What Is The Future of Healthcare?
That’s a loaded question, I know. Currently, we have a healthcare system based on complexities and high costs. How can we fix the current healthcare problem? Simple…
First, we need to differentiate is that health insurance is NOT healthcare.
Health insurance is a private industry with a sole goal of making money. Lots of money. Shit tons of money.
Health insurance companies do NOT care about YOU or your health. You are a statistic to them, part of a math equation designed to help the bottom line.
Are there benefits to health insurance? Of course. Health insurance is great for major surgeries, catastrophic events and high cost procedures.
What about the other needs that most experience majority of the time? What if you pull a muscle in your back throwing out the trash? Will your $8,000 deductible health insurance plan help you? No, you are just as good without it.
Ok, great. Most health insurance is shit, what now? Glad you asked. Let’s get into it.
The Reactionary System vs. The Preventative System
The optimal solution is we all stay healthy. We all exercise daily, eat a balanced diet and reduce our stress levels. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic. Life happens. We make do because we have to.
Next best option? Get rid of the complexity and reduce costs. Let’s use the pulled muscle example again.
This is how it typically works. You pull your muscle. Your back is hurting. What do you do? Call your primary care physician? Wait days, if not weeks, to get in. You finally go in and get a prescription for something that doesn’t address the root problem, but only reactively addresses the physical symptoms instead.
This process should sound familiar, as it’s the current status quo of our expensive and faulty healthcare process dependent on gate keepers and private payers. It’s frustrating to NOT get the care that you truly need.
But it’s equally frustrating when you realize that there’s a better way, and it’s not being utilized nearly enough…
What is the alternative to highly systemized “healthcare” that lays slave to insurance payments? An integrative and streamlined approach that address health and fitness under one roof. One place. Take away the hoops to jump. Make it affordable, and make it accessible, period. And that is achieved by multi-disciplinary “hybrid” health and wellness centers.
The Multi-Disciplinary Approach To Health & Wellness
The idea of multi-disciplinary centers is nothing new, as industry thought leaders like Dr. Kelly Starrett, Dr. Charlie Weingroff, Dr. John Rusin , Dr. Craig Liebenson, and Dr. Mike Reinold to name a few, have been successfully running this model for years.
You are going to see a lot more of these hybrid centers, I promise you that. I own one in Maryland called Recharge. We combine physical therapy, CrossFit and mindfulness training.
Why? Because that’s what people want and need.
When we realized this and made Recharge a “thing” we realized the process needed to address all of this in a cohesive manner.
Recharge is the overarching brand that is composed of HoCo CrossFit, mindfulness training practice and physical therapy. All under one roof, and all creating a synergy together.
The Function of the Preventative Model
When individuals become members they are receiving the integration of these three areas of preventative health in a multitude of ways in order to fill the ever growing gaps between therapy, training and general health and wellness.
First individuals go through a mindset session. The session is a sit down interview between the physical therapist and them to get on the same page for goals, previous history of health and fitness, and set expectations. This session is derived from the foundations of clinical evaluation and the diagnostic process.
We evaluate the individualized goals, presentation and needs of each and every client with the same assessment, screening and programming tools as we use in clinical practice. But here’s the big difference, we are reverse engineering injuries and deficits before they become painful or problematic.
Remember, the power is in prevention.
Then CrossFit programming is done by a physical therapist, the coaching is performed by a physical therapist, and the member is on-boarded into the culture that is Recharge.
From the warm-up to the cool down mindfulness is incorporated in small, subtle ways, and a physical therapist or physical therapy appointment is accessible as it is connected to the gym.
The Power of Integration In Fitness & Healthcare
This integration means that this person is co-managed from a multitude of different perspectives.
The healthcare professionals are Recharge, who are both physical therapists and CrossFit coaches, have extensive strength and conditioning or athletic training backgrounds. This allows us to provide care and guidance in a consistent and streamlined approach.
This way prevention and wellness can be on the forefront. This process happens in ways that incorporate physical therapists into the decision making of gradual loading, focused mobility, and the ability to seamlessly assess and return athletes into and out of a true physical therapy session without having to jump through multiple loops of the healthcare system.
This prevention strategy keeps members doing what they love to do and it also allows us to educate at the forefront on injury, pain, and setbacks that may occur during training. Providing education, as we have learned from experience in traditional clinics, is often one of our most powerful tools and keeping people healthy and fit for the long run.
Between the structure, integration, and the prevention, Recharge looks most specifically at the longevity of individuals health.
It is easy to get caught up on a day 21- day fix or a short term solution but this model allows to think cycles ahead of where we want our members to be both in a movement quality aspect but also in a health measures aspect.
It is within our ability to use the concepts and the data derived from this model to monitor members health in the long run. This allows them to develop longevity not just for the sake of adding more time onto their but for ability to add quality time onto their life.
Providing Unique Value Propositions with Holistic Care
Is this model scalable? We certainly think so.
Everything we have done from the creation to this point has been with that in mind. Scalability comes from the idea that this model is designed to serve the community it surrounds. This way, the model caps at whatever size their space allows, maintains a small enough class size to allow for optimal coaching, and keep oriented towards the local community.
When we approach that cap, we look towards adding another location within another community. This way, we create a health hub that should be essential to every community and that allows accessibility to not only high quality fitness, but high quality health care.
Yes, this model is highly dependent on targeting the right type of physical therapy professional with a knowledge and practice in training, loading and fitness. But as this type of model grows, so will the up and coming physical therapists that will be ideal fits for this type of multi-disciplinary approach.
The proof is in the countless emails, calls and interest we have received from students and young professionals wanting more from their doctorate level educations than what the traditionalist healthcare system is currently providing.
The future is specialized, and this model allows the truly talented physical therapist strength coach to be rewarded for their unique skill sets and offerings.
We deep dove on this exact subject a few months back on one of our most popular Therapy Insider’s Podcast episodes with Dr. John Rusin that you can access HERE. And if you really want to take the next step and come in and visit Recharge along with learning the exact systems that Dr. Rusin uses in his multi-disciplinary approach, we are hosting a 1-Day event in Baltimore later on this year. You can check out the event page HERE.
Achieving The “Perfect” System Is Easier Than You Think
The process of offering unique services that combine fitness, wellness, and therapy together with a preventative mindset is NOT rocket science. It’s actually quite simple…
You provide everything under one roof to make it convenient. You then staff the facility with licensed healthcare professionals.
Physical therapists are great because of the medical and movement knowledge base and have a solid foundation of strength and fitness.
But it would be VERY closed minded to think that other licensed healthcare professionals like chiropractors, licensed massage therapists, and licensed athletic trainers among others couldn’t have an immense amount of success with this exact model as well.
No matter your profession, your training focus, or your lifestyle goals, lets be honest… Getting sick is expensive. And staying healthy is a serious commitment. It will take a new approach, a TEAM approach to finally make a viable change in the way we prevent health related problems.
So what is the future of healthcare…? Not needing it.
About The Authors
Dr. Gene Shirokobrod and Dr. Ryan Smith are physical therapists and entrepreneurs. Their combined experience in various business ventures, influencer status in healthcare as well as multiple specialties within the physical therapist profession lend a perfect expertise to lead Recharge and HoCo CrossFit.