Cash-Based Membership Services
How a small town doctor is growing the cash side of his functional medicine practice using a time tested approach.
Dr. Hemmer has been a long-standing educator for the Standard Process community over the past 6 years. We sat down with him to better understand how he is successfully adding patients into a cash-based membership program in his pain and inflammation based chiropractic center. When asked why he is creating a membership style program, “I also feel that most of my patients are feeling abandoned with their healthcare providers. My patients have little communication and no relationships with the doctors in our community. As a chiropractor and as a person who is a long-standing member of my community, if I show and tell these people that I’m going to be here for them long-term… that creates value and an opportunity for a cash-based practice.”
We then asked Dr. Hemmer about the current state of chiropractic reimbursements, “The reason I am building a cash-based membership practice is that insurance reimbursements, when it comes down to chiropractic care, are getting worse and worse. I know that if I have a cash-based practice, I will be able to have food on the table for my family, I’ll be able to practice as long as I want to practice, and do it on my terms and not on anybody else’s.”
Dr. Hemmer practices about 30 minutes from Champaign, IL, “The community that I practice in is a mile square. It’s 4500 people and the biggest thing that I’m doing now is I’m taking what the farming community did before 1940 and now bringing it to 2017. I am marrying the ancestral and eclectic models of medicine that were part of this community up until the 1940s and repackaging it with modern research, bringing it into 2017.”
Feeling sentimental, listening to the godfather's of modern Herbal medicine- Mills & Bone. I'm remembering myself as a young naturopathic student, age 19, so so so long ago, excited, passionate, eager, open... still feeling the same but hopefully a little wiser. Excited to bring this knowledge to my clients and patients in the weeks to come.
We asked Dr. Hemmer how he came upon the 12 steps that he is currently integrating, “When I listened to Kerry Bone on his webinar about functional phytotherapy this last fall, everything clicked; he boiled everything down to 12 steps that can be used for any functional problem on the planet. All I had to do was to put my spin on it and plug these 12 steps into my membership program… these steps cover everything down to a cellular level, up to organ gland tissue level, and finally to a system level.”
Here are Dr. Hemmer’s 12 Steps that he uses in his membership program.
We asked Dr. Hemmer for an example of a patient in his membership program, “The people that are joining my program right now understand that insurance is not getting them healthy. A perfect example is a 52-year-old amputee member, who had his leg amputated after five failed surgeries to correct a broken leg. Since January, he’s lost over 50 pounds in our program and now he is going to the gym three to four times a week. He has changed his diet and now, has a future that he really feels good about. He has a son who is 10 years old, very recently, is embracing the healthy habits of his dad.”
Dr. Hemmer’s Health Coach, Ali, having a good laugh.
We asked Dr. Hemmer how many members can a practitioner expect to add based on his experience, ” I’ve added about 35 members in the past three months into the membership side of my practice, approximately two to three people per week to my program. I have found that if I do any more than that, my practice becomes overwhelmed with onboarding patients. I’ve also learned that once they come into the program and get settled in, the community of those people through repeated visits, social media interactions, and educational workshops, really starts to build and then the momentum of the whole thing continues to build organically without a whole lot of work on my part.”
Now for the take-away… “If I could talk to my past self before I started on my membership program, I would go through each of the 12 steps, run through the membership pricing, and start a marketing plan… I would be so much farther along than I am now.
A membership practitioner’s first step is a essential; To embrace the fact that when your patients starts to empower themselves, they will be ready to pay for your partnership. Your job is to educate them, become the trusted authority, be on their side, and they will come.”
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