A 100% cash based chiropractic chain of clinics in the Midwest, called NuSpine Chiropractic, surveyed their entire patient base on why they prefer the cash model. The chain provides chiropractic services on an entirely out of pocket, insurance free basis. They have treated over 6,000 individual patients in Lincoln, NE alone and they have over 3,000 patient visits every month. They sent surveys to their entire Lincoln, NE patient base and from the 10% that returned completed surveys they gathered some very valuable information.
The survey was inquiring who of these patients had insurance that covered chiropractic and why any of them chose to receive chiropractic treatment from a clinic that didn’t accept payment from third party financiers. From the nearly 602 completed surveys, 458 had some form of health insurance, yet only 307 had coverage for chiropractic care. So only 76% of them had insurance at all and only 51% had coverage that would pay for chiropractic services, yet they chose to receive care from NuSpine regardless.
Here are the the top 4 reasons these patients prefer the cash based chiropractic model from their perspective:
- Price – The far and away number one reason for attending the cash based clinic was affordability. 96% of completed surveys indicated that they had previously been dissatisfied with the cost of chiropractic care or had avoided getting treatment as a result of the high cost. Clinics like NuSpine offer their services at reasonable rates that are able to support their clinics revenue needs as well as bring their services to patients that wouldn’t otherwise be able to receive care. Clinics like NuSpine typically offer their services at a rate that is below most co-pays, not to mention below the full bill of services that they would pay prior to meeting their deductible.
- Speed of Service – The distant second reason behind the affordability factor was the respectful speed of service. 62% of surveys indicated that they were pleased with the speed at which they were able to get seen by the doctor and get back to their busy schedules. People don’t have time to spend 45 minutes to an hour in the chiropractic clinic in the middle of their work day. Many of the 62% mentioned that they had previously neglected to attend appointments or refrained from scheduling appointments with the chiropractor because they were not confident they could make the time commitment work into their schedule.
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- Convenient Hours & Location – Next was the convenient hours and locations. NuSpine clinics are open into the evening and on weekends as well. 58% of completed surveys indicated that the convenient hours were a reason they continued to patronize their respective cash based clinics. Likewise, 53% of the completed surveys indicated that the convenient, retail locations were desirable when they were choosing their chiropractic clinic. NuSpine clinics are all located in high traffic retail space. Many of the surveyed indicated that they had previously overlooked chiropractic clinics or been entirely unaware of their existence due to their locations and inconvenient hours.
- Relationships with Staff – Last, but certainly not least was the relational factor. This common reason for patronizing their respective NuSpine clinics is not exclusive to cash based clinics, but should not be neglected when considering the experience your clinic offers. 53% of the surveyed patients mentioned that their quality relationship with the doctor and their front desk staff was a reason for their continued patronage. One survey suggested that the employees at NuSpine seemed to enjoy their work more than other clinics they had patronized and that she felt this translated into better relationships with her and other patients.
There are obviously thousands of small conscious and subconscious reasons why patients choose their chiropractor, however it’s helpful to sample different patient bases to determine exactly why. In our research, many patients, like NuSpine’s, have a clear understanding of what they want in a chiropractic experience and chiropractors would do well to offer services accordingly.
It seems that affordability and speed of service are head and shoulders some of the top reasons patients seek out cash based chiropractors. Fully insured or otherwise, patients are looking for ways to get care in a fast, affordable way.
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