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Location: Minot, ND
Date of graduation: 2008
Years in practice: 4
Years of non-insurance dependency: 1
Listen to Interview
City/State/Province of Practice:
Minot, ND
Date of graduation from chiropractic school:
2008
Years in practice?
4
What percentage of your collections are cash?
71%
How many years have you been a non-insurance dependent practice?
1 year
If you converted from insurance dependence to non-insurance dependence (NID), what percentage was insurance before?
15% as of 08/ 01/ 2008 when I purchased and took over the practice.
Why type of practice do you have, i.e. family, wellness, sports, etc.?
We are a family-focused Creating Wellness Center.
Why do you not take insurance?
We accept insurance for acute care and for current patients who experience work injuries or are involved in motor vehicle accidents. We are very thorough in our education about the difference between "sick care" and "health care," and promptly transition our patients who are looking for chiropractic as an integral part of their healthy lifestyle, onto cash-based wellness programs once their care is no longer "medically necessary" based on insurance standards.
Please share with us your number 1 best practice for being NID?
The most important part of becoming NID is education. The chiropractor must be able to educate and train staff on the importance of chiropractic care as a lifestyle choice. The staff must be able to, in turn, understand this concept well enough to explain and enforce the office policies with practice members. It is also an important responsibility for the doctor to be able to explain the concept to patients.
What advice do you have for chiropractors out there that are insurance dependent
My advice is this – if you want to thrive in your profession, you absolutely cannot depend on insurance companies to keep your business alive. Focus on your purpose – why are you a chiropractor? If insurance stopped tomorrow – have you educated your patients enough to understand the importance of continuing care without it? Would your practice not just survive – would it thrive without insurance? If the answer is no, then you must take action now, rather than waiting to be in a desperate situation and acting out of fear and lack. There are now systems, tools and resources available to make this change successfully, so that you can be confident that your practice and practice members will be with you, long after insurance bows out of the game.
Briefly, how did you switch over?
I started by explaining to patients from their very first day in the office, what insurance does and does not cover when it comes to chiropractic care. I explained that they cover chiropractic care for only a small percentage of what chiropractic does – acute musculoskeletal pain and injury. I explain that once a person's pain is improved, insurance no longer finds their care "medically necessary," and that insurance sees continued care as "Maintenance" or "Wellness," which are services that they do not cover. I educate patients on the importance of regular chiropractic care, and the need to make decisions for their health apart from what their insurance company dictates. I make sure they understand how they will either pay to be healthy, or pay to be sick – and investing in their health is not only of benefit to them, but to friends, family and their loved ones.
What were the largest hurdles?
The largest hurdles are definitely patients who do not understand why insurance companies do not cover "Maintenance" or "Wellness Care." A patient just recently became upset by this, stating "well, if I don't continue with regular chiropractic care, I'll end up getting my headaches back, and have to be back in my medical doctor's office getting medications for migraines and pain relief and nausea. Wouldn't it make sense just to continue getting chiropractic care?" My answer to her, was of course "Yes!" I agree with her – it would make more sense from an insurance company to continue to pay for prevention rather than have her resort back to using the medical system again – but this is simply not what insurance was created for. They will not pay for a person to be healthy – they just pay for "medically necessary" care when a person is in pain, is sick or injured. To make patients understand the limitations of insurance, and how our responsibility is to follow those guidelines – can be the largest hurdle to face.

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