Episode #12: The Future Of Regenerative Medicine

Published: February 11, 2020


Shoe Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey innovators. Welcome back to the simplified integration podcast. My name is Dr. Andrew Wells and this is episode number 12 the future of regenerative medicine.

Speaker 2: (00:12)
Leonardo da Vinci once said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and I agree. You see the problem with the way that most consulting groups approach medical integration is anything but simple. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It's expensive, it's complicated and quite frankly it's exhausting. Enough is enough. There are far too many amazing integrated clinics that are struggling. Well, I'm on a mission to change that. What I've come to find from over five years working with integrated practices is that simplicity really is the secret. The old saying of less is more is true. Through a streamlined approach, I was able to create multiple successful seven figure integrated clinics and now I'm going to show you how you can do the same. Join me as I share with you the secrets to successful medical integration and practice growth. Join me on a journey to greater sophistication through innovation. I'm Dr. Andrew Wells and welcome to the simplified integration podcast.

Speaker 1: (01:09)
Welcome back, doc. It's great to have you here. Now. I want to talk about this topic of the future of regenerative medicine because I get this question a lot from doctors, from clients, and I've also been planning for the future for a while now. And before we get into the future, what it looks like, I want to dive into the past and the current conditions on running a regenerative medicine practice. So some of, so if you're already doing regenerative medicine or you're integrated, this is going to make complete sense to you. This next little part, however, I also get a lot of docs who are new to this and are not familiar with integration and regenerative medicine. So let me get you caught up. So in the last five years, regenerative medicine has really become popular in chiropractic integrated type offices. Now, regenerative medicine isn't new, it's been around for decades, but it's finally become mainstream for a lot of good reasons.

Speaker 1: (01:59)
It's an incredibly effective, uh, tool that you can use to help your patients get better, especially suffering from your patients with suffering from osteoarthritic conditions. Now in the last five years, the way the business model works is it's been all cash. So the way it works is you do some advertising, you have patients come to a live seminar or to a consultation in your office. You teach them and educate them about what regenerative medicine is and if they can afford it and they want it, then they have the injection and they go home. So that has been the business model in the last five years. It's been an incredibly successful business model. I've been doing this for like pretty much since it became, sorry to be actually before it was popular with chiropractors and I can tell you like we did really well from a business standpoint, charging cash for this type of service.

Speaker 1: (02:48)
And the reason we could charge four or five, $6,000 for injections because no one else was doing it. It was a really in demand therapy and um, and it helped patients. So it was worth it from the patient standpoint and it was worth it for us to do it as a business. Now, as I record this podcast, we're in early 2020 and everybody knows about regenerative medicine. It's become very popular. The problem in most cities is that it's become very competitive. So not only do you have a, if, especially if you're in, um, you know, a city of 100,000 people or greater chances are you have two or three other chiropractors and even now MDs that are competing for the same patient base. So what used to be really easy to market for is now become a lot more difficult just because it's more competitive, more doctors are offering it and now because there's more competition, doctors are starting to charge less and less and less for that service.

Speaker 1: (03:38)
So that's one problem in the future of, of this type of therapy. The other problem is, is this is going to be covered by insurance relatively soon. And I don't know if that's going to happen in the next year or the next two years. Uh, this, this discussion has gone on for the last like 10 years. Like when is insurance going to cover it? And there are docs on one side that say all the drug companies will never allow this there to be therapy to be covered because it works to keep people off medication and surgery. And then there's this other group that's growing in popularity and that's the group that says, yes, this is very soon going to be covered by Medicare and private insurance. And I used to be on this side. Now I'm way over here. And because of the research, because of the new technology, the therapy gets more effective every single week and month.

Speaker 1: (04:23)
It's only inevitable that insurance will start covering this. And you can look at other areas in healthcare where, um, in surgical procedures, it's covered by insurance for wound care, it's covered by insurance. So for orthopedic purposes, it's just a matter of time before it becomes covered by insurance. So not only has it become more competitive, now this insurance component is going to completely change the model. Now the way, I don't know, I don't have a crystal ball, but this is my guess how it's going to work, is that insurance is going to treat it like a drug, a kind of like a hyleronic acid injection or a Supartz injection where they'll cover one or a series of several injections. Uh, my guesses are probably gonna reimburse a few hundred dollars for that type of product. So it's not something that if insurance covers it, you're not going to be getting three, four, five, $6,000 per injection because I don't think that economics work that way.

Speaker 1: (05:13)
So it's going to be kind of lumped in as this regenerative product like PRP and exosomes and, uh, amniotic tissue and Wharton's jelly. It's going to be covered by insurance, but you're not going to be making six, $7,000 per case, uh, from what I can tell. But that doesn't, so what, when I first like thought about this and I'm like, Oh crap, this is going to completely destroy this model, but it's not in. The good news is, is that, um, you know, it's, it's beneficial to the patient. So as long as it helps the patient solve an issue, there's always a way to make it make sense from a business standpoint. Right? So even if insurance said, Hey, we're just going to cover, it's gonna, we're going to reimburse 100 bucks per injection. Well that stinks, but there are other ways that you can charge for that type of product.

Speaker 1: (05:55)
So for example, he could show, you could still charge cash for it. Maybe you charge 500 bucks for it or 1000 bucks per injection. That may make sense. But there are also other types of therapies that you can add in addition to regenerative medicine injections that'll make it make sense and help the patient recover a lot faster. So let me, um, talk about what I mean by that. So a patient comes in and they need help. You can still bill insurance for the exam. You can bill an injection code, right? You can build ultrasound guided injections, you can build, um, fluoroscopy gut guided injections. If someone's coming in for a knee problem, maybe they need a knee brace. That's something that Medicare and insurance will reimburse for. Maybe the patient needs chiropractic care. So if you look at, and I've seen thousands of regenerative medicine medicine patients over the years, every single one of these people have really poor biomechanical issues.

Speaker 1: (06:44)
So their hips are off and their shoulders are off. It's why their joints are wearing out. We know this, uh, because of our chiropractic background. So maybe we can build them for adjustments or for rehab or for home care, like all these things that we've always reimbursed for still applied to regenerative medicine medicine patients cause it gets them better faster and it keeps them better longer. So just because you're giving them a rent regenerative medicine injection doesn't mean that instantly. It's like waving a magic wand. They're going to get better and they're going to stay better. That's not true. There are other things that you can do as a chiropractor that's going to support them in their care. That may be nutrition, that could be a physical therapy, physiotherapy. So there are so many things that you can do, supporting type of care that still helps your patient, that's still profitable and still allows you to pay not only for your overhead and pay for your medical doctor and nurse practitioner and your marketing, but still allows you to build your practice and make a decent income while using this amazing therapy.

Speaker 1: (07:39)
So it's not dead, it's not going away. Um, we are however going to have to shift the way we approach regenerative medicine if we're going to be in practice a year and two years down the road. So, um, and some, some docs still like, Hey, like I, uh, I'm still making a lot of money charging cash for it. And that may be true and there are still a lot of areas in the country where there's not a lot of competition, especially if you're in a rural area. And there are still some cities where it's just not being marketed to death. And so if you're listening to this, you still may be in a, in a Mark, in a city like that where this, where the old cash model is still makes a whole lot of sense. But what I'm saying is at some point you're going to have to shift your strategy to make room for this as a covered Medicare and insurance covered type therapy.

Speaker 1: (08:21)
Um, so that's why, and I've been working really hard to make sure that I have an approach for my clients and for people who still want to offer this therapy and still be relevant a year or two years down the road. So this is just going to, it's just a matter of being resourceful and just changing the strategy from the old strategy, which is market and charge cash and market and charge cash that that model is for the most part dead in the U S I still teach that to clients because again, it is relevant in some cases, but for the most part, if you want to be competitive and you want to grow your practice, you're just going to have to shift the way you approach it. And so just know that if, um, you know, not this therapy is not going away. In fact, it's just growing bigger and bigger every day.

Speaker 1: (08:59)
The market is exploding and so there's always going to be an opportunity to integrate this somehow in your practice that makes sense for the patient. It makes sense for your business. So I just wanted to address that. I'll probably be going over some of these strategies like each individual strategy at a, on future episodes of the podcast. So just know that I'm not going to leave you hanging. I will have a strategy for you now and for the future, but that's why I do this podcast and that's why I hope that you're tuning in so you can learn these strategies. So doc, thanks for being on here today. I really appreciate your time intention. I hope this helps you, um, at least plant a seed for your practice in the future and what this actually looks like. So, uh, again, I hope this is helpful.

Speaker 1: (09:36)
I hope you have a great day and we'll talk to you soon. Bye. Bye. Hey innovators, thanks for listening to the simplified integration podcast. Fact that you're listening tells me that you're like me, someone who loves simplicity, and the truth is those who embrace simplicity are some of the greatest innovators. So hope you got a ton of value from what we covered on today's episode. Be sure to subscribe and share with other docs that you feel could benefit from greater sophistication through simplification and innovation. If you've got specific questions that you'd like answered on this podcast or you've got specific topics that you'd like me to discuss, just shoot me an email at info@simplifiedintegration.com that's info@simplifiedintegration.com.

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