A Different Way

to look at Life, Health, Business and Politics

Posts Tagged ‘Sigafoose’

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!

Advertisements

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 »

Chiropractic Missions and The Membership Practice

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on November 1, 2010

In the late 90s, Dr. Jim Sigafoose lead a series of chiropractic missions to Central America.  Over a span of a dozen years, hundreds of chiropractors participated in those missions adjusting hundreds of thousands of people.  Still today, chiropractors do missions work all over the world.

Some of these missions stand out for several reasons.  One was the miracles.  People with chronic illness were healed.  The lame began to walk, the blind to see, the infirm strengthened and the hopeless regained hope.  Another reason was the sheer number of people served.  In single trips lasting up to 10 days, literally hundreds of thousands were adjusted by a mere handful of chiropractors.  Some  adjusted at least 10,000 in a single mission.  That’s 1,000 a day!  Probably one of the greatest things that resulted from those missions is that some chiropractors were set free of limitations.

I remember Sigafoose telling folks one time that participating in a mission had the potential for making or ruining a chiropractor’s practice.  When asked what he meant, he responded “You never see yourself or chiropractic in the same light again.  You’ll either go back and tear down the walls that limit you and chiropractic OR you’ll go back to where you were and resent the things you let hold you back.”

Some chiropractors returned and literally tore down the walls  and began adjusting in the open.  Others began to simplify their procedures and systems.  Still others converted to “All cash” practices to remove interference in their practice by third party payors..

Even today, many chiropractors say “How can it be that simple?”  One answer is to stop practicing as limited scope medical doctors diagnosing every patient and jumping through the hoops required to get paid by insurance carriers.  Still others have been pigeon-holed by their so-called chiropractic “education” into thinking you can’t possibly deliver quality chiropractic care to that many people in that short span of time.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

So, how could so few adjust so many in such a short period of time and STILL give quality chiropractic care?  The answers may amaze you.  Here’s just a few reasons why it worked:

  • Few words were spoken – Because of the language barrier, a simple presentation was made by an interpreter to large groups before getting in line.
  • Adjustments were limited to the upper cervical spine.  In other words, deliver the MOST effective adjustment to the MOST people in the LEAST amount of time.
  • Simplest procedures possible.  No paperwork.  No insurance.  No CYA.  No BS.  Chiropractic analysis ONLY.
  • No worries about money.  Many will say “Of course they were busy.  It was free!”  They paid plenty, just not as a direct fee.
  • The chiropractors had no distractions like phones, families, news, sports or world events.

Many have asked since those mission trips, “How can I integrate THAT perspective into my practice here in the US?”  The simple answer is “You can’t.”  Well, you can’t INTEGRATE that perspective into a traditional American-style chiropractic practice.  Simply put, today’s chiropractic is practiced literally from a Medical perspective with all it’s procedures and complexity.  And to make a point, THAT is exactly what chiropractic wasn’t (and isn’t) at its core.

You can’t integrate simplicity into complexity.  But, you CAN replace complexity with simplicity.  I know it sounds difficult to do.  But, so is falling off a log.  The hardest part is simply deciding to opt out of the complex system practiced here in the US.

Here’s the key.  SIMPLIFY!   That’s it.  Just like with those mission trips, you get back to the very basics of what we do as chiropractors.

  • Tell the story in as few words as possible to as many people as you possibly can.
  • Don’t waste words on idle chatter.
  • Limit paperwork and procedures to the bare minimum required.
  • Do JUST chiropractic!  Locate and correct subluxations.  No medical diagnosis.  Better yet, do ONLY what is necessary.  If nothing else, make sure the Atlas is clear.
  • Offer a simple, affordable fee system that fits into most people’s budget.  Unlimited care plans at a fixed fee makes sense to me.

Personally, I have found The Membership Practice the most congruent way to practice.  The concept is not new, but growing.  I challenge every chiropractor who wants to enjoy their practice more by doing JUST chiropractic to simplify their business on every level.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Christianity, Health care, health insurance, Insurance, spirituality, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Better – Faster – Cheaper

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on September 17, 2008

One of my major chiropractic influences has always advocated a volume practice.  But, he always warned us that chiropractic could also be a difficult career path, at times.  His admonition was to always be looking for opportunities to serve and to tell others about the benefits of chiropractic care.

My mentor was from another time, a time prior to insurance where a consumer’s only reluctance was due to ignorance or outright lies about chiropractic from the medical establishment.  Then, the message was fairly simple, “Chiropractic is better, it’s faster and it’s cheaper” than other approaches to health problems that had failed so many health consumers.  And, at that time, there was no such thing as third party reimbursement.  No “health” insurance, no Medicare, no nothin’.  Huge practices were built simply by referral, education and, obviously, results.

Many of my chiropractor friends that had practiced prior to the coming of insurance reimbursement for chiropractic care lament the days when folks gladly paid cash for their care BECAUSE they knew their problem would be dealt with WITHOUT a whole lot of nonsense like they had come to expect at their “other” doctor’s office.  They also knew that if chiropractic care could help them, the results would show up pretty quickly and that it would not cost them an arm and a leg.

While many chiropractors that love the principle of innate healing and the power of the chiropractic adjustment, the reality of student loans, financial overhead and sometimes easy payment from insurance companies, we’ve become (as a profession) guilty of essentially medicalizing chiropractic.  We’ve taken a very simple concept of reducing nerve interference and turned it into some sort of treatment regimen.  And while a chiropractic problem (if left unresolved) may eventually BECOME a medical problem, it is now used to scare people into care.

Early chiropractors desired to make the “one” adjustment that permanently corrected a person’s problem forever.  While that’s certainly a noble desire, today’s stressful world does make that almost impossible.  However, chiropractic pioneers offered a revolutionary concept of empowering folks to be as healthy as possible and less dependent on ANY sort of doctor, chiropractors included.  One famous chiropractor had a saying, “Find it.  Fix it.  Leave it alone.”  The whole premise was to fix the problem and not screw it up by doing anything more.  Good advice, indeed.

There are (at least) two approaches in chiropractic today that really bother me.  They both are based in the concept of “exhaustion of benefits”, even more evidence of the medicalization of chiropractic.  With one approach, HMO and PPO providers will see you as few times as possible and bill for everything the insurance company will pay them.  The other suggests a care plan with a huge number of visits, showing how much your insurance will pay, then allowing you to make payments on the balance.  Both of these are heavily oriented towards a mechanistic approach and diminishes the true value of chiropractic as a simple, safe and affordable means toward better health and living.

Wouldn’t it be better to see LOTS of people INSTEAD of seeing people lots?  If people KNEW they could go to a chiropractor and feel better and function better and NOT EVEN have to use their insurance, wouldn’t ALL chiropractors AND the public benefit so much more?

My chiropractic mentor (one of many, actually) often said “You’ve gotta always market yourself BECAUSE people get better!”  I long for the days when chiropractors strove to empty the hospitals and prisons and fill the churches and synagogues because people wanted to live better lives and chose chiropractic as a vehicle to help them do so.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Ethics, Finance, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »