Success Story: Sole-Practice Partners with Kareo for Successful Start Up

The first in our series of Claiming Your Independence, a chiropractor in Michigan shares his partnership with Kareo and how it helped him launch a successful new practice. 

In 2020, Dr. Brian Stoynoff made a very bold decision.

He left a thriving group practice and moved to a small town on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where there were no chiropractors within a 70-mile radius. Dr. Stoynoff set up Northern Star Chiropractic, a one-man operation, doing everything by himself including clinical, front office and billing work. His only partner was Kareo software.

Almost immediately, he had a fully booked practice, which continued to thrive even during the COVID-19 pandemic, related lockdown and beyond. “I couldn’t squeeze in another patient for at least a week even during a pandemic,” he says. “It’s been amazing.” He says the only way it was possible was because he selected Kareo.

Dr. Smynoff was one of 4,000 new practices that opened their doors in 2020, selecting Kareo as their technology partner.

This uptick in entrepreneurship was also reflected in the data collected from Kareo's 2021 State of the Independent Practice Survey. As compared to the same survey in 2019, participating providers revealed that their expectations for mergers, partnerships or being acquired has declined since 2019, and they have a more positive outlook for the future of their practice and industry.

The survey report is available now for download at our State of the Independent Practice hub page.

Before Dr. Smynoff settled on Kareo for the technology of his new practice, he looked at four major software packages. "Two of the four vendors were ChiroTouch and Genius Solutions, which I had used in the past. It felt like I was talking with used car dealers. I’d get this hard sell from them, and then very little information, which totally turned me off. Luckily, I found Kareo,” he continues. “They had all the features I needed, plus great pricing and awesome customer relations.” Here are four ways Kareo helped Dr. Stoynoff get his new practice off to a successful start:

1. Kareo University

Since Dr. Stoynoff had never managed the administrative or billing side of a practice before, he expected a steep learning curve. I set aside three weeks before opening the doors to learn Kareo.” Stoynoff relied heavily on Kareo’s online training program during the early phases. “I love Kareo University. It’s very user friendly and easy to figure out. The best thing is that you can go back and refer to any teaching modules later if you need a refresher,” he says. He also liked the quizzes that Kareo University pops on students. “After every few modules, the system makes sure that your comprehension is good. I appreciate that. It’s exactly how I like to learn.”

2. Easy onboarding

Onboarding onto the Kareo platform proved to be much less difficult that he had feared. “The onboarding training guy was a huge help. So was the phone tech support. I called them many times a day in the beginning, and they walked me through each situation I ran into. I’ve never waited on hold for longer than 10 minutes. That’s like a miracle these days.”By the end of the three weeks, Stoynoff was a competent user, able to enter patients, scan insurance cards, and do billing on his own.

3. The right technology for his individual needs

With the Kareo platform, Stoynoff scans insurance information, performs eligibility checks, keeps electronic notes, and forwards information to the biller – who happens to be himself. “In the platform, the doctor’s menu lets you prepare codes, but you can’t do billing. So, I just send it over to the super biller, namely me, to prepare and send out invoices. It works great.” He often uses Kareo’s patient portal to send educational material from his online library to follow up after an office visit.

“Our town is called Newberry, but it’s pretty similar to Mayberry,” Stoynoff notes. “Our residents are sort of like the Amish, with a wonderful simplicity and genuineness. They like it when I personally answer the phone and schedule their next appointment in a paper book before they leave. I probably won’t start using online appointments for a while. Still, I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of Kareo’s capabilities as time permits.”

4. A simple and easy-to-use solution

Stoynoff describes his practice as “old school chiropractic,” without too many fancy bells and whistles. It’s fitting that he only uses the more basic aspects of Kareo and that is perfectly fine with him. Stoynoff figures that Kareo is saving him at least $12,000 a year by allowing him to do his own administrative and billing work, and easily pays for itself. “I wasn’t put on earth to work with computers,” he says.

“But I actually enjoy using Kareo. It makes my work so much more manageable. And it’s easy to use!” With a current case load of 75 patients a week, Stoynoff says that he’ll try to keep a one-man office for as long as possible. “I would never be able to do all this on my own without Kareo,” he says.

In conclusion, Stoynoff says that the most important thing to his practice was that Kareo allows him to focus on his real mission: to provide chiropractic care that improves, extends, and saves lives. Stoynoff adds, “I broke my back in a terrible car accident at age 17, and the medical profession failed me. It was chiropractic care that healed my pain and allowed me to stand up again.

Now, I do my best to extend the same benefits to other people, listening carefully to my patients and dealing with each one on an individual basis. Anything that helps me do that is a wise investment.”

If you are a provider looking to start a new practice, visit us here for resources that can help ensure you have a successful start to your new business. You can also download our infographic, Beyond the Basics: 5 Things to Consider Before Opening a New Healthcare Practice. To download Kareo's report on it's 2021 State of the Independent Practice survey, visit our hub page here.

About the Author

Alesa Lightbourne is a prize-winning author, professor and former dean of an international business school. As a freelance writer, her clients have included Fortune...

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