Q: Which adjunctive services, if offered, have you found to be most beneficial for chiropractic practices?
A: The language of reimbursement today is the language of function. In order to fully participate in the mainstream of healthcare, chiropractors must become proficient in objectively assessing and documenting the functional outcomes of their care. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to track functional outcomes in a practice that operates in the “passive care paradigm” of the 1970’s–in which patients come in, lie down, receive an adjustment, hot pack and muscle stimulation, visit after visit, for forty-plus visits. The most successful chiropractors today include active care/rehabilitation in their treatment protocol.
The CPTÔ codes with the highest value are the active care codes: therapeutic exercises, kinetic activities, neuromuscular rehabilitation, and others. The reason for the high level of reimbursement these services receive is that they produce a higher quality outcome. Patients who participate in rehabilitative exercise programs have a lower rate of recurrence of their original conditions, and this is recognized by third party payors. After hiring a personal coach, the most beneficial service a chiropractor can add to their practice is to invest in low tech (tubing, bands, gymnic balls), or high tech (weight stack machines) rehabilitative exercise equipment.
Q: What mistakes in practice management do most DC’s make?
A: The single most effective habit you can develop to successfully manage your practice, after hiring a professional coach, is to establish regularly scheduled practice building hours. While almost every doctor I speak to has established regular hours for patient care, only a very few have established similar hours for practice building.
If you search long enough, in every chiropractic office you will find a box filled to the brim with seminar notes. These notes contain ideas, each one a gem, that has never been implemented. The single most efficient way to close the gap between idea and implementation is to set aside a minimum of two-to-three hours each week devoted entirely to practice building. This time should take place in your office and should be uninterrupted.
Chiropractors have two businesses. The first business is the patient care business and the second business is the practice building business. Most doctors attempt to build their practices and polish their procedures in between and around patient care. Develop the habit of dedicating regularly scheduled time to building your practice. This habit will allow you to focus your energy and attention on practice growth and will keep you from diverting your attention away from your patients during the time you should be focusing on them.
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.