Mobile chiropractic services and ‘old school’ house calls to homes and businesses appeal to modern patients
Personalized service and care is a growing trend in the medical community, many times defined as “concierge service.” In the chiropractic community a similar need is being filled by mobile chiropractic services.
The patient price point is usually higher for this we-come-to-you service, as you can imagine, but it’s far from just wealthy or busy business executives taking advantage of customized care.
While the average chiropractic visit lasts in the range of 10-15 minutes, mobile chiropractic visits are usually in 30- to 60-minute blocks. In addition to adjustments these visits also typically extend to customized services including instruction on stretching, corrective exercises, massage therapy, nutritional counseling and lifestyle advice.
“I’ve been doing this about a year,” says Nick Rodriguez, DC, owner of KC Mobile Health in Olathe, Kan., “and I have found that apparently there is a large market for chiropractors to do this type of thing.”
Rodriguez utilizes a Facebook page for mobile chiropractors with approximately 1,500 members that is “extremely helpful if someone wants to get into the mobile house call business … I’m sure there is another one to two thousand that do house calls around the country.”
As a new chiropractic school graduate, Rodriguez found that “real estate is astronomically expensive,” and brainstormed ways to reach patients without the limits of a brick-and-mortar office. He parks his vehicle outside a business and cares for employees, overcoming what he said were initial liability concerns by businesses regarding bringing his adjusting table into facilities.
“They love it,” he says. “Patients can come to me just like a normal doctor’s visit.”
Group and individual mobile chiropractic services
Get Adjust Now is a mobile chiropractor model in California serving the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos and Cupertino. The emphasis is not on individual DCs, as they don’t identify their doctors of chiropractic on their website, but rather on the convenience and service — no sitting in traffic, no waiting rooms, at-home assessments, and longer appointments with custom care.
On the other end of the spectrum is Eric Shapiro, DC, and his wife Beth Lingerfelt, who took their practice on the road in 2018 when they realized there were no general chiropractors serving Cherokee, N.C., located on the reservation home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. They started “Your Place or Spine?” which provides the only mobile chiropractic services in western North Carolina.
“I feel like everything is moving toward convenience, anymore,” Lingerfelt told the Cherokee One Feather newspaper. “We got our steam going starting in skilled-nursing facilities and assisted-living facilities all over western North Carolina — as sort of a tool [businesses are] using for retention to take care of their employees.”
Along with the convenience, Shapiro and Lingerfelt offer a more traditional chiropractic office experience with a price point that brings in business — just $25 for an adjustment.
Individualized care is the thread
While certain doctors of chiropractic may approach it differently, individualized care and convenience are the commonalities that run along all mobile chiropractic services.
Sarah Druckman, DC, practices out of the Alpharetta Wellness Collective in Milton, Ga., offering mobile chiropractic services and touting her “one-of-a-kind level of attention for every client.” Mobile chiropractic can depend on community word of mouth, so she strives to stay active locally while working with clients ranging from busy professionals to mothers to athletes with house calls and business-location visits.
“I am 100% mobile so I come to your home; I do offices and events and retreats,” says Druckman, whose appointments are in 30- to 60-minute blocks. “It’s set up that way to make it affordable so I can see an entire family or spend the entire appointment with one individual. In one of my appointments you can expect chiropractic adjustments; also we have nutrition counseling, lifestyle advice, yoga, stretching, soft-tissue work — I work with a lot of executives and busy professionals and athletes. It’s a unique approach to health care that is tailored to people’s needs.”
Jillaine St. Michel, on the other hand, provides 15- to 30-minute visit blocks out of Mobile Chiropractic and Wellness in Miami.
“Being mobile means that I bring my portable table directly to people’s homes, offices, fitness studios or wherever is convenient for them,” she says. “I spend time being very thorough and giving a high level of service to each individual.”
She says the most common ailments she sees are upper back and neck tension, as well as headaches caused by sitting in front of a computer all day.
Dean Stjernholm, DC, owns Summit Mobile Chiropractic in Frisco, Colo., and like many mobile chiropractors touts a “whole-person approach” to wellness, searching for underlying causes of dis-ease and making the subsequent interventions and lifestyle adjustments that result in a return to normal function.
“Never in the history of chiropractic have we been able to provide the level of help and expertise that now exists,” Stjernholm says. “We also provide spinal and posturing screenings at area malls, community events, health fairs and places of employment.”
Jeremy Ellis, DC, of Ellis Mobile Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Texas, has a similar approach and sees mobile chiropractic services filling a growing need in the health care industry.
“House calls are nothing new,” Ellis says. “Throughout history doctors have traveled to their patients in order to provide care. By doing this the patient is where they feel the most relaxed and comfortable during their examination and treatments.”
Finding new customers and new convenience
Mobile chiropractic is also providing access to care for clients who might not otherwise visit a chiropractor — including first responders such as paramedics, firefighters, police and military personnel.
“I personally love what I do and would never practice any other way,” says Dan Bruno, DC, who has run a mobile chiropractic practice in California for almost 20 years, and cites no overhead, no insurance billing and less stress as incentives.
“One day a patient of mine with three small children was explaining the process she had to go through to get to her appointments and how difficult it was to keep her kids occupied during the appointments. Then she asked the magic question, ‘Have you ever considered making house calls?’ I responded with ‘Sure, that sounds like a great idea,’ and the rest is history.”
Bruno cites an on-site mobile chiropractic services increase in today’s corporate environment as “a movement toward providing a healthier, happier and more productive work environment.”
It seems the “old concept” of the house call, now in demand from an ever-busy modern U.S. population, is again in vogue.
RICK VACH is editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics magazine.