Adding selected physiotherapy components to your chiropractic practice can increase your sales and open up new patient flows
While there are patients who believe that chiropractic and physical therapy are the same thing, there are many differences between the two. As a result, by adding selected physiotherapy components to your chiropractic practice, you can not only provide more necessary services, but also increase your sales.
Jonathan Walker DC, CEO of Ethos Health Group and Florida Spine & Injury provider, does not have a degree in physical therapy himself, but does have physical therapists with PT or DPT degrees. The practices offer both physiotherapy and chiropractic.
He took the time to answer our questions about the benefits of adding selected physiotherapy components to a practice.
Why was it important to add physical therapy to your chiropractic business?
For us, it was primarily about patient access to certain services. My offices treat many Medicare patients as well as traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients who benefit from the unique skills of a physical therapist (PT). In the case of Medicare, they don’t cover services like therapeutic exercise or manual therapy unless they are performed by a PT / PTA, and in the case of TBI, PTs can often provide a lot of insight into areas like vestibular and balance therapy.
How do you determine during a patient assessment whether the patient needs selected physiotherapeutic components for their care?
Many patients receive both chiropractic and physical therapy in conjunction – this is especially seen in our Medicare patients. If the patients benefit from services such as exercise therapy or manual therapy in their chiropractic care, we have them evaluated by our physiotherapists.
From a business perspective, the biggest benefit is getting revenue from Medicare-covered services that aren’t paid for when performed by a chiropractor. In addition, patients greatly enjoy having a chiropractor, physical therapist, and health care provider work together in one facility and communicate about their care.
DCs need to understand that PTs are currently the most in demand healthcare provider from a recruiting perspective. So it can take some time to find someone who will fit in well with your team, but it’s worth noting to commit to everyone.
Also, be aware of what you pay per hour or salary, as their profession is reimbursed based on the amount of time you’ve spent with patients, and this can put a limited cap on paying a PT. Of course, this depends on your mix of pagers, how many patients see them daily, etc., but it’s an important consideration that is different for chiropractors and medical providers.