Do you adjust kids for free or a reduced fee in your practice? If so, you may be doing them a disservice.
Lecturing across the country, coaching, and consulting regularly with chiropractors, we often observe inconsistencies in doctor's practices. One of the biggest: chiropractors who do not charge an appropriate fee for a child’s care.
Chiropractors who take care of kids for free, or at a discount, are doing a big disservice to their communities. How? Well, the average chiropractic practice that takes care of kids for free is comprised of less than 10% kids. This greatly underserves the pediatric population!
While we understand the spirit of well-meaning docs wanting to give care away in order to help more kids, it just doesn’t work!
If finances were the barrier to chiropractors seeing more kids, than it would stand to reason that once that barrier was removed (by doctors seeing the kids for free), there would be waiting lines of children out the door. But this is not the case; in fact, we find it’s just the opposite.
Typically, when children are adjusted for free, they are not taken care of as real patients. If they happen to be with their parents, they jump on the table to get adjusted. If they’re not with their parents, they don’t, and no one even inquires as to where they are.
Children need to be taken care of as real patients. This means: • Parents fill out a pediatric history form and are asked the appropriate follow-up questions while meeting with the doctor. • The child has a proper pediatric exam performed to detect subluxation, and an adjusting scheduled is recommended by the chiropractor and strictly adhered to by the parents. • Regular progress exams are performed on the child to monitor the correction of the vertebral subluxation and update the care plan.
When you provide superior service and communicate the extraordinary value chiropractic offers, parents are more committed to their children’s healthcare than their own, and they will pay more for it as well. In the successful pediatric practice, every patient is valued and treated equally!
Although we charge the same for children and adults, it is conceivable to charge more for children’s care than adults, because it even is more valuable!
Here are the Top 7 Reasons why you should be charging more for children than for adults:
#7 Parents pay for all their child’s other doctors (pediatrician, dentist, optometrist, etc.). Why would your service (time and talent) be any less important than the other doctors? In fact, it’s even more important!
#6 There is nothing more valuable than helping to remove nerve interference from a child’s growing spine and watching that child strive to reach his or her optimum genetic expression on every level of human existence. We are helping children develop critical neural pathways during particular windows of opportunity, enabling them to maximize their innate potential.
#5 The perceived value of chiropractic care for children will skyrocket. Parents will be more committed to the care, value it more, and refer families of like mind into your practice, who will expect to pay for your superior services as well.
#4 When you start charging an appropriate fee for children, your standards, responsibility, and accountability will strengthen. When parents pay you for their children’s chiropractic care, you’ll have to provide superior service, as well as provide better patient education. When you are collecting a fee, you will have to “walk your talk” and “deliver the goods.”
#3 Your practice will grow. The day you start charging kids is the day that you will have the privilege to care for and serve more children in your practice. Your focus, self esteem, and confidence will grow when you value your service more, and your pediatric volume will increase in kind. As you see the positive impact chiropractic care has on families’ lives, you will be even more motivated.
#2 Parents feel better when they are contributing financially to their children’s chiropractic care. Many parents who bring their children into the chiropractor for free end up leaving because they feel they are taking advantage of the doctor. Give people the dignity they need by allowing them to pay an appropriate fee for their children’s care.
#1 You own a business, and a business needs to earn a profit in order to continue providing a service.
As principled chiropractors, we are fortunate to watch children’s lives transform before our eyes daily. We feel compelled to serve our patients for the right reasons and, as such, for most of us, the financial rewards are never a primary motivating factor. However, collecting a fee for a pediatric visit must be a standard policy in every office!
It is understandable to have the heart and spirit to want to provide free care for children, but if your practice is comprised of less than 25% children, there is a lot more that you can be doing. Free Tuesdays or Saturdays for kids rarely works and should not be a substitute for providing superior service and communicating the value of chiropractic care for children with a consistent patient education program.
Many doctors who are not charging for children do so because of low self esteem, lack of confidence, or fear of rejection. Successful chiropractors who understand the value of charging for kids set a standard of excellence that propels them to a position of authority on chiropractic for children in their town. Charging a fee for chiropractic care for children will help you to communicate the extraordinary worth of what chiropractors do!
Based on all of this, it stands to reason that chiropractors should charge more for a child's adjustment than an adult because it’s more valuable. They have more potential ahead of them. Charging an appropriate fee for children is naturally right. You will be glad once you arrive at this consciousness when, as a result, you begin to see the pediatric portion of your practice explode!
We hoped that you found this weeks Top 7 list valuable. We are committed to your practice success, so if there is anything we can do to help please let us know. If you are ready to grow your practice to the next level join us and grow your pediatric practice with our Pediatricians and Obstetricians Referral Mastery Program.