Q: What is the difference between active and passive care?

A: One of the primary trends of healthcare is one away from the passive model of patient care toward an active model of care.  The paradigm of passive care with which chiropractors have practiced since the inception of our profession is now defunct.  Many practices that were established ten or eleven years ago are closing their doors, due to the fact that they have not recognized the need to shift their paradigm to active care.

In the active paradigm, patients actively participate in the healing process.  The passive model is one where patients lie passively and receive treatment modalities applied by a physician or therapist. Chiropractors practicing in a passive paradigm submit claims to insurance carriers filled with day after day of “M.U.S.H.”  “M.U.S.H.” stands for the passive modalities:  Manipulation or Mechanical traction, Ultrasound, muscle Stimulation and Heat.  Visit after visit of M.U.S.H. submitted to an insurance carrier produces mush for reimbursement!

Active care means giving therapeutic procedures a role in our patient care plan.  The definition of a therapeutic procedure is “a procedure applied one-on-one by a therapist or physician to improve function.”  The operative word in this definition is function, for the language of the active paradigm, and, hence, the language of reimbursement is function.  Therapeutic procedures, including kinetic activities, activities of daily living, therapeutic exercises, neuromuscular reeducation, and gait training, should appear in chiropractors’ treatment plans.  By employing therapeutic procedures and learning the language of function, chiropractors will be adopting the most powerful paradigm of healthcare.

Dr. Mark Sanna is the CEO of Breakthrough Coaching, LLC, a leading resource for personal coaching to chiropractic and multidisciplinary practices throughout the country.  He can be reached at Breakthrough Coaching, LLC, by calling 1-800-7-ADVICE.

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