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MD referrals are one of the essential keys for chiropractic business success. Unfortunately, those referrals don’t always come easy. This video and blog address the question “why don’t PCPs refer,” and more importantly, you’ll learn one potent strategy to solve this challenge.

The Problem: MD’s Don’t Naturally Refer to DC’s

Three years ago, the American College of Physicians (ACP) published an authoritative Clinical Practice Guideline for acute, sub-acute, and chronic LBP that discouraged the use of pharmacologic management and directed providers to incorporate the more proven tools of manipulation, heat, massage, and acupuncture. (1)

And chiropractors have barely been able to handle the influx of new patients ever since.

Wait… your office wasn’t subsequently flooded with MD referrals? Hmm, well, a new study says that you’re not alone. A March 2021 survey of 72 PCP’s reported that between 76%-87% of PCP’s are familiar with the ACP guideline, yet their prescribing patterns do not follow the recommendations. (2)

For Acute LBP, PCPs essentially ignored the recommendations:

  • 97% of PCPs provided pharmacologic management 
  • 0% recommended non-pharmacologic management

For Chronic LBP, PCPs occasionally recommended nonpharmacologic treatments:

  • chiropractic care (21%)
  • massage therapy (18%)
  • acupuncture (17%)

Bottom line: The majority of PCP’s have ignored their clinical practice guideline.

Subscriber bonus: Check out this special report: Why MD’s don’t refer, so you know what to do and what not to do in this all-important game.

The #1 Referral Blocker

Regardless of our professional degree, PCP’s and DC’s all have failed cases mixed into our many clinical successes. Unfortunately, since the successes don’t seek out a subsequent provider, we primarily see each other’s failures. PCP’s who repeatedly hear about these failures develop a progressively stronger (faulty) belief that chiropractic doesn’t work. And this first-hand personal experience trumps the ACP guideline!

DC’s have two choices, just live with being ignored, or do something to change the status quo.

How an Evidence-Based DC Can Solve This Challenge

There’s a straightforward proven solution that can change perceptions and referral patterns. The following strategy is a primary reason our flagship clinic receives more than 300 PCP referrals each year, which means a steady flow of high-quality, loyal new patients who come in with an authoritative directive to follow our advice. 

Q: What’s the secret to how we built this referral machine? 

A: Consistently telling the patient’s PCP what we’re going to do and then sharing the clinical outcomes from those plans.

Unfortunately, sending your SOAP notes won’t move the needle. Busy physicians will generally not take time to read your multi-page COSM (Collection of S#!tty Macros); however, any PCP would appreciate a concise, personalized summary of their patient’s initial visit, then a release synopsis that details the clinical outcome for every patient.

Can you imagine a world where every PCP heard about every chiropractic success story? You and I can make that happen by consistently educating providers with the facts. Don’t overlook this simple key to a thriving practice filled with loyal patients. It can be the difference between success and failure.

Here’s your growth challenge of the week: send an initial visit summary and release synopsis for each new presentation.

How to Build Rapport (& Referrals) Without Hassle

The big question is, how do you find time to consistently fit these relationship-building reports into your already busy day?

Fortunately, ChiroUp automates the delivery of these crucial communications. Subscribers can use the ChiroUp platform to ensure consistency and simplicity.

  • Produce a professionally written customized synopsis with a couple of clicks so you can stay focused on your existing routine without adding time-sucking tasks.
  • Deliver customizable and brief (half page) that get read and can change attitudes and referral patterns.
  • Brand the reports to your clinic to grow a reputation of clinical excellence which means MDs will remember who’s the “good chiropractor” in their area.

If you’re using our platform but not taking full advantage of these PCP initial reports or release reports, please check out this quick tutorial video.

Still have questions? We’re here for you!

Call (844) 462-4476, email your support team at support@chiroup.com, or schedule training with your success manager anytime. 

Together, we will make chiropractic the undeniable best choice for patients and payors!

  1. Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, Forciea MA. Noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of internal medicine. 2017 Apr 4;166(7):514-30. Link
  2. Roseen EJ, Conyers FG, Atlas SJ, Mehta DH. Initial management of acute and chronic low back pain: responses from brief interviews of primary care providers. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2021 Mar 1;27(S1):S-106. Link

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