integration of CDs in hospital employer health centers
The National Association of Workplace Health Centers (NAWHC), in conjunction with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), recently released the summary of an in-person advisory roundtable meeting showing that hospitals running On-site employer clinics need additional training and assistance from the chiropractic community to better integrate Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) into their teams.
Working with F4CP, NAWHC first conducted a survey and then convened an advisory roundtable on “The Use of Chiropractors in Hospital-Run Employer Health Centers”. The advisory roundtable met to discuss the survey results on December 1 in San Francisco, California. Advisory board participants are leaders from several major health systems across the United States who operate workplace health clinics.
Findings show that employer and hospital groups still find it difficult to integrate DCs into their work clinics, in part due to unfamiliarity with chiropractic care or inaccurate perceptions of the practice and its physicians. For example, “some hospitals and private medical practices will not accredit a DC due to their lack of knowledge about DC training and their prior perceptions of chiropractic knowledge and ability,” according to the report.
“While the chiropractic profession has made tremendous strides in consumer acceptance and understanding over the past few decades, we can see that there is still room for improvement among healthcare providers and communities alike. ’employers,'” said Sherry McAllister, DC, president of F4CP, who presented to the advisory board. “Fortunately, the report also shows that young allopathic doctors are eager to add chiropractors to their clinical teams in the workplace and that sharing information about the successes our doctors have had so far in these clinics could be an effective way to help more employees access our care.”
Knowledge gaps and misperceptions
Employer and/or hospital knowledge gaps or misperceptions explored during the roundtable include:
• Competence of chiropractors to address or manage issues related to workplace design, physical tasks and movement
• The level of education, training and experience of the CDs
• Lack of standardized process for integrating CDs into a clinical team
• The role of the CD in a clinical pathway when working alongside orthopedic physicians and physiotherapists
• The clinical and financial return on investment of adding a DC to a jobsite clinic
The report and roundtable also explored the limited experience of facilities with hospital accreditation for DCs, which is mandatory for the delivery of care and also necessary to allow access to medical records.
To overcome these knowledge barriers, panel presenters shared how adding chiropractic to workplace clinics can reduce absenteeism and increase employee retention. Utilization of chiropractic care may also result in less utilization of more expensive services while improving neuromusculoskeletal function.
For example, combining chiropractic care with standard medical care provides a significant benefit in decreasing pain and improving physical function over standard care alone for men and women ages 18 to 35 with acute low back pain. A study by Whedon et al. in Spine (2021) found that when comparing opioid analgesic therapy to spinal manipulation therapy, adverse medication incidents occurred 42 times more often in patients who were first prescribed opioids than in patients who had received spinal manipulation therapy for the first time.
Roundtable presenters explained how DCs must undergo rigorous training and education to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, including graduating from a four-year college with a preferred focus on the sciences of health, then passing written and oral exams, at national and state levels. .
Prioritize benefits advisors and consultants
The NAWHC meeting summary notes that effective dissemination of knowledge about the effectiveness and cost savings of chiropractic care should involve consultants and brokers. These key stakeholders have significant influence on employers in the design of health benefits and workplace clinic services and should be a priority.
The report also advises the chiropractic community to develop and distribute financial analyzes to consultants and advisors on how chiropractic care is positively impacting neuromusculoskeletal disorders and pain management services based on plan data. employer’s health/medical and pharmaceutical claims.
“Every employer wants their employees to be healthy, safe and productive,” said Larry Boress, executive director, NAWHC. “We have seen firsthand how integrating chiropractic care into more of these clinics helps everyone achieve these mutually beneficial goals. This report and this roundtable are important in helping the broader healthcare community understand how and why we need to achieve these integrations in more field clinics today.
About the Foundation for Chiropractic Advancement
A not-for-profit organization with more than 29,000 members, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) informs and educates the general public about the value of chiropractic care provided by Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) and their role in pain management. without medication. Visit www.f4cp.org/findadoctor; call 866-901-F4CP (3427).
About the National Association of Site Health Centers
The National Association of Workplace Health Centers (NAWHC) is the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping public and private employers and their supplier partners develop and achieve the best performance from their on-site, nearby, shared and virtual health centers, pharmacies and on-site wellness centers. NAWHC offers educational programs, networking opportunities, resources, benchmarking, and support for those interested and involved in Jobsite Clinics. NAWHC serves as a clearinghouse for workplace health centers and the marketplace, providing educational programs, resources, benchmarking surveys, and employer case studies. To learn more, visit www.nawhc.org.