A patient walks into a medically integrated office. A front desk employee collects her medical and insurance information. She waits for a few minutes before the employee takes her into a treatment room.
The chiropractor and the medical doctor enter the room to listen to the woman’s complaints. The MD, who holds the medical license with greater authority, takes the lead and begins asking questions.
She begins describing her complaints before the doctor interrupts to ask if she has a list of medications she takes.
“Yes, I wrote it down,” she says, rather proud of her conscientiousness attitude toward her personal health care. “Here’s my list of problems and complaints and here’s my list of medications.”
The doctor pauses. “Let me tell you the order these occurred in,” he says.
“First, you had this complaint,” he says, pointing to ailment she had scrawled on her list. “And you were prescribed this drug.”
She nods her head. “Then you got this complaint and you were prescribed this drug,” he says. Her eyes widen and she nods again.
“Then you had this next complaint, then you were prescribed this next drug,” he says. He continues through the list.
“That’s amazing,” she says. “How did you know all that?”
“Because if you quit taking all your medications, you’d be back to your first complaint.”
While factual, that patient-doctor exchange is emblematic of a larger ailment afflicting the U.S. health-care system, one that has the far-reaching potential of shredding the institutional fabric meant to preserve, not destroy, lives. But despite so many gloomy forecasts about the industry’s future, hope still exists – if the American public begins changing how it views health care.
Medical Integration Model Gaining Momentum
The gap between conventional medicine and chiropractic’s more holistic approach to health care appears to be closing as both sides begin to recognize and embrace the value found each other’s fields.
Medical doctors, especially those who are signing on to become part of integrated practices with chiropractors, are increasingly acknowledging the benefits of chiropractic’s early-stage perspective on disease progression.
For their part, chiropractors are gravitating to integrated practice models both in response to sometimes restrictive medical insurance regulations and the expertise their peers in traditional medicine can provide.
While conventional medicine sometimes leans heavily on pharmaceutical remedies and symptom relief, chiropractic aims at the early stages of human health development, looking to confront the body’s potential structural misalignments and flow blockages before it evolves into debilitating disease.
In the past, both sides of the health-care equation have pointed at each other, scoffing at critics’ diagnostic processes, scientific principles and ethical foundations.
While conventional medicine has largely maintained the upper hand in the public forum, chiropractic has recently gained significant ground with numerous state legislative victories that underscore the merits and bolster the rights of chiropractic and other forms of alternative medicine.
Pharmaceutical Industry’s Influence
While the $446 billion pharmaceutical industry holds considerable sway over the U.S. medical community, many doctors today are increasingly looking for less drug-based remedies to patient ailments and are finding the chiropractic philosophy appealing.
However, the door to effective collaboration between the two sides appears nearly closed with few doctors and chiropractors envisioning a way to bring the two together in a mutually beneficial partnership where patients are provided with uniquely tailored health plans to address their individual biological compositions.
With the horizon clouded with so many bureaucratic and logistical storms, the public appears ready to embrace the more comprehensive and wide-ranging approaches medical integration provides.
Patients are going to their doctors armed with more information often gleaned online and demanding practitioners tailor their treatments to their vision of personal health care. Nutritional and specialty products, such as protein and “green” powders, are hot properties, and gyms are upping their marketing strategies to appeal to the growing demand for optimum health.
In response to the heightened awareness and concern, the news media are also crowding the airwaves and the internet with tales of the opioid epidemic as the debate continues to rage in Congress over requirements and provisions for health insurance.
Although the U.S. may have reached a low point in its reliance on drugs to treat symptoms, the trend appears to be reversing, if only ever so slightly. While the U.S. is 5 percent of the world’s population, it consumes 80 percent of the planet’s prescription drugs and still retains the title of having one of the most unhealthy and overweight citizenry among western nations.
How Do You Medically Integrate?
Medical integration may serve as the gateway to a revolution in the way the American public views the health-care industry.
The concept began in earnest nearly 30 years ago and initially produced some unsavory results. Unscrupulous consultants led chiropractors in creating monstrous integrated models that often ended in disaster. But as the profession matured, responsible guides, driven by a sense of integrity and a desire to facilitate positive transformation, began to take up the reins.
Reliable consultants, such as Advanced Medical Integration, put the focus on patients first, which is a sure recipe for success. Chiropractors who put profit or utility first are destined for failure.
While well-rounded medically integrated practices generate sizable incomes, the profits-before-patients idea spells trouble.
The second rule, in this order, is compliance. The U.S. health-care industry in tightly regulated with insurers and agencies demanding strict adherence to government policies and rules.
Haphazardously or sloppily assembled medically integrated practices with disjointed services are going to catch the attention of insurers, which is the main apprehension of many chiropractors concerned about zealous bureaucrats or insurers who reject insurance reimbursement claims.
When looking for competent consultants, chiropractors should consider experience and customer reviews. Advanced Medical Integration has nearly 30 years of medical integration experience with hundreds of happy and prosperous clients.
While chiropractors may recognize its huge potential, some balk at the investment medical integration requires. While it continues to develop into the health-care model of the future, the medically integrated practice may not be suitable for everyone, mostly because it’s a sizeable business expansion.
Commercial overhead will rise. However, as the business expands, the percentage usually remains the same. Chiropractors who are willing to take the step into a brighter, more prosperous and fulfilling future must overcome the temptation to pay heed to the voices of fear of failure and focus instead on their calling, which is to impact their communities with a message of healing and hope.
Learn more about how Advanced Medical Integration can guide you successfully into a brilliant future. Call today to learn more.