Being proactive toward your health instead of reactive not only improves the quality of your life but also is financially less burdensome in this ever-changing healthcare market. Insurance is cracking down on practices such as billing maintenance care under medical necessity. This means the way many practices have typically filled their schedules must change to remain compliant.
We wish you, your family members, and friends the very best going into the new year! It is always exciting to think of what the next year will offer as you reflect on the previous year. For us, so many things have changed; Rachel and I were married, and we are now expecting our first child late spring. As I am writing this I cannot believe how much has changed so fast and how well Wichita has rallied behind our cause of setting a new standard for chiropractic care. Stating this there will be some changes in services and pricing for 2018.
The concept that chiropractors can perform physical therapy is almost unknown; chiropractors can perform and bill for physical therapy depending on passing of the appropriate board examination. Some chiropractic schools do not focus on physical therapy as part of their curriculum, and in doing so, those students and graduate doctors are not capable of billing for physical therapy. A state's allowed scope of practice can often influence a school's opinion on providing this type of education. Some chiropractic schools do not offer education in physical therapy because surrounding states' scopes of practice do not allow chiropractors to bill physical therapy to insurance companies and therefore that school unfortunately does not teach physical therapy.
Healthcare is broken – period.
As stated in previous blogs, defining and understanding chiropractic can be vague. There are many techniques offered by chiropractors in an attempt to address a variety of health issues - not always musculoskeletal in nature. However, when considering chiropractic, most individuals think of some form of manipulation or adjusting. To better understand how chiropractic adjustments are beneficial, a concept known as the "Joint-by-Joint Approach," established by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, needs to be acknowledged.
There are many approaches when it comes to payment for services from a healthcare provider. This is true across all disciplines (i.e. DC, OBGYN, DO, MD). Many times this is dictated by in-network or out-of-network status between the specific insurance plan or company and the provider. With chiropractic, most of the time, chiropractors fall on two ends of the spectrum. One side being in-network with as many insurance plans as possible and the other side being in-network with absolutely none. There are definitively pros and cons to each side, which is discussed in more detail in a previous blog "Understanding Chiropractic: The Pros and Cons of Insurance and Chiropractic Care." Our approach, in regards to payment, is simple: pay-as-you-go.
Insurance is constantly changing with Obamacare and it appears this is going to be no different under the Trump administration. Things used to be simple; it wasn't too long ago that a co-pay meant a co-pay. Now things are not always as they appear. As a result, many chiropractic clinics and other health professionals are leaving insurance plans and companies altogether, or sticking only with the larger groups such as: United Healthcare, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Defining what chiropractic is to the public is just as confusing to the profession itself. Throughout graduate school, chiropractic is taught as a "Science, Philosophy, and Art." Depending on the personality of the future chiropractor, they may lean toward one of these pillars more so than the others. For both Rachel and me, we found our salvation through a group called Motion Palpation Institute (MPI). It was the first group that clicked with us; MPI laid the foundation upon which we stand. To understand the turmoil in the profession, it helps to understand the "camps", in regard to the adjustment. In chiropractic, you will typically find two camps: a static model and a movement-based model.
With the ever-evolving healthcare situation, it is hard as a consumer to find quality care at an affordable rate. This has driven many healthcare practitioners and practices, from a broad range of disciplines, to ditch insurance all together and go "cash only". In addition, this is causing a surge in differing healthcare models. For chiropractic, you may see practices that stick to adjustments only, practices that incorporate electrical stimulation or ultrasound, and others that open the technique box much wider.
When someone mentions chiropractic and its role within healthcare, you are most likely going to hear a broad range of opinions. This is largely due to the wide diversity in styles of chiropractors. There are chiropractors that adjust based solely on imaging, there are chiropractors that do not utilize any imaging, there are chiropractors that focus on nutrition alone, and then there are a variety of options in-between. Vast options exist to best suit your personality, needs, health, wellness, and fitness goals. Chiropractic is a wonderful and amazing profession for its diversity, however, its unclarity in regards to scope of practice creates a major problem.
Last weekend, Dr. Rachel and I traveled to the ‘burbs of Chicago, Illinois, to better our skills and knowledge of Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (DNS). We decided to drive the 10+ hours with a future college of ours, and as any chiro-nerd will do, we talked about topics related to our profession the entire time including: our shortcomings, our successes, expectations for this specific DNS course, and how to better integrate DNS into our chiropractic approaches. Like many things in life, it helps to put thoughts into words, so, this blog is a way for us to express what DNS and chiropractic is in our eyes, and also our goals to help better our Wichita community through combining them together.