Chiropractic can improve a company’s bottom line, yet many corporate decision-makers are unaware of chiropractic’s ability to save them thousands in lost labor. With so much to gain and so little to lose, why aren’t more doctors working with industry?
It is true, some doctors who have implemented my marketing program with business and industry have increased their incomes by $100,000. Are you missing out on the greatest practice-enhancing frontier– industry? If you are, your practice is losing tens of thousands of dollars worth of new patients and chiropractic is losing valuable exposure and community service.
Today more than ever businesses are desperate to cut health care dollars. Across the country, businesses are trying almost everything to save money from the rising health care costs. They are cutting health benefits, joining PPO’s, HMO’s and managed care organizations, and yes, even eliminating chiropractic coverage, all to save $$$.
Yet, chiropractic can save business millions, and collectively billions, of dollars. We have results that are tested and proven. Chiropractic can improve a company’s bottom line. Chiropractic in industry is a winning opportunity. Our problem as a profession is that we have done a poor job of educating decision-makers on the value of chiropractic for their employees. As we individually go out, meet people and share with them a carefully designed presentation, they respond, policies are adapted, clinics grow, people get healthier and doctors make more money. We must be the ones to deliver this message. If we don ‘t actively do this, no one else will.
During the last 14 years, I have approached several hundred companies and have created rewarding associations. With so much to gain by working with industry and so little to lose, why aren’t more doctors working with industry?
What is stopping you?
When I first moved to the Atlanta area seven years ago, I had to wait several months before the next license examination. I then set up a marketing company to assist doctors with their introductions to business and industry. In less than six months I had businesses contracted to put us on their workers’ compensation panels as the chiropractic doctors of choice. Those companies and agencies, nearly 200 of them, employed about 160,000 people. In Georgia, you must be named on the company workers’ compensation referral doctor panel. A company does not have to pay for any care you might give as a result of an on-the-job injury if your name does not appear on the workers compensation referral doctor panel.
To my surprise, as I became involved with the influential people in the state, I learned that few if any chiropractic doctors in Georgia were listed on any panels. In the nearly 200 companies and agencies not one listed a chiropractic doctor. This is true in almost every city in the country. Not many companies utilize chiropractic services and it is for the most part, our fault. Now let’s make a difference!
Some businesses give you the approval very easily and some require more effort. One of the easiest approvals that I have ever had came from the largest employer in the state, the State of Georgia itself. It took a phone call to introduce myself and set up a meeting and then a one-hour presentation. I was able to meet with the director and go through my flip chart. We then viewed the video, “Second Opinion” that explains the services a chiropractor can provide a company. The video includes several testimonials from large and small companies, a third party claims administrator, a union and an HMO representative. These decision-makers endorse chiropractic because they saw direct benefits. One hour later the director said the words that I have grown accustomed to hear, “This is just what we have been looking for. Thank you!” We were then listed on panels for the State of Georgia and its agencies, some 110,000 employed people.
When I approach a business I expect positive results and have a great attitude. Do not promote cut rate chiropractic care. We are well priced. Compared to the alternative of extended bed rest, time off work, medications, expensive medical care, hospitalization and surgery, we are a bargain at any price. So do not feel that you have to offer substantial discounts in order to begin working with business and industry.
Here are some of the common steps:
Getting the Appointment
Do not waste time or money in doing mass mailings to businesses. They do not work. Calling the person you want to meet is far more effective. It is really quite easy, just follow these simple guidelines.
Phone call: Two basic approaches
There are two basic approaches. The first assumes that you know someone at the company and the second call you do not. The easiest place to start is with your own patients. Some are managers, officials or owners, but any patient who is employed will do. Your C.A. should also be taught how to support you in your community outreach efforts. They can do much of your appointment setting and follow up.
Ask your patients to take your business card and give it to the person who is in charge of health benefits and workers’ compensation.
Encourage them to say:
- You work with businesses and treat many injured employees.
- You can help the company save money and get employees back to work quickly.
- The doctor would like to meet you. When would be a good time for the doctor to call?”
If you ask your patients, some of them will do this for you without hesitation. Others will need encouragement. By having your patients do this for you, your credibility will be enhanced with the decision maker. This will improve your reception, save you considerable time, with more rewarding results.
After your patient has opened the door for you to make an appointment, call, introduce yourself and set up a meeting. You might say, “Roger Harris, a patient of mine works at your company, said he spoke to you about the work I do with businesses and how it might benefit your company.” (At this point you could offer lunch but this is not necessary.) “I can meet you at your office. If we have time, perhaps you could give me a tour of your company. Knowing the physical demands of each job will help me provide better care and preventive support for your workers.”
If you do not know anyone at the company you will be making a cold call. Have your C.A. call and ask for the name of the person who is in charge of workers’ compensation. If the company is small, the owner or manager might be whom you will talk to. In a large company it might be the personnel manager, safety director, or V.P of health benefits. Get their direct phone number, mailing address and best times to call them.
Consider saying, “Hello, this is Doctor Stokes, is Mark available to come to the phone?” or less personal, “Is Mr. Jones available?” When the decision maker is on the line you could say, “Hello, Mr. _____, this is Doctor Stokes from Stokes Chiropractic. I work with businesses in the area to help them save health care dollars and get injured employees successfully treated and back to work. We do this through back injury (or carpal tunnel or stress) prevention classes and providing cost effective treatment to name a few. We have been successful with other companies and I would like to come by and meet you.”
Another approach that works well, “I have treated employees from your business who have injured themselves and I believe many of those injuries could have been prevented. I enjoy the satisfaction of educating people to avoid injury and discomfort in their lives. I would like to come by and meet you.”
The Initial Meeting
During the initial meeting let them know that you understand what their most common injuries are, that these injuries cost them $$$ in several ways. High medical bills, down time, lost productivity, and that chiropractic is an answer. My presentation lays out how chiropractic benefits the employer and the employee. At the end I explain the variety of services I offer.
These services include:
- Treating all of their neuro-musculo-skeletal injuries.
- Offering back injury prevention classes.
- Conduct an ergonomic review of their high physically stressful jobs.
- Become part of their medical review team.
- Pre-placement, pre-employment physicals.
- Independent medical examinations.
- Spinal screenings.
Then I pose the question, “In addition to providing treatment for your employees, which of these services would be most beneficial to your company now?”
Doctors often ask, “How much time does it usually take for the initial meeting?” Most should not take more than 60 minutes, and many are done in 30 minutes. At the end of my flip chart presentation, I let the Second Opinion Video testimonials confirm what I have said. This video has been a tremendous help in my achieving dramatic results.
There are some common questions that are raised, objections to overcome, and steps that need to be dealt with. The reward is the same, greater understanding and utilization of your services. This will enable you to add income to your practice.
As the Referral Doctor
Once in the door, give the best care you can at a cost effective price. Keep company officials informed of your results. Compete to save them money. Have the company compare your results with conditions before you began working with them. They will see your value and chiropractic’s image and recognition will increase. Once the company is satisfied, ask officials to refer you to other businesses. You will find that a little effort will produce lasting results.” “Donald L. Stokes, D.C., a graduate of Life Chiropractic College-West, president of BICS 2000ª and Chairman of the Board of NHC, Nationwide Healthcare Centers, Inc., acts as a professional advisor and consultant to several large corporations and municipalities. He is past chairman of Interna-tional Chiropractic Association’s Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, and he founded Business Industrial Chiropractic Services, an organization of more than 1,500 chiropractic offices nationwide who work with businesses. Dr. Stokes has developed professional presentations, manuals, flip charts and videos for introducing the benefits of chiropractic to business. He has also developed the NHC Interactive Touch Screen Kiosk system. For more information, write to P.O. Box 2331, Peachtree City, GA 30269; or call (770) 487-4603.
To receive information on Dr. Stokes’ BICS 2000ª Seminars, state association-sponsored seminars that Dr. Stokes will be speaking at, or to set up a seminar in your area call 770-487-4603. Available for purchase are the BICS 2000ª flip chart presentation and Second Opinion video. Dr. Stokes makes his seminars available to doctors, spouses and office staff.