Chiropractic + rehab = complete patient care, and adding physical therapy equipment can add to your bottom line
You’d be surprised at the number of chiropractic clinics that have “Chiropractic & Rehabilitation” in their name. That’s because from a care or health care “team” perspective, using physical therapy equipment is part of an interconnected web of achieving wellness.
Add physical therapy equipment
Of chiropractic offices with specialists in-house, only 7% are physical therapists — but expect that percentage to rise as the trend toward a more integrated model of care continues.
“Chiropractors who perform physical therapy or have brought therapists into the practice say it increases referrals and income and broadens the patient population,” reported Chiropractic Economics in April of 2020.
“Adding physical therapy equipment helps people hold adjustments longer, stay out of office and manage things on their own,” said Sean Riley, DC, owner of Tulsa Spine and Rehab in Tulsa, Okla. “It makes for a more compliant, happy patient — and they are more prone to refer back to the office.”
Adding a physical therapist will also attract new types of patients, and patients benefit from collaborations formed between their chiropractor and physical therapist. “Adding a therapist allows the clinic to see a more diverse group of patients,” Riley said. “It allows the chiropractor to focus on what he’s doing, and a physical therapist can perform rehab protocols.”
Add durable medical equipment (DME)
DME is another way to bring chiropractic and physical therapy equipment and rehab together when an increase in stability is needed for proper healing. It’s common for chiropractors to offer lumbar and knee braces, but other types of DME can also benefit patients in this setting.
Historically chiropractors have often been poorly reimbursed by insurance companies, resulting in chiropractic use of back and knee bracing seldom being included in a treatment plan. But to ignore therapeutic or rehabilitative use of bracing may be detrimental to the patient.
This year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, many rules regarding becoming a Medicare DME provider were temporarily waived, offering a chance for many chiropractors to begin providing this service. Accurately billing for DME, using the correct codes, is critical to reimbursement.
To view the latest in rehab options for doctors of chiropractic go to cdn.chiroeco.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CHEC_10_2020_FULL-2.pdf.