When was the last time you really thought about what you are worth? I wasn’t referring to your net assets, homes, cars, etc., but to the value you place on yourself and your services. If you want to know what your services are really worth – just look at your O.V.A..
Your O.V.A. is your Office Visit Average and is determined by the total collections divided by the total number of office visits over a given period of time. In other words, let’s say you render 20K in services during a given month through a variety of means – Cash, Insurance, Medicare, Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury, yet you only collect 15K. If your monthly office visits total 600, your O.V.A. is $25 per visit for that month.
Many chiropractors claim that their fee is 40, or 45 dollars or more. Their services can be 20 or 30 thousand in a month or more, yet, when all is said and done, their collections fall far short, month after month after month. Why is this?
Your total O.V.A. is directly proportional to what you feel you are really worth! That number is what you are mostly willing to work for and no matter how much you like it or don’t like it – it’s true!
Let’s say you belong to a managed care HMO or PPO and they have pre-determined what your chiropractic services are worth. You send in your bills for services rendered and they cut and slash until there is only a fraction paid. Most chiropractors complain that it is unfair; yet, you were the one who chose to belong to that particular HMO or PPO.
If a particular managed care company paid an average of $5 per office visit, would you participate? Most chiropractors would probably say no because they feel that the value of their services (and their self-worth) are more than $5 an office visit. If a particular managed care company paid $10 per office visit, how many more chiropractors would join and hop aboard? Please continue to raise the fee and you will eventually arrive at a fee where a good majority would be willing to accept a fee paid for their services rendered.
That fee on average is what you are willing to work for. I didn’t say you like the fee, or you agree with the fee, or want to work for that fee. I said you were willing to accept that fee or tolerate a level of compensation that is in direct proportion to what you think you and your services are really worth.
There are always chiropractors who can point to outside circumstances and situations as to why they must join a particular managed care program for fear of loss of patients or money... and I understand.
Allowing outside circumstances, insurance companies, or anything else to dictate what you believe to be worth, can only result in a feeling of helplessness, apathy or what I call, “living in effect.”
Why not take control of your financial future, your self-worth and create a model for your practice that works for your patients, your staff and yourself…all at the same time? How do you do that?
Start with some basic financial policies that you will adhere to. In other words, ask yourself what is your base acceptable bottom when it comes to your fees and the value you place on yourself. Next, go through all the companies that you currently subscribe to and, one by one, ask yourself whether or not you are willing to continue with the type of reimbursement, policies, forms and reports they require for you to be paid. Then, look at the number of patients that are currently enrolled with the plan you are looking at. Chances are that only a small percentage of your patients are even involved, and your chances are good to excellent that they would want to continue with your services anyway. Lastly, have a staff meeting and discuss the value of your services vs. the fees that your office charges. People, for the most part, never have a problem with money, only with value.
Once your policies are in place, and discussed openly with patients, while clearly displaying the value of your services, you will find that your office will be a happier place to go to, patients will place a greater value on what you do and everyone will be able to focus on the real reason you and your staff are in the office.
That reason is to serve patients, help people with their subluxations (both above and below atlas) and to create an environment of healing and well being while the focus is on people instead of paper.
This attitude is based primarily on the concept that you determine your results and, backed with solid office procedures, a Cracker Jack team, and a great self-concept, you can collect your money, you can build your chiropractic practice and you can feel great about chiropractic and yourself... again!
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