As the healthcare market continues to change and evolve, you may be looking to diversify your practice in new ways.
You have many possibilities to do so, including retail, supplements, massage, and physical therapy. One option not only gets more patients in the door, but can help improve patient outcomes as well: laser therapy.
Therapy lasers were developed to produce an efficient and rapid effect on pain, inflammation, and edema. These devices apply near-infrared light energy to a patient’s body for a period of time, and with settings that are appropriate for the condition being treated. The light generates photobiological reactions in the body to stimulate tissue regeneration, reduce inflammation, and decrease pain.
Laser therapy is a powerful modality that you can easily incorporate into your practice. By doing so, you can help treat your patients more effectively and attract more clients to your practice.
Finding your niche
In a crowded chiropractic market, determining a specialty can be difficult. Laser technology provides a way to carve out space in the market and generate patient referrals.
“It has allowed me to treat more chronic pain patients with better results, giving me a definite edge in the chiropractic market,” says Mark Grennell, DC, owner of Orland Park Laser Therapy Center. “Better, long- lasting results make it easier to generate referrals and internally build my practice.”
Adding laser therapy to your practice can be more cost effective than other modalities—often paying for itself within a year. M. Scott White, DC, owner of Laser Spine Associates, has incorporated lasers into his practice with positive results. “We currently have multiple clinics because of the robotic laser and have cut costs, had better patient results, and increased healing,” White says.
And while chiropractic is your main specialty and the one you know best, laser technology can go above and beyond what is possible with chiropractic care alone.
“Lasers are such a specialized niche with very good results,” White says. “The results are amazing. Chiropractic is amazing, but you need to know its limitations.”
While increasing your bottom line is a concern, providing quality patient care is always top priority. By adding laser therapy to your practice, you are incorporating a treatment that can drastically improve patient outcomes.
“I needed something to treat the chronic pain conditions that did not respond well to traditional modalities,” Grennell says. “I wanted a state-of-the- art technology that was results-driven and proven over many years to be an effective way to reduce pain and increase the healing ability of my patients.”
Some therapeutic lasers provide robotic delivery of energy, therefore decreasing the chance of human error. While you always try to provide the highest quality of care, adjustments and other treatments may differ between patients and between visits. This can cause mixed results that may deter patients from returning if they aren’t seeing progress from week to week.
Robotic lasers cut down on this inconsistency by providing the same treatment every time, increasing the chances that patients see results each appointment.
“My robotic lasers cut out human inconsistency,” White says. “I know when my patients use our lasers that no matter who is operating them, they will have the same results.”
“I’ve really seen that lasers are healing tissue and not covering up symptoms,” White says. “Lasers reduce inflammation and speed up metabolic activity in cells to increase healing.”
Chronic conditions are frequently tough to treat because the cause can be difficult to pinpoint. Laser therapy can help you heal a variety of conditions that may not be responding to other forms of care.
“We see tremendous success with more chronic conditions such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, frozen shoulder, and long-term knee pain,” Grennell says. “Treatment plans for these conditions vary based on the clinical diagnosis of the patient and his or her response to laser therapy.”
By improving patient outcomes, increasing your patient base, and gaining more referrals, adding profits to your bottom line can become a reality.
“We see 100-plus laser patients per week. This was accomplished by getting great results with patient conditions from acute injuries to long-term chronic conditions,” Grennell says. “The influx of laser patients increased my patient volume by almost 40 percent.”
Over the past few years, your practice may have been negatively affected by declining insurance reimbursements. Incorporating laser therapy into your treatment plans could reverse low collections by increasing your percentage of cash- based business.
“It has helped me convert from a primarily insurance practice to more of a cash model,” Grennell says. “I knew I needed to incorporate something into my practice to keep me successful in this ever-declining insurance reimbursement model and it needed to be a cash modality that patients would pay for.”
Benefits for all
Incorporating laser therapy into your practice can benefit your patients by increasing results and providing them with relief that chiropractic may not be able to deliver.
In addition, you can diversify yourself in the chiropractic market and create your niche. By adding this high- value specialty service, you may be able to rely less on insurance reimbursements, therefore increasing your bottom line.
Casey Nighbor is the associate editor of Chiropractic Economics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-395- 3389, or through ChiroEco.com.