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Workers Compensation, Your Company & Unlimited Chiropractic Care

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on September 10, 2012

I have NEVER liked Workers Compensation as a chiropractor or a business owner.  However, I do realize that workplace injuries do happen and there should be some form of compensation for medical bills and income lost due to injuries caused simply by the nature of the job.  Anything that sets up an adversarial relationship between employee and employer can never be a good thing.

As a chiropractor, the concept of being a Workers Compensation provider has become extremely repugnant.  Granted, lots of folks do hurt their backs while at work and chiropractic care CAN help them recover and get back to work.  However, as has become the case with most forms of third party reimbursement, Workers Compensation has become a source of easy money for many in my profession.  It’s also created an environment that has brought some ill-repute to chiropractic.  Even though the cost of chiropractic care is well below the cost of back surgery and extensive physical therapy and rehab, it has gotten to the point where many states are making it difficult for chiropractors to even participate in Workers Compensation programs.

While chiropractors on one end of the spectrum have milked the third party cow just about dry, there is another group of chiropractors that companies ought to consider as part of its benefits and risk management team.  These chiropractors offer what has become known as chiropractic membership practices.  A chiropractic membership practice provides unlimited chiropractic care at a fixed fee usually over a specific period of time, typically for a year.  The program is designed for lifetime wellness care, though.

The membership practitioner works from a performance perspective.  Their objective is simply to take stress off the nervous system so folks can move toward their greatest potential at work, at home and at life in general.  When this happens, people are more rested, alert and less stressed.  What this means at work less time missed from work due to illness, injury or family trips to the medical doctor.  What this means to the employer is fewer Workers Com claims, fewer health insurance claims, improved morale and more productivity.  And, we all know that fewer Workers Comp and health insurance claims means lower premiums and eventually a better bottom line.

In my next blog, I’ll show you ways your company can use a chiropractic membership practice for your company and employees.

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Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Small Business, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why taxpayers should be PISSED OFF about Chiropractic education.

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on March 19, 2012

I try not to use coarse language in my writings.  And, there are just some words I won’t use.  Period.  But, as a taxpayer and chiropractor who loves what I do and why I do it, I’m simply pissed off at chiropractic education.  And, you should be, too!

Most Americans perception of chiropractors as drugless, non-surgical providers of relief from back pain.  And while chiropractic is definitely MUCH more than a non-Medical alternative to dealing with neuromuscular problems, we’ll just work with what the general public thinks we are, for now.  The one thing the virtually everyone even slightly familiar with the term “chiropractic” is that it deals with the spine…and is drugless and non-surgical.

Another thing the American public is generally aware of is that chiropractors (as a group) have a terrible self-image and often claim that “we’re REAL doctors, too!”   And, this Napoleon Complex permeates almost every aspect of my profession.  Worst of all, in the education of new chiropractors.

What the American public is probably NOT aware of is that the average chiropractic student graduates with over $200,000 in student loan debt AND that chiropractors default on student loans more than ALL other health professions COMBINED.  One of the reasons for this incredible default rate is that  the AVERAGE has an annual income of less than $100,000.  That just means that the American taxpayer is typically on the hook for  over a hundred grand for every chiropractic student that enters practice.

One of the reasons for all this is that chiropractic education is ruled by ONE accrediting agency who (in the absence of competition) requires that every chiropractic student learn more about Medicine than chiropractic.  As a result, new chiropractors can barely adjust, much less know what to adjust and not adjust and why!  And, the Medical education they receive they can’t legally use in most states in which they could practice.

As I stated in the beginning of this article, as an American taxpayer I’m really pissed off that my tax dollars are being wasted on teaching Medicine to chiropractic students.  I would every taxpayer who is also bothered by this to contact their Congressman and Senators and demand that the Department of Education pull in the reins on the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and take a serious look at how we are funding chiropractic education.  The only folks benefiting from the fiasco known as chiropractic education are those institutions who benefit from heavy student loan subsidies and those practitioners billing for services that could be done better by other professionals.

It’s time to slow down the train wreck also known as chiropractic education.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Politics, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Holy Crap! So that’s what $69 a month can do!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on June 8, 2011

I’m a chiropractor.  I’m “cheap”.  I charge $69 a month for “unlimited care”.  Some of my chiropractor friends think I’m crazy.  And, some of my chiropractic non-friends accuse me of cheapening my profession and even breaking the law.  Consumers sometime wonder “what’s the catch?”  But, the folks that like how they feel from getting adjusted on a regular basis LOVE me.  Some think I’m a “marketing genius”.  I like to think they’re pretty bright, too.

Let’s take a look and see who is right, me or my detractors.  I know I’m right.  I just feel the need to give my detractors a crack at being right.

When I first started getting adjusted 22 years ago, I had health insurance and gladly used it to pay for my care.  But, it wasn’t long after that that I became self-employed and no longer had a third party paying for my adjustments.  So, I did what any intelligent, red-blooded American man would do, I married my chiropractor and have not had to pay for my adjustments since!

After seeing and experiencing the wondrous benefits of getting checked by a chiropractor on a regular basis (and seeing it work on my own kids) I decided to become a chiropractor.  The joy and miracles I’ve experienced as a result of that decision are sometimes difficult for me to express in words.  My kids are healthy, happy and strong and have never worried about sickness or disease.  Neither have had a single vaccination (well, until my son entered the Army) nor dealt with chronic or infectious disease as a result.  And, I’ve not even taken an aspirin for the problem that led me to get adjusted in the first place.

Early in my own chiropractic career, I decided that I wanted to make this thing afforded and accessible to virtually everyone.  You see, I’m what’s called a DE chiropractor.  We understand that the world would be a better place if EVERY family could realize the benefits from chiropractic that my family has.  Some of my early mentors, including Drs Bob Sottile, Jim Sigafoose, Sid Williams and Richard Santo always posed the challenge “Make your care affordable and see lots of people”.  That was a formula that I could understand and embrace.

So, that’s what I did.  Like I said earlier, we charge a low monthly membership fee of $69.  It’s a little more for a couple and a family.  My thinking was not necessarily to make it “cheap” but to have a fee that someone would be willing to pay every month for the rest of their life.  In my case, if I had been paying just $69 a month, I would have paid over $18,ooo!  EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!  What if I had a hundred clients doing that or two hundred, three or five?  Do the math!

I wonder how we could transform the chiropractic profession from a bunch of insurance chasing back crackers to an army of folks helping families live fuller, happier drug-free lives?  What a wonderful place America (and the World) would be if we could help get millions fo families off drugs and on life!  I’m thinking $69 a month just might change the World!

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Life, military, motivational, self help, Small Business, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dollar Tree and The Membership Practice

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on February 21, 2011

My daughter and I love the Dollar Tree.  It’s amazing how many things you can buy there for $1.  You can get tools, batteries, food, cleaning products, toys, holiday decorations, gift wrap, etc.  It’s ridiculous.  As an economist and former banker, I’m also amazed that there’s a business that there’s enough profit margin on $1 items to pay rent for a retail location, salaries and utilities and STILL make a profit significant enough to make it a worthy investment.

But, I LOVE the concept.  It’s simple.  It’s clear what they do.  It’s easy to get, find what you want and get out.  That’s the premise of The Membership Practice: Great chiropractic adjustments available in a hassle free, affordable manner so that virtually anyone can afford to feel better, work better and live better ALL THE TIME!

Dollar Tree and The Membership Practice is NOT about cheap.  It’s a business model that respects the consumer’s (your) time and resources while ensuring a reasonable profit on each visit.  This mode of practice is designed to attract LOTS of dedicated, long-term clients that ensures an excellent income on a low overhead, low stress practice for the chiropractor.

Whether you’re looking for a chiropractor or a chiropractor looking for a simpler way to practice, think about The Membership Practice.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, self help, Small Business, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Membership Practice: Walmart and Unlimited Chiropractic Care

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on January 17, 2011

Some people just don’t like Walmart.  But, LOTS of people obviously DO like Walmart.  In fact, in less than 50 years Walmart has become the largest corporation in the world.

Walmart is the world’s largest corporation for one reason, value.  Sam Walton’s little business became a BIG business because their prices were just a shade lower than their competition’s.  As a result, the average American family shops at Walmart EVERY week for the typical stuff you could buy at any grocery store or hardware store or clothing store.  Granted, no one goes to Walmart for specialty items or designer clothing.

While the typical prejudice is that Walmart serves only low-income families, actual research shows that the retailer has a growing high-income clientele that shops there for their store brand items for even greater savings.  In other words, intelligent, informed consumers shop there to save money on items they purchase on a routine basis where name brands are not necessary and the saving sis appreciated.

Which brings me to The Membership Practice, a concept in chiropractic that provides individuals and families with access to chiropractic care at affordable fees without the need for insurance.  In fact The Membership Practice model offers unlimited chiropractic care at a low monthly fee deducted from your credit/debit card.  The business model is based on long-term maintenance and wellness care.  The assumption is that the average user of wellness-based chiropractic care will get checked an average of once a week.  At Langley Chiropractic Office (in Marietta, GA) the monthly fee is $69 for an individual and $129 for an entire family.

While some practitioners complain that the fees is too low and cheapens the profession’s image, my response is “baloney!”.  The concept actually enables chiropractors to help more people get the regular care that helps families stay healthy and out of the doctor’s office.  Fewer trips to the doctor’s office means money saved that can go to other needs the family may have like vacation, retirement, braces, etc.  Just like Walmart’s new slogan ““Saving people money so they can live better lives”, The Membership Practice aims to lower the barriers to families having affordable access to routine chiropractic care anywhere in the United States.

Heck, I can even see The Membership Practice in all 6000 or so Walmart stores across America!  What a great deal for Walmart, chiropractors and the public.  Imagine getting the family adjusted once a week when they go to Walmart or 500-1000 new customers going shopping at Walmart when they go for their weekly adjustments. Imagine 12-15,000 fully employed chiropractors earning a good living as they adjust hundreds or thousands of folks each week.  And, imagine the money and lives saved because of the number of Americans taking fewer drugs and making fewer visits to the doctor’s office because of their new-found health.

The vision of The Membership Practice is that every man, woman and child in America has access to quality, affordable chiropractic care.  Insurance is hardly affordable for chiropractic care these days.  IF the average American is to have ready access to regular chiropractic care, it is imperative that the profession find ways to make it available.  And honestly, I’ve always believed the free market is where the solution to rising health care costs would be found.

Look for The Membership Practice near you.  If you don’t have one, let me know.  I’ll help you find one.  And, maybe one day you’ll even find them in your local Walmart store.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Life, motivational, self help, vaccination, Weight loss, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

The Membership Practice: What are the benefits for the practitioner?

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 20, 2010

What are the benefits of The Membership Practice for the practitioner?

  • Revenue stability,
  • congruity of practice,
  • improved “compliance”,
  • better results,
  • eliminates “sales pitch” aspect of your recommendations,
  • better planning,
  • no insurance paperwork or hassle,
  • lower overhead,
  • simplifies practice,
  • increased credibility,
  • increases loyalty,
  • consumer friendly,
  • Principled.

What are some other benefits that you can think of?

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chiropractic Maintenance: If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It, Maintain It!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on September 22, 2010

One of the most misunderstood and misused concepts in healthcare is that of “chiropractic maintenance”.  Let me explain.

Some folks go to the chiropractor because their back went out or their in some sort of pain.  And because chiropractic adjustments are so effective in taking pressure off nerves that cause pain, symptoms clear up pretty quickly.  Well, relatively quickly depending on how long symptoms have been apparent.  This usually takes a few weeks to a month.  Most folks that use chiropractic care simply for pain relief end up coming back sooner than later because the problem was not fully corrected before they stopped care.

And then, some folks go to the chiropractor not only to get rid of the pain but to do what they can to keep the pain from coming back.  This process can usually take anywhere from 3-6 months.  There’s a good chance in some cases that the pain never returns and the person thinks everything is OK.   And as long as the symptoms don’t return neither does the patient.  And, as long as symptom relief and prevention is concerned that’s probably a reasonable outcome.  Most chiropractors that accept insurance would probably say that is perfectly fine.  It’s great (sort of) for everyone.  Patient knows where they can go for relief and the chiropractor always has a source of insurance reimbursement.

But then, there’s maintenance care.  Some folks look at maintenance care as a preventive measure to keep that serious problem from coming back.  And, you know what?  It IS great for that.  But, maintenance care always presents a problem.  Insurance doesn’t pay for it and Americans expect to use their insurance if they have it.  Many times, patient and chiropractor alike tell little white lies to the insurance carrier so that their patient can continue their maintenance.  Ongoing care is GOOD.  But, having patient and doctor lie to have insurance pay for it is NOT good.

There’s a bigger reason why chiropractic maintenance is a good idea.  In fact, I think “chiropractic maintenance” is a better idea than crisis or corrective care.  While some view “maintenance” as a preventive measure, that’s only a small part of the benefit that “maintenance” affords you.

The best comparison I can think of is your car.  Just about everyone maintains their car at some level or another.   We know to change the oil every 3-5000 miles, to rotate the tires on a regular basis, to have the front-end aligned, to check the radiator, the transmission fluid and so on.  Obviously, doing these things will help prevent breakdowns and maybe even accidents.  But what routine maintenance on your car REALLY does for you is to give you peace of mind.  Not only do you have the comfort of knowing your car is safer to drive it’s also less likely to have a breakdown.  You know that now your car will now run better.  And because it runs better and you worry less, you can enjoy driving and focus on those other things that make your life better.

Ongoing chiropractic “maintenance” care does that same thing for your body and your life.  As you and your chiropractor keep stress off your nerve system, your body functions better and helps prevent all sorts of problems in the future.  It also helps you be better able to handle future stresses.   In short, “chiropractic maintenance” will make every aspect of your life more effective and enjoyable.

Oh, here’s another great reason to choose ongoing “chiropractic maintenance” care.  It’s cheaper.  Just like a regular oil change is cheaper than replacing a burnt out engine, regular wellness visits take only a few minutes while the benefits pile up.  One of the aspects of my practice that I really enjoy is that folks come in smiling and leave smiling.  And because you pay monthly or yearly, you never have to deal with the hassle of insurance, copays and collections.

So, regardless of your health situation, whether sick and hurting or a finely tuned athlete, I encourage you to seek out a chiropractor who specializes in “maintenance” or wellness care.  Heck, you can even qualify them by looking for someone who doesn’t even take insurance.  Good luck in enjoying your new worry free body and lifestyle!

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Economics, Finance, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Life, motivational, self help, spirituality, Weight loss, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Council on Chiropractic Education: The Clash Between Economics and Accreditation

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on August 25, 2010

The chiropractic profession is at a crossroads.  A profession based on hands on non-allopathic, holistic principles has methodically been moved closer and closer to the practice of Medicine much to the chagrin of most practitioners in the profession.

Under the guise of ensuring the highest quality of care rendered to the public, the CCE has forced every chiropractic school into moving away from the profession’s founding principles and toward a sub-par version of manual medicine.  Being the only accrediting authority in the profession, CCE has almost no oversight and has become a rogue agency imposing its will on the chiropractic profession.  And, like a cancer, has gone virtually ignored by the U.S. Department of Education or the public which it supposedly is sworn to protect.

The folks at the Council on Chiropractic Education has even certified one chiropractic college to confer a degree of Chiropractic Medicine to its graduates.  Not only is this outside CCE’s scope, it is dangerous for the public at large.  The practice of Medicine is difficult enough for those who attend medical school and do the residency necessary to practice that art.  Chiropractors that play Medical Doctor are a menace to society just as is an MD that tries to manipulate patients in their medical practice.

There is NO justification for teaching Medicine to chiropractic students or requiring  medical education at chiropractic schools.  For one thing, it confuses the chiropractic student and graduate.  The two professions have totally opposite philosophies and really are separate and distinct.  In most states, it is illegal for the chiropractor to either make a medical diagnosis or prescribe even over-the-counter drugs for simple symptom relief.  Personally, I think it’s a good thing that chiropractors have a narrow scope of practice.

From an economics standpoint, it is almost impossible for a new chiropractor to survive in practice.  Let me restate that.  It’s virtually impossible for a new chiropractor to survive in practice without heavy third-party reimbursement or participating in multi-level marketing or by having a part-time job.  Here’s the truth.  If people want Medicine, they’ll go to a medical doctor.  People typically seek a chiropractor because they want something DIFFERENT from the Medical approach.  If all a chiropractor offers is medical LITE, he/she is simply not a good alternative.  Hence, many chiropractors fail in practice.

Because so many chiropractors fail in practice, student loan default rates are the highest of ANY of the healing arts.  If CCE’s purpose is to protect the public and make sure that student loan defaults are minimized, I would think they have failed miserably at their job.  In fact, if I were the Department of Education, I would encourage the profession to create an alternative to CCE as soon as possible and prepare to remove CCE’s standing as THE sole accrediting authority.  A worthy accrediting authority would ensure MINIMUM compliance with core requirements while allowing its schools to specialize and compete for students via different philosophical, clinical and business perspectives.

All the Council on Chiropractic Education has accomplished is to have raised the cost of chiropractic education beyond the average student’s ability to repay their debt.  Something has to stop.  Neither the chiropractic profession, the public nor the Federal Government is served by the policies and practices of the Council on Chiropractic Education.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Life, Other Advocacy Blogs, Politics, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Netflix and Unlimited Chiropractic Care

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on August 25, 2010

A long time ago, if you wanted to watch a movie you either had to go see it at the theater or wait for it to show up on TV.  Then came the VCR and you could buy videos to watch at home whenever you wanted.  Then came Blockbuster and you no longer had to buy videos, but simply rent them.  Consumers saved lots of money.  But, Blockbuster got greedy and put all sorts of restrictions and penalties on their customers.  And as always happens in a free market, a new competitor showed up.

Netflix offered unlimited rentals through the mail for a low, flat monthly fee.  This enabled consumers to order the videos they wanted to watch, when they wanted to watch them without fear of restrictions and penalties.  Netflix has improved on the concept and now allows you to simply download a movie on your computer removing another barrier to their customers.  Granted, cable companies are now allowing you to watch and pay for movies on demand.  BUT, Netflix changed the movie rental market and has almost put Blockbuster out of business.

Health care, especially the chiropractic profession is very similar to the movie rental business.  For a long time, insurance would pay for almost any bill a provider submitted.  As a result, fees went sky-high and about the only way folks could afford to the chiropractor was if it was covered on their insurance.  Even without insurance, doctors created “corrective care plans” based on what was the generally accepted per visit fee based on insurance reimbursement schedules.  Needless to say, lots of folks that wanted chiropractic care simply could not afford to go .

An innovation in health care, especially chiropractic, is the concept of unlimited care at a fixed fee.  Because the greatest benefit of chiropractic care is long-term health and wellness, a fixed number of visits over a limited period of time was limiting for both the consumer and the provider.  Unlimited care allows you to get adjusted as often as you need while KNOWING what the cost will be.  And because of the fixed fee, you can include the care as part of your lifestyle without regard to uncertainties in health care and insurance.

Unlimited care programs also work for the provider/chiropractor.  Without having to hassle with insurance companies and an overhead to justify the expense, chiropractors are able to cut their overhead.  Also, the lower fee allows them to see more people with less hassle.  This makes the chiropractor more efficient and more effective.  It actually allows more people to get care in a simple, affordable fashion.  And as people realize the great benefits of regular chiropractic care, the greater demand for simple, effective chiropractic care grows.

I urge chiropractors to consider this business model and consumers who want true health to find chiropractors that use this model.  It’s probably the best way I know to make sure that you’ll find a good chiropractor that does JUST what a chiropractor does.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Life, self help, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

All You Can Eat Chiropractic

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on August 10, 2010

Have you noticed the number of all-you-can-eat restaurants popping up all over the place?  You’d think the quality of food would be (let’s say) lacking.  In most places, though, the quality of food is pretty good while staying fresh and hot.  Oh yeah, those places always seem to be busy!

What would happen if your chiropractor (or other healthcare provider) offered a limited number of services and a reasonable (even low) price for unlimited care?  Here’s what.  You’d get better, more focused care in less time at a great value.  The other thing that would happen is that you’d see your chiropractor more often because you CAN!  Oh yeah, you’d experience the long-term benefits of regular adjustments, too!

It’s time for chiropractors (and ALL health providers) to take a second look at how they offer their services and be more transparent with their clientele.  The day of hiding behind their white coat and insurance reimbursement are all but gone.  Adapt or die.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Entrepreneurs, Ethics, Finance, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Other Advocacy Blogs, Politics, vaccination, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »