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You’re Cheapening the Profession!

  • Posted By : Dr. Stephen Harkins
  • In : Trend

These words are often murmured by chiropractors and others to demean me and other affordable chiropractors. I was able to help one of my patients, Gloria, in just a handful of visits with a condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia. This condition is also called the “suicide disease” because of its severe lancinating pain across the face that can be triggered by even the slightest breeze. Upon interviewing her, I asked if she had considered suicide and she responded affirmatively. What was a chiropractic visit worth to her? One million dollars? More? Worker’s Compensation managed to come up with a number; benefits for a death are three hundred twenty thousand dollars for an individual with three or more dependents. Using my experience and advanced chiropractic techniques, I was able to eliminate Gloria’s pain in 4 visits. Am I worth eighty thousand dollars per visit? Maybe. Of course I’m being facetious but it raises the question of how to price chiropractic.

You get what you pay for! This is the maxim often used by people who are in disbelief that there are great deals or great value in the marketplace. I want to challenge your belief; the marketplace knows you think this way and markets to your beliefs. It’s called “the psychology of perceived value”. They know that you are thinking, “pay more, get more” so they price their services accordingly to fit your belief system. In other words, they price their services higher so you will think you are getting more (you don’t); you are an unwitting pawn in their branding game. Their plan is to move into a wealthy community with plenty of good insurance and overcharge because, “these people can afford it”. Then they get to work on fluffing up their branding to “differentiate” themselves from their competitors and increase perceived value. This hurts the chiropractic profession by pricing ninety percent of people out of the market. That huge majority of the population never gets to experience chiropractic. This is a shortsighted and selfish approach and is definitely not the serving attitude of a health care professional.

Chiropractic has been historically expensive because prices have been based on what an insurance company is willing to pay, and then some. Chiros typically add all kinds of gimmicky services to a visit in order to stack the bill higher(into the hundreds of dollars) until the insurance company finally pushes back and says, “No mas!”. Two hundred dollars, is that the value of a chiropractic visit? Now, if you don’t have insurance, the chiropractor will graciously…ahem… give you a cash price which is some amount discounted off of the artificially created insurance price. One hundred dollars? Fifty dollars? Forty? Even at forty dollars, can the average person afford a forty dollar visit? Perhaps. But what if they need multiple visits, what about wellness and maintenance visits?

Now, I was able to help Gloria quite rapidly and continue to help others rapidly, but chiropractic is a process; all healing takes time. The greatest results come when patients are regular, consistent, and proactive. I priced ChiroCore not on perceived value or even true value(what’s the value to Gloria?) but on a) what the average person can afford to pay for regular adjustments b) how many people I can comfortably(for both of us) and effectively see in a day c) what provides me a reasonable and comfortable lifestyle in my community. In founding over fifty affordable and convenient practices at The Joint franchises in California, I developed efficient systems that lower costs and overhead to meet my price target and truly serve. I am obsessed with creating value for my patients and in giving them the most effective, expert care in the most straightforward and honest manner possible. I can help you. Book an appointment today!

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