Having owned many practice types from multi-million dollar multidisciplinary insurance based to cash only chiropractic, there is a reason that I am now only focusing my time on helping chiropractors create a cash practice.
That reason is that you have more control over the growth and income over time. It only took the ‘insurance rug’ being yanked out from under me once to make me begin to reevaluate the long-term viability of a business model that includes an X factor called ‘insurance’ in the success formula.
That brings me to today… completely out of the insurance game, running a much more successful and sustainable model than I had with insurance and helping other chiropractors realize the same dream. The dream that I was essentially forced to go create. Here are a few of the benefit I didn’t even realize would be part of going all in on all cash. I believe they are important to share in case you hadn’t thought of them either.
- If Done Right… a cash office will reignite your passion for the practice. Before opening my first Express Chiropractic cash practice I owned 12 insurance based offices and trained literally hundreds of chiropractors to improve their own insurance based practice. During that 15 year span, the underlying theme I noted is that dealing with insurance, attorneys and hassles takes the fun – and healing in some offices! – out of chiropractic. What I immediately noticed with my first cash office and first cash clients is that the Passion Reignites!
- It helps you stand out from all other chiropractors in town. People want chiropractic care! As a matter of fact, they would love to get regular care BUT the problem is typically that A. It’s too expensive and B. It’s too inconvenient to go on a consistent basis. What this equates to for the vast majority is that a few visits after the pain goes away… so do they! When people discover this new alternative, you will not only get more new patients (in my offices it’s 80 to 120 per month) that would otherwise likely not have tried a chiropractor BUT even more awesome is you will attract people that have been seeking an affordable way to get regular chiropractic care.
- You regain control of your future! Your practice is sticking around whether you want it to or not. It is can function as a growing asset that lifts your spirit and income or an anchor that weighs you down in all facets of life. Either way, it ain’t going anywhere.
What I noticed is that my passion to adjust was reignited when I opened the first Express Chiropractic office and kept my business model simple. I could focus on adjusting and enjoying my time with patients, verses jumping through the hoops trying to get paid.
Whether you want to work in it till you drop, bring in an associate and work less hours or sell your practice 10 years from now, the fact remains that you are either creating an asset of which the value grows over time or you are slowly creating a burden that will stick around even if you are ready to part ways.
To develop it into a valuable asset it’s important that you create a business that is not affected by forces you can’t control.
The main problem with an insurance dependent practice is not the mounds of paperwork and ridiculous documentation requirements, the complex billing process that is designed to minimize reimbursement or even the limited visits per year.
The big problem with the insurance dependent business model is that it can change at any moment. It can be an immediate impact such as not paying a claim, bundling of services or changes in fee schedules. Or it can be a slower but permanent change such as altering their reimbursement policies or worse yet… farming their chiropractic claims out to an outside company to manage them – and profit off how much they can save the insurance carrier in claims paid each year.
It’s the lack of control you have over your income stability and thus your financial solidarity that makes running a practice dependent on a 3rd party so unstable.
Remember, when you are in bed with insurance you are playing their game. And because it is their game, they are better at it than you. Their wealthy shareholders can attest to that.