IT Skill

The Best IT Skill

Computer-Aided Coaching for the Chiropractic Office – Billing and Management

Computer-Aided Coaching for the Chiropractic Office – Billing and Management

Freshly graduated chiropractic doctors have a lot on their plate, often too much, in fact. They must market their practice while remaining at the cutting edge of patient care and attending to an increasing spectrum of patient needs. They also must run an efficient office, collect money, manage staff, handle cash flow, and, perhaps most overwhelming of all, manage billing and interact with insurance companies whose not-so-hidden agenda is to minimize payouts.

Even experienced chiropractors face more difficult office management problems in comparison to their colleagues in the mainstream medical care system. In addition to “standard” insurance claim problems because of healthcare market oligopsony and adversarial billing environment, chiropractors typically handle retail sales at the point of service and manage individual custom-designed patient care plans. They have significantly higher frequency of patient visits, lower average reimbursement, and higher rate of post-payment audits. Obviously, the standard SOAP note management and electronic patient scheduling and billing systems are insufficient, and chiropractic office management systems must be optimized to the unique needs of the chiropractor.

Seasoned coaches can help chiropractors build their practice and optimize their practice management systems. Dr. Mathew Dietz, owner of a successful practice in Chicago, says that his coach “has this supernatural way of knowing what I’m about to go through and prepares me for it. I don’t think I could have built this practice without him.” A good coach is critical to help the newer chiropractor stay on top of these details without taking his or her eye off the ball, which is providing excellent patient care.

To meet the growing demands of new chiropractors while creating a way to keep their own heads above water, coaches use monitoring systems that put the collective data of students within easy access. But traditional student practice monitoring methods are expensive and slow. They are dependent on the student reports not only for timeliness, but also for accuracy and relevance. And because it takes time to accumulate and convey this information to the coach, the quality of information received across the spectrum of participants is likely to be inconsistent.

Traditional methods are especially deficient for identification and response to what, for lack of a better term, could be thought of as “problem students.” While such students might seem to understand the imparted wisdom of the coach, the data they share might be less than accurate – especially if they don’t really “get it” in the first place – and, without comparison to a reference database, out of meaningful context from the coach’s point of view.

Internet and process automation can help solving such hard problems. An automated data collection and coaching assistance system can be an effective solution for the coach who is building a business and can’t be overcome by problem situations. A coach assistance system must be designed with these specialized chiropractic parameters in mind. It must be a centralized system for workflow management, one that stores every bit of information in a central repository and provides a single point of contact access via the internet to both aggregate and individual patient information. A coach assistance system tracks and monitors all practice activities, then sorts and processes them by product and by patient across the entire trainee population. It then flags any aberrations and isolates the trainee who is most in need of coaching advice promptly, meaningfully, and efficiently.

The result of using an automated system for the aggregate management of a chiropractic practice is a classic win-win for both coach and student. The student receives the immediate attention of the coach and the consulting value-add that goes with it, while the coach isn’t expending a disproportionate amount of time and energy on a problem situation that detracts from his or her overall business management and growth strategy.