An occupational medicine clinic can change your scope of practice and add an income stream
Times are changing, and in the profession of chiropractic we often hear the rumbling (or is it a battle cry?) of “We need to change with the times in order to survive!” or “We need additional scope of practice changes to include more things in order to survive.” An occupational medicine clinic added to your practice can meet that need.
Without a long, drawn-out political fight to create a change in our scope of practice, there are some 15 services that DCs in every state can do right now under their current scope of practice that can earn them money and recognition from local business and government entities at the city, county, state and federal levels.
It’s easy to do, takes little investment in equipment and little time to perform, yet can generate more income than the primary way of practicing for most DCs.
Chiropractic remains the focus
Does this mean that practicing occupational medicine means you don’t practice good old-fashioned chiropractic? Of course not.
It means that companies will send you workers for the purpose of keeping them safe and healthy by complying with federally-mandated testing such as:
- drug and alcohol testing;
- hearing and lung testing;
- respirator mask fit testing;
- heavy metal testing;
- vision testing;
- and more.
Think of it like this: People who would never in their lives think of coming to a DC for any reason (a big chunk of the American population) are made to come to your occupational medicine clinic by a company or government entity like the county/state for a spinal screening (really a physical exam).
These physical exams are usually very simple, requiring only five minutes of your time (making you $65), but every single physical requires some evaluation of neck and back range of motion and general fitness (spinal screening).
During this exam you can inquire about their stiffness, pains, headache, tingling, etc., and simply ask them if they have ever tried chiropractic for help. Many have not and are tired of the continuing pain or constant pills their MD has prescribed — and many then ask me if I can see them as a new patient.
New patients, new partnerships
Not only do the workers ask me to see them as patients, but the companies I work with usually end up asking me to be their company doctor so that every single workers comp injury comes to me. Talk about being in the driver’s seat!
I now am the one who gets to tell patients when and where to go for care if I can’t give it to them. The companies love having a DC as the company doctor if you understand their needs as directed by OSHA, DOT, NIOSH and other governmental agencies that the company has to report to.
There are many services your office can provide on the business site, such as drug testing, alcohol testing, pulmonary function testing, hearing testing, etc., that can be done by a trained chiropractic assistant without your presence. That means you can supervise from your vacation or home and still get paid via the work your assistants do while you are gone. This cannot be done with adjustments or therapy, which require your physical presence at the office.
What if you become disabled? You can still make a six-figure income with one eye, one ear and one arm that works in your occupational medicine clinic. You can work for yourself in your own clinic, work for a company on their site, or work for a hospital running an occupational medicine department.
An occupational medicine clinic provides services all businesses need
Knowing how to provide the services that 90% of all businesses need or are mandated to do is much easier than paying advertising money for people to come to your office, then having to convince them to spend their money with you.
I like it when a business or government entity forces their employees to come to my occupational medicine clinic and pays 100% of the bill every single time I send it to them with no insurance billing
The lesson here is to learn all the services you can provide as a doctor of chiropractic and make income with them before you go out of business waiting for the next generation of full scope of practice rights to occur. Work smarter, not harder, to get a piece of the $30 billion spent on occupational medicine every year.
JAMES RAKER, DC, is the owner of Ark-La-Tex Health Center, which serves not only regular chiropractic patients five days a week but is also the company clinic for several companies ranging from 10-1,000 employees. He can be contacted at OccMedForDCs.com for more information about the occupational services DCs can provide to local companies.