Thursday, 08 July 2010
New Health Providers: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Must be Incorporate Into Your Practice
The Healthcare Reform Bill of 2010 may drastically alter the way that medicine is practiced in the future. For the new healthcare provider this uncertain future may seen daunting, but you should view this as a time for exploring new dimensions in healthcare. Now may the perfection time to incorporate complimentary and alternative healthcare techniques and providers into your practice.
Let’s start by defining terms, so everyone is clear on exactly what we are talking about.
Complimentary medicine are fields and techniques that add support to your primary practice of traditional medicine. These fields of healthcare include:
• Osteopathic medicine – Utilizes manual joint manipulation to restore normal joint function to joints that have been injured, thus helping the healing process.
• Physical Therapy – Is utilized to reduce swelling, increase blood flow to speed healing and teaching the patient exercises and stretches to regain strength to injured tissue.
• Biofeedback therapy – A technique which uses EMG information that allows the patient to realize how they are responding to external stimuli. By teaching the patient techniques to control these responses, biofeedback attempts to minimize chronic physical and emotional conditions.
• Therapeutic massage – Is aimed at increasing blood flow to promote healing, and the removal of scar tissue and other adhesions
• Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, and other specialized therapies – All aimed at working with the patient to return them to their previous condition or to make adaptations to permanent conditions.
Alternative medicines are fields of healthcare that offer a completely different approach to that which is usually found in allopathic medicine.
• Chiropractic – is a field of healthcare that operates under the theory that the body’s entire wellbeing is controlled by the nervous system. By removing neurological interference from the spinal column through manipulation, the body will heal itself.
• Acupuncture – believes that diseases are caused by imbalances of energy (Chi or Qi) within the body. By restoring normal energy flows throughout the body will allow the patient to return to normal health.
• Ayuvedic medicine – a system of medicine mainly practiced in India that believes that all healing comes from within. It uses herbs, massage, yoga, and prayer to assist the body in healing.
As a new healthcare provider, you may find it much easier to establish a rapport with complimentary medical practitioners because you will have much more common ground with these practitioners. Most complimentary medical providers are licensed as secondary providers, so they are used to working under the direction of you, the doctor, or your prescription guidelines. Incorporating these providers into your practice or alternatively, into a group practice where the patient can obtain all of these services in one building, will give you a tremendous advantage in attracting patients to your clinic.
In my practice we cut down on every practitioner’s overhead in several ways when we combined into one large space;
• Reduced office staff – One receptionist scheduled patients for everyone, eliminating the need for each provider to have their own receptionist.
• Reduced office space requirement – By sharing common areas, such as waiting rooms, lavatories, etc. the total amount of space required to operate each practice was reduced. We also shared rooms, by scheduling on opposite days or split day schedules. Depending on the total patient volume, your office space requirements may be as much as 50% less in a group practice, compared to separate offices for each provider.
• Reduced support services required – Lower utilities, janitorial expenses, and maintenance requirements were all achieved by combing practices into one location.
One of the stated goals of the Healthcare Reform Bill is cut fraud and waste in the healthcare system. You can be way ahead of the government requirements by working with complimentary healthcare providers in one office setting. Not only will your office expenses be decreased; but by working closely with a number of complimentary providers you will able to closely monitor their treatment to ensure proper treatment for each patient, avoid duplicate treatment, and evaluate treatment being provided by each provider. You can be proactive in controlling costs, so that when the government reduces reimbursement to healthcare providers (And you can be sure that they will), you can withstand the impact of this reduction more readily.
Remember, we’re all in this together, and I’m pulling for you.
Submitted by Dr. DG Comfort, CO
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2010 and is filed under Healthcare Reform, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
• #1 by Linda Seim, DC on July 8th, 2010 Quote I consider chiropractic to be complementary not alternative. We do not try to treat everything but commonly refer out conditions better treated allopathically. We have good rapport with many local MD’s who refer musculoskeletal problems to us and appreciate our referrals too. Unfortunately in Texas the TMA is trying to reduce us to alternative status and make it so that a patient will HAVE TO GET A REFFERAL in order to see a chiropractor. This is wrong! We have had portal of entry status for over one hundred years! The buzzword of “patient safety” is simply a smoke screen and an attempt (again) to eliminate the patient’s right to choose.
• #2 by Donn T. Gurske, D.C. on July 10th, 2010 Quote Your author’s bias is quite apparent. While he or she classifies osteopathy as complimentary medicine which the author states “is joint manipulation……..to help the healing process”. This definition is no different than what DD Palmer advocated in 1895. While AT Still felt manipulation would affect circulation and hense help in the healing process, DD Palmer felt the adjustment of spinal joints would affect CNS and PNS function to help aid in the normal healing process. The only difference here is the theory of the effects of movement of joints on the function of the body. Chiropractic is indeed complimentary to other forms of health care, not an alternative. In addition, despite what the author implies that complimentary providers would be “easier” to work with, the opposite is quite true with respect to chiropractors. With eight years of education and skills to differentiate disease conditions, the chiropractor can be a great ally of the medical practitioner. We see this all the time. Our successes many times have been based on missed diagnosis with inappropriate treatment by other practitioners. If indeed M.D.’s are truely interested in helping their patient population they would make a chiropractor an integral part of their referral base. And like any referral, you referr that patient based on the knowledge that the doctor or healthcare provider will do no harm.
• #3 by Wayne Press, DC, DABCO on July 10th, 2010 Quote The Chiropractic profession (Established 115 years ago) is federally regulated and individually regulated by state licensing boards for all Doctors of Chiropractic (DC). The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest member affiliated association of practicing DCs. Over 30,000,000 Americans each week visit their Chiropractor for varying conditions, injuries and ailments. Many Hospitals and Medical Groups have DCs on staff. A multitude of evidenced based outcome studies, research published in peer reviewed journals, double blind studies, and national surveys strongly suggest that Chiropractic health care procedures and modalities are safe, with high patient satisfaction rates and outcome effectiveness. Question: Is the profession of Chiropractic part of Health Care Reform? The answer: Yes. Chiropractic has continued and shall continue to reform the concept of health care for every American. Wayne Press, DC, DABCO Diplomate, American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists
• #5 by Grant Shapiro, DC on July 29th, 2010 Quote In my opinion, it looks like the author separated us DCs into “alternative” to serve as a distinction to DOs and/or PTs. I too believe this is quite wrong, based on philosophy or “approach”. This DC did not do us any favors!
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