Resiliency Through Challenging Times
In 2007, a Medicare law change happened that took the rights away from chiropractors to bill and get paid for physical therapy codes. At that time, I had been in practice for eight years and had three offices, which were primarily Medicare based. We loved treating patients, listening to their amazing stories and helping them regain lost mobility, decreasing their severe pain and putting a smile on their faces.
In this one law change, my billable amount decreased by 81 percent and it destroyed me. The following year, I got divorced and was trying desperately to get back up on my feet, financially. My dad and his wife paid for me to get a small apartment, paid for the furniture and my living expenses until I was able. Personal bankruptcy was a part of this time in my life as well.
In January 2015, additional insurance shifts and changes reduced our patient volume by 40 percent. Many patients no longer had insurance that covered our services or their deductibles went from $300 to $3,000 as the new year hit. This loss is actually the main reason why I had to close Cafe N Play, an indoor playground and coffee shop that served as our “clubhouse” for the Naperville Moms Network (now The Branch!). I no longer had extra money from the practice to help cover the loss that Cafe N Play still had as a young, growing business and I couldn’t put both businesses at risk. It was a very sad decision to make.
Today, my practice is on a pause due to COVID-19 and it is incredibly stressful. I have eight employees that I love and care for, they represent the best team I could ever ask to have. I have spent hours and hours working with my accountant and banker to secure the PPP loan to help cover their salaries so I don’t have to lay them off during this time. I am happy to say I have been approved, but it doesn’t cover all of my overhead or my salary, so it is still a scary financial time with no income coming into my practice.
One major thing is different though. This time, I know it won’t last forever. This time, I have been able to draw strength from my past and tap into that fighting spirit of overcoming adversity. I have NEVER given up. Today, I look back in a bit of amazement of what I have traveled through and came out of–that view gives me so much hope for our future on the other side of these challenging times. Does that hope take away all of the fear and all of the anxiety? Of course not, but I know I will be ok.
And, I know you will all be ok too. You have strength and resilience in you that you don’t know you have. You can navigate these incredibly choppy waters whether you are a stay-at home mom, a work-from-home mom or a business owner like myself. Your kids are resilient too. They will follow your lead. I know all of our emotions are a bit high right now but remember all that you have been through in the past and all you have overcome. Dig into that space and find that extra strength and take one day at a time, biting off little portions instead of looking at the entirety of this time of our lives. I believe in all of you.
We are moms and we can basically do anything we set our minds to!
Stay well and keep smiling,
Dr. Cathy Subber
Founder of The Branch