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March, 2010

Products and Services That Can Successfully Enhance Your Practice

In an effort to help you enhance your practice and increase your bottom line, DC PracticeINSIGHTS asks practicing doctors of chiropractic like you for ideas and solutions that have been tested in real-world environments.

In this issue we asked:

What services or products have you added to your practice in recent years, and which have been the most successful?

We received a great deal of insightful feedback, including a variety of products and services ranging from orthotics to decompression tables to massage therapy, that have helped to make chiropractic practices more successful.

Products and Techniques Generating Success

According to Kurt Kuhn of Iowa, "Electrodiagnostics has been a wonderful addition to my chiropractic neurology specialty practice. I am able to do a much more thorough job and isolate/diagnose at a much higher level than ever before."

One of the most discussed products was decompression tables. Edward Bickmeyer of St. Charles, Mo., said, "I purchased a decompression table and cold laser about four years ago. I charged a very reasonable fee, about $2,000 for about 30 office visits (adjustments and decompressions). We saved hundreds of patients from surgery and paid off the equipment in less than a year. We did not bill insurance; it was simple. As I look back, this was one of the steps I took to generate more cash income and become less dependent on third-party payers.

"Today, we are a corrective and wellness family practice with 80 percent over-the-counter collections. I have not allowed the decompression and cold-laser services we offer to redefine our core chiropractic philosophy."

Canadian Stuart Brimmell from Thunder Bay, Ontario, said the addition of a "Teeter inversion table is an excellent adjunct in our clinic."

Lary Spiller of Kirkland, Wash., added, "Pettibon exercises, a cervical traction unit, and wobble chair. I also added intersegmental traction. I've had ice packs, lumbosacral supports and cervical pillows for years. All the above have added to the patients' positive experience and to my 'bottom line.'"

Richard Buchanan of Stockbridge, Ga., said he has "added the ProAdjuster to the office treatment about two years ago, and it has improved patient outcomes and has opened the office to an entire population of patients that would have previously never thought of utilizing a chiropractor. I also add Graston therapy to my treatment protocol, and it has also had a very positive effect on the practice."

Michael Minardo of New York City said adding the "Graston Technique has been an extremely valuable tool from a clinical and business standpoint. It not only achieves quick results but it attracts new patients by word of mouth and the Graston provider Web site."

Overall Philosophy of Health and Wellness

Chad Harrison from North Dakota took a different approach to the question and advocate for a change in mindset: "The best service that I have implemented into patient care is based on the overall health approach that is sorely needed in health care today overall. By looking into the overall biological processes of how the body functions, physical, physiologically, etc., there can be a better therapeutic response. Introducing nutrition based on therapeutic needs has greatly enhanced my patients' experience of chiropractic care."

He went on to explain that "therapeutic lifestyle changes are the key to overall enhancement of health. By linking the physical to biochemical needs the patients experience a greater health achievement overall."

Harrison said he takes his patient care even one step further: "To add to the chiropractic care and nutritional needs, simple rehabilitative exercises that the patient is responsible for performing gives them the total package to take their health into their own hands.

"Looking beyond 'our' box and into the patient's overall needs will set any chiropractor above our current health care standards."

Define Your Success, Grow Your Practice

Sometimes the best thing you can add to your practice is not a fancy new piece of equipment or a new treatment technique. Sometimes the best way to improve is first to define what success means to you.

According to Travis Elliott of Newcastle, Wyo., the definition of success is spending "more than 10 minutes per patient."

A Multitude of Ways to Grow Your Practice

As you can see from the variety of responses from your peers, there are multiple products and techniques that can add varying degrees of success to your practice. It all depends on your patients' needs and your level of financial investment.

The key to your success could be as simple as adding a part-time massage therapist to your practice. Or it might be investing in specific equipment upgrades. Regardless of how you choose to make your practice more successful, the key is to know where you want to be and how to get there.

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