September 30, 2016 by ChiroTouch Article EHR, Patient Care, Business Management
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As a chiropractor you know how your own practice runs, and likely the practices run by your colleagues. But how do you compare to the chiropractic community at large? And what can that tell you about your own practice, its health, and the role of technology in your industry’s future? To help answer these questions, we took it upon ourselves to conduct a study of over 800 chiropractors nationwide.  Our study intended to offer you insights into Chiropractic.

Our mission was simple: to reveal leading trends in chiropractic and help our fellow doctors use this information to measure and improve upon their business.

What DCs Said about Their Patients

According to our respondents, the majority of chiropractic patients (almost 70%) fall between the ages of 21 and 65, and they are fairly split between genders, with females nudging out front with a 20% lead over men. This information can be useful to keep in mind when targeting and marketing to the ideal audience. When it comes to new patients, over 60% come from word-of-mouth. This is another vital statistic, proving just how critical patient referrals are to a healthy, thriving practice. After referrals, 17% of new patients are gained through practice outreach efforts. This reveals the enormous impact that marketing and social media participation can make in helping new patients find their way to your door.

What DCs Said about Their Practice

Wondering how your patient flow measures up? On average, practices reported seeing 118 visits per week. When it comes to time spent with patients, 87% of chiropractors in our group spent 30 minutes or less with each patient. Most notably, the average chiropractor spends a full 25% of their time documenting the care they provide.

Impressively, 83% of chiropractors think their practice is fairly healthy. By all accounts, that’s a very healthy number. In addition, 65% of doctors expect to see their practice volume and profit increase or remain steady over the next three years. The majority of our practice providers (67%) are full-time in their practice, and these practices show some serious longevity. In fact, the average practice has been in business for a full 18 years. Now that’s some staying power.

Our study asked DCs what worried them most. We found that their concerns were rooted in retrieving insurance reimbursements, acquiring new patients, avoiding audits, complying with third party payer requirements, and getting back their personal time.

The Overwhelming Case for Chiropractic Software

Although the majority of chiropractors we surveyed reported a healthy practice, 16% told us that they were struggling. The mandates introduced during the EHR Stimulus program, over 65% of chiropractors fully expect that insurance companies will eventually require Meaningful Use certification. This means that we can anticipate an increase in the stringent requirements already placed on DCs. On top of all this, the chiropractor’s confidence in being able to effectively respond to an audit is generally low, adding to the stress of running a healthy and compliant practice. With a quarter of all time in the office spent documenting care and handling rising requirements, it leaves little time to squeeze in everything else—including time away from the office.

Fully compliant EHR software speeds up the documentation process, helps protect a practice in the event of an audit, and offers support for billing and coding changes, HIPAA requirements, Meaningful Use incentives, high patient volume and caseload growth, and marketing efforts.  Chiropractors know they need tools that are specifically designed for them. In fact, over 80% are not comfortable with software that is not chiropractic-centric.

Are you working to become a part of the healthy 83% of chiropractic offices? Or you’re hoping to remain a part of that statistic despite heavy industry mandates and expectations?  It might be time to take a look at how a fully compliant software system.  A system that can help you streamline your practice and recapture that oft-elusive personal time.

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