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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
January, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 01
Cutting Back Does Not Mean Cutting Corners
By Angie Patrick
With the new year upon us, now is the time to make some observations, commitments and resolutions about the way you do business. As our economic climate is changing globally, the effect to our practice or small business can be felt. Cutting back does not equate to cutting corners. Making changes in some of the current ways you promote yourself, promote your professionalism, and conduct your everyday business can net you additional assets rather than liabilities. Making sound choices appropriate for your business, your image, and your wallet can only assist you through these uncertain times, allow you a measure of consistency in the execution of a sound business plan and help provide greater financial stability.
Let's look at how you operate your business. Are you a mobile therapist? If so, do you keep an accurate record of your mileage? Have you kept your automobile maintenance receipts? Do you have a gas card that pays you a reward of some kind, be it airline points, discounts on future purchases, or free gas? Do you make all your business purchases with the same credit card, also allowing for reward points, cash back or some other benefit? If these are things you have not considered, you should. These things help you to manage the expenses and provide relevant and accurate information at tax time, often resulting in some deductions you may be missing!
Do you have a brick-and-mortar location? If so, have you considered renegotiating your lease with your landlord? With so many businesses sitting empty, the last thing your landlord will want to do is lose a good tenant. They may opt for a reduction in rent rather than be faced with possible vacancies. It certainly cannot hurt to broach the subject when your lease is up for renewal. This can potentially be a savings of hundreds of dollars a year, which can provide you with extra money you can funnel into other areas of your business that may need attention.
Do you buy your own supplies? If so, consider bulking your ordering to see if you can obtain any additional discounts. If you typically order monthly or bimonthly, consider ordering quarterly and buying in bulk. This often results in a decrease of your supply expense, and all it costs you is a bit of pre-planning and storage.
Do you do any advertising? If not, consider making the investment in your business, and get the word out to the public. You do not have to run out to the newspaper and take out a full-page ad; you can use smaller venues to build your business. Consider placing ads in church bulletins, and in community publications. Perhaps you utilize community sponsorship opportunities to get your name in the community. Little League teams, Girl Scout events, Fun Runs and charity events all reach your target market, and can help you establish yourself as a mainstay supporter of your community and a subject-matter expert.
Can your customers get in contact with you easily? If not, then you run the risk of having them make another phone call and go to a competitor. When people are ready to book an appointment, they do not want to wait for a return call in order to confirm. They want immediate gratification and the satisfaction of knowing their appointment has been made.
If you book your own clients, it is often difficult to timely manage the inbound calls when your services are booked the majority of the day. It may be advantageous to look into an online service to manage bookings for you. This would be a Web site service that enables your clients to book their appointments themselves online, and keep you from always being behind the eight ball in returning calls. One such service I have seen is www.bookingcalendar.com, and from what I can tell, it takes all the stress off of managing a client book.
Are you contacting your customers on a regular basis? If not, you may be missing opportunities for bookings for birthdays, anniversaries, client gifts, thank-you gifts and bridal parties. Taking a moment to touch base with your client base once a month by phone, e-mail, newsletter or postcard can help put your business at the top of their mind when it comes to gift-giving and celebrations. Not to mention that it can prompt them into a rebooking of your services for themselves!
Are you as organized as you should be? Do you keep receipts in the glove box, loosely in the desk drawer, or tossed in a shoebox? Are your customer contacts in a database or file for easy reference? Do you have updated client intake forms filled out for each client? Are you appropriately recording all transactions for tax purposes? Do you have billing up to date? Are your expenses managed appropriately? If not, consider working toward bringing these items in line with a concentrated effort to de-clutter, organize and manage these very real business needs. You are a professional, and a professional runs their business; they do not allow their business to run them.
Take a few minutes to consider these issues, and see if your business could benefit from making some changes. The chances are it will, and could help you achieve a better result for the time and energy you expend to make your business work. The goal here is not to be cheap, but rather to streamline and organize to maximize your growth potential in tighter economic times. By tweaking a few things, you will see the positive difference you can make, and it will encourage you to look into new ways to trim the excess, and make the existing processes more efficient. With greater efficiency comes greater profitability, and making more money doing what you enjoy is a very good byproduct indeed.
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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