Q: There is a lot of confusion about medical integration these days. It can be a frightening thing for some, due to some negative national publicity. What is the latest on chiro-medical integration?
A: There are two seemingly divergent trends that are affecting the practice of chiropractic today. The first trend is consolidation. Approximately 30 percent of medical physicians remain in private practice. The group medical practice has become the most common model for the practice of medicine. This trend is now becoming the common tendency in the practice of chiropractic. Chiropractors across the country are finding safety in numbers. They understand that consolidating services in the form of joint practice is a more cost-effective, stable manner in which to deliver health care to the maximum number of patients.
The trend of consolidation is very visible in the increasing prevalence of multidisciplinary practices across the country. One-stop shopping, where patients can receive multiple types of health care services at the same location, is an important trend to recognize. A decade ago, multidisciplinary practice was a luxury and an interesting adjunct to a chiropractic practice. Multidisciplinary practice is no longer new, is no longer radical, and is no longer a luxury. The trend of multidisciplinary practice consolidation extends beyond the combination of physical medicine services under one roof. Multidisciplinary practices in the future will include multiple healing modalities, including nutrition, therapeutic massage, acupuncture, and other disciplines.
This trend is most appropriately referred to as diversification. Multidisciplinary practices provide a consolidation of location along with a diversification of services delivered at that location. This highly coordinated, cost-effective manner of delivering patient care will become the primary paradigm for the practice of chiropractic in the decade ahead.
Diversification of services to include active care, diagnostic testing, multiple specialties, including sleep medicine, psychiatric medicine, podiatric medicine and other alternative healing modalities, is the vehicle in which healthcare will be delivered in the future.
Dr. Mark Sanna is the CEO of Breakthrough Coaching, LLC, a leading resource for personal coaching to chiropractic and multidisciplinary practices throughout the country. He can be reached at Breakthrough Coaching, LLC, by calling 1-800-7-ADVICE.