The “lifestyle choice” of a chiropractic doctor who only pays money

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The “Lifestyle Choice” and the Pros and Cons of a Cash-Only Doctor and Chiropractic Practice

Life is fragile and fleeting; it is the universal connector for everyone. We all want to be healthy, to celebrate, to love and to live fully. This perspective is no different from running a successful cash-only medical practice versus the stresses experienced during the Great Depression, World War II, stock market ups and downs, or COVID-19 today. . Humanity can only tolerate so much pain or discomfort until it calls for help.

When we were hurt in our childhood, we called on our parents to help us, stop the pain and comfort us. We quickly came to appreciate and expect this kind of care from them. As adults, I sometimes think we scream for help louder than when we were children. Now, as in the past, we will not settle for health care that does not provide a consistent positive response to our immediate health needs, and we are willing to pay and sacrifice for this kind of care.

$1 for a chiropractic adjustment

We’ve all heard statistics about how unsettling life can be in these times. In 2019, CNBC’s Eric Rosenbaum said millions of Americans were just $400 away from financial hardship, and now several years into the pandemic, the long-term financial impact still weighs heavily on many. many Americans.

Another CNBC report says many people we know (and those of us under 30) have lost their jobs or taken pay cuts since the pandemic outbreak began in February 2020. another 2021 survey from CNBC claims that Americans are spending $765 more per month eating out and traveling than they did in 2020. Many have reached this tipping point that forces us to shift our financial priorities, especially when we realize we are nothing without our physical or mental health.

I was fortunate to have worked for 53 years in a family doctor’s chiropractic practice that only paid cash and served our community for 87 years. My dad charged $1 for a chiropractic adjustment in 1934 during the Great Depression. People still found a way to find a dollar. Chiropractic adjustments were the only reliable, affordable care that gave these patients the relief they needed to continue supporting their families. They may not have understood what chiropractic was at the time, but they knew it worked and they were willing to make financial sacrifices to feel better.

Cash chiropractic as a lifestyle choice

For 52 years, C. Rustici, DC, of ​​Independence, Mo., has made a choice of life and chose to run a cash-based chiropractic practice. He saw his fellow physicians, who worked for insurance, constantly having to argue with insurance companies. He told me that the clinics were always shortchanged by the insurance companies. Processing fees were often compromised; additional charges have been added for work not performed. Services were mixed and costs inflated, leaving patients with a bitter and negative attitude towards their entire healthcare experience.

The physician runs a practice primarily based on referral. His existing patients share with their friends what to expect from Rustici, how much it will cost and how long it will take to see results. There are no surprises for them.

“When patients pay cash, they are more willing to invest in their care and are more likely to follow my healthcare advice and suggestions,” he says.

When you decide to go to a cash-only practice, you’re not just making a business decision; you are making a “lifestyle choice” for yourself and for how your patients are involved in their care.

With a insurance-based practice you bear the burden of lower payer reimbursement rates and increased administrative burdens. With documentation and regulatory requirements, you may have realized that higher patient volumes are counterproductive. Perhaps you have been forced to spend less time with each patient to keep abreast of outside demands on your practice due to ever-changing regulations. Let’s not be consumed by the Tasks imposed on us from outside our office, lest we forget that life is about the people and relationships around us.

If the above sounds familiar, you might want to make a change. The Peloton company notes in its television commercial: “If your training is a joy, it’s a joy to train.” The same can be said for your practice. Do you find joy every day in your practice? This quote from C. Groeschel may ring true for you as it does for me: “Perhaps the worst enemy of the life you want to live is the life you are living now! You’ve probably heard the adage, “If you’re unhappy with your life, only you can change it.”

Physician Cash Only: Patient and Practice Responsibilities

With the move to a cash-only medical practice, your fees are paid by your patient and your staff are available (and well-trained) to complete their insurance forms for them. It then becomes the patient’s responsibility to resolve the payment of insurance companies, which helps reduce your overhead and costs.

This type of practice requires a positive response to care with each treatment. Now is the time to give your patients a detailed understanding of their condition. They become more motivated to follow their treatment plan. They quickly see and appreciate your passion for others and direct their loved ones, friends and acquaintances to you so that their colleagues can share the same feeling of health and well-being. Your focus shifts from trying to see more new patients to taking better care of the ones you have.

Insurance Addiction Studies

DG Hof, MD, a pulmonary surgeon and internal specialist from Kansas City, Mo., practiced from the 1970s through the 1990s when insurance companies were guardians of the almighty dollar. Hof had no voice in choosing his way of life, because he was bound by the contract with the insurance companies. He told me how depressing it was to have to rely on insurance companies and Medicare for payment. He told me:

“Insurance companies come to you and tell you they’ll send you all these patients, but they expect your fees to be reduced. Over time, they want a higher percentage reduction in fees. Your rent on your office space continues to rise, and your staff salaries also rise. The longer you practice in this type of “pressure cooker”, the less likely you are to retain your freedom of clinical practice. The stress becomes too great, your health suffers and you have to retire to save yourself.

Hof fought the system working with Missouri Attorney General Ashcroft to pressure Medicare to make payments in a more reasonable time frame.

Mr. Strehlow, MD, of Kansas, comes from a 70-year-old family medical practice. His father started practicing medicine in 1953. He joined his father in 1988. At that time, insurance companies were the only way to receive payment for care.

In 2002, one of the largest insurance companies in its region was responsible for paying 60% of all revenue from their practice. His six-doctor clinic was responsible for 8,000 patients. It was almost impossible. They were booked six months in advance. Each doctor had to see at least 28 to 35 patients a day. Strehlow hasn’t taken a vacation for 11 years. He hasn’t had dinner with his family for over 20 years. Sometimes he spent all day and all night at the clinic.

“The insurance company became the acting doctor for my clinic and I was nothing more than an administrator,” he said.

The insurance company ruled with a firm hand and said doctors must stay in line and meet their goals or they will be financially penalized. He felt like all he was providing his patients with was “putting out the fires” and, due to the short time available, not addressing the causes of illness.

He woke up one morning in 2002 with blood pressure of 190/100. He and his wife decided something had to change. There is a good ending to his story. For a long time, his patients had been asking more and more questions about “wellness care” and more about “personal care” in his clinic. He dropped all insurance coverage and strictly went cash. He and his patients finally found the contentment and peace they both wanted. It is now this personal care that fuels her passion. He goes on a family vacation with his children and has dinner every night at home. Unlike some, he had the courage to change his life.

Live your desired care lifestyle

Physicians must be true to their own natural abilities, desires, motivations, and abilities about how to practice and live life. There are pros and cons to both cash-only doctors and insurance practices. Just be true to yourself so you can practice in a way that fuels the passion in your life.

GARY BORINGDC, BCAO (Board Certified Atlas Orthogonal), LCP (HON.), FICA, graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic KC in 1968. Father graduated in 1934 from CCC KC and brother in 1966. Boring Chiropractic has served patients for 86 years .

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