Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Convert Your Medical Practice to Cash Only
Discover how building a cash laser medicine practice with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) technology will increase medical and financial outcomes in today’s world of declining insurance reimbursements
As a whole, medical practitioners are a dedicated group of professionals, yet we face many unique financial and clinical challenges. Addressing the issues of declining insurance reimbursements and finding better outcomes for patient’s has become a main concern in these challenging economic times.
Properly integrating a laser medicine program into your practice using LLLT on a cash basis can not only help to deliver better medical outcomes, it may dramatically enhance your bottom line. The emerging field of laser medicine now offers medical practitioners the ability to transform their facility into a specialty practice that treats medical failures. LLLT offers your profession the ability to treat medical conditions that have failed all forms of medicine, such as peripheral neuropathy, failed back surgery, disc pathology, spinal stenosis, severe degenerative joint disease and even non-healing wounds just to name a few. In order to reap the benefits of a cash practice and prosper for years to come, you need to deliver results commensurate with the remuneration you are seeking.
Basic Scientific Principals of Laser Therapy
Unlike all other treatments available to medical practitioners, LLLT is the only therapy that results in both chemical and metabolic changes at the cellular level. This unique modality enables the medical practitioners to actually accelerate the healing of human tissue1. Best of all, LLLT can be virtually side effect free as long as the laser beam is delivered in a safe and precise manner.
A scientific study out of the University of Toledo Medical School has documented using a wavelength of energy at 905nm found that it is best suited to stimulate tissue regeneration and proliferation2.
They also determined using sophisticated computer models how laser energy penetrated through human tissue. From this and many other studies we know that up to 60 -70% of all laser energy is absorbed in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. This is due to the large amounts of melanin, water, and hemoglobin in the body, which have a high affinity for light energy. Because every layer of tissue absorbs more and more laser energy, it is important to start a treatment with a high enough dosage of energy so there will always be a bio-stimulatory dosage available at every level of tissue you are trying to heal. This statement cannot be overemphasized when treating conditions like disc pathology and spinal stenosis.
Fundamentals of a Successful Cash Laser medicine Practice
Nationwide, slightly more than 21 percent of chiropractors operated cash-only practices in 2006, up 230% from 2004, according to Chiropractic Economics magazine. Reimbursement for chiropractors fell 2.2 percent in 2006 and 5.4 percent in 2005. I am sure similar scenarios exist within other medical disciplines and may even be more severe.
The foundation of a successful cash laser practice needs to be built around technology which can function as a “stand alone” modality, which at the end of the day must also consistently deliver results. The greatest secret in modern pain medicine today is that patients who have failed traditional insurance based treatments will pay out of pocket to get results. This is a concept which most chiropractors are afraid to actually embrace and make their own, yet if they do so they can control their financial future, especially in today’s world of declining insurance reimbursements.
Most medical practitioners who decide to ultimately move in this direction soon learn that the cash paying patients which they are attracting have failed all forms of traditional healthcare. Because patients are responsible for payment, they expect results almost immediately. In order to meet this expectation the medical practitioners not only needs to have the appropriate laser to deliver the appropriate dosage of laser energy to the target tissue, they also need the training to learn how to achieve and consistently deliver the outcomes necessary to perpetuate the cash model. When choosing a laser and laser manufacturer I cannot express the importance of the need to have the training necessary to deliver when these medical failures show up at your door step.
With LLLT, I have found there is absolutely no apprehension on the part of the patient in receiving the treatment since it is painless. Once a patient sees even the slightest improvement, they will stick with the duration of the treatment plan simply because they have failed everything else and have no other form of treatment to turn to. As a result, patients are eager to refer friends and family for this revolutionary treatment which can be administered from head to toe.
Economic Factors of a Cash Laser Medicine Practice
Revenues generated by laser patients can be substantial and typically exceed those which are generated by traditional insurance practices. The national per minute average for laser specialty practices ranges between $5.00 and $10.00 per minute. This fee range appears to be more heavily influenced by the level of confidence the doctor has as opposed to their geographic location. Treatment times range from 10-20 minutes for the majority of conditions, but can be as high as 30 minutes for peripheral neuropathy. Typical treatment plans range from 6-15 visits and generate between $750 for wound healing cases, up to $5,000 for a complicated case of failed surgical back syndrome or peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Despite our best attempts, some patients do ultimately require maintenance doses periodically in order to keep chronic intractable pain manageable. Maintenance doses range from 1 visit/month to 4 visits/year. It is not uncommon for a good laser patient to exceed $10k in patient fees in a year as once you successfully treat one problem they look for you to help them with other conditions. Remember, in order to keep them coming back and continuing to pay, you must be able to deliver the result.
A laser capable of delivering these types of financial outcomes will cost around $25 to $50 per working day on a lease basis depending on the configuration of the system. Many leasing companies offer deferred lease payment programs which allow the lessee to generate cash flow before having to make their first payment. Doing the math one can see you can be cash flow positive in a matter of minutes. One important thing to remember is the most expensive laser you can buy is the one that doesn’t deliver results.
Because of LLLT’s effectiveness with both acute and chronic pathologies, its safety, and the fact that it can be used to treat a wide array of conditions from head to toe, most medical practitioners are discovering success in treating and marketing solely to medical failures. This is truly an untapped market where there will always be an abundance of patients desperately needing help. These conditions include post-op pain syndromes, peripheral neuropathy, disc pathologies, stenosis, chronic foot, knee and ankle pain, and degenerative joint disease. Another positive feature of a cash only practice is your patient referrals will already know beforehand that they must pay out of pocket.
Effectively marketing your laser medicine specialty practice requires strategic planning including a high return on investment advertising campaign. Also as good as LLLT is - it’s only as good as the knowledge base of the operator using it. That is why it’s highly recommended that the practitioner and his/her staff attend continuing laser medicine educational seminars, and seek out a total laser practice management solution to move forward successfully.
Because cash practices are not at the mercy of the insurance companies 100% of services billed will be collected. Your time will now be better spent in practicing medicine and getting the results you and your patients expect and not those controlled by third party reimbursement.
In closing, if you’re looking for a program which will definitely change the way you practice medicine, the outcomes which you can achieve, as well as your financial freedom and success, then you should definitely consider implementing an LLLT cash laser medicine into your practice today.
Dr. S. Goldberg, D.C.
1. Skopin, Mark D. and Molitor, Scott C. “Effects of Infrared Laser Exposure in a Cellular Model of Wound Healing”; Department of Engineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio.
2. Skopin, Mark D. and Molitor, Scott C. noted as in Reference 1.
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