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Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
U.S. Olympians Have a DC in Their Corner
It's probably old news to you that doctors of chiropractic play an increasingly prominent role in treating athletes, from youth sports participants to weekend warriors, to elite / professional competitors.
December, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 12
Making the Leap
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
How do you know when the right time to jump from employment to private practice is? I have been asked that question a lot lately. Often I consult with massage therapists who have enjoyed the benefits of employment at a variety of venues but somehow think they are missing out on the opportunity to run their own show.They ask me, "When and how do you know you are ready to make the leap?" It is a question that is not easily answered but I will address some key points to consider before making any moves.
Let me start by saying that not everyone is cut out for self-employment. It seems desirable and in this day and age when any employment situation feels less than secure, being in business for yourself has an allure of self-sufficiency and security. Not so fast. Small businesses are closing at alarming rates for the simple reason of not making it, not being able to pay the bills and not generating enough business. That being said, I am not discouraging you but want to pose a few questions first.
Look Before You Leap: Questions to Consider
There are many other factors that bode well for self-employment but in my mind, those are the top four. If the answers to those four questions are less than favorable, do not despair. It might mean that you are better suited for part-time private practice and part-time employment. I would suggest that you not rely 100 percent on self-employment and mix it up with working for someone else.
Is There More Money in Private Practice?
Many people think that private practice means more money. I hate to burst your bubble but not really. If you are one person working in private practice, the amount of money you stand to make is usually close to, if not equal to, what you would make if you worked for someone else. For example, I have a travel business. I charge $100 per hour. Sounds like a lot of money, right? But it takes me almost two hours for every one hour client, with travel time and set-up time. Right away I am down to $50 per hour. Take out expenses and I am knocking on the door of $40 per hour. Gee... I could work for a chiropractor and not have to do any marketing, not have to do any laundry, not make any phone calls, and make about $35 per hour. Why don't I do it then? For me, it's simple. It's about control and the need to be in command of my schedule. So ask yourself, why do you want to be self-employed? If it is for more money, think again. If it is because you want more control, freedom and flexibility, read on.
Knowing When the Time is Right
So when is the right time to make the leap? My suggestion to students is to do both at the same time. If you really know you want private practice and that is the "big" dream, start right out of school, in addition to working for someone else. After all, private practice can mean one client. But that one client turns into two and four and so on. Once you have established a solid base of 10-15 private clients per week and consistently can count on those numbers, it would be safe to consider leaving your employment situation. The problem with those numbers is that often an employment situation means 10-20 clients per week as well. That seems like too much work for the average therapist. The trick is to find the balance.
If you are currently working at Main Street Spa and see 20 clients per week over five days, consider reducing your days to four and taking private clients on two days. That may mean you work six days a week but that is what it takes to build a business. As your two private practice days fill, give up another day at the spa. As your three private practice days fill, give up another day. At this point the spa may catch on that you are working privately and unless you have signed a non-compete agreement, there is no problem. But as a former business owner, I looked for consistency of care for clients and once you are no longer "available", you may want to consider leaving the spa altogether and running with your private practice. If I have the numbers figured right, at this point you are working three days privately and three days at the spa. Your private numbers should be around 12 or so per week, seemingly enough to rely on so that if you quit the spa, you are not destitute. You now have created space for new private clients as well. Remember the universe hates a void and space must be created in order for abundance to fill it.
The bottom line is that I cannot tell you when to make the leap from employment to private practice. Every situation is different. It also depends on how much money you need to make and who else is able to support you, if anyone. This is a case-by-case situation and a large part of my consulting revolves around this very issue. Check your motives, ask yourself the tough questions and be realistic about expectations. Businesses fail every day. The latest statistics suggest it takes two years to build a self-supporting private practice. Having built two massage businesses of my own in two states, I concur with those findings. However, if you do your homework beforehand and don't rush the process, you can enjoy the fruits of self-employment.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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