jim raker, DC
All companies need help with occupational medicine testing and examsEVERY SINGLE TOWN IN AMERICA HAS MEDICAL SERVICES, MANDATED BY FEDERAL LAWS, WHICH DCS CAN PROVIDE.You may have heard about performing U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals, which DCs can do by law in every state except Washington, Virginia and New York; these physicals are mandatory for not only truckers, but railroad workers, pipeline workers, bus and subway drivers, ship captains (for whom DCs cannot provide this yet), and airline pilots (for whom DCs can provide in 28 states for private pilots as of 2018).
Besides the physicals for these segments of the DOT industry, DCs in all 50 states can do drug testing, alcohol testing, hearing testing, Pulmonary Function Testing, Respirator Fit Testing, hand dexterity testing and more. All these tests are for safety and wellness issues. You are not diagnosing or treating an ill patient, you are trying to prevent them from becoming ill. Safety and wellness should go hand-in-hand with the chiropractic profession.
No insurance billingCompanies and municipalities such as school districts, cities, counties, states and federal government are all required to follow these mandated rules. The nice part for chiropractors and testing doctors is that there is no insurance billing. Every service is paid in cash by the company, municipality or individual. Some of these services require additional training and certification, and some don’t. Some services can be done with no extra cost in equipment, for example physicals and drug testing at a lab. Neither require an investment in equipment. Others may require buying a piece of equipment like an audiometer or alcohol breathalyzer, but they are only $750 and $2,000 respectively. Each can bring in far more income than its cost.
Do the mathWhen a company needs their 100 employees’ hearing tested at $25 each, drug tested for $40 and alcohol tested for $25 yearly, the potential income is $9,000 in a single day (100 x $25, $40, $25). Do this for several companies every year and you now are talking about extra income of $40K-90K a year.
I have contracts with school districts for their bus drivers, with cities and counties for their police and firemen, and state and federal contracts for drug testing their workers. I also do work for banks, grocery stores, cement plants, gravel and timber truckers, telephone and electric companies, and more. There is no town in America that doesn’t have this work.
Patient communication is important and pays dividends. Many people ask me to be their doctor after doing a quick four-minute exam just because I’ve told them more in four minutes than their MD has told them in four years. It’s like getting paid to do spinal screenings, and the company is forcing all their employees to come to you. Someone has to do it — why not you?
Large companies looking for helpHere is another example. I have a company that had 15 workers who each needed a physical at $65 each, chest X-ray at $50, drug test at $40, alcohol test at $25, hearing test at $40, pulmonary function test at $40, respirator fit test at $40, and blood drawn for heavy-metal evaluation at $300. While I adjusted 40 regular patients that day, my assistants did everything except the part of the physical I had to do, which took me about four minutes on each person. At the end of the day we were paid $9,000 by the company. No insurance problems, no billing, no reductions, no waiting months or years, just a check and we were done.
DCs who know this business can get jobs within a company such as Coca-Cola, taking care of all employee needs. I know several hospitals that run occupational health divisions within their systems. Occupational medicine is the future of chiropractic, to integrate into the health care system where there is a need and little discrimination over licensing. The medical establishment does not have a hold on this aspect of health care. In fact, most of the competition is non-medical workers doing all the testing, except for physical exams. You don’t have to compete with MDs; you are competing against regular people who are certified to do drug tests, or hearing testing, etc.
Success examplesChiropractors have learned or become certified in this work and have gone on to land large contracts.
“I learned how to do occupational medicine for companies and opened my doors in 2014,” said Wayne Hebert, DC, of Corpus Christi, Texas. “We immediately were covered-up in work and averaged $750,000 a year in occupational medicine work alone. I sold the business to my medical assistant after five years to move closer to family, and my assistant landed a $250,000 contract from a meat-packing plant last month. Yay to occupational medicine for making life easier for DCs.”
Steve Knoernschild, DC, of Illinois shared a similar story.
“For those chiropractors that are wanting to add another form of income to their office, I highly recommend learning occupational medicine,” Knoernschild said. “My office income has dramatically increased since I started a few years ago. I now have served more than 2,000 DOT drivers, countless companies, seven school districts, and the list goes on. Best of all, most of this is payment at time of service, and you are paid your full gross charges.”
Occupational medicine is where chiropractors can shine by putting their stamp on all the services with a guarantee they are done right, along with an ability to perform exams that non-medical workers cannot do. This can make chiropractors a one-stop shop for companies, which is what they need and want.
JAMES RAKER, DC, is the owner of Ark-La-Tex Health Center, which serves not only regular chiropractic patients but is the company clinic for several organizations that each have 10-1,000 employees. He can be contacted at OccMedForDCs.com.