CHICAGO – December 13, 2017 – The non-profit National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWHC) is releasing the results of a project examining the existing and future use and value of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) as part of clinical teams. The initiative examined services provided for employers and vendors offering onsite health and wellness centers for their covered employees and family members.
“As employer-managed health care becomes more prevalent with onsite health and wellness centers, we are seeing a greater interest by employers in expanding the service line to include chiropractic care to address musculoskeletal conditions and reduce the use and cost of unnecessary opioids and surgeries,” says Larry Boress, NAWHC executive director. “However, even though the number of employers or clinic vendors offering such services is increasing, few have much experience with doctors of chiropractic or knowledge about their training or skill set. Our project explored these areas and offered recommendations for employers and the chiropractic profession around concerns and expectations.”
NAWHC conducted a set of surveys and roundtables of employers and clinic vendors. Key findings include:
- 80 percent indicated that musculoskeletal issues are among their top cost drivers, a primary reason for considering or offering chiropractic services
- Over half of employers (55 percent) said their employees have expressed interest in chiropractic services at their clinics
- Employers who have DCs on their staffs have found that the visits and costs are lower for DCs than for other health providers who treat the same condition
- Patient satisfaction with chiropractic care offered at worksite clinics is very high
In order for more employers and clinic vendors to offer chiropractic services, a number of areas need to be addressed:
- Reviewing and understanding the different training, skills, treatments and clinical experiences offered by the various chiropractic colleges and what can be applied to worksite clinics
- Identifying a qualified DC who has the willingness, training and clinical experience to be part of a worksite center
- Ensuring only necessary chiropractic services are provided
- Adapting a DC’s practice to fit into an integrated clinical team, and how chiropractic care can complement physical therapy services
- Having the space for the unique equipment used by DCs
- Evaluating the need for and the performance and cost-impact of a DC
“As part of NAWHC’s objectives to identify and promote areas where worksite clinics can reduce costs and improve the quality and satisfaction of care, there appears to be great potential by having a qualified chiropractor as part of a worksite center’s care team, to reduce the use of drugs and surgeries for these conditions,” says Carly Deer, senior benefits leader for Target Corporation and NAWHC chair.
According to Daniel Lord, DC, physical medicine senior program manager for the integrated primary care group at Crossover Health, “Chiropractic is a key driver in growing our clinic’s utilization, enhancing our members’ experience, and delivering Crossover’s value proposition with clients. Our unique approach integrates primary care, physical therapy, chiropractic, health coaching and behavioral health services to provide a collaborative care model that meets patients wherever they land on their healthcare journey. Including chiropractic within our care pathways has helped Crossover to make a huge impact on musculoskeletal costs, and helped us provide the highest quality of care and value in the industry.”
The project received a grant from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness regarding the benefits of chiropractic care and ChiroTouch.