It is universally accepted within our profession that there are a few ways to become more successful in chiropractic practice. Traditionally, you could either increase your volume and/or increase your fees per visit. While that seems a sophomoric answer, it does work – or does it?
The problem is that, for most, it is harder to increase volume than they originally thought and many have hit a practice visit level, but after a while the patient volume for a day, week or month averages out.
Let’s say that a so called “adjustment only practice” (the simplest to describe) sees 50 patients per day, 4 days per week and averages about 200 total visits a week. And let’s say the average charge for an adjustment or office visit is $40.00 (hard to believe that a fee this low still exists, but believe me it does) and the practice earns a gross income of approximately $2,000 per day, $8,000 per week and $400,000 per year.
But this simple gross income scenario does not allow for vacations, national holidays, missed days due to whatever reason and, unless a total cash model protocol has been put in place, it does not factor in a percentage of loss from what it billing and what is collected.
I’ll give you an example. You gross $400,000 but you are still (for what reason other than fear I do not know), insurance dependent and belong to HMO’s & PPO’s and the like who only reimburse $30.00 per visit minus, the time and staffing costs to process that patient’s insurance paperwork. So figuring for all that, your Adjusted (or real) Gross Income from the practice would, without you really knowing about it be down to $300,000. (You rendered $400K of service and if you collected every single penny owed (which is impossible to do), would already be down from the value of the services you rendered 25%. Ouch.
Now let’s add rising overhead such as found in increased rents, yearly employee raises, associate salaries, annual increases in insurance, etc., etc, and you will soon see why the average Chiropractic practice has an actual overhead higher than 64%. Shoot me now!
So, other than raise you fees or increase you volume, both of which often hit walls of comfort or reality, how do you make more money and it in honestly and ethically. A good question, especially, because in my opinion at least, most DC’s do not earn, as a result of the fabulous work they do, what I consider to be a professional living.
I think that minimum amount of the doctor’s personal income should be in excess of $250,000 and even up to $500,000 or more for the “A” practitioners. If not, how can you save enough for a future that takes care of your family and allows you to save enough for retirement (which trust me, takes much more than you think)?
The way to increase your income is simply to increase the services you make available to your patient base. These services could include the addition of massage therapy, nutritional supplementation, a legitimate program of Foot Levelers orthotics, the sale of iSleep mattresses (the last two are really no brainers), the use of the SpineMed Decompression table, and involvement in CLA’s Chiropractic Wellness Alliance.
In short, perhaps its time you start to think about how to add services to your practice and do it now!
Dr. Larry Markson is the Personal Empowerment, Practice & Business Success and Prosperity Coach to over 100,000 people for the past 27 years. He has devoted his professional life to helping others transform their thoughts, actions and feelings until they are able to experience the fulfillment of their life’s goals.
He believes that your business, practice and/or your personal life are waiting for a leader (YOU) to show up and that, “Who you are ‘inside-the-skin’ determines how well what you do works.”