The Opioid Crisis Hits Home: An Acupuncturist's Inside Perspective of Addiction Treatment
My husband and I have four grown children, but we still sleep with a phone next to our night stand just in case they need us. But nothing could have prepared us for a 1 a.m.
Power of the Talk: A Simple Way to Attract New Patients
One of the most effective ways to bring patients in predictably, especially if you enjoy teaching, is by doing talks. Talks can also bring in another stream of income beyond just seeing more patients one on one.
Who's the "Father of Corrective Traction" in Chiropractic?
History teaches that a Presbyterian minister, Samuel Weed, coined the name for the profession of chiropractic from the Greek cheir for "hand" and praktos for "done."
How to Reduce Metabolic Endotoxemia
Approximately 50 percent of the Western population suffers from a condition known as metabolic endotoxemia (ME). The condition is characterized by increased serum endotoxin concentration during the first five hours of the post-prandial period.
The Medicine of Peace in a Land of Conflict
We often read about violence, despair, and political stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic. And yet there are Israelis and Palestinians working together to transform conflict into cooperation.
Weight Watchers Goes Wellness
Goodbye Weight Watchers, hello "WW." The company has changed its name to reflect its new WW brand not only on its website, but also on every aspect of its public expression, including every studio.
ACA, ICA at Odds Over H.R. 7157
While the American Chiropractic Association recently penned an open letter – signed by not only the ACA, but also the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Clinical Compass and a number of state associations.
Winter Joint Health: Looking at Seasonal Influences
One of the most common clinical issues I see during the winter season is joint / muscle pain. These issues often appear due to the activities of winter sports or may appear due to seasonal influences on old chronic injuries.
An East & West Perspective on Sleep
You, your patients, and people all over the world are sleeping less. In 1979 a team led by American psychiatrist Daniel Kripke did a large-scale study of over a million people, which indicated that most people slept between 7-8 hours.
Dehydration ... A Commonly Overlooked Etiology
Water covers 71 percent of the earth's surface. It's found in every living organism and is considered the "universal solvent," yet we take it for granted as the foundation for optimal health.
Historic Farm Bill Provisions Legalize Hemp ... and CBD?
Until recently, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug per the federal Controlled Substances Act, putting it in the same class as marijuana (and heroin, by the way).
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and the Science of EMFs
Movement of planet Earth's molten iron core generates a weak static geomagnetic field that varies in strength over millennia but currently ranges from 0.25 to 0.65 gauss. This is the native field in which all life has evolved.
3 Tips to Get New Patients After a Talk
One of the most effective ways to bring in new patients predictably, especially when an acupuncturist enjoys teaching, is by doing talks. It can also bring in another stream of income, beyond just seeing more patients one-on-one.
Differentiating Qi Under the Needle (Part 2)
While classic sages have said a lot on this topic, I will share my own experience with the sensations under the needle with you. You, in turn, will also need to gain your own understanding of them through daily clinical observation, thinking, and practice.
Neuroscience 101: Understanding Opioid Addiction and How Chiropractic Can Help
Opioids now account for nearly two-thirds of all overdose-related deaths in the U.S. This insidious bane is no respecter of gender, age, race or ethnicity, with nearly all categories experiencing increases.
Case Study: Forefoot Pain
Patient presents with a history of forefoot pain. Discomfort has become worse in the past six months. He has difficulty completing his four-hour shifts as a part-time hairdresser.
Pain in the Butt (Pt. 1)
Many of my patients (and probably many of yours) come in with pain and/or tenderness in the buttock region. First, I assess where the painful and/or tender spots are located and what these points represent.
Flying Into the Year of the Pig: Making Way for the Impossible
The first of the new year has passed, and some of our New Year's resolutions may have already come and gone. Fortunately, we will celebrate the Chinese New Year this month, and will welcome in the Year of the Pig.
Quickie Seminar Adjustments Have No Place in Chiropractic
Recently, I observed chiropractors treating each other in the vendor area at the annual meeting of a chiropractic association. "Quickie" chiropractic adjustments and other hands-on procedures were administered without appropriate history taking, physical examination, diagnosis or informed consent.
The Role of TCM When Treating Mental Illnesses
Mental illness is common in the U.S., nearly 20 percent of adults live with a mental illness which vary in degree of severity—ranging from mild to moderate, to severe. It is not exaggerated to say that mental illness is an epidemic.
Simple Screening Tests for Stroke and Other Brain Lesions
The drift test, arm rolling and finger rolling are three useful assessments in the identification of upper motor neuron dysfunction.
Top Social Media Do's & Don'ts for Chiropractors
For years, health care practitioners have avoided embarking on the social media highway, primarily due to patient HIPAA privacy issues and the time needed to give the process due diligence.
Outcomes for Any Occasion
Outcome assessment tools (OATs) are a necessary part of documentation and patient care. They are used to show patient progress and help practitioners show changes as a result of their treatment interventions.
Quick Sacroiliac Assessment: Treating Different Types of Pain
The lower back is a generator for a number of types of pain. The lower back involves several different articulations – the lumbar spine with vertebral bodies, discs, and facets – the sacroiliac joints – and the lumbosacral junction.
Know Your Clinical Flags: 5 Different Colors to Consider
In health care, the term red flag is used to describe signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of serious health conditions. These conditions generally carry an increased likelihood for serious complications, disability or even death.
December, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 12
Strategic Income Planning
Painless Tips To Make More Money In 2016
By Angie Patrick
Who doesn't enjoy a raise? A raise means someone acknowledges you and your efforts for another year of service. It means you have performed well at a certain level and now it is time to reward your efforts by raising your earnings a little.A raise is something we have all come to think of a synonymous with doing a good job and being rewarded for that good job in a monetary way by our employer. No, I do not believe anyone ever said, "What? A raise for me? No Thank You!"
But what if you are self-employed? What if "the boss" who so graciously divvies up raises happens to be the same person as the purchaser, the scheduler, the therapist, the marketer, the janitor and the chief bottle washer? How do you give yourself more money from a business you think you run like a tight ship, and a workload and that is at maximum capacity? You look for new ways, that's how. Money hides in the darndest places, and finding ways to eke out a couple more percent here can add up to a net pay raise overall for you. I want to look at a few places your money is hiding from you, and give you a few tips on how to coax it back into your pocket.
Preventing Client Churn
In most businesses, churn happens naturally for a variety of reasons. But sometimes, it is because of specific reasons and these may well be reasons you have control over. Before we can look at why customers leave, we need to first have a means to identify they have left.
Now, I understand many clients come for a specific issue and then once that issue is resolved, they stop coming. We all want to be known as the therapist who helped Jimmy with his frozen shoulder before his big golf game. But do we just accept Jimmy will not be returning because the issue has found resolution? When this happens, do you just allow them to go or do you offer other means to serve their needs and provide education to support this? I am sure you are familiar with the old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." These are clients that have experienced your talent and skill first hand, likely are candidates to continue to visit you to prevent issues. It takes education on the importance of prevention and the means to keep in contact with that client long after the initial issue has resolved. A client who knows you will likely return if they have received good service, been treated well, and have seen the value in what you provide. These same clients that are now better as a result of your care may well wish to remain under your preventative care to ward off future issues. This is a client you can count on, and can rebook. But if you just allow them to leave without providing alternatives, you have to work hard to find a replacement client.
When a client does make the decision to leave, do you ever learn why? Do you notice they are no longer booking with you? It is more common than you might believe to have a client slip through your hands unnoticed. Having a means to track client visits and reach out to them on a regular basis is important. Whether you do this through personal calling, a newsletter, or email; customer outreach is hugely important to a successful practice. Knowing when a client leaves as early as you can detect it, will give you the ability to call and check in with them and learn if they are in need of making an appointment or have moved on to other pastures. If they have moved on, I always think it is important to try and determine what prompted the decision to leave your practice. This conversation need not be confrontational, but more informational. Perhaps they had a bad experience, one for which you were wholly unaware. Learning about it and finding the root cause to prevent re-occurrence can save you future client departures for the same reasons.
The money and time spent keeping a client is far better spent than spinning through new client after new client that seldom return. I am not advocating fabricating reasons or issues that compel your client to return out of fear. I am advocating your taking a preventative stance, and sharing with them what you know to be true. Regular massage brings along with it many significant health benefits. Educating your client on the benefits of regular massage can help you keep your client happy and satisfied, and your booking calendar full.
Eliminate " No Show" Clients Early On
We all have them, those client that book a block of time, and then on the day of appointment they don't show up and you find yourself sitting on 60-90 minutes of booked time. This happens and is part of life, but working to nip this behavior in the bud is the best means of prevention. There are a few ways you can help alleviate this issue.
First, consider spending time the day before reaching out to your clients by phone to remind them of the appointment. Sometimes, this will enable you to learn ahead of time any challenges the client has come across in making the appointment allowing you time to rebook. Second, consider a " no-show" fee. If a client has booked with you and fails to show without contacting you in enough time to work to rebook the time, then a fee could be charged. Having explained this fee and the consequences up front can help eliminate this issue fully. No one wants to pay a fee, but additionally, no one wants to be "surprised" by one either. Clear guidelines need to be set up and discussed before a client books so they know what to expect.
Lastly, most people want to be respectful of your time, but will take any slack you allow them. Make sure you have clear guidelines as to when to show up for an appointment, and when the appointment is over, regardless of late arrival. If a client arrives late, still see them, but being clear that they have taken up their own appointment time in being late ahead of time makes for a less uncomfortable exchange and can help prevent lateness the next time.
Remember, your time is your money. When you allow your time to be wasted by clients who don't show, or are chronically late, it is you who pays for it. Think carefully about these issues and find a place of comfort you can live with and then inform the clients of your policies. They will work to adhere to your guidelines, and when they cannot, they know what to expect.
Supply Chain Management
As a therapist, you are a consumer of professional products, specifically related to the work you do. Have you ever considered how you purchase your goods as a means to add black ink to your bottom line? Having a strong understanding of your supply needs, timing, and consolidation of purchases, as well as how you choose to pay for them can save you money.
Let's say you are a therapist who orders just what is needed, just in time for the previous product to run out. You order weekly, or perhaps every other week, and order just enough to satisfy the needs of the next two weeks. This is called "Just In Time" ordering, and can work for many. However, if you take a step back, and look at your overall purchases for a three month period, you may be able to detect a specific pattern to your needs. Once you can determine what goods you will likely need for the coming quarter, consider buying these all at once. Look online for price breaks on your favorite brands, or freight incentives, and consider buying in bulk. You can save significantly by the gallon if you go from buying five individual gallons, to buying a five gallon pail. The savings are real and are important enough to take a longer look into what else you may be able to buy quarterly instead of bi-weekly.
Once you have determined that you may well be able to save not only money, but time when you place the planned quarterly order, you may want to consider how you pay for these goods. Many opt for paying cash or using a debit card. This is always good, and can give you real-time accounting of what money you have right now. But with a little forethought, you can structure these buys to provide you rebates, points or cash back on the goods you know you are going to need anyway. In my experience, I have seen successful businesses have a business-only charge card and they search for the ones providing the greatest loyalty benefit to the business. Maybe you prefer a percentage as cash back of purchases, or perhaps you would like to earn points towards a personal reward like that set of gourmet pots and pans you have always wanted. Using a card for these purchases, then paying the card off in full monthly, will help you take advantages of the benefits of using these cards and still alleviate the interest if paid in full each month.
Hire an Accountant
I know, it sounds scary, but believe me when I tell you, your accountant will always help you stay on the right path and help provide direction in a whole host of ways that ultimately save you money. This is the single best piece of advice you can be given in my opinion, and here is why: Do you know what education expenses are deductible? Do you have all the answers in regards to claiming a client gift or dinner, what is deductible and what is not? Do you know if you can claim attending conferences and what mileage can be claimed? How about association fees, or other business related forum fees? Most people don't have this committed to memory, and chances are this is not your center of focus either. Just as your clients hire a professional in your field to provide them with solid advice and care, you should do the same when it comes to your money and the care of your business.
When you hire an accountant, you can let them manage all the financial issues you may or may not have been doing correctly, thus allowing you to focus on building your business and retaining clients. They can worry about filing taxes, returns, exemptions, deductions, and all those things most of us find nebulous at best. An accountant is certainly handy to help you put accounting management tools in place so you can also have greater visibility to the overall financial health of your company. Obtaining the advice of this type of professional is a smart business decision and one that will save you from mis-steps and pitfalls often made when braving these endeavors on your own.
Ultimately, in order to save yourself the maximum amounts of time and money possible, you need to take a close look at your processes, how you do things, and seek ways to improve or streamline them. No doubt, when you take each part of the business management role you play and look to find sleeker more streamlined ways of management, you will not only save time but money, too. For most of us, these two things are one in the same. Any time or money saved can be spent doing things you enjoy, spending time with family, or even just reinvesting it into your business. Isn't this the same we would do with a raise from an employer? Take a weekend, and re-evaluate where you can streamline and consolidate, or improve processes like retaining clients and re-booking. Doing so now can net larger dividends for you in 2016!
Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.
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