Learn how to run a membership based chiropractic practice with this free ebook!

You Will:

  • Learn why the traditional business model is broken.
  • Understand the benefits for both chiropractors and patients.
  • See how you can create predictable monthly recurring revenue.
  • Learn how to avoid the headaches of reconciling with insurance providers.
  • See how you can easily plan ways to enhance and grow your practice.
  • Discover which systems will make it all incredibly easy to manage and more!

Introduction

Look at this list and see how you respond to each of these questions.

  • Are you working too hard for too little return?
  • Are you working long hours or extra days to squeeze in more patients to meet your bottom line?
  • Do you worry about how many patients will show up this month?
  • Do you worry about patient turnover?
  • Do you struggle with constant patient acquisition costs?
  • Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted?
  • Are you frustrated with dealing with insurance providers?
  • Have you thought about moving to a subscription, membership, or cash business model?

Multiple studies have shown that chiropractors generally feel frustrated with the administrative burden involved in running a successful practice. Many report feeling overwhelmed and burned out. The pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t helped; many saw significant volatility in their monthly patient load and billing.

The average chiropractor already sees 142 patients a week and deals with a significant administrative workload. Now add higher customer acquisition costs and battles with insurance companies over claims and reimbursements. Is it any wonder that one in five chiropractors admit that they are burned out?

The traditional chiropractic business model is broken.

A survey of nearly 1,000 chiropractors revealed that some of the biggest job stressors revolved around dealing with regulations, reimbursement, and practice issues. Each of these issues presented significant occupational stress. Researchers tied this stress to a general feeling of exhaustion and a tendency of some providers to be increasingly cynical about the industry and experience a negative impact on patient outcomes. They found that this described 21% of the survey participants: “a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion that results from excessive job demands, depletion of resources and continuous hassles.”

Dealing with issues like these is why so many chiropractors have opted to reduce their dependence on insurance companies and third-party payer systems by building a membership program that creates a more sustainable business model.

When you know how much revenue you’re bringing in each month due to consistent cash flow, you can better plan for the future of your business. It can also significantly reduce the stress levels in running a successful practice. You’ll have fewer insurance headaches and can more easily transition to a cash business.

Most importantly, subscription plans free you up to provide the care that your patients need, without having to worry about when or if you’ll get paid by insurance carriers. You can focus solely on providing better care for your patients.

What Is a Chiropractic Membership Practice Plan?

The idea of a membership plan started with primary medical care providers but has been increasingly adopted by chiropractors. A chiropractic membership plan works similarly to an annual gym membership.

With a gym membership, members select from a range of fees for different levels of access to the facilities, trainers, and coaches throughout the year. Once they pay the fee, they can go to the gym as often as they want and participate in sessions or classes that are part of their program. Even if they stop going, they’re still paying. Along the way, there are opportunities for upsells or enhancements, such as products or additional services.

A chiropractic membership model works in much the same way. After consulting with you, patients can choose from a menu of services that fits their needs and will pay a membership fee. The fee might cover a specific number of visits, adjustments, and consultations. You can also include additional options, such as therapeutic exercise and stretching, spinal traction, TENS, ultrasound, and soft tissue massage.

Membership Plan Benefits for Patients and Chiropractors

When patients have to pay out of pocket or provide a co-pay for every visit, they may wonder if the chiropractor wants to see them frequently because it’s actually needed or merely more financially beneficial for them.

A membership program removes that doubt. The chiropractor gets paid whether the patient uses their services or not, so care is based solely on what the patient needs. This leads to better patient outcomes.

Chiropractic membership business models also tend to increase patient retention. When patients are paying for every individual visit, they may get frustrated when they don’t get a quick resolution to their health concerns, even if they logically know that relief may take time. Once they do get a measure of relief, many stop coming in for treatment even if they would benefit from continuing care.

A subscription model makes it more likely that patients will develop a healthier lifestyle in the long term. With regular visits, chiropractors can build relationships with patients, which also helps with trust and retention.

Patients sometimes feel overwhelmed when they see how many times that they’ve been to the doctor and how much they are charged each time. With subscriptions, there are no individual charges, and in fact, the more visits that are shown, the more the patient feels that they’ve gotten their money’s worth.

Benefits for Chiropractors

A membership model provides steady income each month to help you manage cash flow and plan more efficiently for the future. It eliminates the stress of wondering if you’ll have enough patients this month to pay for the overhead and staffing.

As a cash business, you can avoid filing claims, arguing over fees, or justifying treatments with insurance providers. You can focus more time on patient care and less time on administrative paperwork.

By offering patients a discount in exchange for a commitment to an extended care plan, you may be able to move your business toward becoming a cash-based practice. If you offer automatic recurring payments as part of your subscription plans, you can also stop worrying about chasing payments.

Predictable Cash Flow

With membership plans, you get monthly recurring revenue to help with budgeting and forecasting. You no longer need to squeeze in more patients and work more days and longer hours to generate revenue. These plans also reduce the monthly stress about whether you’ll book enough appointments to hit your profit margins.

No Insurance Claims Paperwork

A membership-based care plan is a cash business, which eliminates the administrative headaches of dealing with insurance companies. It saves time on claims preparation, filing, and adjudicating. It also keeps you focused on what’s best for your patient’s health, not what their insurance will cover.

Focus on Patient Outcomes

The average doctor spends just barely more than a quarter of their time with patients. When seeing patients, doctors spend more than a third of their time doing paperwork. This takes away from treatment time and limits the number of patients who can be seen. All of this reduces a chiropractor’s earning potential.

A membership program reduces the administrative burden and volume of paperwork. With the right chiropractic practice management software, you can create a more efficient process for managing patient loads. This keeps the focus where it belongs: on producing better patient outcomes.

More Time with Patients and Building Retention

The most important factor in patient satisfaction is the time that they spend with chiropractors in treatment, discussion, and planning. Yet, the average chiropractor spends barely more than a quarter of their workday with payments due to paperwork and other tasks.

Switching to a membership model allows you to spend more time with patients rather than admin work. This builds stronger relationships and helps with patient retention to build a robust practice. 

Another way a membership-based practice changes the dynamic is that it puts more distance between treatments and payments. If patients pay monthly, they may have four weeks’ worth of adjustments and consultations before having to make a payment.

Use It or Lose It

A membership-based care plan is built on a “use it or lose it” model. Whether a patient uses all their monthly adjustments or consultations or skips them, you still get paid the same amount.

Transition to Cash Practice

If you’ve thought about transitioning to a cash practice, a membership-based care plan model is a great way to get started.

Reduce Stress Levels

Chiropractors moving to a membership model find that their stress levels are reduced and their satisfaction levels improved. They develop longer-term relationships with their patients because they can spend more time with them. Since they do not have to rely on volume and the constant pressure of finding new customers, they can focus on quality of care.

Benefits for Patients

While most insurance plans cover chiropractic treatments, not all of them do. Those that do typically put limitations on use. For example, Medicare Part B covers chiropractic care but does not cover X-rays for chiropractors, meaning that treatment may require a referral from a physician demonstrating medical necessity.

Even after meeting an annual deductible, Medicare only pays 80% of the cost and limits the number of adjustments and treatments.

Other insurance plans may put restrictions on treatments, including:

  • Requiring a referral
  • Limiting the number of visits per month or year
  • Requiring using in-network, carrier-approved chiropractors
  • Only covering short-term care during recovery
  • Not providing coverage for maintenance visits, long-term care plans, or preventative health

For patients wanting freedom of choice and regular adjustments for a healthier lifestyle, insurance may be extremely limiting. For example, if a patient wants regular adjustments for preventative health, they will run out of insurance-covered visits before the year ends. But with a membership plan, patients can choose how often they want treatments.

There are several significant benefits for patients when you have a membership plan for chiropractic services.

Affordability

Chiropractors can offer discounts for a subscription plan to help reduce patient costs. For example, instead of charging $85 for one adjustment, you might offer a care plan for four visits a month for $99. In many cases, this will be lower than the patient’s copay for four visits on a traditional insurance plan.

Chiropractic Care for Those without Insurance

A membership program makes chiropractic care affordable for those without insurance or with insurance programs that do not cover chiropractic treatment.

More Adjustments

Insurance companies don’t cover weekly adjustments. This can lead to frustrating discourse with insurance carriers about patient coverage. But with a membership program, patients can elect to get as many treatments as they want without worrying about insurance.

Preventative Care

A well-designed care plan enables the patient to live a healthier lifestyle. However, due to the cost, many patients are reluctant to complete their care plans once they start feeling better. A subscription-based care plan can be a more affordable option, and patients with a membership are more likely to take advantage of preventative care, rather than only visiting the chiropractor when they have an injury or are in pain. An investment in preventative care can produce an improvement in overall health.

These are the key benefits that patients and chiropractors alike receive from a subscription plan. Next, let’s talk about how to run a chiropractic membership practice.

How to Run a Chiropractic Membership Practice

The traditional way of providing service in healthcare is “pay as you go.” Patients either pay cash for a treatment or have a copay and provide their insurance information for billing.

A membership model is an alternative. Patients pay for a subscription or membership fee that gives them access to multiple treatments on demand. For example, a chiropractor might offer four visits a month for $99, slightly more than the cost of one visit. Patients get a discount and more access to care, and chiropractors get a recurring source of revenue to help run their business more efficiently.

Efficient Bundling of Services

Half of all small businesses close within the first five years of operation, and chiropractic offices are no exception, whether you’re operating a single standalone office or a multi-location practice. To thrive, you need to provide affordable, high-quality care and excellent customer service and run an efficient practice. Inefficiency leads to waste and hurts practice profits.

With a membership program, you can significantly streamline your process and improve your efficiency. By creating bundles of services or a specific number of adjustments, you can provide multiple options for patients. With the right chiropractic practice management software, you can also create templates or customized care plans. This enables you to bundle services in various ways and easily create estimates that include custom discount plans based on service levels.

Pricing and Billing

Once patients commit to an annual membership model, it’s easier to provide discounts for services. Pricing for a monthly plan is typically higher than the cash price of one adjustment. You can also offer discounts for pre-payments or front-load payments.

Flat-level billing means patients know exactly what services cost, with no surprises, and chiropractors will know how much revenue they generate each month.

Another significant benefit for chiropractors is that you can automate billing and collections. When patients provide payment information and enroll in auto-pay programs, it dramatically reduces having to chase down patients for payments or worry about insurance reimbursements. You get paid consistently on the due date each month.

Tracking Usages

Using chiropractic practice management software, you can easily track visits. CHIROSPRING, for example, applies payments to plans, tracks visits, and automatically writes off any unused visits.

Examples of Chiropractic Membership Plans

Chiropractic membership plans can be set up in myriad ways. Most chiropractic membership plans have a flat monthly fee for a specific number of adjustments and a “use it or lose it” provision. Some require making appointments, while others offer walk-in options.

While you can set up your subscription plan any way that you want, be sure to check out what others in the industry are doing, so you can get a few ideas.

Chiropractic membership plans include the following options. 

Membership Fees

Some plans require an upfront fee for membership. This might include an initial consultation and health history, exam, adjustments, and recommendations for treatment. Then, a recurring monthly plan entails several visits.

Membership + Four Visits Monthly

One example plan charges $99 per member to enroll and then $69 a month for four visits. Additional visits could be purchased at $39.

Another plan charges a $100 upfront fee and then $97 a month for two adjustments, a free yearly health plan examination, unlimited email consultations, and a next-day appointment guarantee.

Membership + Per Visit Fee

Alternatively, some plans do not require a monthly payment but offer a $39 per visit plan once patients pay a fee to join the membership.

Packages for More Treatments

Some membership programs offer many visits. One example plan offers six visits for $189 per month, ten visits at $269 per month, and twenty visits at $429 per month.

Unlimited Chiropractic Adjustments

Many practices offer an unlimited number of monthly visits. For example, some might charge $79 a month for four adjustments and then offer an unlimited plan at $129. Other practices offer unlimited plans at $99 a month if patients pay for the entire year up front.

Prices vary greatly in these plans, and you’ll have to decide what the proper rates are for you. There are unlimited plans as low as $69 a month and as high as $250 per month.

Family, Couple, and Child Memberships

Several membership plans offer the ability to add other family members or children at a discounted rate. For example, a child or family member might be added to a patient’s plan and get the same benefits for 50% to 75% of the membership plan fees.

Some chiropractors offer a couple’s plan. For example, a single membership might cost $100 per month for four visits, while a couple’s membership plan might cost $190 per month.

Other Services

Many plans offer discounts on other services and products. For example, if patients need a therapeutic ultrasound, electronic muscle stimulation, spinal traction, massage, or manual stretching, these therapies can be offered at a predetermined discount. In some cases, these services are bundled along with the monthly adjustments. While still providing a discount, chiropractors can charge higher rates than a standalone plan for adjustments.

Some chiropractors also create partnerships with local gyms to bundle discounted gym memberships with chiropractic treatments.

Pre-payments and Payments

Most plans require either making a pre-payment, such as a fee for the initial exam, or joining the membership program and signing up for automatic monthly payments through credit card, debit card, or electronic check.

Marketing Chiropractic Membership Plans to Your Patients

The biggest barriers for people to get proper healthcare are high costs and limits by insurance companies. Half of all adults in the US say that they have skipped healthcare because of the expense. This can keep patients away from chiropractic care even when they would benefit from treatment. Membership-based care plans can help overcome this challenge for patients.

Marketing your chiropractic membership plans should focus on the simplicity of the programs and the availability of treatments, as well as:

  • Convenience
  • Simplified fees
  • No reporting to insurance
  • More adjustments annually
  • Care not influenced by insurance or reimbursements

You Need a Robust Chiropractic Practice Management System

Membership-based care plans can be complex to track manually. But a robust and reliable chiropractic practice management platform like CHIROSPRING makes it easy.

CHIROSPRING enables you to create bundles of services for different plans. You can also create care plan templates to offer to patients and use them to track their progress. You can call up these templates at any time without having to build them from scratch. Treatments are synced with the patient’s records so you can see at a glance their plan’s details at check-in and the number of visits left, make quick edits to SOAP notes, and view their history, all in one place.

If patients are adding services, such as more adjustments each month, you can quickly customize the care plan to fit their specific needs and produce estimates for patient approval. With a subscription or membership model, once a patient agrees to the care plan, you can automatically apply their payments to the plan and write off any unused adjustments automatically.

By automating routine tasks, you can increase productivity overall and in many cases, reduce your staffing needs. With CHIROSPRING, you get everything that you need to run your practice more efficiently and reduce your administrative burden, including:

  • Online scheduling
  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Online intake
  • Fast SOAP notes, including auto-SALT and customization
  • Appointment tracking
  • Integrated billing and payments
  • Automated posting to membership plans
  • Automatic ERA posting for easier reconciliation

With digital storage, you can eliminate paperwork in your practice and have instant access to patient records, outcome assessments, X-rays, and any other necessary documentation.

See the full list of CHIROSPRING features that can give you everything that you need to run a successful practice.

Transforming Your Chiropractic Business

Chiropractic membership business models can help you and your patients create a better future. CHIROSPRING can make it happen and enable you to transform your practice, save time, and grow your revenue.

CHIROSPRING is an all-in-one practice management and EHR system built specifically for chiropractors to help them regain face-time with patients, spend less time on back-office tasks, maintain a limited staff, and save operational costs.To see how CHIROSPRING can help you simplify how you manage your practice, reach out to one of our specialists today!