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Integrative Health Care Means New Opportunities For Chiropractors

Last week, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced they’d form an independent health-care company for their employees in the United States.

Shares for insurers like UnitedHealth Group and Anthem took an immediate hit as investors anticipated the fallout from a decision that would affect more than 1 million workers. Others questioned whether these corporate giants will successfully navigate the Bermuda Triangle that is modern health care.

What many are missing is that fact that Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet and Jamie Dimon are not taking a huge risk. They’ll likely implement integrative health-care models that have been tried and tested by many smaller companies over that past 20 years.

Companies like Rosen Hotels & Resorts, QuickTrip, Mars, Goldman Sachs and Facebook have reduced healthcare costs by as much as 40 percent while increasing employee satisfaction, retention and productivity. In fact, these integrative health-care models have been so successful, nearly 50 percent of all U.S. companies are expected to provide some form of on-site health services for employees by 2018, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.

An emerging health-care model

“For many companies, musculoskeletal complaints are the No. 1 reason employees go to a health-care provider. And with the growing wellness trend, we’re a perfect fit for employers wanting to help their employees stay healthy,” says William Updyke, D.C., chiropractor at Cisco Systems’ LifeConnections Health Center in San Jose, Calif. (and former faculty member at Palmer’s West campus.)

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Daniel Lord, D.C., San Jose, ’08, chiropractor at the Facebook Health Center in Menlo Park, who also provided care for members of the U.S.A. team that won the America’s Cup yacht races in 2013.

In the case of another tech giant headquartered in Silicon Valley, Daniel Lord, D.C., CCSP, West ’08, serves as the physical medicine senior program manager and oversees all the care provided at their clinics.

At the Rosen Medical Center, which opened in 1991 to care for Rosen Hotels & Resorts employees, Mark Williams, D.C., Florida ’08, collaborates daily with other health-care specialists to improve care for employees by providing efficient and collaborative same-day care. Employees receive care while they’re “on the clock,” and both providers and patients take an active role in managing chronic conditions.

“At many of these clinics, the demand for chiropractic care has grown exponentially faster than many of the other services, which has seen locations that started with two D.C.s grow to include six – and, I’m proud to say, the majority are Palmer alumni,” said Bill Meeker, D.C. Palmer College of Chiropractic West campus president.

An opportunity for chiropractors

But what does this mean for chiropractors in private or group practice? First, it shows a growing acceptance of chiropractors providers within health care.  Second, it’s a strong indication of the direction health care is going. Patients want a one-stop location that can take care of the majority of their health-care needs.

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Erik Roach, D.C., Davenport ’06, along with his clinic team of PT’s, MD’s, NP’s, and RN’s, at a recent social gathering.

Successful integrative models put chiropractic at the center of high-quality, multidisciplinary health-care delivery. The conservative, hands-on approach that defines chiropractic is the perfect foundation for an effective health-care delivery system. This opens up a new world of possibilities for private and group chiropractic practices willing to expand their services by employing gynecologists, urologists, physical therapists and nurse practitioners. Eric Roach, D.C., Davenport ’06, started his multidisciplinary clinic nearly 10 years ago and continues to grow and expand his successful practice.

As the public becomes increasingly familiar with this new model of care, private and group chiropractic practitioners are poised to transition into integrative clinics that improve the quality of care while reducing overall health-care costs.

Beyond that, reducing overall costs brings payers on board. Medicare, Medicaid and big insurance organizations will always move spritely toward reduced payouts. For chiropractors, these integrative health-care models also expand the range of services that can be delivered and billed through their clinic.

VHA Associate Chief of Staff Michael Pavalock, D.C., Davenport ’02, said “Chiropractors today are going to be involved in where health care goes—not just where chiropractic goes—but where health care goes.” Chiropractic is the safe, effective, affordable health care America needs.

Chiropractors can help build the healthy communities of tomorrow as primary-care providers in integrative health-care models. Patients are ready for it—no, they’re more than ready. Are you?

PS–You can view case-studies on a variety of multidisciplinary practice models from the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research in their Clinician’s Toolkit.