It's nice to go into a healthcare visit knowing the practitioners you will be working with. It's practically the only way to know what to expect. But, the truth is that most patients rely heavily on recommendations from friends and the internet.
Standardization regarding care models, philosophy, and preferred approaches to a particular problem hardly exists in musculoskeletal care. There is significant variation across disciplines, and even individuals who share the same credentials, such as MD's, DC's, and PT's.
Perhaps most concerning for patients, however, is the effect this lack of standardization has on cost of care. To illustrate, let me share a diagram of the journeys of patients that experience low back pain in Colorado.
Yes, it's a free-for-all, and we all pay for it through more expensive insurance premiums. Back, neck, and joint conditions represent the highest cost in healthcare spending in the United States by a large margin. This lack of standardization, combined with single-disciplinary clinics dominating the market and competing for market share, is a big contributor to the problem.
How do we fix it?
It starts at the clinic level. There are organizations, such as Colorado Integrated Care Network (www.cointegratedcare.com) that are working on this problem at the macro level. But, us individual clinics must commit to creating a standard of care within our offices that achieves better outcomes, uses the practitioners' full scope of practice, and we must judge ourselves based on the quality of our outcomes and not revenue generated.
The Whole Body Balance Commitment to Our Patients
We at Whole Body Balance are committed to delivering exceptional care for conditions such as low back pain and neck pain, and an exceptional patient experience. We track outcomes, deliver multidisciplinary care, monitor patients virtually, and vigorously pursue getting you better as quickly as possible. In the industry, this is referred to as value-based care.
Truth be told, we absolutely love getting to know you and spending time with you. Despite, we want to get you to a state of well-being in which we are not seeing each other too often. We want you to be pain free, active, and well. And in doing so, we are doing our part to reduce overall costs of care. If all clinics committed to this we wouldn't have a problem.
What Happens When a Group of Clinics Makes the Same Commitment?
I mentioned Colorado Integrated Care Network, or commonly called CICN. Whole Body Balance is a proud member of CICN. CICN has 49 clinic locations in Colorado that are all committed to value-based care. Below is a large scale cost comparison study of CICN vs "usual care" portals of entry in Colorado. This study assigns an average total cost of care based on which provider you see first in Colorado. Total cost of care (paid by insurance and patient) factors in the care you receive at the portal of entry clinic, as well as all care that occurs after you first see the portal of entry provider. This includes diagnostics, imaging, procedures, medications, and other providers seen.
As you can see, the cost savings is substantial. If you live in Boulder, you can be assured that you will receive value-based care at Whole Body Balance. If you live outside of Boulder, we recommend that you go to www.cicncare.com and find a CICN clinic near you.