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Academy of Chiropractic’s

MD Relationship Program

MD Meetings - the SURGEON

Clinical Consultation 

From:  William J Owens Jr DC DAAMLP

What the Surgeons Needs - PART I


Good morning, it is Friday, September 28th, 2018 and thank you for joining me at the MD referral program podcast. This is Dr. Bill Owens and I want to take a little opportunity here today to talk to you about some of the trends that are occurring in healthcare across the country, in particular with medical specialists. I want to mention and focus in on the surgeon, we're going to take about 15 minutes and I want to describe to what they're experiencing and how this can really build your practice. This is one of the main focuses of my consulting program. Presently I have two associates in Buffalo, New York and we have a very, very busy practice. The majority of those patients come from medical referrals, with a focus on personal injury. So building relationships with the medical community is one of the best ways to have a consistent and a very constant type of referral system into your practice particularly for personal injury cases.


So when it comes to the surgeon, you have to understand where their problems lie. If you understand where the roadblocks and the problems are in the primary care and the surgical and medical specialist’s community, it's very easy to insert yourself into that system, and gain referrals from that. Now, historically, and when I got out of school to start practice, the trend then was if you hooked up with a medical specialist, particularly a spine surgeon, orthopedic or neurosurgery, your practice was pretty much built because the healthcare model was really about all of the patients that had spine pain regardless of the intensity or the cause of it were all triaged to the surgeon. The surgeon would then evaluate them and then dish out the conservative care cases or keep the surgical cases for themselves.

At the time, that was a really good model and it worked for a while until a couple things happen. First, pain management came on the scene when the surgeon general of all those years ago had actually defined the pain as the fifth vital sign. The focus of how patients were managed completely changed. It changed from a structural perspective, which was the surgeon, into a pain management or a chemical or physiological perspective, and that was either through prescription medication or injections. Unfortunately, most of it was a prescription. So over time what started to happen to the surgeon was reimbursements for surgery started being reduced a little bit, and that was generally either by fee schedule or just simply the convolution of getting paid, particularly on personal injury cases. So their cash flow started to get crunched a little bit. And then medical malpractice rates, professional liability insurance, increased.



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