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Dynamic Chiropractic – April 9, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 08

Expanding Your Practice?

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

Not everything that happens during a recession is bad. Recessions cause people to reassess what is truly important to them. During a recession, individuals and families take a hard look at what they are spending their money on and decide what their top priorities are. Businesses are obliged to respond to the shifting priorities of customers. In doing so, responsive businesses can add ancillary services that open new profit centers and may actually make them more profitable than they were before the recession began.

This dynamic is taking place in many chiropractic practices across the United States. Doctors around the country are looking to provide additional services to their patients. They are taking new approaches that are also making their chiropractic practices more profitable.

There are certainly many ways to operate a chiropractic practice more effectively. In many instances, this can be accomplished with better management and/or better marketing. But for some doctors, responding to their patients’ needs includes adding additional forms of care and even expanding beyond services a typical chiropractic practice might provide.

There are generally two approaches taking place: developing a more multidisciplinary practice and/or adding additional ancillary services. Both present obvious opportunities and risks. Those DCs who are developing their practice to be more multidisciplinary are generally doing so by opening their office and/or their clinical approach to other health care providers. While many chiropractic practices have included massage therapists and similar professionals in the past, the current approach seems to be moving closer to a collaborative patient care model.

The addition of ancillary services is also not new. What is new is the extent to which these services are reaching into areas that used to “belong” to other professions. For some doctors, this involves adding additional equipment, while for others, the costs are modest, but require additional postgraduate education.

With so many potential possibilities, it is important for us to understand what is being done by other DCs, how they are doing it and whether it is working for them. This is where you come in. We have created a short online survey (it will only take about a minute to complete) that will let you share your thoughts on the kinds of things you are doing in your practice. The survey addresses the potential to develop a more multidisciplinary practice and add ancillary services.

This article is a little shorter than usual, so you can use the next minute or so to jump online and take the survey. Just go to All of the questions can be answered with a simple click of your mouse (unless you choose “other”).  In terms of multidisciplinary cooperation, tell us which providers (the survey lists seven options including medical doctor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, naturopathic physician and esthetician) you’ve worked with in the past, currently work with or are interested in working with in the future. In terms of ancillary services (we’ve chosen nine – everything from spinal decompression to animal adjusting to vibration therapy), just tell us if you:

  • Use it
  • Don’t use it, but are interested
  • Don’t use it and never want to
  • Used to use it and don’t now

We will share the survey results with the profession soon and begin providing additional information on the approaches chiropractors are most interested in. In this way, you can learn what might work for you – and what you’d like to work for you – from doctors who are actually doing it.

Thank you in advance for your participation. Your input will help all DCs learn new ways to make their practices more successful.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

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