Chiropractic Physician Kimberly Minick, BSES, DC
Which best describes your current role?
I am the owner, office manager, and primary physician at Inlign Chiropractic.
Briefly describe how you got started.
I had no idea what a chiropractor did when I applied and was accepted into chiropractic school. During my exercise science internship at a hospital, specifically working in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, I had a defining moment of philosophical change. While assisting diabetic patients at a sponsored food bank, I was appalled at the selection of food (all processed and full of sugar) and went to the director (a hospital employee with diabetes education) and asked if we should be encouraging them to choose better foods. Her response? “Oh, no, it’s okay. They have an insulin pump.” It was at that point that I totally checked out of the current medical model and realized I wanted to become the type of doctor that helps people understand that health and disease are most often a result of a lifetime of habits.
How did you become so good at what you do?
I studied exercise science at Valdosta State University where I established an excellent foundation in biomechanics, physiology, and chronic-disease pathophysiology. After graduating with honors, I attended Life University where I graduated with honors as a Doctorate of Chiropractic. I concentrated my electives in neurology and exercise/sports management. I also have a keen interest in emotional health and its physiological influence on the body.
Describe the medical specialty with which you have the most experience and/or expertise, and why this specialty is so important to you.
While I fully embrace and understand the philosophy of assessing and adjusting the spine, I believe the fastest way to healing is to assess and adjust extremities, release tightly wound fascia, address muscular imbalances, and correct functional movement patterns. My focus is on improving function rather than structural correction. So often, what imaging shows and what the body presents are vastly different. There is growing evidence with frequency specific microcurrent (FSM) that correcting cellular function holds more promise for health than simply addressing wayward curves in the spine. I focus on how to improve cellular and biomechanical function more than correcting curves and angles within the spine. With my background in exercise science, this is a natural biomechanical and physiological step when combined with the neurological education of chiropractic. With a focus on overall function, we also address nutrition and mental health to help our patients feel better and even flourish.
Share with us one or two things that make you proud about the services you provide.
I am excited about the detailed and personalized work we do through our thorough analysis and three-month yoga-based rehabilitation program. We are not a high-volume, quick-adjustment practice with quotas to meet; we are a quality-based practice seeking full restoration for our practice participants. I am proud of our dedication to the whole person and not simply one aspect of healing.
What do you think is the biggest opportunity for your practice and other chiropractors in the coming years?
The emergence of social media has given way to a grassroots movement away from synthetic and pharmacological interventions toward behavioral change and natural healing paths. The freedom to explore unconventional methods has positioned chiropractors perfectly to educate themselves and the public about adopting and maintaining a lifestyle to reduce toxic exposure, eat for health, and improve neurological integrity. People are hungry for something different; they always are. Chiropractors who learn to effectively promote spine health in conjunction with healthier, less toxic living will have the most influence for change.
Patient satisfaction is impacting everything from reimbursement to physician online reviews to social media. In your opinion, what things should every practice in the chiropractic field be doing today to ensure high levels of patient satisfaction?
The best way to have satisfied customers is to solve the problem they want to you solve. In this field, that means educating patients on the root cause of their symptoms, not merely addressing the symptoms. These fixes take longer because they involve teaching patients about anatomy and physiology and helping them own their choices (for better or worse) because they understand the ramifications of their habits. Additionally, it’s important to demonstrate your gratitude to them. Be aware that the patient on the table and those who purchase your supplements keep you in business. They refer people to you and pay your bills. Be unashamedly, fully, vocally grateful every single day.
What have you found to be the best ways to measure patient satisfaction?
Retention and referral are the ultimate indicators of patient satisfaction. Raving fans who follow your advice, show up for their appointments, and bring their spouse and kids and friends and parents. People who choose to return to your office over and over serve as the best indicator that you are doing something well. Raving fans insist their family and friends see their chiropractor.
The evolution of reimbursement and payment reform for Medicare, Medicaid, and even commercial payers has been a roller coaster ride in recent years. What two or three things do you think every chiropractic practice should be doing to ensure they are getting paid correctly?
Documentation is key in third-party payment. However, even when documentation is impeccable, third-party payers are often reluctant to pay, and they certainly don’t pay in full. My goal is to move away from this antiquated and corrupt system and serve my patients with autonomy and confidence by offering and providing the best care possible at reasonable out-of-pocket prices. I loathe that holistic, comprehensive healthcare is currently available to the rich only.
Do you think the payment changes and reform will ultimately increase, decrease or keep the revenue consistent in the chiropractic field? Why do you think so?
Insurance is a broken system. No matter what changes or reforms are made, until it’s totally dismantled, insurance reimbursement should not be the measure of success for chiropractors.
Technology is now a critical part of the business of healthcare. Share some ways you believe technology improved your business.
I’ve only ever known electronic submissions and EMRs. It certainly frees up storage space, although it slows individual note taking (when done well). Three of the best uses of technology in our office are online scheduling for the patients, social media marketing (Facebook Live events, specifically), and the advent of online courses for education that we will begin to offer in our office by year end. Patients will have open access to educational classes normally offered in-office or as evening seminars.
Think about your practice management, electronic health record, or other technology application you use daily. What applications could you not live without?
Online scheduling saves us every day. Our bookkeeping software online is the best and easiest back-end tool for managing the financials of the office. We also use some social media, primarily Facebook, for marketing that is a huge help in creating targeted, local, effective marketing campaigns.
Both physical security and data security is critical for today’s modern chiropractic practice. What three things should every practice be doing to protect themselves?
With EMRs, it’s crucial to have a secure network and protected back up. Pay for it; it’s worth it. Secure your network with an “impossible” key and hide it from wireless search. Turn your screen off. On the physical side, lock the doors. Inside your office, do the right thing. Don’t compromise yourself with a patient in any situation. We can’t always control who walks in the door, but we can all make wise choices.
What aspects of your role in healthcare would you advise your younger, less experienced self to pay more attention to?
I think it is important to pour yourself in to your art. If you don’t love what you are doing and are constantly asking the next question for your patient’s improvement, then you are short selling yourself and patients. Find your passion, your niche within your field, and learn all you can. Follow your passion, and the details of business will follow. Also remember that running a business is an entirely separate job from being a healthcare provider.
What aspects of your role in healthcare would you tell yourself to pay less attention to; things you thought were important, but ended up not being very important?
Money is the detail that gets the most attention aside from patients and the thing that derails passion. Money is the obstacle in the path. Focus most on passion and patients, knowing how to communicate your passion, the patient’s problem, your plan for correction, and your projected outcome, and money will not be your limiting factor.
If you were granted one wish – a wish that could change anything about your job or medical specialty – what would you wish for and why?
What chiropractic offers for health restoration is in stark contrast to conventional medicine. The public is hungry for change. If we could, as a profession, find common ground on natural healing, become excellent communicators, and shamelessly tell of the amazing things happening in our offices, lives across the world would change. Toxic bodies would heal, broken hormone patterns would correct, and pain patterns would be eliminated. Day in and day out with a skeptical public can be tough, but if we can find our passion and live and teach it daily, the skepticism and criticism will begin to wane in the wake of our fantastic work.