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Six Tips for Better Practice Management

by | Jul 7, 2016 | Chiropractic Practice Management | 0 comments

Six Tips for Better Practice Management

Practice Management Tip #1:

The key to patient compliance is good communication.  Follow the communication cycle:

  • Tell them what you want
  • Why you want it
  • Ask for permission

Action Step:

  • You are the authority: don’t ask questions, make statements!
  • Tell patients what they need and ask if they want to do it.
  • Be clear, be truthful, be convincing.
Practice Management Tip #2:

Understand where proper note taking fits into the overall case management model. SOAP notes are an account of the visit that demonstrates medical necessity in summarizing each case.  Your exams and re-exams form the basis of medical necessity. Notes need not be long; what is important is that the content validates the visit.

Action Step:

Be direct and to-the-point, and don’t feel that you must say things in a specific manner.  Be sure your notes are legible and complete but don’t waste time on them. They are important but they should not steal time from patient care.

Practice Management Tip #3:

Understand that after their health (or even on a par) your patients’ primary concerns are time and money. Address these issues over the phone.  Your patients will then be more receptive to what you tell them in the office.

Action Step:

When a patient calls your office, get their basic information immediately and fill out part of the paperwork for them. Explain what you are doing and why.  They will feel valued and you will be able to start your treatment process sooner, with better compliance leading to better outcomes.

Practice Management Tip #4:

Instead of spending thousands of dollars to attract a high volume of new patients that often don’t appreciate the concept of your care, strive to build a quality practice through relationships with other healthcare professionals. While some M.D.s do not understand and may undervalue chiropractic, those who do “get it” can be your best referral sources. Cultivate them.

Action Step:

Go through your charts and identify your patients’ primary care physicians. As appropriate, send them letters of professional courtesy. Let them know that you want to assure that their charts are current with respect to treatment their patient is receiving in your office. A brief, friendly, letter with a copy of the latest re-exam report will enhance your image as a professional. Don’t pitch; play for mind-share and future referrals. It works.

Practice Management Tip #5:

Verifying insurance can be confusing and often, the information derived is incorrect. Learn the rules for getting information from insurers and for determining if is correct and that it is what you need.

Action Step:

Control the speed and accuracy of the interview.  Ask direct questions and make sure you understand the answers; if you do not, ask more questions. Furthermore, since there are four major categories of services that you provide — Evaluation and Management (992xx codes); Physical Therapy (97xxx codes); Diagnostics; and Chiropractic —  make sure you get the limitations on each of them individually.

Practice Management Tip #6:

Understand that when you are billing CPT codes you are not just submitting a bill, you are telling a story.  Make sure that your notes correspond to your billing. For example, if you are billing for EMS and you note that the patient is 2 out of 10 on the pain scale – that is not a match, since there is no medical necessity for pain-based treatment if there is no pain documented.

Action Step:

Look up the codes you use in CPT or ChiroCode and learn the actual definitions so you understand fully what you are saying in your documentation.  When writing notes, use part of the definitions and be specific in telling the entire story.  Don’t look at CPT codes as financial entities but as the language of the treatment story!

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