Implementing New Services: How Your Peers Do It
By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor
To help enhance your practice and increase your bottom line, we ask practicing doctors of chiropractic, like you, for ideas and solutions that have been tested in real-world environments.
In this isue, we asked: "What new product or service have you implemented in your practice in the past year and how has it benefited your practice?"
Based on your responses, there were some clear trends, but also some variety in achieving the business goals of implementing those new products and services. Everything from new ways to perform intake, to lasers and other weight loss technology to supplements and even some completely new career paths, your peers have a lot of ideas to make new systems and patient offers successful.
Dr. Mitchell Green from New York, New York, credits his success to implementing outcome assessement forms to help establish medical necessity. "Over the past year, I have actually implemented a tighter adherence to their utilization. They help to guide my practice, particularly in devising an individual, passive and active care program for each patient."
"No treatment program should be so narrowly based, however, that care is given without a more eclectic view of what's actually going on with your patient," Dr. Green continued. "Outcome assessment forms, when used correctly, not only substantiate the need of care to a third-party payer but when you look closely at what's being reported to you, as opposed to just grabbing a number from the questionnaire, this is in fact your patient telling you what's happeining to them. One would be hard pressed to find a more cost effective tool to sustain and strengthen a new or existing practice."
Nutrition and Weight Loss Technology
Dr. Diana Franklin from Quincy, Ill., says that, "Shape ReClaimed has changed my practice. I am attracting people to my office for the weight loss aspect and then converting many of them to functional medicine patients. It has provided the most referrals and the best follow through."
And Dr. Franklin isn't the only one adding nutrition or weight loss technology to her practice. This was a large trend for many doctors of chiropratic across the country.
Dr. Justin Dietrich of Bear, Delaware, has added Standard Process whole food supplements to his practice. "They just make sense. Their products don't hold any of the ingredients to keep you guessing what is in it. Their prodcut support is excellent as are the free webinars."
Lasers and X-Ray
Various lasers and x-ray technology was the hottest topic among all of the responses we received. Your peers have implemented a variety of systems and tried much of what is currently on the market.
Dr. Patric Conlin from Ogden, Utah, has implemented digital motion x-ray, PostureRay CRMA and Myovision 3G Dynamic SEMG with computerized dual inclinomter.
"The DMX obejectively deomonstrates motion segments. When there is abnormal joint motion, it objectively shows the exact location and serverity of the instability, pathology or fracture. "
"This allows the physician to specificly indicate location and severity of ligament sprain," Dr. Conlin continued. "It is essential to objectify before a diagnosis can be made. DMX is the ultimate diagnostic tool to demonstrate ligament and clinical instability, aka, subluxation of the spine."
"PostureRay software accurately measures angulation and translation of motion segments," Dr. Conlin said. "Myovision's 3G dynamic, static and dual inclinometry objectively demonstrates the results of the instability and demonstrates chiropratic adjustments effectiveness at stabilizing these ligament and clinical instabilities."
Dr. Conlin believes all three of these devices are essential in a chiropractic office, especially for the documentation of personal injury work.
He said that, "all three objectively demonstrate exact location and severity of the injuries and considerably help a physician document an effective treatment plan based off of peer reviewed guidelines. They are all investments that will pay back a hundred fold. Not having them is a great disservice to your patients."
Dr. Miguel Cruz of Burnsville, North Carolina, has added two new laser systems to his office over the past year, in addition to the four he was already using in his practice.
"We currently average 15 to 30 units of laser treatment per day at $50 to $80 per unit (cash in most cases)," said dr. Cruz.
He said he, "bought my first system six years ago and the laser has been growing ever since. I employ one full-time laser therapist with one assistant."
"Laser therapy has changed the way I practice chiropractic and I would encourage all doctors of chiropractic to look into implementing it into their own style of practice," continued Dr. Cruz.
"As to which system to buy, they all work. I recommend my colleagues to look into how the protocols for the individual system works and see if it would fit into their practice."
Dr. Cruz does caution doctors to do their homework before jumping in to purchase a laser system. "Find the one laser system that best fits your needs and style of practice," he advises.
"Before buying, I looked into two different lasers and actually attended the training seminars. I then went to Parker Las Vegas and spent three days just talking to the vendors before finding the right system for my practice. I have talked to many doctors of chiropractic who have bought a laser and don't use it, so please do your homework!"
Creating New Options
For some doctors of chiropractic, a new product or service just wasn't enough and they decided to launch a whole new career path.
Dr. Donna Meeks of Palmdale, Calif., sold her clinic and opened a sleep lab for diagnosing sleep apnea and other sleep related conditions. And Dr. Daniel Eisenberg of New York, integrated services from multiple specialists, including medical and dental into one clinic.
Your peers are offering creative solutions to better serve their patients.