That’s the percentage of Americans who say they’ve been to a chiropractor in the last year, according to Palmer College. Twenty-five percent of Americans have seen a chiropractor for treatment in the previous five years. Nearly half of Americans have never seen a chiropractor for treatment.
Compare that with the percentages of Americans who will go see a medical doctor. It’s nearly 85 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That statistic rises to 93 percent for children.
Clearly, the odds are stacked against the chiropractor and in favor of the medical doctor. Do you ever see a medical doctor attending a health fair? How many medical doctors divert portions of their time and resources to marketing?
Medical integration flips those odds and gives your patients wider, more comprehensive, whole-body benefits. Is it for you?
Overcoming the Odds
As a chiropractor, we are facing an uphill battle just to remain competitive in a health-care marketplace that leans heavily towards conventional medicine as opposed to the natural, holistic-based principles of chiropractic.
Add to the mix the primary reason why Americans go to medical doctors – to obtain medication, according to the CDC. While pharmaceuticals (and especially the opioid epidemic) continue to sweep over an increasingly wider swath of American health care, Americans are getting sicker.
Our goal as chiropractors is to provide not merely symptom relief; we want to get to the core of human sickness, the cause. We want to pave a path for our patients to long-life recovery and robust lifestyles, not a handful of pills that only mask symptoms or artificially suppress the body’s natural biological functions.
But how do we do that? How do we integrate chiropractic into the broader health-care paradigm and incorporate the benefits of conventional medicine to give our patients the best treatment options available?
Medical integration is slowly catching fire as the model that will transform American health care and provide world-class care to an expanding patient base.
The Medically Integrated Chiropractic Office
Medically integrated practices give chiropractors (and medical doctors) the ability to provide care that is both covered by insurance and directly addresses what ails the patient with a holistic, whole-body approach that targets the body’s natural ability to restore itself.
Under integrated models, medical physicians examine patients and determine during consultation with chiropractors and other health-care practitioners at practices the best treatment plans.
Treatments may include alignment, manipulation, physical therapy, massage or other types of care. The integrated model allows medical doctors to abandon symptom-based treatments that emphasize prescription drugs.
How Long Does It Take?
The duration of a transition to a medically integrated practice varies depending on the location of the practice. Different states have different rules and different hurdles. It also depends on you and whether you want to be in network or out of network.
I’ve seen some ambitious chiropractors do it in three months. However, the transition typically ranges from six to 12 months.
Medically integrating your chiropractic office will probably be the biggest transition of your practice. You’re basically transforming a small practice into a large one. The more quickly you as the chiropractor can step into the role of business executive, the faster the process will move.
The speed also depends on how quickly you can educate your staff. The faster they learn the faster the transition.
Taking the First Step
Although highly profitable, medical integration can be challenging and test your resolve. While becoming increasingly popular, medical integration has garnered a few unethical consultants who won’t deliver on their promises.
Hiring medical integration experts who understand the health-care landscape and who have successfully integrated their own practices is the wisest choice. Done properly, an integrated medical practice puts the chiropractor on a wave into a bright future where optimum patient outcomes take priority.
A 2015 Chiropractic Economics survey revealed nearly two thirds of chiropractors provide exclusively chiropractic services. About 30 percent of survey respondents said their clinics had chiropractors and alternative medicine practitioners. Only six percent were medically integrated with both chiropractors and medical doctors.
The survey stated that the investment was worthwhile. Medically integrated practices generated on average annual billings of $753,800. Practices that included alternative medicine practitioners reported $532,000. Practices with only chiropractors made on average $471,000.
The numbers for reported collections also reflect those trends. Integrated practices generated $641,900, multidisciplinary practices reported $403,400 and chiropractic only practices produced $281,800.
Get with the professionals. We at Advanced Medical Integration have helped hundreds of chiropractors integrated their offices. We don’t just talk about it; we’ve done it for ourselves.
Contact us today to learn more.