Archive for the ‘Exercise As Medicine’ Category

Why Healthcare Practitioners Are Now Looking To Start Cash Wellness Programs In Their Practices

frustratedoctor225Before the full implementation of the Health Reform Act this past year, most practitioners figured it was the price of “doing business” to receive Medicare reimbursement rates for their older patients. And if you had a good patient mix, this didn’t affect your bottom line too much.

But imagine that for every dollar you submitted to ALL of your patients’ insurance companies, you received only $.14-$.24 in reimbursement. How will you be able to stay in practice if almost ALL of your reimbursement occurs at Medicare reimbursement guidelines? How will you continue to eat?

And then there will be the final assault – healthcare providers will be reimbursed for services based on the health profile of the patients they take care of. Yes, if you’re a doctor who is quick to administer medication for health conditions that are “lifestyle induced” like obesity, Type II Diabetes, etc. and you do not take the time to counsel them on making changes in their diet and maintain a regular exercise program, you will eventually be paid less in reimbursement for services rendered.  This is the wave of the future… called Value-Based Care.

3 Reasons Why The “Open Gym” Concept Doesn’t Work For Most People

gym member failureRecent studies have shown that up to 15% of all of the people in America have gym memberships. But this percentage doesn’t reflect the actual usage because… ONLY 8%! of people who have memberships actually USE THEM!

Despite the grim economic times, U.S. gym membership surpassed 50 million people according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. But health-club members have been showing up less and less.  In fact, 4 out of 5 gym memberships go unused, many never even stepping foot into the gym after the first 3-4 days.

It is certainly a sad state of affairs in a country that is battling obesity and lifestyle diseases, the effects of which are about to have the greatest negative impact on our healthcare delivery system in our history.

Get Ahead Of The Wave: Your Colleagues Are Already Prescribing Exercise

A new report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) this month shows that more patients are getting pescriptions for exercise from their doctors.  Are you one of these healthcare practitioners who see a vision beyond the traditional “standard” in treating patients? I hope so.

“Trends over the past 10 years suggest that the medical community is increasing its efforts to recommend participation in exercise and other physical activity that research has shown to be associated with substantial health benefits,” states the report, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

In 2010, 1 in 3 adults who saw a doctor or other health care professional was advised to increase their physical activity as a means of maintaining or improving their health. That’s a significant increase over 2000, when less than a quarter of consultations included such advice.

What Does This Mean To You?

Crucial Medical Fitness Component #3: Efficient, Systemized Delivery of Services

It’s important to have the systems in place to ensure your staff delivers your services to patients on a consistent basis during each session. This is critical. There’s no room for shooting from the hip or operating at random.

Remember: you’re not selling fitness memberships. You are providing fitness programs that address your patients’ specific needs and goals. You need to prove that with every session.  You must have a system in which your staff works, not have a staff-driven program.

For example, our medical fitness program promises to provide “high quality, day-to-day service”, not “facility stuff”.  In our program, a medical fitness instructor receives the client at every exercise session to check their health status, set the session plan, and ensure that incremental improvements are made during that session.

You must have a system in place that shows your staff how to:

Crucial Medical Fitness Component #1: A Defined Market

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Become a master of one, not a jack of all trades.”  If you haven’t, the idea is that you will be more productive and useful if you have laser-like focus on one thing, than if you dabble in many different areas.

Health clubs practice the “jack of all trades” approach to fitness and try to have something there for everyone.  As a health professional with an individual practice, you’re not going to be able to compete with health clubs, gyms and hospital-based wellness centers on that front.

So, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is biting off more than you can chew by trying to offer programs and services to meet the needs of every age group and fitness level in your practice.  You need to specialize.  Clearly define your niche markets — no more than one or two — and offer those niches a specialized solution for their needs.  Don’t try to target all your patients, or you’ll end up with no patients in your programs.

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