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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
December, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 12
Time for Holiday Planning
By Terry Russell
By now, many of us are knee deep in our holiday plans and festive parties. For the attendees, it is just a matter of juggling their already tight schedules and making sure they show up. For the host, it has been weeks, may be even months of planning and preparing for the big event or night.No doubt, regardless of the holiday, there is always a group of people looking forward to it, possibly even counting down.
If you are among those excited for the holidays, then you are probably always looking ahead and mapping out what should be done and the time table it should be completed in. This is the same approach for holiday planning with your business menu. What holiday plan you ask? The holidays are the best time to change up your regular menu a little and make a little extra cash in the process.
Tying a service into the holiday is generally an easy task if thought out and planned well in advance. You probably have heard more than once in your life about the importance of staying a step ahead. This is true with holiday planning, however that step is more like a quarter a head.
Plan Ahead Now
We are now in the fourth quarter and enjoying the successes of 2015 and about to ring in the possibilities that come with a new year. In a few weeks, 2016 and first quarter will be here. First quarter brings Valentine's Day and Saint Patrick's Day to the plate. While not necessary to tie into both, you should definitely pick one to tie into. If you wait until first quarter to start, you may find yourself scrambling last minute to pull something off. The time to plan is now.
Valentine brings thoughts of love, chocolate and flowers. How can you bring one of these to your massage or body treatment? Simply offering a rose oil or chocolate lotion to your treatment can boost the price and the excitement of your client's next service. While Saint Patty's Day is not nearly as romantic, it brings to mind luck, green clovers and pots of gold. It may seem hard to tie in a scent related to this widely celebrated holiday. How about a challenge? What scent comes to your mind? My entry into this challenge is light spearmint. It brings to mind fields of green.
Right after you ring in the New Year, it is time to start thinking spring – Mother's Day, graduation, weddings and Father's Day. Get the rhythm here? A little pre-planning can help take off miles of frustration, not to mention by budgeting for these seasonal festivities you can go big without breaking the bank. Too many times, businesses wait to the last minute and have to order in a rush. Many times this is a cause for expedited shipping at a premium. To add to the negative, it leaves one little to no time to market so the word of your specials is at a minimal to the say the least.
You need to budget your time as well as your expenses when it comes to seasonal promotions. Allow time to develop the protocol for the seasonal offering. This step is actually easier than it sounds. Many suppliers have quick and easy protocols already created and just waiting for you to put your magic touch on.
In addition to creating the protocols, adequate time needs to be spent testing the products and protocols to make sure it is a snug fit in your practice. Once it is deemed worthy, train your staff so that the services go off seamlessly and leave the client wanting more. That way, the client is looking forward to coming back next season to see what you have in store for them. Have you noticed how all of a sudden the couple of months that you allowed have now disappeared?
If creating a special menu item seems too daunting to attack, there is a tried and true way to capture the festive crowd without a lot of fuss and muss. Gift cards are the key. Gift cards marketed in a creative and festive manner may just turn out to be your ticket. A small token attached to the card such as a teddy bear, heart shaped box, plastic champagne flute are just a few items that come to mind when thinking of creative ways to give a gift card. Think the gift card is the lazy way out? Think again. The New York Post last year reported that $44 billion in unused gift cards has been left on the table since 2008. The thought of unused cards is not that surprising when you think about that junk drawer of yours in the kitchen. You know the one. That one drawer that catches everything you really want to save but not sure what to do with it at the moment. Think about all the things in that drawer that you have forgotten about.
Gift cards remain a popular choice among gift givers. Eighty percent of shoppers are expected to purchase a gift card this season. In 2014, the average spend on a gift card was up 4% and averages to a little more than $160 spent per consumer. This has become such a business that there are several online services designed to exchange the cards. One key factor in selling gift cards is to make sure you include an expiration date. Many big box stores have increased the expiration time to generally five years with a small caveat of charging a monthly fee after a year on inactivity helping to decrease the value of the card.
Even with gift cards, planning ahead in both time and money will help ensure a successful addition to your practice during the holiday season. By now, it is too late to think about the holidays that are upon us, but for Valentines Day your timing has never been better. I know it is hard to concentrate on things that are months out, but with a little discipline, you can enhance your time now and make the future easier.
Think of your promotions in the terms of marketing, budget and seasons. It may help to buy a nice size calendar, go to the holiday, count back 10-12 weeks and pencil in the holiday plan you wish to execute. That way, you have a friendly reminder in front of you consistently keeping you on track of the next big deal. After several seasons have past, you will find this becomes second nature to you.
Hopefully you will find you are less stressed and enjoying the season at hand knowing the next holiday is in the bag. With a little careful thought and pre-planning, the holiday season can find you with your only worry how to juggle the parties at hand and enjoy the spirit of the current season. Here's to a bright and successful 2016!
Terry Russell has been involved in the massage community since 1999. His previous career includes being a full time therapist at Spa Palazzo in the Boca Raton Resort & Club, as well as owning a successful private practice. As the Director of Sales – Schools, Distributors & Franchises Division at Universal Companies, his efforts are now focused on bringing schools, distributors and franchises the best of equipment and supplies with outstanding customer service. For more information, visit www.universalcompanies.com.
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