goal setting and strategic planning. Every one of them has accomplished far more than they ever believed possible in their lives and they ascribe their success to the deliberate process of thinking through every aspect of their work and their lives, and then developing a detailed, written road map to get them to where they want to go. Winners’ Definition of Happiness Happiness has been defined as, “The progressive achievement of a worthy ideal, or goal.” When you are working progressively, step-by-step toward something that is important to you, you generate within yourself a continuous feeling of success and achievement. When a patient comes to your office and you get him or her well, isn’t that achieving a goal; does that not bring a level of happiness? Each time you help a patient, you help yourself and your practice. In your report of findings, set goals for the patient. Achieving these mutual goals will lead to mutual success. A referral from a satisfied patient is a form of success. Winners Determine their Values Personal strategic planning begins with your determining what it is you believe in and stand for. Your values lie at the very core of everything you are as a human being. You must value being a doctor, value the employees that trust their livelihood into your hands, value the patients that trust their wellbeing to you. Your values are the unifying principles and core beliefs of your personality and your character. Winners Build Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem Once you define your values and set your goals, you have begun the exercise in building self-confidence, self-esteem and personal character. When you take the time to think through your fundamental values, the time to set your goals and then commit yourself to living your life consistent with them, you feel a surge of mental strength and well-being. You feel stronger and more capable. You feel more centered in the universe and more competent of accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. Form this day forth, decide for yourself what makes you truly happy and then organize your life around it. Write down your goals and make plans to achieve them. Being a winner, believing in yourself, will make you happier and healthier beyond your dreams. Every patient you help is a win; let your life be filled with victories. Be a winner, help some people today.

 
Get Unlimited Referrals from Lawyers
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Practice Management
Written by Dr. Mark Studin DC, FASBE, DAAPM, DAAMLP   
Thursday, 23 September 2010 13:30

Get Unlimited Referrals from Lawyers

by Dr. Mark Studin DC, FASBE, DAAPM, DAAMLP

 

An orthopedic surgeon in a suburb of New York City gets 50+ referrals from lawyers a month. A neurosurgeon in southern Florida gets 40+ referrals from lawyers every month. A physical medicine specialist in Kentucky gets 50+ referrals from lawyers every month. Why can’t you?

You can. A chiropractor in New York averages 63 referrals from lawyers monthly, one in Florida gets 40+ every month and a doctor in upstate New York gets 30+ every month, working only 2½ days per week and has only been in practice for 8 years.

I have heard every excuse imaginable from doctors nationally, the top three being: 1) Lawyers will only work with you if you refer them patients. 2) All lawyers in my area are "on the take" and will only send you patients if you find ways to pay them off. 3) Lawyers want you to alter your reports to magnify or fabricate the problems, so they can win their cases. Although there are a fringe few in the legal profession who do this, it is nonsense. Do you really think that the majority of lawyers are willing to lose their license, and go to jail to win a case?

Open your eyes! It’s not about the payoffs, the referrals to them or misrepresenting your patient in your reports; IT’S ABOUT YOU! Do you think the medical specialists or those chiropractors getting a huge number of referrals play "games?" The answer is, "No!"

It is time we, as a profession, wake up and take a hard look at what we do. We send newsletters to lawyers about chiropractic care. We take them out to fancy steak dinners and give them tickets to ballgames. We buy them fancy gifts. Stop wasting your money, because it doesn’t work. There is no newsletter you can send that will make a lawyer want to work with you.

There is only one reason a lawyer will want to work with you; they want to win their case in an honest and ethical fashion and you, as the expert, give them the best chance of prevailing in court or settlement negotiations. I have lectured to over 35,000 lawyers nationally over the last 20 years and, in a poll during those presentations, that was the number one reason lawyers wanted to work with doctors.

In order for this to occur, the doctor must be able to render an accurate diagnosis and prognosis through triaging the patient on the basis of the clinical picture presented. This means the doctor has to be expert in 6 separate areas: 1) neuropathology 2) disc pathology 3) MRI interpretation 4) spine pathology 5) crash dynamics 6) triaging the injured/orthopedics.

Therefore, it’s time we, as individual doctors, realize this, and, if we want to enjoy all of the benefits that a personal injury practice offers, make the commitment to becoming expert in trauma-related care. There are numerous programs offered to members of the profession. There are courses on orthopedics, disc, neurology, crash, MRI and a whole menu of other programs available which are required to make a lawyer want to work with you. Your knowledge alone isn’t enough because the world of the lawyer is not based solely on rhetoric; lawyers live in the world of the printed word and require your credentials to be clearly outlined in a professional curriculum vitae (CV). Your CV must be in an admissible format and have those credentials to let the lawyer utilize you "on paper" in negotiations for settlement or to get evidence admitted in court. Your credentials are the key to success for the lawyer.

As a side note, if you need to see a sample CV to use as a template in creating yours, please go to www.TeachChiros.com
and click on "About Us." There are 3 samples located on the bottom.

Once you have the knowledge and the CV, the next step is to have a narrative that is admissible. I have critiqued 1000s of doctors’ narratives nationally, over the last few years, and doctors still think that an insurance report of the examination is the same document that can be sent to a lawyer. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A lawyer does not need to know the type of care you have rendered. They only want to know what is wrong with your patient. You must go to great lengths to ensure that those reports are in an admissible format and give the lawyers all the tools they need to be able to communicate the truth without ever compromising your integrity of rendering the facts.

The last step, and often the most difficult to many, is how to get the lawyer to know that you are the best clinically, that your CV is impeccable and your narrative is admissible, allowing them to prevail. Surprisingly enough, this is the easiest part. Once you have created an infrastructure within your office of admissibility and have a communications system to transmit information to lawyers without them having to run after you, the lawyers will want to work with you.

In fact, in hundreds of doctors’ offices nationally, lawyers are now running after the doctors. It is quite the paradigm shift. Ask those chiropractors I initially spoke about that are getting 30-63 new lawyer referrals per month. Those doctors have made the commitment of excellence and have taken the steps to let the legal community know they are the best at what they do.

Lawyers do not care about your newsletters, food or gifts. They want to win their cases in an honest and ethical manner and once they know you are the best clinically in caring for the injured, your CV is impeccable and your work is admissible, they will refer. Like the quote in the movie Field of Dreams, "Build it and they will come."

 
Frustrated with Bad Tech Support
Practice Management
Written by Michael Failla, D.C.   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 13:46

Frustrated with Bad Tech Support

by Dr. Michael Failla, D.C.

 

After years of having to deal with the customer service departments of insurance companies, most doctors and their staffs have grown numb from having to navigate through a series of "Press 1 for this," or "Press 2 for that" computer animated call centers. Collectively, we are all tired of being shuffled from one impersonal system to another. This experience is only compounded when we are having difficulty with our computers or software, since there is a sense of helplessness and a stagnation of all productivity when our systems are down.

The technology industry is notoriously bad at providing good support for many of their users. In an article in Consumer Reports, many of the larger technology companies were out shined by smaller companies in providing solutions to their problems in over 30 percent of the cases. The major frustrations these people faced came from long hold times, repeating information over and over to multiple representatives and the high cost of support per hour.

FWBTS

One study stated that 85 percent of customers said that they would stop using a company’s product after a bad experience with a call center.

One study stated that 85 percent of customers said that they would stop using a company’s product after a bad experience with a call center. As professionals and business owners, we don’t have time to waste on the phone with strangers or, even worse, automated systems attempting to correct a problem we are struggling with. Nor do we want to have the time of a staff member being expended in this manner.

In the past, lousy and impersonal service may have been forgiven because the number of options that customers had were fewer, so they made do and suffered through it. However, in this age where we need our problems solved yesterday, quality customer service is an expectation, not just a luxury. Any software company that you deal with today should make it a part of their corporate culture to have resources available to overcome support issues. It should be the norm that your software is backed with:

1. Informative newsletters summarizing software features so that you can get regular pointers and tips for trouble shooting.

2. Online Webinars for live demonstrations of how to utilize your program.

3. Dedicated trainers and customer representatives that are assigned to you so you get to speak with someone live that you are familiar with.

4. Reasonable fees for updates and support, since one problem can easily run up an exorbitant bill.

 

As with any purchase you make for your office, it is important to do your homework about the quality of the product and equally imperative that you research their customer service record. Larger companies may be more impersonal, while smaller companies may be under staffed, which can lead to frustrations in the future. Since changing vendors takes a significant investment of time and effort, it is important that you form a relationship with a company that you can trust.

 

Dr. Michael FaillaDr. Michael Failla is the President and Co-owner of Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of ChiroTouch. Dr. Failla graduated from Life University College of Chiropractic in Atlanta, Georgia, and went on to run a highly successful chiropractic office in Seattle, Washington, for 25 years. Dr. Failla sold his practice in 2007 and continues to promote health and wellness by helping chiropractors run streamlined and successful practices with more time for their patients and less time with their paperwork.

 
Healthcare Information Technology — The Key to Unlocking the Door to National Reform
Practice Management
Written by Dr. Steven J. Kraus, D.C., D.I.B.C.N., C.C.S.P., F.A.S.A.   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 13:41

Healthcare Information Technology — The Key to Unlocking the Door to National Reform

by Dr. Steven J. Kraus, D.C., D.I.B.C.N., C.C.S.P., F.A.S.A.

 

President Obama’s administration recently hosted forums on healthcare reform in cities across our country. I was fortunate to be included on the invitation list to the forum held in Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa White House Forum on Healthcare Reform featured a panel of high-profile elected officials, including Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa Governor Chet Culver, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, who serves as the director of the White House Office on Healthcare Reform.

Healthcare

True reform is not just looking to pay for coverage of all Americans. If we only seek to pay the bills, we are simply expanding coverage for the uninsured with no true system reform

As one of the few selected to ask a question of the panel, I inquired about evidence-based practices and the role they would play in impending reform. I discussed how evidence supports that low back pain treated by a chiropractic physician is a best practice for its effectiveness and cost efficiency, but the challenge we face is having no way to communicate this conclusion to the broader healthcare community. The essential question: If we are to have true healthcare reform, how are we going to make information on best practices available, quickly and to all medical providers?

The answer: Through technology.

The Obama Administration is pushing to launch a reformed healthcare model by the end of 2009. Senator Harkin is leading much of the reform policy discussions and has announced his goal to establish policy rules by June. Senator Chuck Grassley, influential on the financial side of the healthcare equation, and Senator Harkin are committed to fulfilling the President’s bipartisan promise and are working aggressively toward these timelines.

Senator Harkin gave insight into his viewpoints, and what we might anticipate as a national model, when he used my inter-disciplinary clinic as an example at the forum. My clinic employs MD’s, DC’s, physician assistants, physical therapists and others, including acupuncturists. Senator Harkin’s belief is that we need integration and collaboration; healthcare professionals must come together and work as a team to deliver the best possible patient outcomes. He also indicated that we have a "sick care" system, rather than a healthcare system. In order to have a healthcare system, we must also focus on wellness and prevention, and not exclusively on those who are already ill. And finally, true reform is not just looking to pay for coverage of all Americans. If we only seek to pay the bills, we are simply expanding coverage for the uninsured with no true system reform. The goal for healthcare reform is to change how care is delivered, and much of that change will be supported by technology.

The forum attracted attendees from all facets of healthcare, including dentists, surgeons, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNP’s), chiropractic physicians, and more, and everyone is seeking to be integrated into this anticipated collaborative model. But, reform is not about racing to the front of the line and just being counted. Rather, it is about changing the method of selecting services, how we integrate patient choice and patient responsibility, and addressing physician responsibility for treating the whole person and not just the ailment that prompted the patient to make a clinic visit in the first place. Reform is about managing the total health of the patient and, ultimately, with the right technology and care plan, letting the patient heal himself.

Only those who demonstrate preparedness and an understanding of the true need for change will be taken seriously in reform discussions. In the current climate, preparedness is synonymous with technology, and chiropractic physicians who implement Electronic Health Records (EHR) are more likely to get the attention of the federal government and policy makers. Preparedness gives us influence and tells those leading reform efforts that we, too, are serious about participating in a changed system. In this situation, there is great power in numbers. The more doctors of chiropractic who adopt an interoperable EHR system, the more credit we will get for responding quickly to government imperatives on the front end, instead of waiting, like many others, until the last minute.

When we adopt this technology, it is absolutely critical that we select something more than a digital note-taking system. Such a program will not be sufficient to support the anticipated depths within reform. Does the system you’re considering assist you by offering alerts about non-compliant patients? Does the proposed system monitor the plan of care? Is there intelligence built into the technology to guide you, rather than just capturing information you enter? We can only improve care if we move to a digital system that works side-by-side with us, to share best practices, measure outcomes, and provide detailed patient information to other practitioners when requested. A true EHR program accomplishes this, and more.

The reality is that care will be managed jointly by the doctor and the patient, and technology that allows for the transfer of data back and forth provides guidance on best practices, and monitors information to provide valuable alerts and reminders which are key to helping the doctor better manage case load. Get the right technology now and be a player in early healthcare reform—the train has actually left the station, so catch up and get on board, before it’s too late.


 

SDr. teven Kraus J. KrausDr. Steven J. Kraus is CEO of Future Health, Inc., a company that partners with chiropractors to deliver a comprehensive clinic management solution, including fully-integrated EHR. Dr. Kraus is a recognized expert in building successful clinics, having developed and sold 18 practices of his own and provided strategic consulting services to more than 400 healthcare businesses. He offers leadership to numerous industry associations and currently serves as the Chairman of the Iowa Board of Chiropractic. Contact Dr. Kraus at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
for more information.

 
Maximize Your Income and Minimize Your Effort
Practice Management
Written by Dr. Eric Kaplan, D.C., F.I.A.M.A.   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 13:37

Maximize Your Income and Minimize Your Effort

by Dr. Eric Kaplan, D.C., F.I.A.M.A.

 

Why do some doctors (people) retire rich and some doctors (people) retire poor? This subject has fascinated philosophers, thinkers, mystics and teachers throughout the ages.

 
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