In the pursuit of improvement, today I attended a seminar that was the first step in becoming a Certified Chiropractic Coder. I left with a stomach half full of blood from biting my tongue.
Ellen received my bewildered/angry call and Dr. Sea was kind enough to talk me back to reality. My summary of the call: I had been terrorized. I am from a totally different pool and was out swimming with the sharks today.
What kind of Sharks? The kind that are about the money, primarily care about what insurance will pay for, only adjust in regions of complaint--even when they know that part of the problem is in another region, and view therapies as imperative monetarily and the natural progression of care. Let me elaborate on that last point: Insurance companies like to see patients move from passive care (chiropractic adjustments) to active care (physical therapy) and it is imperative for chiropractors to make sure the patients progress out of chiropractic care and into active care or THE PATIENT BECOMES ADDICTED TO CHIROPRACTIC CARE AND IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE OF THE PROFESSION TO LET THAT HAPPEN.
Somehow my mouth stayed shut. Somehow my butt stayed planted. Why? I recognized this man was a failed chiropractor.
The snippets of conversation started hitting me: a DC who hired another DC and has a massage therapist (who does the billing) but has no front desk staff and knows she should hire one because she just can't keep running back and forth, and knows it will free her up even more--because hiring the other DC helped SO much. A DC who has absolutely no staff but can't justify hiring one and is feeling overwhelmed. Staff who spoke out in agreement to the statement that they care more about the practice than their DCs do. I can't go on. You get the picture. I was surrounded by people who weren't striving for mastery of their craft or to better serve patients...they were pursing their personal interest in safeguarding and maximizing their income.
Why did I send myself into those murky waters? I just wanted information to make our practice better so we can help more people. I wanted to double check my hand-me-down coding information to make sure were following the rules. Why? Because I don't want anything to stand in the way of helping more people. I wasn't looking for bullet proof answers...I don't know of any professional coding society that claims to be bullet proof...but man, other specialties can at least manage to impart the basics without fear mongering! (I know, I used to work for the American Academy of Family Physicians on their practice management journal.) <insert primal scream>
Why share this? It cemented how precious our tribe is and how imperative it is that we GET BETTER NOW. Your communities need YOU.
Mentorites: Rejoyce for your calling is clear! Serve the patient. There is no competition. We're in a different pool.