chiropractic marketing

w/ Dr. Kevin Christie: Doing It Right, Marketing Chiropractic, & Book Release

Today we’re going to be joined by Dr. Kevin Christie of the Modern Chiropractic Marketing Podcast and we’re going to talk about marketing chiropractic of course but more specifically, marketing responsibly and marketing the right way.  But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music
Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.   If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 
  • Like our Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Facebook group and interact, and then 
  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. No spam, just a reminder when the newest episodes go live. Nothing special so don’t worry about signing up. Just one a week friends. Check your JUNK folder!!
Do it do it do it.  You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #130 Now if you missed last week’s episode, we talked about Chronic Pain and Exercise. That episode had some excellent stuff in it from Craig Liebneson, Annie O’Connor, and several others. Great stuff. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class.  While we’re on the topic of being smart, did you know that you can use our website as a resource? Quick and easy, you can go to chiropracticforward.com, click on Episodes, and use the search function to find whatever you want quickly and easily. With over 100 episodes in the tank and an average of 2-3 papers covered per episode, we have somewhere between 250 and 300 papers that can be quickly referenced along with their talking points.  Just so you know, all of the research we talk about in each episode is cited in the show notes for each episode if you’re looking to dive in a little deeper.  On the personal end of things….. When we have a guest, we typically dispense with personal practice observations. Other than my sharing with you all that it looks like I’m about to fully entertain hiring an associate. You know I’ll keep you all updated on this process and how it goes. Something that is that big of a change is, of course, stressful as hell. Throw in a pandemic and you might just say I’m up to my damn ears and eyes but sometimes, you’re led one direction or the other. Sometimes opportunity knocks and you must answer the door. We’ll see how it goes.  Right now though, let’s get to our guest today and let’s get to marketing chiropractic.  Kevin Christie understands the unique pressures of the evidence-informed chiropractor. Kevin has run his own practice for over fourteen years. With two offices and multiple staff (plus associates), he knows how important it is to not just be excellent at treating patients but being a great leader and marketer as well.  Kevin has worked with the NFL, PGA Tour, and has been featured on ESPN and Fox Sports.  Using the best tools available to us in the digital age, Kevin empowers evidence-informed chiropractors to achieve their own dreams of running a successful practice. Tools that help with marketing chiropractic. Welcome to the show Dr. Christie, can I call you Kevin and you call me Jeff?
  1. First thing’s first, congrats on the new baby. Are you getting any sleep?
  2. Tell me a little about you. Being located in Boca Raton now, did you grow up in Florida?
  3. What’s your chiro story? Why, of all of the things to be in the world, did you choose chiropractic?
  4. I first became aware of you through your podcast. I was doing a little chiro podcasting research when I decided to turn my weekly blog into a weekly podcast. Then through your podcast, I sought out and joined your Facebook group by the same name. Your funnel worked on me. What got you so interested in podcasting, marketing chiropractic, and Facebook groups?
  5. While I am mostly about research and evidence-based, patient-centered practice on this podcast, marketing is something I’ve done a lot of work on and is a big part of what I do day-to-day. It has definitely played a big part in what I talk about here on the podcast from week to week. I haven’t personally heard you weave current research literature into your marketing teachings but I know you are very evidence-based in your practice approach. How does being evidence-based and patient-centered play into your strategies and techniques for marketing chiropractic?
  6. You have teamed up with Dr. Bobby Maybee to create a group called Chiropractic Success Academy. Tell me about it. How is it different than the run of the mill guru practice management groups? What doctors fit this group the best?
  7. You do so many things, what does a regular week pre-COVID, look like for you?
  8. If there were a younger chiropractor, fairly fresh out of school that wanted to be a Dr. Kevin Christie, where would you tell them to start and what steps would you tell them to take? What have been your career ‘game-changers’?
  9. Speaking of younger chiropractors, when we met face to face in St. Louis at the Forward ’19 event, you told me about preceptors. I went an applied at Logan and I’m in. But I think there’s something more appealing about a young chiropractor going to Boca Raton rather than Amarillo, TX. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is but, for some of the older docs out there looking at needing some help and they have a teacher’s heart, can you share some of your preceptorship experiences with our audience?
  10. Tell me about this new book you have coming out that Parker is publishing. How’d it all come about? 
I really appreciate you taking the time. There’s literally something for every chiropractor in this episode, good luck with the book, thanks for helping others to learn marketing chiropractic ethically, and I know I’ll be buying one.  Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Continue taking care of yourselves and taking care of your neighbors. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week.    Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at chiropracticforward.com.   
Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventativly after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health! Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic! Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference.  Connect We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. Website
Home
Social Media Links https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/ Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/ Twitter YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2 Player FM Link https://player.fm/series/2291021 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through TuneIn https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health–Wellness-Podcasts/The-Chiropractic-Forward-Podcast-Chiropractors-Pr-p1089415/ About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

Thoughts on Chiropractic Groupon, Gabapentin, & Weight Loss Research

CF 105: Thoughts on Chiropractic Groupon, Gabapentin, & Weight Loss Research

Today we’re going to talk about some thoughts on Groupon and Chiropractic, if you know me, you probably know where this is going and it’ll probably be fun. We’ll find out. We’ll talk about Gabapentin and we will talk about a couple of papers I encountered recently having to do with metabolism, intermittent fasting, and things of that nature. 

But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

Chiropractic evidence-based products
Integrating Chiropractors
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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around. 

We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. So feel free to crack one wide open would you?

Welcome, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Like our facebook page, 
  • Join our private facebook group and interact, and then 
  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. No spam, just a reminder when the newest episodes go live. Nothing special so don’t worry about signing up. Just one a week friends. 

Do it do it do it. 

You have plopped down into Episode #105 just like a comfy easy chair. 

Now if you missed last week’s episode talking about our TWO YEAR wrap up, make sure you don’t miss that episode. It was a lot of fun to put together and to reminisce on some of the amazing episodes we’ve had over the past two years. Good good stuff. 

Something new I found out here…..Did you know that if you have an Alexa product, you can now just say something like, “Alexa, play The Chiropractic Forward Podcast on Apple Podcasts” and kablooey! 

You automatically start to hear the golden throated stylings of yours truly! Lol. You can say skip ahead 30 seconds, play previous episode, and on and on so pretty cool right there. 

On the personal end of things, we just found out that Dad started moving his left leg today for the first time and that’s exciting. It’s the first REAL solid sign of big progress since his first stroke on November 9th. As you can imagine, we are ecstatic about this. Good stuff. Keep on keeping on Pops. Strong like bull!

Before we dive into the reason we’re here, it’s good to support the people that support you don’t you think? Well, ChiroUp certainly supports evidence-based practices. 

If you don’t take advantage of this deal, I just think you might be crazy.

If you’re a regular listener of our podcast, you know I’ve used ChiroUp since about June of 2018. Let me tell you about it because I’m about to give you a way to do a FREE TRIAL and, if you sign up, only pay $99/month for the first six months which is pennies compared to what it’s worth. So listen up!

ChiroUp is changing the way we practice by simplifying patient education and here’s what I mean: 

In a matter of seconds, you can send condition-specific reports to your patients with recommendations for treatment, for their activities of daily living, & for their exercises. 

You can see how this saves you time – no more explaining & re-explaining your patient’s care, because they have access to it at their fingertips. 

You can be confident that your patients are getting the best possible care, because the reports are populated based on what the literature recommends and isn’t that re-assuring? All of that work has been done FOR you. 

There are more than 1000 providers worldwide using ChiroUp to empower their treatments, patients, & practice – Including myself! **Short testimony**

If you don’t know what it’s all about or you’d like to check it out, do yourself a favor and go to Chiroup.com today to get started with your FREE TRIAL – Use code Williams99 to pay only $99/month for your first 6 months

That’s ChiroUp.com and super double secret code Williams99.

Item #1

Alright let’s dive in. We’ll save Groupon until the last because if I know me, it’ll be what I have the most to say out of all of these. 

Let’s start with Gabapentin shall we? The most recent article I’ve come across was in The Atlantic. It was authored by Olga Khazan and called ‘Chronic Pain Is An Impossible Problem’. It was posted December 9, 2019(Khazan O 2019). 

That’s got some sizzle on it!!

Some key points in the article are that 

  • Chronic pain affects about 1/5 of American adults
  • For years those in the medical field thought it could be treated with painkillers like Oxy but that was proven wrong when basically three planeloads of Americans started dying of opioid-related causes each week
  • Now, they’ve turned to Gabapentin, an anticonvulsant, to help treat it. 
  • From 2012-2016 prescriptions of the medication went up 64%
  • There is emerging information that Gabapentin may not be as safe as previously believed. Certainly when combined with other sedating meds. 
  • When taking it long-term, patients can develop tolerance so more and more is required to reach the desired effect. 
  • There is also a withdrawl effect when trying to get off of gabapentin. 
  • People are now starting to use Gabapentin in combination with Baclofen and benzos like Xanax to increase the intoxicating effect. We can see where that is going can’t we?
  • The article goes on to say, “not only does gabapentin appear to exacerbate or create overdose risk, it also doesn’t work well for chronic pain.” They site a study that we’ll cover in a second. 
  • The paper wraps up by saying they’re essentially out of option when it comes to chronic pain. Which to me says they’ve run out of pills basically. That doesn’t mean they’re out of options though. 
  • Arthur Robin Williams, an assistant professor at Columbia University says “The medical community should take a closer look at non-pill remedies such as physical therapy and psychotherapy…I would add evidence-informed chiropractic… These treatments are often not covered by insurance, take longer to work, and take more of providers’ time. But for many, they might be a better option than yet another pill that has yet another pathway to abuse. “The reality is, a lot of the pills that change how you feel in the next 10 to 30 minutes,” Williams says, “carry addictive liability.”

Well…..no kidding? Who would have ever thought that? Hmmm….let’s see. Oh yeah, every chiropractor and PT that ever lived. 

Let’s combine that with a systematic review and meta-analysis from just last year that was in the Canadian Medical Association Journal called “Anticonvulsants in the treatment of low back pain and lumbar radicular pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis”(Enke O 2018)

  • Nine trials compared topiramate, gabapentin or pregabalin to placebo in 859 unique participants. Fourteen of 15 comparisons found anticonvulsants were not effective to reduce pain or disability in low back pain or lumbar radicular pain. 
  • There was high-quality evidence of no effect of gabapentinoids vs. placebo on chronic low back pain. 
  • The lack of efficacy is accompanied by increased risk of adverse events from use of gabapentinoids, for which the level of evidence is high.

It is painfully obvious (no pun intended) that pills aren’t cure-alls and aren’t curing the pain problem. And they won’t sure the pain problem so isn’t it time to look elsewhere? In the year 2020?

All of this is cited in the show notes at chiropracticforward.com. Go get the article and the paper. Use it to educate your community on gabapentin. Set yourself as the reasonable alternative to it. 

Item #2

Fasting and weight loss. I want to be right up front on this, I’ve always wanted to make nutrition and weight loss a part of my practice in some shape form or fashion but, if I’m being honest, I’m just straight up a big big dude. Like I’m 6’4” and, depending on the time of year, 280+. I was a college offensive lineman. I played center and i anchored that line pretty well with my overall biggness. Lol. 

Cat-like reflexes people but big as a damn house. So, I’m not going to teach you how to implement weight-loss into your practice here but I am going to give you some interesting research I cam across recently that might make you think a bit. 

The first paper on this is called “Effects of time-restricted feeding on body weight and metabolism. A systematic review and meta-analysis”. It was published in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, authored by P Marianna, C Iolanda, et. al. and published December 2019. (Marianna P 2019)

Hot to the touch. It’ll burn your  damn finger prints off. 

Why They Did It

Restriction in meal timing has emerged as a promising dietary approach for the management of obesity and dysmetabolic diseases. The present systematic review and meta-analysis summarized the most recent evidence on the effect of time-restricted feeding (TRF) on weight-loss and cardiometabolic variables in comparison with unrestricted-time regimens.

How They Did It

  • A total of 11 studies, 5 randomized controlled trials and 6 observational, were included
  • All selected studies had a control group without time restriction
  • Most studies involved the Ramadan fasting

Wrap It Up

Time restricted feeding regimens achieved a superior effect in promoting weight-loss and reducing fasting glucose compared to approaches with unrestricted time in meal consumption. 

As we’ve covered, systematic reviews and meta-analysis are, ideally, high-level research and, considering the majority of the included studies involved the Ramadan fasting regimen, I went to search it up to see what the what. 

So, what exactly is a Ramadan Fasting Regimen? Well let me tell you. And I’m not going for the fancy stuff because I’m tapped for time here so we’re just going to hit up Wikipedia real quick and Wiki says that the basics are:

  • Fasting from sun up to sun down
  • Abstinence from sex, food, and drink
  • It also means one should refrain from things like
  • violence
  • anger
  • envy
  • greed
  • lust
  • angry/sarcastic retort
  • gossip
  • and you’re supposed to get along with others better than you normally do

In America at least, I’m certain we’ll all just do the food part because everyone’s so busy looking for a reason to be offended that I’m certain being nice and getting along is off the table for now. 

So, if you have any personal experience with intermittent fasting, if you’re an expert on the topic, shoot me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com Let’s talk about it. Maybe we can set up some guests and do a full episode or two on the topic to educate our community of docs on the matter. Sounds like a great topic so hit me up. 

Now, the last thing I have here I want to talk about is Groupon. 

This one is a bit of a trigger for me honestly. Looky here. I am well aware that people are struggling. I’m well aware that I am fortunate and to sit and judge can seem disconnected and unfair at minimum to some. I definitely get that. 

What I also understand is that a whole bunch of those that are struggling are in a profession they really shouldn’t be in because they’re lazy and want to sit behind their desks and hit a few buttons and be magically transformed into a master chiro with an office stocked full of patients and never ending new patients. 

That’s magic time dreamland stuff. 

There will always be supposed shortcuts. There will always be business hacks or whatever you want to call them. But at the end of the day, shouldn’t you make decisions while keeping several things in mind? Meaning, you have to do what is best for your family. You have to do what is best for your office and your employees. But don’t you feel like you should make decisions based on what is best for your profession and for your colleagues?

I would hate to think that I’ve done something that damages my profession . Obviously I don’t mind calling out BS business practices and unethical chiropractors. If that’s damaging my profession well then, I’m guilty as hell. 

But when you are making the deals some of these guys and gals are making on Groupon, you are demeaning, lessening, and trashing what the rest of us take a great deal of pride in. 

Imagine, you go through chiropractic school, you survive 21+ years in practice while steadily getting more and more education, you take on a Diplomate program and finally complete that, and you are fighting on the state level for your profession and your profession’s image…..and then you open your email. 

Yes, I get emails from Groupon with their best and newest deals. I open it up and BAM….It almost seems like all of that work can just be flushed down the toilet. It’s depressing and it makes me want to club baby seals. 

Before we start talking about the article, I did a quick search for Groupon deals in my area and, right there next to Reflexology deals popped up this:

  • 10% cash back – Sounds like a damn car deal
  • Consultation, exam, x-rays, adjustment, and one full-body vibration plate session for $70. Way to value your services. Great. Way to look awesome. Assuming they actually need vibration plate. Assuming they actually need x-rays, assuming they even need and adjustment. Blah
  • Then this one, it’ll make you tickle – One laser lipo session w/ two vibe plate sessions for $45. See…..in Texas, you can only have laser lipo if you’re trying to increase function. Not just look better. So, that’s not necessarily legal as this implies to me it’s for looks. Unless they have a medical director and I’m here to tell you they do not. 
  • When you go to the bigger cities, it only gets worse. I found a $564 value for only $43.70!!! What a damn deal!!!

It’s all just shady and sketchy. Luckily, there are only two in my area doing this stuff. And if they keep it up, we may have two less competitors here as well. 

Besides the shady, street corner huckster look it so convincingly creates, it’s potentially illegal based on the idea of fee splitting, Medicare inducement, and dual fee schedules and, if the state boards start getting their acts together and going after this stuff, they will be the ones to go down. 

What started me down this path today was an article I came across called “Legal Implications of Chiropractic Groupons.” It was written and posted on the website for Carlson and Jayakumar – attorneys at law. I’ll have the link in the show notes. https://cjattorneys.com/legal-implications-of-chiropractic-groupons/

Highlight of the article include:

  • Each day, numerous chiropractors contract with Groupon and its competitors to sell certificates for adjustments, examinations, x-rays and massages. 
  • Despite the variety of services offered, these programs all have two things in common: (1) the chiropractor is offering a significant discount –92% in some examples, and (2) the chiropractor is sharing the income from each certificate sale – usually around 50% – with the website. While we are unaware of any state board taking action against a licensee for a Groupon-style offering, we believe these programs could create significant civil and criminal liability for chiropractors.
  • most states have rules prohibiting the offer or acceptance by a chiropractor of any commission, discount, or other consideration as compensation or inducement for referring patients, clients, or customers to any person, irrespective of the practitioner’s membership, proprietary interest or co-ownership in or with that person. I was once offered the opportunity to buy in to an imaging center here in town. As badly as I wanted to do it, I made the mistake of hiring two different attorneys for their opinions. BOTH advised against and this is exactly why. 
  • With Groupon, money is paid by the chiropractor to the website in connection with a patient’s referral. The chiropractor essentially, albeit indirectly pays the website per patient that purchases the certificate. At their base, these agreements require the chiropractor to pay the website for soliciting, referring and/or procuring clients not he chiropractor’s behalf. Stuff you’re not supposed to do and can get in a lot of trouble for. 
  • Medicare’s Anti-Kickback Statute criminalized the payment of kickbacks for patient referrals. Subsequent laws expanded it to all federalpay programs. Kickbacks include “any remuneration,” a very broad definition, which includes coupons. The Office of the Inspector General issued a “Special Fraud Alert” regarding advertisements offering “discounts” given to Medicare beneficiaries. Then a “Special Advisory Bulletin” appeared on offering inducements to Medicare beneficiaries. Essentially, it said a provider could not offer a patient anything worth more than $10, and combined $50 in a year for multiple gifts.
  • Groupon-style deals are unadvisable as they may pose problems with insurance companies. Most insurance policies will not pay for any charges that would not have been made in the absence of insurance. Groupon offerings, which almost always charge a lower fee to the purchaser versus insured patients, could be viewed as creating a “dual fee schedule.”  Insurers believe dual fee schedules constitute fraud and over billing. Some argue that Groupons are merely a version of a prompt-payment discount. While California law expressly permits prompt-payment discounts, such discounts must be reasonable. Given the extreme nature of the discounts typically offered by Groupon and its competitors, such certificates likely would not fall under the prompt-pay exception.

They conclude that “Given their widespread use, it seems unlikely that the Board of Chiropractic Examiners would discipline each and every licensee who engages or has engaged in Groupon-style offerings. That said, there may be a rash of “test case” or “example” disciplinary actions that follow. Eventually, we would expect the Board to adopt a regulation, or the Legislature to pass legislation, that explicitly either proscribes or prohibits the use of these deals. In the meantime, we recommend that chiropractors abstain from these types of marketing campaigns….”

I couldn’t agree more with them. 

When I opened up a new place h ere in Amarillo, I printed flyers at Kinko’s and I walked from one business to another knocking on doors and meeting people and telling them about me and my new place. I marketed anyone that could send me business. For more on that, go back about 5 episodes and listen to our episodes called Big Ideas On Marketing Evidence-Based Practices. Link is in the show notes. 

You must know this just isn’t the way to go. Join BNI, join civic clubs, start working out at a gym and get tight with the managers and personal trainers, spend time volunteering, joint a running club if that’s your gig, combine those things with social media and a solid email list that you continue to build and work on. There are so many things you can do that are above the cuff. That are respectable and raise up you and your profession. 

Groupon isn’t one of them. It does exactly the opposite. It identifies those of us who are racing to the bottom of the barrel and dragging the rest of us down with them. 

If you’re doing Groupon, it’s my opinion that it’s time to stand up, stop doing it. Yesterday..if you catch my drift

Store

Part of making your life easier is having the right patient education tools in your office. Tools that educate based on solid, researched information. We offer you that. It’s done for you. We are taking pre-orders right now for our brand new, evidence-based office brochures available at chiropracticforward.com. Just click the STORE link at the top right of the home page and you’ll be off and running. Just shoot me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com if something is out of sorts or isn’t working correctly. 

If you’re like me, you get tired of answering the same old questions. Well, these brochures make great ways of educating while saving yourself time and breath. They’re also great for putting in take-home folders. 

Go check them out at chiropracticforward.com under the store link. While you’re there, sign up for the newsletter won’t you? We won’t spam you. Just one email per week to remind you when the new episode comes out. That’s it. 

Chiropractic evidence-based products
Integrating Chiropractors
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The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment instead of chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us that patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain just to name just a few.

It’s safe and cost-effective. It can decrease surgeries & disability and we normally do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. 

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!

Key Point:

Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints….

That’s Chiropractic!

Contact

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out. 

Connect

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2

Player FM Link

https://player.fm/series/2291021

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through

TuneIn

https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health–Wellness-Podcasts/The-Chiropractic-Forward-Podcast-Chiropractors-Pr-p1089415/

About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

Bibliography

Enke O (2018). “Anticonvulsants in the treatment of low back pain and lumbar radicular pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” CMAJ(190): E786-793.

Khazan O (2019) “Chronic Pain Is an Impossible Problem A “safe” alternative to opioid painkillers turns out to be not so safe.” The Atlantic.

Marianna P, I. C., Andrea E, Valentina P, Ilaria G, Giovannino C, Ezio G, Simona B, (2019). “Effects of time-restricted feeding on body weight and metabolism. A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Rev Endocr Metab Disord.

Closing Patients – Helpful or Destructive?

CF 088: Closing Patients – Helpful or Destructive?

Today we’re going to talk about what closing patients in chiropractic is, we’ll talk about where it comes from, and we’ll talk about if it’s a positive or a negative. Plenty here to be provocative I must admit. Listen up and then make up your own mind. 

But first, here’s that oh how sweet it is bumper music

Chiropractic evidence-based products
Integrating Chiropractors
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OK, we are back with some important information to make you better which makes your patients better. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

You have collapsed into Episode #88

No research today. Only Opinion. I didn’t even include any sponsors in this episode because it might be seen as controversial to an extent and, if there’s some sort of uproar, I don’t want them in the crossfire. Now….

I believe the business of being trusted and an authority of sorts is to be objective. Regular listeners have heard me talk about the medical realm and failed surgeries, etc. I state over and over that I am a chiropractic advocate. 

I am an advocate. Just listen to all 87 previous episodes and you will clearly see where I stand on the big stuff. BUT, if we do not have the ability or the honesty to police our own, then we’ll never be able to pull out of red-headed step-child status. 

We will forever be ridiculed and mocked. And that’s because the bad apples spoil the whole basket. 

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to just do a brain dump on a certain topic. I think the last time I did that was back when I talked about religion being brought into chiropractic.

I’ve been seeing more and more terminology like this lately and it’s time to address it and meet it head on. 

Let’s get something perfectly straight here: I’m about to piss some people off. Let’s also be clear on the fact that I’m already pissed off so I don’t give a damn if I do. I have been for a while. It’s been stewing and simmering and, after a while, it’s time to talk about it. 

Hell that’s the whole point of having a podcast. Promote what I agree with and find value in and spotlight cockroaches when I identify them. Having a platform to sound off on has been so cathartic. You have no idea. It helps in so many ways. It’s probably why I don’t have to go to therapy. 

As I have said, I am seeing the term ‘closing patients’ more and more and you know what? I’m mostly seeing it from wannabe gurus that aren’t even freaking chiropractors!!! They are trained at spouting their horns and touting their skills but never bought in enough to actually be a chiropractor. No, they just prey on chiropractors. 

Does that register? Closing patients! They’re fine with the term closing and the idea because it’s not their profession, their profession is marketing, so what the hell do they care if they trash the profession and whatever reputation we have scratched out? As long as they continue to fool well-meaning chiropractors into paying them, they don’t give one single damn what it takes.

As I said, the real unfortunate thing is that they go around jazzing up actual real chiropractors to the point that now many chiropractor actually think closing patients is a good and an acceptable idea.

Here’s the thing: it’s black and white. There’s good and there’s evil. There’s right and there’s wrong. Closing patients is straight up 100% wrong. And in my opinion, borderline evil.

I posted on our private Chiropractic Forward Facebook group the other day asking for opinions on closing patients. Good, bad, pros, cons, etc.… I value our tribe and their wisdom.

For a more general opinion, I asked in the Chiropractic Facebook group. That’s what it’s called…..just Chiropractic. You’ll find birds of all feathers in there so I figured I’d get some crazy answers and some in the middle answers. 

I really didn’t though. It seems that most, if not all, were essentially against the idea of closing patients.

Here’s what I got. Some that I highly respect say that if you’re NOT giving good solid recommendations and the telling them what it costs, then you’re not doing your job. 

One colleague wrote that patients want a doctor. Not a friend. Damn straight.

On this, all of us absolutely agree. 

Although a report of findings and recommendations and a financial talk could be viewed as closing patients,  that’s not necessarily what I mean when I refer to closing patietns. Not in my mind anyway. 

Being a doctor certainly comes with the responsibility of telling patients what you think is wrong, what you think they should do to fix it, and how much that would cost. That’s just being an ethical professional regardless of what business we are working in. 

I’m talking about manipulation of information and manipulation of emotions to get a desired effect that benefits the practice more than it benefits the patient. That’s what I’m talking about.

There was a reason I never really got down a good report of findings. It’s because I never felt comfortable with it. It never felt right because it wasn’t me. So I just went to what felt right. That doesn’t mean those of you that are good at a report of finding are doing something bad. I’m referring to a closing patients sort of ROF that I was once force fed. That’s what I’m talking about. 

What felt right was telling patients what I think, what I recommend, asking them if they have questions, and then getting started. It’s pretty damn simple honestly and I have more patients and business than I can handle. 

To tell me that my only way to succeed is to learn tactics and manipulation, we just have to disagree. Our values are not in alignment. Adjust that won’t you? 

I heard one guru say that our job is to identify or uncover what the patient’s pain is keeping them from doing or accomplishing and then leveraging that information against them by focusing on that shortfall in order to make a sale. To get a desired outcome.

Really? That’s what my job is? Are you sure? Because I thought it was to give my patients the very best recommendations that I can based on education and experience and then be there to help and guide them regardless. All these years and I was getting it wrong. All I needed was this 20 something person to help me get it right. Insert eye roll. 

When closing patients in chiropractic, he says we NEED to be focused on it. For example, if a patient comes to us with back pain, that’s not what we need to focus and work them over about. No….we should be working them over about what the back pain keeps them from doing…..THAT’s what they really care about so THAT’S what we pounce on like a grizzly on a salmon.

So, uncovering the ‘pain point’ of a patient just isn’t something I think smart, capable, educated doctors should be concerning themselves with. It’s called morals and ethics. 

They act like being unethical builds the fat wallets so that the fat wallets can further chiropractic. So…..I don’t want that kind of chiropractic being furthered. At all. Not a millimeter. Ever. I want it to die and go away never to be heard from again. 

A previous guest on our podcast, Dr. David Graber up in New Jersey is literally one of the smartest people I know and he had this to say about it, 

“When the Chiropractic profession started relying on business and sales techniques for practice building they did use approaches to ” close the sale” of care to patients. 

It’s a transaction- based approach with a winner and a loser. It’s positioned the doctor-patient relationship as a competition or Confrontation. This became especially prominent with long-term care and prepayments plans.

The alternative is open the relationship rather than close the sale, because there’s nothing to sell. A report of findings now is exactly that, a report of findings and options given. Respect for the patient’s autonomy in decision-making and service over sales. It’s becoming a partner not a competitor with our patients.”

He’s so damned smart. I wish I could have the eloquence to put things the way he does. He makes it look easy. 

What he’s talking about is being patient-centered, not doctor-centered. That’s really the whole point of the whole damn episode I think. Being a partner with our patients is being patient-centered. Not dominating them through whatever means necessary.

If you think some chiropractors’ shenanigans aren’t making it online? You’re crazy. People are posting it everywhere. Names, dates, events, quoting the doctors word for word. Things don’t happen in a vaccuum anymore in the year 2019. 

Here are a couple of stories I found on the interwebs while researching this episode about closing patients. 

This first one is an experience a woman had when she visited the chiropractor. Luckily, she didn’t swear off chiropractors completely after the experience but who could have blamed her if she did?

She preframed this sucker as a cautionary tale to all those who are easily persuaded by emotional sales pitches. She went to a fair and got on one of those spine check doohickeys that checks balance from one side to the other and high shoulders and all that crap. 

The lady told he she was carrying 9 more pounds of weight on one side of the body than the other and her head is 2 inches too far forward and one shoulder is higher causing her head to tilt the other way to compensate. 

All of the sudden, a care-free girl out shopping at the town fair who stopped to have her spine checked for a little fun change-up in her daily routines is thinking, “Oh damn…this sounds awful.”

No worries though, the chiro office offered her a $20 preliminary screening at the center to include 2 x-rays, a spinal exam, a foot screening….the whole shubang, for $20. Awesome. Way to value your services random chiropractor screening at a town fair that has nothing to do with health.

Luckily for this lady, her husband smelled a skunk.  

She went to the appointment, paper work, intial intake with the staff, and then the chiropractor arrives. She asked if she could do a few more exams of the spine. Following this exam, she said in a grave voice that she has some serious concerns about the neck and spine. 

IN FACT, she would like to take two more x-rays than scheduled in order to check out a few other things. She reassured me that I wouldn’t need to pay for these x-rays — they would just send the bill to my insurance, and if insurance wouldn’t cover it, they would eat the cost. 

The patient thought WOW, they must really care about the well-being of their patients to take this financial risk! 

Then, sent home with a follow-up appointment scheduled. Not before the chiro reminder her how urgent it is for her to come back and get treatment started as soon as possible. Makes me want to pull what is left of my hair out of my head. 

She left that first appointment sincerely afraid that there was something seriously wrong that only chiropractic was able to fix. She was leaving that first appointment basically in tears. She didn’t sleep at all that night. She was thinking, “What if I lay with my hnead at the wrong angle….would that make her neck even more crooked?”

Follow up appointment, seated in an education room when whe underwent a lesson in the philosophy of chiropractic. They told her that by the time we feel pain, our bodies are down to 40% health which means that if we feel healthy, we really aren’t. Holy guacamole. Crap fire and just save the damn matches won’t you?

All of our illnesses come down to subluxation which only chiropractic has the answer for, blah blah blah.

Then the x-rays. These are her exact words, “First we looked at the before and after x-rays of people whose lives and health were transformed at the Wellness Center. 

Next we compared *healthy* spines (people who have regular readjustments) with *unhealthy* spines (people who just don’t care about their health and don’t want to live past 65). 

Finally, we looked at the x-rays of a few tragic people who did not get the treatment they needed and whose spines were COMPLETELY COMPACTED. Dr. Amy then asked if I was ready to go look at my films — and I responded by bursting into tears.

She goes on, “When I saw my x-rays, my first thought was, “Wow, it’s not as bad as I thought! My spine doesn’t look like a 70-year-old!” But still lurking was the shadow of what might be — the ghost of future spines, if you will — if I didn’t pursue a full chiropractic treatment plan. 

Dr. Amy and I talked through my x-rays, and I learned that my spine is only at stage one degeneration (something they NEVER see in a 28-year-old!) — in other words, still terrible, but treatable. 

By this time she was fully convinced that 

  1. I needed chiropractic care, 
  2. it should start right away, 
  3. this Wellness Center should be the one to offer this care, and 
  4. it would save my life.

Guess what she got….you just guess! That’s right, she got a 12-week treatment plan, 3 visits a week for the low low basement bargain price of $2,800. 

The office, because they’re so giving and kind and genuinely caring offered her an 18-month payment plan at $140/month. For treatment she didn’t even need in the first damn place!!

Remember, even if you don’t hurt, you’re still sick? Good Lord jumpin’ jehovah. The lady told the doc that she needed to run it by her hubs before signing a contract. Like a contract belongs in healthcare in the first place but whatever. It’s outlawed now. At least in Texas. 

Anyway, the doc told her to come back the next day with her husband so that he could get a free screening with x-rays as well. Lol. These people. The hubs wasn’t buying it. She couldn’t believer her husband wasn’t more concerned that she was 28 years old and already had stage I degeneration of her spine!

He talked her down, she went and finally did some of her own research, and realized she had took a big swig of the snake oil. 

Yes, of course chiropractic could have helped her with her neck that had been a bit sore recently. Yes, a chiropractor’s office was exactly where she belonged. But no, not in an office like that where she was manipulated emotionally and almost financially. 

Here’s a lovely ditty about one of those beloved ‘free dinners with the doc.” Ugh. That’s a whole different episode, isn’t it?

Anyway, here’s what happened. the first thing is that the flyer advertising all but hid the fact that a chiropractor was the presenter. 

Quoted in this article was Robert Puleo of the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He said, ““It reeks of snake oil. There are some chiropractors out there who want to make a buck any way they can.” And: “The chiropractor holding such seminars tries to sign people up for months of office visits that can cost thousands of dollars.”

Ummm….yes. Exactly. You think chiropractors keep buying dinner because they’re nice people? Hell no. They’re trying to scare people into a close and a sale. 

The attendee to the dinner mentioned in the article said it consisted of four parts:

  1. Trust building – that’s where the presenter talks about their education and why they’re super double awesome and should be trusted. Can I just say that I immediately do not trust someone giving a free meal to prospective targets? I just don’t. Regardless of education. 
  2. Medicine bashing – This is where they talk about the inefficiency and poor quality of the US healthcare system. You all know the dance. I know that waltz myself. I can tell you all kinds of numbers and frame out the inefficiencies in a bunch of different ways. When it’s there, it’s there and I don’t mind that dance because they don’t mind bashing on chiropractors all of the time. 
  3. The product being sold – he was selling some laser therapy for neuropathy. The same stuff I believe that I just saw where an LA doc was on TV being accused of selling stuff that doesn’t work. Guess what? That dude was selling at a free dinner as well. I just never wanted to be a salesman. I just wanted to be a doctor and help people. Maybe I’m crazy. 
  4. Recommending consultations – Basically come see me at the office for $29 so I can sell you on thousands. Whne the attendee asked how much the laser service costs, he was told, “Oh, the doctor sets that amount.” So…..you can’t just tell me the cost? And…is there a dual fee schedule? Like, the doctor sets different costs? Because it it’s not a dual fee schedule, then the price is already set and, in that case, you should be able to simply tell me the price. Right?

I guess being upfront, transparent, and honest doesn’t quite fit into the dessert menu does it?

Last thing I’ll touch on is the RELIGIOUS ROF – For a more extensive exploration of this, listen to episode #61 of this podcast. It covers it at length but, in short, I’m a Christian so let’s not think I’m an atheist bashing on Christians. That would be a biased discussion wouldn’t it?

This is a non-biased discussion about it so settle down fellow Christians. 

Here is a script from a management company that uses or used a person’s faith against them to close a sale, ““Mary, I’m concerned. I’m really concerned about you. When you don’t continue your plan to remove the subluxations that are interfering with God’s life force allowing it to innately flow from above down through your body in order to heal you, you’re not allowing God to do his part and heal your body. I understand that it’s hard getting here…but I have an opening at 5:30 tonight so we’ll see you then and let’s get you that life-saving adjustment tonight ok?”

You can’t make it up and, as a Christian, I find it dissappointing to say the very least that a fellow Christian would think this sort of manipulation and sales tactics is permissable in any way, shape, form, or fashion. 

It’s just awful. All for the sake of closing a sale. Are we really that desperate? Obviously some at least think they are and maybe there’s no other way to make money. 

You want to know how to build a company? How to build trust in a brand? I’ll share it right here. Instead of the religious manipulation script I just read, say this:

“Mary, I’d never try to tell someone how to spend their money or how to take care of themselves because that’s none of my business. My job is to tell you what I think would be the best for you based on the idea that you live right next door and have no travel concerns, and you have all of the time and money in the world. What would I think would be best for you? Then there’s reality and my job is to be here for you however you want to use me. We don’t hassle our patients about their recommendations. Just do me a favor if you can’t do what I recommend, don’t tell people that chiropractic didn’t work. OK? Tell them you weren’t able to do what the chiropractor recommended. Is that fair?”

See how simple it is?

Look, we all want to get rich while we help change the lives of our patients. But where does the switch happen where it’s OK to work patients to the point of emotional breakdown just so that they’ll sign up for countless visits over the course of a year or more? How does that switch go from being a new doc excited to work with the population into a manipulative street corner huckster schooled in the art of emotional manipulation? 

How does that moral compass get swapped approximately 180 degrees to the point that money is more important than superior patient care? And….reputation. I would argue that your reputation absolutely precedes you. Especially the smaller the town or area that you practice. 

One of my very respected colleagues, Dr. Gregg Friedman, who also happens to be a nationally known speaker, shared this thought with me when I asked about closing, “Closing a patient” looks like a sales technique and makes me want to puke. It does not create a positive image of chiropractic in the minds of the public we strive to serve. Just my opinion.” Spot on, nailed it. 

There are about 45 chiropractors in my area give or take. I know how about 80% of them practice because patients tell me. I’ll bet about 80% of those chiropractors know how I practice. For better or worse. I say worse because they only see my failures and I only see theirs. BUT….we still have a general idea of who the chiros in our area are, how they practice, and if they’re reputable. 

Basically, would you send you brother, sister, or mom to them? How about your child? If you’d send your family member to yourself, maybe you’re in a good spot. I can’t answer that. If you have systems set in place that manipulate information, manipulate a patient’s emotions, and manipulate words to make the practice a lot of money……and you’d still send you kid to that…..we need to talk. 

Let’s dive in a little bit more. Now, those of you that use this, and firmly believe in it, are going to be pissed right now. 

“Who the hell is this guy, what make him think he can question this or that, blah blah blah?”. I’ll tell you who I am. Nobody particularly special is who I am. In many ways I’m no smarter than the people that use some of this stuff. In some ways I am. 

I’m a bit of a research nerd – a dude with what I like to hope is an EDUCATED opinion and I’m a dude with an opinion that just happens to have figured out how to record and air podcasts, build a crowd, and talk about his opinions. That’s all. If you don’t like my opinion, go get your own podcast and crowd, go figure that out and talk about what’s important to you. 

There are already lots of them out there. Go call your company something like Chiro Closers, hustling chiros, chiro shrimp, or cervical correction academy specialist association or whatever the hell you can come up with that gets attention, or sounds important. Hell, I have half a mind to buy the domain www.chiroclosersareus.com and just have a landing page that says, 

“Hey, welcome…I’m not selling you anything. I just want you to know that closing people in healthcare is not patient-centered, it’s not quality care, it’s not being the doctor that you are, and you can be just as successful if you be the doctor, diagnose well, make good responsible recommendations for care, be a partner with your patient in their recovery, be sincere, really really care about them, and then be there however they decide they want to use you.”

Bam….secret to success nugget. 

Right there. If you didn’t listen or zoned off, rewind that about 15 seconds. You don’t have to buy it packaged up a million different ways from wannabe gurus. It’s really so so simple folks.

Back to the point: One of the most common reasons for big money, long-term plans I hear from patients when we’re talking about their previous chiropractor was that they saw an x-ray of their neck and it was straight. And to get that curve back, it was going to take 65 visits over 14 months at a cost of $4,500 (I’m making those numbers up but you get the point). All to get that curve back. 

Now, can we be honest a sec? You can go tell me to jump in the river. You can tell me I’m only about treating pain..and you’d have a fair point… You can call me a medipractor. You can call me whatever names you like but be serious, thoughtful, and maybe even non-philosophical for a minute. 

I believe, and my experience suggests, that a straighter curve is a consequence of simply being alive for a whole bunch of years. I believe that not having a curve when a patient is 50 years old is NOT going to impact their lives so much that they need to pay me as much as a surgical co-pay would be for surgery? What if I improve the curve a few degrees? Is it really that big of a deal that made that big of a difference?

The ONLY research I’ve seen on straight necks that made much sense was more recent. We covered it here on the podcast. It said it may lead to some degeneration of I believe it was C6/7 but, overall, impact of it was minimal. 

Other research you may have seen on this may come from other gurus that have conducted their own research. 

How nice is it to be able to say you conduct your own research, not have it peer reviewed or published in any respected journals, and then say it backs up your method so that people buy your products? That’s nice. Funny how that stuff works right? And so convenient. 

THAT’S what I mean by manipulating information. 

Let’s re-visit the title of this episode. Just repeat it a time or two. Closing patients. Let’s add a couple of words. Closing patients on care.

For me, that’s an oxymoron. If you care, are you going to manipulate patients with words and emotions? The correct answer is hell no you’re not.

Put yourself in the patient’s place real quick. 

Do you, in a healthcare setting, EVER wish to be closed? Other than an incision of course…. as my good friend Dr. Tyce Hergert in Southlake, TX says. Lol. 

The answer is no. At least I sure as hell don’t want to be closed. Not under the fear of losing my ability to function 30 years in the future. Not under a fear like that that no research I’ve ever seen can back up. 

As mentioned above, you want to be told what is wrong, you want to know how to fix it, and you want to know how much that costs. You might be interested in any other treatment options as well. You might want to know if you could just undergo a trial period of treatment first to see how you respond to care before deciding on anything else.

ALL OF THOSE should be on the table and your patient should know that, at the end of the day, your job is to be the doctor and give them your best recommendations while also understanding that you are there to help them to the best of your ability regardless of what they decide. 

Again, we should be our patients’ partners, not their boss, not dominating them, not running the show regardless. 

In the end, remember the three pillars of a patient-centered, evidence-informed practice. They are of course, 1) the best external evidence, 2) individual clinical expertise, and 3) get this…..pay attention….patient values and expectations. 

Not the doctors values and expectations. 

Key Takeaways: be a partner with your patients. Do not be a domineering, street corner snake oil salesman. Please. Those that do this give all of us a bad reputation. I have gone through the DACO diplomate program. Countless chiropractors around the globe highly educate themselves and take great pride in the results they can get for their patients. 

When you go about business like we’ve been discussing here, you discredit all of us almost immediately in the minds of those patients. Who then turn around and tell their family and friends and then go and post it on their blogs or tell a TV reporter about it who then tells everyone in the world in one way or another. 

Cut your crap. Enough is enough. 

Go check them out at chiropracticforward.com under the store link. While you’re there, sign up for the newsletter won’t you? We won’t spam you. Just one email per week to remind you when the new episode comes out. That’s it. 

Chiropractic evidence-based products
Integrating Chiropractors
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The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment instead of chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show that many patients get good or excellent results through chiropractic for headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, to name just a few.

Chiropractic care is safe and cost-effective. It can decrease instances of surgery & disability. Chiropractors normally do this through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal time requirements or hassle to the patient. 

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!

Key Point:

Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm.

That’s Chiropractic!

Contact

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out. 

Connect

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

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About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

CF 049: The Palmer/Gallup Poll 2018 Discussion On Chiropractic Marketing

CF 049: The Palmer/Gallup Poll 2018 Discussion On Chiropractic Marketing

Today we’re going to talk about the 2018 version of the Palmer Gallup poll that has some great info including some chiropractic marketing nuggets for your nugget pouch so stick around as we get into the details

But first, make way for that sweet sweet bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

Introduction

You have crumpled into Episode #49. Info to help with your chiropractic marketing. We are moving in on a solid year of Chiropractic Forward episodes and that feels good. Every single week. We haven’t missed one week this past year. There is most certainly a sense of accomplishment and doesn’t it feel good to feel good? Of course, it does. 

The Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists (DACO)

Let’s talk a bit about the DACO program – Same as last week. Just trudging along. Last week I took classes on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, poster canal, anterior and horizontal canals, Epley’s maneuver and all that goes along with that. I also had a class on Lumbar spinal stenosis that I learned some new tidbits on. Great stuff. My offer stands, if any of you want to start looking at it, I’d be glad to give you a little guidance in getting yourself started. 

Newsletter

How’s about youse guys head over to chiropracticforward.com and get yourself on our newsletter. I have some cool stuff coming down the pike and I want you to be the first to know about it and I want you to save money because you were cool enough to be on our email list. No more than once a week. That’s my guarantee. It’s just an email address folks. Not a big deal. 

Personal happenings

You have heard my woes and my front desk worries over the past month or two. I told you last week that it appears my wife has herself a new full-time gig and guess what? With her help, we had not only one of the best Octobers we have ever had, but we also had one of the best months (numbers-wise) that we have ever had in 20 years. 

I believe there’s something to this “wife working the front desk” idea people. Something to think about for sure. If you can work with your wife or husband that is. You may have to pee strategically around the office just to mark your territory and let it be known this is your domain but, nobody will work as hard for the office as someone that has a vested interest in it. I’m a firm believer in that. 

Into The Information

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

This week I want to talk about the Palmer/Gallup poll that has been coming out annually for a couple of years now. I think it’s two years but cannot recall off the top of my head. 

Regardless, let’s talk about the 2018 version. I look forward to its release every year because you can get some chiropractic marketing ideas from it if you’re looking at it the right way. 

The Ideal Patient

Any time you start a new generic chiropractic marketing program, they have you create your ideal avatar or your ideal customer. The customer that not only comes in and you love to see them come through the door but the customer that is coming in and paying good money to see a good doctor. The people that love you and go out into the world to tell everyone every good thing they can about you and the ones that are the first to leave you a great Google review. 

THAT’S the ideal patient, isn’t it? If we could only fill up our offices with that specific, amazing person all day every day. We’d never even think about giving up our practices and moving to an exotic place with umbrellas and funny drinks. Chiropractic marketing would be non-existent. 

Well, we may still think about doing that but it wouldn’t occupy as much brain space if these people were all that ever came through our door. 

Don’t we just love seeing these perfect patients? Smiles, good vibes, and excitement. And sometimes food!! I have one bring us pumpkin spiced cake and sugar cookies last week. We need to work on a nutritional talk for sure but you get the point. 

On To The Poll

I am linking the poll in the show notes so go check it out Episode 49 at chiropracticforward.com

http://www.palmer.edu/uploadedFiles/Pages/Alumni/gallup/palmer-gallop-annual-report-2018.pdf

The first thing we really get into here is the Summary and I think that’s really where we are going to stay instead of going too deep in because we’ll wind up with a 4 hour episode and I don’t want that any more than you do so let’s hit the high spots and call it good. 

  1. Neck and back pain is common among adults in the US – yes, we knew that now didn’t we? They say about 2/3 of US adults (62% to be specific) have had neck or back pain that was significant enough that they saw a healthcare professional for care at some point in their lifetime, including 25% who did so in the last 12 months. 
  • 25% of the population sought care in the last year for pain. I bet 25% did not seek care for wellness. 

2. 80% of American adults prefer to see an expert in spine care for neck and back conditions rather than a general medicine professional who treats anything and everything. I think we all know who the experts are right? It’s us….

He’s a problem though, 67% of them prefer to see someone that can prescribe medication or surgery to treat neck or back pain.  Only 28% want to see someone that does not use prescription medication or surgery. That one is a bit of a kick to the nether region. I thought we were making more progress on that front. 

I can’t tell if the next point contradicts the previous one or not. You decide. They say that prescription pain meds aren’t preferred as first-line care for about 79%. I can only guess they are preferring a practitioner that can prescribe just in case it declines to the point of needing it but they don’t necessarily want to start with pills? Maybe…..

3. When it comes to healthcare providers, people say that chiropractic doctors and medical doctors are the top choices for neck or back pain care. In the last year, 62% say a medical doctor while 53% saw a chiropractic doctor. 

Peel Back The Layers

Going a little deeper there, 34% say a PT and 34% visited a massage therapist. 

I think it’s of important note here that half of the people that went to the chiropractor went because they said that chiropractors provide the most effective treatment for their pain. That’s pretty damn awesome right there. We’ll get to the other half here in just a minute. 

The overwhelming feeling in this subsection is the keyword is “EFFECTIVENESS.” Can you say, “Chiropractic Marketing Nugget?” How effectively can you relay your effectiveness? 

I would offer to you the idea that this podcast is an EXCELLENT way to speak about your effectiveness as well as to back up your effectiveness. You just have to listen and you have to take what you learn and turn that into kick-butt content and marketing material. 

Since not everyone is particularly gifted at chiropractic marketing or creating content, we are working on helping you out in that aspect. Stick with us. It’ll happen. Just go to  chiropracticforward.com and get on the email list to stay on top of that. 

Outside of ‘effectiveness,’ SAFETY was another reason people chose chiropractors and PTs for their back and neck pain. In fact, about half of those coming to the chiropractor said safety was why they chose chiropractic.

So, we have the big TWO reasons. Only two. That people go to chiropractors nationwide. They are Effectiveness and Safety. That should be useful information for you guys and gals to take and run with. Chiropractic marketing at its best. 

Next point

4. The fourth point of the summary was types of care. They found a lot of people utilizing self-management at home, as they should. They say 53% of American adults went to get massages to control pain. They say 47% had chiropractic care for their pain. And 42% went to a PT. 

That means we have a lot of people doing more than one thing right? It would make perfect sense to not be a one-trick pony in your practice. For instance, the subluxation guys and gals only adjust. They’ll see a patient 100 times a year and only adjust. Nothing else.

Oh wait, I lie. There’s a local guy here that will pray over each one before using the activator on them all so I guess it’s a little more than just the adjustment. 

I don’t want to make light of prayer. I’m a Christian and am well aware of the power of prayer but when it’s done after joining Body By God type management programs, well, it just seems a bit disingenuous doesn’t it? If we’re being honest?

Anyway, if you have to see someone that many times a year, you’re probably a terrible chiropractor and you’re probably doing more damage than you are doing good.

Diversifying

Back to doing more than one thing: it’s clear that patients are not looking for just an adjustment. It appears they’re looking for chiropractic, they’re looking for massage, they’re looking for some exercise/rehab considering 72% were looking into yoga. 

Although it’s not in this article, I believe many are looking for acupuncture these days. As discussed earlier, they may potentially be looking for meds so why couldn’t you offer anti-inflammatories like turmeric or Boswellia just to name a few. I say this because this poll showed that 73% of people took an over the counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Definitely food for thought. 

5. Patient Experiences

Patients that visited a chiropractor, a PT, or an MD over the last year said they received a high level of care. That’s good news. 

For chiropractors specifically, 9 out of 10 patients said

  • The chiropractor listened to them
  • DCs provided convenient and quick care
  • We demonstrated caring and compassion
  • The chiropractor explained things well
  • And they spent the right amount of time with them

Approximately 90% of patients had all of that to say about chiropractic doctors. That’s outstanding news, folks. That means that we can fight amongst ourselves and, while I would argue the straights are keeping us from full integration, in the eyes of patients, almost ALL of us are doing a good job!

For Physical Therapists, overall, they were hitting around the 83%-86% area. 

For MD’s, they didn’t do too well honestly. But didn’t we expect that? Here’s how they fared:

  • 72% say their MD listens
  • 67% said they often explain things well
  • 66% said they demonstrate care and compassion
  • 53% said they have quick access and are convenient

No surprise there. In fact, the surprise comes when we see that so many are still going to the GP for non-complicated musculoskeletal pains. That’s the real surprise. 

Point 5 Discussion

When you consider that chiropractors hit around 90% for all of those and you see MDs around 64% for the same metrics, well…..that’s not so good, right?

I see A LOT of opportunities here. If you are of the marketing mind, I’m sure you see the same!

This podcast isn’t just for listening to some mindless drivel folks. I am trying to give you stuff that you can use immediately after you listen. If you pay attention to what I’m telling you every week, you can turn around and communicate FACTS to your patients, your staff, and to those in the medical field in your region. 

I’m friends with a neurosurgeon and a vascular surgeon because I’m not freaking crazy. I can communicate research to them in an effective way that they understand. I’ve taught them a ton they didn’t already know. Plus we all like a Cerveza here and there so that works out well for us. 

Research helps you communicate

What I’m saying is that you should be listening to this podcast to learn for sure. But you should also be listening to it with the mindset of, “How am I going to take this information and use it in either my marketing or in my communication with my community?”

Believe me or don’t. I hope you believe me. The information I am bringing to you is the information you should be using. Not the subluxation stuff. Not the philosophy stuff. Literally, straights in our profession are the only people on this Earth that give a damn about that stuff. 

Nobody else knows or cares. Nobody. 

But research, safety, and effectiveness, well…..when you’re talking in those terms, then you are getting somewhere. 

Integrating Chiropractors

The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Contact

Send us an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

Website

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About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

http://www.palmer.edu/uploadedFiles/Pages/Alumni/gallup/palmer-gallop-annual-report-2018.pdf

CF 026: Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues

 

CF 034: Chiropractic Information To Help You Form Your Practice

 

CF 032: How Evidence-Based Chiropractic Can Help Save The Day

 

CF 038: w/ Dr. Jerry Kennedy – Chiropractic Marketing Done Right

Chiropractic Marketing Done Right

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to be talking about Chiropractic marketing done right with The owner of Black Sheep DC, Dr. Jerry Kennedy who describes himself as a Chiropractor, a chiro coach, a podcast host, a relationship marketing nerd, and a chiropractic meme wizard. All great descriptions. Dr. Kennedy sounds as busy as I am.

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.

You have hoofed it into Episode #38

Introduction

We have a great guest that I have become familiar with through a couple of my favorite private Facebook groups. One being the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance and the other being Evidence-Based Chiropractic. We are departing a little from our regular format today and I want to tell you why I asked Dr. Kennedy to be a guest on our podcast today. He’s got it figured out when it comes to Chiropractic marketing.

First, I’m a bit of a nerd myself when it comes to Chiropractic marketing. I didn’t claim to be an amazing marketer but I love it. Just the concept of marketing. The thought of marketing. I love the simple fact that using one color vs. the other can make a complete difference in the success of a campaign. It’s fascinating is what I’m saying.

With that being said, Dr. Kennedy is known for relationship marketing. I admit I hadn’t heard the term before hearing Dr. Kennedy use it but I love it because, from what I can tell, it describes me to a tee.

While Dr. Kennedy is agnostic in regards to whether someone practices in an evidence-based way or practices in a more philosophical based practice, I feel his way of approaching patients and approaching practic-building exactly lines up with my way of building relationships through evidence-based means. Like I said, “Chiropractic marketing done right.”

Disclosure

Dr. Kennedy is not sponsoring this show and I am not a member of Black Sheep. I just like what he’s doing and want you all to know about it. I like the spirit of giving and, down the road, Chiropractic Forward is going to be given opportunities to get our name out there because of it. That’s the way the world works in my experience. Give and ye shall receive.

I think we were both given the gift of gab so this episode should just be a great conversation on Chiropractic and Chiropractic Marketing done the right way.

Welcome Dr. Kennedy

So here we go, “Welcome to the show Dr. Kennedy we are so glad to have you with us today. Where are you coming to us from today?”

I already gave you a so-so intro because I’m not really that interesting overall but, to be comprehensive here, can you tell us more about yourself? I don’t want to leave any high points out like kids and all the really important stuff.

Now, I’ve done my homework and listened to several of your podcasts but still don’t know……why call it Black Sheep DC or Black Sheep Chiropractor?

Relationship-based Chiropractic Marketing

Let’s get into what we’re here for Relationship-based chiropractic marketing. I believe I know what it means to me and I’m pretty sure I know how you mean it but would you describe it for us if you don’t mind?

Would you agree that Relationship Chiropractic marketing works well for those already running a patient-centered practice? By patient-centered, I mean docs that are doing what is best for the patient rather than what is best for their practice goal numbers they’re trying to hit that particular month. For me, those are doctor-centered practices. I just wanted to be clear on my thought process just in case our definitions of patient-centered vs. doctor-centered were different.

Types of marketing

In your program, are you advising on internal and external Chiropractic marketing strategy or is it mostly and in-office and social media thing?

I remember in one of your podcasts, you mentioned how you can’t sit around on your butt expecting things to get better. I’m paraphrasing here but it reminded me of a Dan Kennedy saying he calls YCDBSOYA which stands for You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Ass. At the beginning of my chiropractic career, I’d say that was an issue with me. Mostly because I didn’t know what it was I needed to be doing. Ignorance in general when it came to marketing.

Without giving away any of your secrets, those are reserved for your members, what advice do you try to give people to get them involved in the community and basically get them off their butts?

If I remember right, you are a proponent of the newsletter for Chiropractic marketing – How do you keep them fresh? I send weekly emails to an email list but have to admit, it’s hell keeping it new and fresh.

Any solid opinion on Direct Mail – Yea or nay?

Is there a new wave of the future when it comes to marketing that people are missing right now? Things like maybe Periscope or Virtual Marketing…..or something else I don’t know about yet?

Chiropractic Marketing Memes

One thing we have in common, we have a knack for creating memes. I love them and I love making them. It’s an outlet for my sarcastic, smart-aleck side to come out in hopefully a fun way. Two of your more recent ones I loved would be the one with the stunned looking kid and the caption reads, “That moment you realize a successful business is the key to being a successful chiropractor.”

Those of us that have been in the mix a while know this usually through painful experience. What was the impetus for this one?

The other more recent one that cracked me up a little bit was the guy saying Whoa there….if you’re going to tell me how to adjust you, it’s going to cost you extra. I think we’re all familiar with the reason for that one.

Black Sheep DC Podcast

You recently stopped your free podcast after 184 episodes.  Tell us a little about that decision and did you get any pushback on that?

What would be your overriding goal for each person that signs up for your Chiropractic marketing programs?

This is the one somewhat challenging question. It’s been my opinion my whole professional life that patient-centered docs hopefully get their patients over the complaint fairly quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently while doctor-centered practices are busy trying to hit certain numbers, seeing patients many more times than current guidelines and recommendations allow, and claiming to have effects on conditions there is little to no good research for.

Without getting you to take sides, throw rocks, or any of that…… and without trying to stir the pot too much, how in your opinion, is it possible for a subluxation, philosophical-based, 100 visits a year style of a practitioner to also be patient-centered and relationship-based Chiropractic marketing?

Tell us where listeners can find you and connect with you if they’re interested in relationship marketing and in learning more about Back Sheep DC

Thank you so much for joining us……

Before you all go,

I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live, you’ll never hear from us more than once a week, and in the end, it’s just an email for goodness sakes!

Integrating Chiropractors

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. We do it conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

We want to hear from you!

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool.

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.

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CF 004: And Instantly, Treatment of Back Pain Changes Due To Increase In Opioid-Related Deaths

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

CF 002: Research Information – Integrating Chiropractors Into Overall Healthcare System