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The Chiropractic Sweet Spot

chiropractic business managment Oct 05, 2023

The Chiropractic Sweet Spot

By Dr. Michael Perusich


Every golfer knows that you can hit the golf ball about 5 different ways - the shank, the toe, the heel, the top, the sweep - none of which allow the ball to go where you hope.  But when you hit the sweet spot, you’re usually dead-on accurate and it requires less force to direct the ball toward the green.


A few weeks ago, I was at a Chiropractic convention.  While visiting one of the vendor booths, I overheard two doctors discussing their practices and how many new patients they see each month.  My ears perked up when I heard one say their clinic averaged 60 new patients per month, and how successful the practice was as a result.  I couldn’t contain myself and slipped into the conversation by asking how many of those patients were still on the schedule 30 days later.  The answer was shocking.  One doctor had no idea how to track retention.  The other doc indicated that less than half stayed in care, but noted that was “normal for all Chiropractors”.


There’s a sweet spot in practice when it comes to new patients.  It’s a simple formula - how many new patients can you process and how many can you retain?  Every practice has a balance between new patients and retention.  As such, it doesn't matter how many new patients you see each month.  What matters is how many patients you retain.


Think of it this way.  How successful would your local grocery store be if every customer only shopped there once or twice?  


Most businesses grow over time because of repeat customers.  And your Chiropractic practice is no different.  Retention is the real number that indicates success.


We must also consider the profitability of the new patient.  As a benchmark, we always suggest that a clinic that has been open for at least 3 years should be collecting a minimum of $400 to $500 per hour, which equates to about $125 every 15 minutes.  With that in mind, think about how much the new patient costs you.  That means a 30-minute exam should be priced at $250.


If that’s the new patient fee you charge, then bravo!  However, I see so many doctors charging a lot less.  Plus, if you are discounting your fee as a promotional hook to lure new patients in the door, then those patients may not be profitable for you until about the fourth or fifth visit.  


However you are attracting new patients, one of the keys to success is to retain them as life-long patients who have such a great experience with your care they refer others.  If your patients are dropping out of care too soon, then you may need to look at your retention procedures and create the sweet spot in your clinic.  Your success depends on it!


Dr. Michael Perusich is a solutions-focused advisor with more than 25 years of success across the healthcare and consulting industries. His broad areas of expertise include coaching, training, content development, and motivational speaking.  Dr. Perusich is the CEO of Kats Consultants, LLC. where he and his team offer a unique platform of business knowledge and tools for today's Chiropractic entrepreneur.