31 March 2014, by tpotisk
Chiropractic economics in 2014. Chiropractic practice expenses are increasing nation-wide resulting in reduced profits. Ouch!
That was the common thread I heard being discussed at a recent continuing education (CE) seminar. Chiropractors both new and veteran expressed concern and dismay. But there is hope!
After chatting with these many DCs I became reminded of several basic business concepts. These must be addressed regularly for any chiropractic economics issues.
1) The basic business formula for success never varies. It is high volume plus low overhead equals high profit. For a chiropractic practice this translates into the necessity for the DC to constantly be striving to attend to more patients at less cost. The trick here is to do so without compromising quality of service. I’ve observed that this can be done easier than most Chiropractors believe. The solution is best found by having a third person (chiropractic practice consultant, coach, or guide) view the practice procedures and make recommendations. Usually, it comes down to simply streamlining and better organizing the practice’s systems. It makes for good chiropractic economics. The barrier is usually the doctor and their narrow-minded view of how things need to run. Can you let go of at least some of your barriers doctor? You’d be amazed at the profits to be had with a few simple alterations.
2) Improving the profits by increasing volume and cutting expenses needs to be a team effort. The doctor needs to call his employees together. Then clearly state the chiropractic economics practice issue, ask for suggestions from the employees, request their cooperation, and then institute changes. This too is easier than most doctors believe, but only when done with a foundation of doing whats good for the entire organization and not just the doctor’s bank account. Start by reminding the staff of the office’s over-all higher purpose; that its vital role is to bring optimum health and wellness to the community. Rally your troops with enthusiasm before attempting any changes. Can you sincerely listen to your staff doctor?
3) Accept that expenses will always be rising. The costs of rent, utilities, equipment maintenance, and salaries have always been going up and likely always will. Efforts to improve the office’s bottom line should be done with that in mind. Make the subject of cost containment and patient volume efficiency a bi-yearly strategy and planning session. Call it Chiropractic Economics. Keeping after this issue consistently keeps it in control. Can you accept that constant efforts like this are worthwhile doctor?
Raising your prices or adding more services, although necessary sometimes, are usually temporary patches at best.
Implementing those three business concepts can get your practice on a path of Chiropractic economic prosperity.
I did it; your next!
Dr Thomas Potisk
PS I wrote the best book for chiropractors about chiropractic practice management and marketing. It’s called Reclaim the Joy of Practice: An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors. Don’t practice another day without reading it.