This October, the Spotlight is on YOU!
October 2016 is chiropractic’s month to shine, as the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has declared it to be National Chiropractic Health Month. This highlight gives chiropractors the chance to show how important chiropractic is to the ongoing health of our nation. With providers across the nation banding together to bring the benefits of chiropractic to the forefront of the United States’ escalating eye on healthcare, the efforts to share the chiropractic message have the unique opportunity to be enhanced by this month’s spotlight.
Now is the time to dig out the megaphone and put your practice on blast. While you always work hard to tout the benefits of chiropractic to your patients, take this month to bulk up the meat of your marketing by conveying those hard-hitting numbers that prove the true efficacy of the chiropractic profession:
20-40% in Patient Savings
Patients who start their care with their chiropractors benefit not just from faster, more targeted treatment, but from significant savings as well. A recent study reveals that low back pain treatment that starts with the chiropractor generally costs 20-40 percent less than treatment initiated with an MD.
Fewer Pills, Fewer Problems
The Mayo Clinic reports that nearly 7 in 10 Americans use a prescription drug, and painkillers are one of the top three. A study by The Annals of Internal Medicine found that spinal manipulation therapy provided greater pain relief than medication after just 8 weeks. Less pain and less money is quite the compelling argument for your patients.
Back Pain Does Not Play Favorites
According to the ACA, most cases of back pain are not caused by serious conditions such as infection, arthritis, trauma, or cancer. Remind your patients that back pain can happen to anyone. In fact, experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
The gift of chiropractic is one that keeps on giving. From the smallest practice to the largest organization, it’s up to every DC to remind their patients just why routine chiropractic care is a vital part of their complete lifetime wellness plan.
October might be our month – but 2017 can be OUR YEAR!
As most know, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) payment adjustments, which focus on transitioning the healthcare system over to a value-based payment model in 2019, will rely on your performance in 2017. And that performance will be measured how?
You got it: Good data.
This is good news for chiropractors who are focused on showing what chiropractic can do for patients through data. The move to value-based reimbursement is exactly why chiropractic is, for the first time ever, poised to move from the fringes, (on average, 8% of the US population visits a DC), to considerable adoption.
But there is a BIG IF: IF we can show empirically, through aggregated data, that chiropractic is a savings center versus a cost center – and while we all know it is, that’s simply not good enough. Government and private payers need proof, and if we give it to them they will require certain patients be seen by a chiropractor prior to undergoing more costly forms of treatment.
As stated by Gerard Clum, D.C., in an interview with Cleveland Chiropractic College, “In the insurance world, chiropractic is seen as a cost center. But it’s not actually a cost center, it’s a savings center. All of the data show this to be true. Let’s begin discussing the cost-replacement value. We don’t add cost to the system; we take expense out of it. This fact involves a huge shift in thinking for folks in the insurance world because they don’t see chiropractors in that light. It’s very important that we keep bringing this concept of expense reduction to the attention of people in the insurance and policy worlds.”
Technology – through the ability to collect and disseminate data showing the efficacy of chiropractic – is allowing our profession to make the truth be known to a wider audience. Without good data, we may never get beyond single-digit market utilization of chiropractic. 2017 is our chance to use technology to spread chiropractic to the masses. We can exchange health information with the entire healthcare community in a format and delivery model that they all understand, and we can empower those making decisions about the direction of care to truly understand the health benefits and cost savings associated with our amazing profession.
If you’re looking for ways to spread the benefits of chiropractic through technology, consider these tips:
Embrace the Power of Social Media
Sharing helpful content through your social media channels is not only a great way to engage your clients, but also a way to inform the public why chiropractic care leads the way to continued health. Leveraging resources like AmpLIFEied, which provides free chiropractic content to share on social media, you can easily access educational resources and build a passionate online community.
Get Your Patients On Board
Many are uncomfortable asking others to talk us up to their contacts. However, spreading your name by word-of-mouth doesn’t cost your patients but a moment of their time. Plus nothing provides motivation for a referral like restoration to health – all without drugs or surgery. Provide business cards at the front desk to make their job easier. Be sure to incorporate your web address and social media contact info on the card as well.
Recruit Your Fellow DCs
To communicate the power of chiropractic through data, we need to make sure that all practices are capturing their results. Know a doctor who isn’t using a comprehensive EHR solution? Make sure that you inform them that their adoption of EHR software can help show the nation the effectiveness of chiropractic care.
It is time for us to come together as a community and communicate our passion for chiropractic care to the nation. October provides us with a platform for sharing the message with the public and we must spread this message. While effectively applying these tips every day if we want to make a long term difference. Widespread acceptance of the value of chiropractic care will not happen in just one month. We all must take personal initiative to convey this value in order to really make 2017 our year.