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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 03
Do Well to Do Good: How to Plan for and Measure Success
By Marshall Dahneke and Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT
Most wellness professionals find their motivation through the clients they help, the aches they ease, the lives they improve. This aspiration to make a difference can fuel a promising and fulfilling career. After all, as early motivational author Napoleon Hill wrote: "The starting point of all achievement is desire."
The massage therapists who thrive over time, however, possess more than good intentions and a healing touch. They also have a handle on the financial side of their business or practice. Even if passion — not profit — drives them, they know they need to understand basics like revenue, marketing, and client activation and retention to remain in this profession.
In a twist on the way the saying usually goes — "it's not just personal, it's business." Success can mean doing work you love, having clients who appreciate you, and giving back to the community. But knowing you can pay your bills, keep the lights on, and invest in a clean, peaceful space frees you to focus on the fulfilling aspects of your role. In other words, you must "do well to do good" over the long haul.
For the purposes of this column, we're defining success in financial terms. We're not advising you on how to squeeze the most out of every penny. Rather, our goal is to emphasize basics essential to building and maintaining a sustainable practice.
Start on Solid Ground
Successful businesses, including one-person massage therapy practices, begin with a plan. Before you open your doors, sit down and sketch out the funds you'll need to operate. Consider expenses such as rent, equipment and supplies, utilities, gas and mileage if you're mobile, and laundry.
Once you know the costs of operating a practice, think about how you will recoup them. The money you bring in is revenue, but it doesn't transform into income until it surpasses your costs. How many clients do you need, and how much do you need to charge them? Don't set your rates based only on what everyone else is charging. Consider your financial goals before you place a value on your time.
Take into account, too, your pro-bono and lower-cost work. Providing these types of services — for instance, free massages for local educators during National Teacher Appreciation Month or sliding-scale rates for community members in need — allows you to give back while building your business. However, you'll have to factor these into your calculations. Without doing well enough to keep your practice going, your service efforts will not be sustainable.
Love Your Clients
Priority one is to build your client base — the key to long-term success. Your business plan should include a marketing component spelling out how you plan to attract clients. Word of mouth remains powerful in this profession; your marketing efforts could include outreach to friends, family, and even clients you had in school. Also consider joining the Chamber of Commerce, connecting with physicians and other health care professionals to secure referrals, and even reaching out to local media.
Once people find you, do everything within reason to keep them. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, attracting a new customer costs six to seven times more than keeping an existing client. Businesspeople refer to this as client retention, and staying on top of retention requires a bit of organization. Use a program, system, or database to store client information, including names and addresses, their areas of pain and tightness, and insurance information, if you use it.
Of course, tracking clients alone won't bring them back. Ensure each person has a positive experience; beyond a high-quality treatment, provide convenient parking, an efficient check-in process, a clean and relaxing atmosphere, and simple billing. We've moved beyond the service economy into the experience economy — people value memorable experiences. Nailing the details and adding personal touches, such as remembering clients' preferences and stories, will keep them coming back for more, and referring their friends.
Build on Your Foundation
Your schedule's booked. Your clients leave rave reviews. You track your expenses and revenue each month, and you're coming out ahead. Perhaps you're even doing well enough to hire help, take a few days off, or weather a dry spell without worrying about paying rent. Congratulate yourself on your success, but don't stop planning, tracking, and reviewing. Successful practice owners not only know where they stand on a given day or month, they take some time each year to reflect back on the ups and downs of the past 12 months and look ahead to what they can do differently or better.
During these reviews, consider your bigger aspirations and how to reach them. If a sustainable solo practice makes you happy, you don't have to grow. Deciding to specialize in a particular technique or a given population, such as sports massage or pregnant women, could increase your practice. Or, you might aim to make the same amount of money while working fewer hours, leaving more time for service, travel, or other pursuits.
Perhaps you dream of expanding, hiring a staff, even opening a wellness center. If so, research what it will take to get there. Break this dream down into smaller, shorter-term goals, such as adding a staffer one year and renting a larger space the next. Check in annually on these objectives — you might find you're speeding toward them or need to revise your plans.
Of course, while it's important to nurture your practice, never lose sight of your passion for healing and helping. As Albert Einstein advised, "Try not to become a man [or woman] of success, but rather try to become a person of value." Recognize that financial success is an enabler that creates options to add value to the world, and you'll set yourself up for a truly rewarding career in every sense of the word.
Marshall Dahneke, CEO, is responsible for global management of Performance Health's business, including people, talent and strategy development and execution to better serve customers and promote growth. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Business Administration, both from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.
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