By Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
There’s an economic factor with having low-fees and short visits.
If you see two patients in an hour and you’re charging them each $75, you’re making $150 an hour. I’m seeing 6 patients an hour and I’m charging the very low fee of $30 a patient. I’m making $180 an hour and I have 6 patients buying supplements.
Now, if I divide my gross income by the number of office visits, I get $120 per visit. That’s my average income per visit. I have checked this number many times and it always falls within a five- or ten-dollar range of this.
My new patients are coming in more often. They’re paying $30 to see me each time and they’re buying very few supplements. The longer-term patients who are on maintenance programs are coming once every three months and buying three months’ worth of supplements.
There are also people coming in between visits to fill in a bottle here and a bottle there. That’s how this $120 figure (average income per visit) comes about. If you want to take a look at it, at $120 minus $30 for the office visits I’m averaging $90 per visit in supplements. And I’m hardly selling any supplements because two of my firm rules are 1. I only sell as much as needed to take them to the next visit, 2. Never sell supplements until they are committed to do the program.
But now take 6 patients an hour times $90 for supplements: $540. Add that to the $180 for office visits and my per doctor hour income is $720 in my office. Now, multiply that by 40 hours a week, how much is that? It’s $28,000 a week if I’m working 40 hours a week. I’ve never worked 40 hours a week at the practice, but that’s 40 hours’ worth of income a week. That’s over $1.2 million a year. Now, what’s the importance of that?
The point is that I never work more than 20 hours a week in the office, my associate works 30 hours a week. Between our 50 hours, considering these numbers are not exact, we only have to make about $22,000 a week to have a million-dollar practice. You see what happens when you see 6 patients for short visits.
You’re moving that product out there. Why do we want to move the product out there? Moving that product is a reflection of how much health we’re moving into the community. It’s way beyond anything I need to handle my basic needs, I’ll tell you that. But am I actually fulfilling my role in the community unless I’m doing something like this?
What we’ve done with many of our clients at UNS when we put them on our Professional Practice Building Program, we actually analyze where the practice is now and what the gradient approach would be to getting them to an ideal scene.
As an example, we had a naturopath who went from 1-1 ½ hour visits to 45 minute visits. She started getting better results and started getting better referrals. So she was forced to get down to a half-hour visit. Since then she tripled her practice, literally, in volume and consistency and commitment and retention.
New patients are no longer a problem for her because she’s keeping her patients long enough that she’s not worried about new patients. Her book is full. Her last e-mail to me was “I guess I’m headed toward the twenty-minute visit now, huh?” That’s right, she’s headed toward the twenty-minute visit. After that, we’re going to get her down to a fifteen-minute visit. And you know what, if we just let her stay at fifteen minutes because of her particular comfort level, she’s still servicing six times more people than she was before and finally achieving her purpose as a healer, facilitating a lot more health. That’s what it’s about.
She had her own chronic fatigue and constant weakness. Well, she found that as she started spending less time with the patients and actually doing the essential thing each visit and making sure that that essential thing occurred, her own energy started going up.
I’m sure that each of us has had this experience (I know I have, many times) of feeling much worse, having had 20 patients in a day instead of 50 patients in a day. That’s weird, shouldn’t you be more tired if you’ve had to see more patients? No! That’s my other secret supplement, the energy that comes from actually getting a volume of people doing well because you reached into their lives, you got them to change. There’s an incredible amount of energy that’s very revitalizing, very rejuvenating, very age-reversing. And you see people pre-maturely aging because they’re failing. Failure causes pre-mature aging; you see it all the time. So that’s the best medicine that I can think of.
I just wanted to share that with you so you can take a look at some of the economics here.
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