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Comparing Costs of Care: DCs, MDs or PTs - Who Costs More?
In a health care era where evidence is increasingly the benchmark for insurance coverage, patient care and even cultural authority, we get plenty of it courtesy of a retrospective cost analysis spanning 10 years, more than 660,000 "covered lives" and nearly 7.5 million claims from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Case Study: 2-Year-Old Suffering From Urinary Reflux
A19-month-old female child presented to my office for treatment. Her mother reported the child had been diagnosed with urinary reflux and associated urinary tract infections, recurrent bouts of otitis media and inability to sleep.
News in Brief
F4CP MEmbership Milestone Reached; ICA Challenging New California Vaccine Law; TCC Names New President; New Provost at UWS.
Dealing with a Pain in the Butt
The patient came into my office with the classic antalgic stoop. She was bent over almost to ninety degrees, leaning on her husband for support and staggering to walk. She had been under supportive care for a long time, but this new pain scared her.
The Lung Official
The Lung is known as the "Official Who Receives the Pure Chi From the Heavens." The act of breathing in, known as inspiration, brings oxygen into the body from the atmosphere. Each exhalation or expiration removes and releases carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body, into the atmosphere.
Sacroiliac Joint Fusion: Where's the Wisdom?
We should be very skeptical of the purportedly less invasive version of the already defrocked sacroiliac fusion surgery, "minimally invasive" sacroiliac joint fusion; and concerned this procedure simply represents the device manufacturer's attempt to find yet another new market.
Acupuncture's Essential Role
Acupuncture should play a more prominent role in U.S. healthcare during and after this post-Affordable Care Act era when chronic care and population health management are key concerns for all healthcare providers.
NBCE Fumbles Computerized Testing Process
Imagine being a student again, about to take one of the four tests required to become a doctor of chiropractic. You've studied almost nonstop for the past few weeks. You can feel your anxiety level rise as you sit down in front of the computer screen.
Letter to the Editor
On December 7, 1999, the U.S. FDA reclassified the status of acupuncture needles from class III (investigative devices subject to investigative device exemptions...) to class II (special controls).
Concerns Regarding CDC Guidelines for Pain Management
In response to the epidemic rates of opioid and heroin addiction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set new guidelines for physicians regarding treatment for pain.
Acupuncture Earns BLS Unique Code
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that acupuncturists will have their own unique occupational code in the 2018 BLS Handbook. The new Standard Occupational Code (SOC) is 29-1291, will be included in the next edition of the BLS Occupational Handbook, which will be published in 2018.
Putting POLITE Into Practice
First came the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), which eventually became PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Then in 2015, we started hearing POLICE (Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Six Things Every Chiropractor Should Know About Opioids
An increase in addictions and deaths due to opioids has raised significant concern and media attention. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing chiropractor.
Physical Examination in an Evidence-Based World
I have always had a fascination with physical examination procedures, particularly orthopedic tests. The origin of my fascination began just after graduation when I began the chiropractic orthopedics program.
Infertility: Managing Irregular Menses
Infertility is an area where Chinese medicine is particularly helpful. In the main, in women below the age of 38 without organic disturbance, the success rate using TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) should exceed 85%.
The Most Important Vitamin You've Never Heard Of: K2
Imagine if one in every three patients who walked through your door was afflicted with a debilitating, yet completely preventable and treatable disease.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Medicare Challenges Aren't an Education Issue; Passion to Succeed: More Pivotal Than GPA?
Patience vs. Patients
How long have you been in practice? I began my journey more than 20 years ago and opened my first acupuncture clinic in 2008. Just like you, I've learned a lot over the years. Recently, I sat in an interview and was asked what made me successful.
CE Regulations Are Hurting Chiropractic
During my 35 years in the chiropractic profession, I have been forced to attend available continuing-education programs that were occasionally incredibly beneficial, but frequently not worth my time.
Forward Head Carriage and the Feet: What's the Connection? (Pt. 2)
Clinical evaluation of standing posture using relatively low-tech tools has been confirmed as valid and reliable by several studies. The original device used to evaluate posture was the plumb line, which served as a reference line for the effects of gravity on body alignment.
HVLA Technique: Addressing Myths
In the annals of chiropractic history and literature, and in the imagination of the public, there is one manual adjusting technique that can produce a wide range of responses, both from patients and casual observers.
The Drug Epidemic: Are You Guilty, Too?
Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become epidemic among children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of school-aged children diagnosed with ADHD has grown from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 11.0 percent in 2011.
University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Students Make Rounds at Sisters of Notre Dame
Nuns are not stereotypical acupuncture patients, Dr. Jennifer Brett acknowledges with a laugh. But then again, acupuncture has gone mainstream, just like cappuccinos and recycling. "It's changed a lot from the '70s and '80s," said Brett.
August, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 08
The 7-Step Pricing Strategy for Holistic Programs
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC and Michele McGrew
In our last two columns, we walked you through the steps to create rich holistic programs and private retreats. Ready to take the leap? Fantastic! Now we can guess your next question ... "What in the world do I charge?!"
To set a fee for a single session, you probably checked out what other therapists were charging and then chose a similar rate. But when you offer high-end programs, you're no longer a follower. You're a leader. So those old price comparisons don't work. Instead, try our 7-step strategy for pricing your programs and retreats accurately and with ease.
Step #1: Discover Your Ripples of Impact
Ever wonder what your work is worth? Here's a hint: It doesn't matter which modalities you practice. Or how long it took you to master them. Or even how many certifications you have. The value isn't even what happens in session; it's what happens in your clients' lives as a result of your therapy.
To get a quick peek at your ripples of impact, imagine you're following your favorite client around for a day. Then ask yourself:
The more you trace the healing effects that are flowing through your client's life, the easier it is to uncover the true worth of your work. And to price your programs accordingly.
Step #2: Set a Powerful Positioning Price
Once you get a vivid picture of the impact your therapy has on your client's career, finances and relationships, it's time to set a "positioning price." That's the highest fee you could imagine charging for your particular program.
Notice we didn't say it's the highest fee you'd feel comfortable charging. Because this shouldn't feel comfortable yet. If it does, you're not stretching yourself enough. And you're not stretching your clients, either.
Money is a powerful tool for healing. Instead of holding your clients back so you can stay comfortable with your old fee structure, use your new fees to inspire clients to invest themselves more fully in their own healing process. Ultimately, this is about charging what your clients are worth. Here's an insider's tip: Full-day retreats can easily start at $1,000 to $2,000. And six-month healing programs often start at $4,000 to $6,000.
Step #3: Decide on a Fast-Action Savings
A fast-action savings is the reward you give clients when they make a quick, committed decision to work with you. The amount will vary depending on your positioning price. What won't vary is how long the fast-action savings is available: only 24 to 48 hours. Why so short? Because after 48 hours, old fears and habits kick in. So even if your client wants to invest in your program, their reptilian brain may cry "Run!"
But when you gift them with a juicy savings for taking fast action, you're also rewarding them for making a healthy change in their life. They will still have plenty of time to make a balanced decision. Yet not enough time to talk themselves out of investing in their health and well-being through your services.
Typically, in a program that's priced at about $1,000, a fast-action incentive should be at least $100. Any less and it doesn't feel rewarding enough to take immediate action. For a $4,000 program, a savings of $200 to $300 up to $1,000 could be right, depending on how motivated you are to enroll your first few clients.
And here's a bonus tip: Whatever you do, never call your fast-action savings a "discount." When you discount your services, you also discount yourself in the eyes of your clients.
Step #4: Determine the Deposit
For every program you offer, we recommend charging a non-refundable deposit that's 10% to 20% of the total investment. Why? Because of that old habit called fear we mentioned earlier. No matter how honorable your clients' intentions are, without a deposit they can back out of their commitment to themselves and to you at any time.
Charging a healthy deposit is a healing tool in more ways than one. We've seen it happen time and again. A client pays the deposit and suddenly all kinds of healing starts to happen. It's as if their commitment sends a message to their body that they are ready to make a change. And there's nothing more beautiful than a committed client taking responsibility for their own healing with you as the guide.
Step #5: Break Out the Payment Plan
To make it even easier for clients to say "yes" to your program, we recommend offering two payment options: full-pay and a flexible payment plan. The full-pay plan is actually completed in two steps: First, you get a non-refundable deposit to hold your client's space in the program. Then you set a date before the program begins when the balance is due.
For clients who prefer to pay over time, try our handy Payment-Plan Formula:
The payment plan service charge should be generous enough to cover the extra time it takes you to manage the continual billing. And healthy enough to get your clients to seriously consider your full-pay option. And finally, make sure all the payments are finished before your program ends. This allows you to wrap up the experience on a high note with everything complete.
Step #6: Decide on a Full-Pay Bonus
In addition to giving full-pay clients a financial incentive, reward them even more by offering other bonuses. This can be anything from an extra private session to a hand-selected floral essence, a custom-blended essential oil or a special meditation audio they can download or get on CD.
There's no limit to the variety of bonus incentives you can offer clients who pay in full. But, you will want to limit the number of bonuses. Offering too many can feel desperate and out of balance. Instead, choose a few that you know are beneficial and exciting for your clients to receive.
Step #7: Get Set to Accept Credit Cards
Whew, you're almost finished! This last step of our 7-step pricing strategy is all about making it easier for people to invest with you. Because once you're charging higher rates, your clients are going to want to pay by credit card. So, you need to be ready to accept them.
A PayPal business account is a fine first step, but it's not a smart choice in the long run. It's not considered as professional as processing a credit card through your own merchant account. So when you're ready to add more streams of income to your practice, you'll be set to accept even healthier fees.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
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