Your Perfect Game Plan for Success

Posted on January 12, 2021 by Miles Bodzin, DC

This original article was featured in the February 2021 issue of The American Chiropractor

Did you know that having success isn’t an accident?  Have you ever wondered how professional sports teams come up with their strategies to win or how they make it look so effortless when they play?  Well, we as chiropractors are no different!  We absolutely must have a game plan and follow those steps which will then point us in the right direction to be successful.

My perfect game plan is composed of five easy steps! Like all successful game plans, we begin with the end in mind:

What is the goal?

Well, that’s actually pretty simple: To have a successful practice! What’s a successful practice?  Well, it’s your job to define what you determine as success.  A few examples of this may be collecting a million dollars a year, seeing 80% families, having a lot of free time to spend with your family, or just seeing a certain number of patients in a week/month/year. 

What is the method to achieve this goal?

How does one achieve this success in practice?  Well, there are a variety of ways.  For example, I could tell you to go solicit attorneys for PI referrals and build  PI practice.  That’s a valid strategy for some.  That’s not the route I chose to go.  For me and the thousands of doctors that we help, the method is to have a high retention practice with very little patient drop-out. This is what we are going to focus on today.   In other words, the focus is on increasing PVA or patient visit average.

What do you focus on for this method?

So, how do we get a “high retention” practice? We found if you focus on creating patient loyalty, you’ll end up with a high retention practice. In other words, a high retention practice is made up of loyal patients that stay, pay, and refer. 

Related: Visuals – Sharing is Caring For Patients Seeking More Feedback (Create Loyal Patients!)

What’s the strategy for achieving this?

Now that we know that we need to focus on patient loyalty, the strategy for achieving this is quite simple.  Focus on a successful patient journey for each and every patient you see. The Patient JourneyTM is the process a patient goes through from the moment they call your practice through the eventual transition from initial care plan to lifetime wellness care patient.

And there are eleven unique steps to a successful patient journey.  Think of this as the game plan that you and your team use to take the patient through to turning them into a loyal patient in your practice. 

What makes up a successful patient journey?

So if we want to create a successful patient journey,  you may be asking, how do we do that?  You may be thinking, I already educate my patients and I’m doing all the things I’ve been taught to share the message of chiropractic.  What else is there?

I’ve identified four pillars that go into making a successful patient journey.  An easy way to remember them is by The Four F’sFrequent Contact, Feedback, Frictionless Payments, and Forecasting Care. These are the four pillars to a successful patient journey that leads to success!

Now, let’s circle back and review our game plan before we dive into some of the specifics. 

  1. We have a goal of Success.
  2. We’re going to achieve Success by building a High Retention Practice.
  3. We’re going to build a High Retention Practice by focusing on creating Loyal Patients.
  4. We’re going to create Loyal Patients by focusing on The Patient Journey™ being as successful as possible.
  5. We’re going to have a successful patient journey by implementing the Four F’s throughout The Patient Journey™.

By having a high retention practice, we have success! 

The real “nuts and bolts” of this game plan is made up of The Four F’s so let’s dig in on what these are. I recommend rating yourself on a scale of 0-10 in each of these categories so that you know where your game plan needs to improve. Zero being not doing that step at all and ten is that you are excelling. 

Frequent Contact: 

Frequent contact throughout the entire Patient Journey is important so that the office stays top of mind for your patients. This frequent contact is also helping to educate them on the importance of staying under care. It can also consist of email newsletters and patient education as well.

A rating of 0 would be no contact at all (besides adjusting).

A rating of 5 would occur if you only do in office contact.   Meaning the patient is only educated or in contact with you when at your office.

A rating of 10 would occur if in addition to in office contact, you have emails and text messages going out, TV education in the office, etc.

So, how do you rate yourself when it comes to the Frequent Contact you have with your patients?


This component of the Patient Journey is based on how you give feedback to the patient as they progress with care. They need to know that they are improving! Establish their baseline at the beginning of care and give them feedback as it continues. This can be with Wellness Scores, x-rays, posture pictures, and scans! Rate yourself 0-10 on how well you are giving feedback not only at the beginning of care, but throughout as they work to transition to wellness. 

A rating of 0 would be if you never give any feedback.

A rating of 5 would occur if you give your patients some type of report, but you have to explain what it means.  This could be a scan, some type of computerized diagnostic tool or something like that.  Love these tools, but often patients don’t really understand them without lots of explanations.

A rating of 10 would occur if you give your patient a report that needs no explanation at all.  The patient just gets it.  This is why we like to use “letter graded” reports.  Patients already know what an “A, B, C, D or F” means. 

So, how do you rate yourself when it comes to the Feedback you give your patients?

Frictionless Payments: 

Throughout a Patient Journey , the more frequently a patient is reminded about money, the less likely they are to complete the entire journey and transition to wellness care.  Don’t let the repeated and constant need to collect payments be the reason that patients don’t feel joy walking out of your practice each visit.

The way you collect for your care plays a huge role in your PVA.  The more friction, the worse it is.

Rate yourself 0-10 on how much or little friction there is in your collection methods. 

A rating of 0 would be if your patients all are pay per visit and have to pull out their wallet each time they have to pay.   Automatically give yourself a 0 if you send out statements with balances due and have to wait for payment.

A rating of 5 would be if some patients have their billing on file for recurring payments.  But it does not make up the majority of your practice.

A rating of 10 would occur if the vast majority of your patients have billing on file, whether if be for recurring payments or one-time payments.  It’s rare for any patient to have to pay across the counter or leave with a balance due.

So, how do you rate yourself when it comes to Frictionless Payments?

Forecasting Care: 

I’ve saved the most important of the Four F’s for last.  Forecasting Care is so important to a successful Patient Journey, that it can be considered the foundation of the Four F’s.

This is the patient’s game plan to their care and we know how important a game plan is to success! Having a care plan for your patient that forecasts the number of visits they will need and the payments they will make will remove all confusion for the patient.

This will allow you to set crystal clear expectations for both you and the patient. There won’t be any surprises, they’ll have affordable payment options, and patients will more easily stick to the entire treatment plan! 

Rate yourself 0-10 on how well you forecast care for your patients.

A rating of 0 would be if you don’t forecast care at all other than, “we’ll see you on your next visit”.  In other words, the patient has no idea how long care will go on for.  Because these patients typically pay visit by visit, they usually have the most friction in their payment experience.

A rating of 5 would be if you only forecast care the patient needs until the next re-exam.  Generally, at a report of finding, this doctor says “we’ll treat you for a few weeks, re-evaluate and then I let you know if you need more care then.”   In most cases, these docs know the patient will need more care, but fail to tell them at the report of findings.  We call this an “open-ended” treatment plan. 

A rating of 10 would be if you build a comprehensive treatment plan that includes everything you anticipate the patient will require to achieve the goals of care.  You then routinely get a “yes” from the patient after presenting them a compliant care plan with affordable payment options that includes everything in the treatment plan.  

So, how do you rate yourself when it comes to Frictionless Payments?

Let’s review one last time.

  • We use the Four F’s (pillars) of Frequent Contact, Feedback, Frictionless Payment and Forecasting Care to create a successful patient journey.
  • Successful patient journeys lead to creating loyal patients.
  • When you have a practice full of loyal patients, you will have a high retention practice.
  • And when you have a high retention practice, you will have success.

So, now that you rated yourself on the Four F’s – how did you do?

If you’re at a perfect 40, then congratulations! You’re no doubt running a practice that is very low stress, full of joy, and not dependent on new patients because it’s completely focused on retention.

If you didn’t score a perfect 40, take a look at the systems and procedures that you’re currently using for that pillar during your patient journey. Make some tweaks here and there and see how you do.  This makes a game plan for success streamlined and not only makes life easier on you, but for your patient as well.

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About the Author

Dr. Miles Bodzin, esteemed in chiropractic care, leads Cash Practice Systems as its Founder and CEO, dedicated to enhancing revenue and retention rates in the chiropractic community. His platform offers tools like The Wellness Score, Care Plan Calculator, Auto-Debit, and Drip-Education Systems, empowering practitioners for better patient retention and profitability. With extensive experience, Dr. Bodzin's leadership has made Cash Practice Systems the top choice for optimizing chiropractic practices. Before his CEO role, he ran a thriving practice in San Diego for nearly two decades, alongside his Chief Operations Officer, Holly Jensen, emphasizing high retention rates and patient well-being. Together, they've dedicated over two decades to advancing chiropractic care, inspiring practitioners worldwide. Explore for transformative tools.

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