I opened my first all-cash chiropractic wellness care office in 2012. The start was slow, for about three months. And then it took off.
It only took the “insurance rug” being yanked out from under me once – in an office that had an almost $100K per month overhead with gross revenues at an average of just over $150K a month – to make me begin to reevaluate the long-term viability of a business model that includes third-party payors in the formula. It was at that time in my life I started developing a better business model as a wellness health care chiropractor. One that not only simplified practice for the chiropractor but also catered to a growing population of people seeking long-term chiropractic care as a routine part of their personal wellness plan.
Cash wellness health care model
After extensive planning to ensure the business model was as consumer centric and user friendly as possible, I opened my first all-cash chiropractic wellness care office in 2012. The start was slow, for about three months. And then it took off.
The interesting part is that I have been able to repeat this rapid growth pattern for many additional offices since.
Why? Part of it is the marketing and business systems I created that run the office predictably and ensure a high value experience for the customers. That comes from years of experience and coaching hundreds of chiropractors.
But there is another equally important driving force that I believe will be the catalyst for pushing our profession further into the mainstream.
And that force is a “Generational Shift.”
Generational spending differences
A Goldman Sachs report showed that Millennials (born in the ‘80s and ‘90s) are more conservative spenders than older generations. Yet, they are still likely to increase spending in one category – wellness. [1,2]
And guess what, they are hitting the age where they are experiencing more spine-related problems along with other health issues. Early reports on Gen Z, our newest generation, shows they are already highly proactive in maintaining wellness health care because they are born to parents that are also experiencing a shift in how they view health.
See the trend?
Most baby boomers see health as the absence of disease or dis-ease. But just like all generations prior, future generations are shaped into a different way of thinking.
A new way of thinking
That way of thinking seems to be trending toward more a proactive approach toward wellness health care.
Chiropractic care has come a long way since the AMA smeared chiropractic as an “unscientific cult” in the ‘60s, only to have it added as a standard of care for the treatment of back pain by the American College of Physicians in 2017 . So why the sudden acceptance? I argue it is perception as much as validation of the efficacy. There is no doubt that chiropractic care has held its own from an effectiveness standpoint. But humans are emotional creatures; even the ones that “determine” what works and what doesn’t. They are influenced by personal experience just like the rest of us.
The total number of U.S. adults who visited a chiropractor increased from about 7.7 million in 2000 to 12.1 million in 2003 and now is in the neighborhood of 35 million annually . That is a 350% increase from 2000 to now.
It’s safe to say this increase in utilization would impact people in all professions, and future professions. In other words, a future medical doctor could visit a chiropractor as a child and – as we are all aware – likely have a great experience.
It’s also pretty safe to say that he or she would then be more likely to recommend a patient see a chiropractor than a medical doctor that never visited a chiropractor as a child, or worse yet was told a chiropractor is an “unscientific practitioner” while a young and impressionable student.
Things change. And based on the powerful trend driving factors such as public perception, utilization and generational shift, my money is on an ever-increasing acceptance of routine chiropractic care as a standard part of a person’s personal wellness health care plan.
Hang on! … The fun is just beginning.
- Qaseem, A., Wilt, T. J., McLean, R. M., Forciea, M. A., & for the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. (2017). Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 166(7), 514. https://doi.org/10.7326/M16-2367