Interestingly, we’ve had more individuals from healthcare professions complete the CWC certification than any other profession over the past 4 years. This trend has lead to some interesting lunch-time discussions about the practical ways in which we can integrate wellness coaching into our practices or as a side business. Here is a brief overview of the top ideas to come out of these discussions. Note that this information is just as valuable to those who are not healthcare providers but may want to partner with a healthcare provider in their coaching practice. Laws vary by profession and state, so clarify those prior to launching these suggestions.
Post Discharge Offering
You’ve already built a strong relationship with your patient and in some cases, that patient may appreciate the opportunity to pay a small monthly fee out of pocket to continue the relationship with a focus on a broader area of health and wellness. Maybe it’s stress or weight management. Or an exercise program. Or sleep consistency and quality. Or any number of aspects that go beyond the traditional. Many facilities already offer an option to utilize the gym equipment post-DC. This expands that option to provide even more meaningful opportunity for long-term change.
What percentage of your patients would fit into the “lost patient” category? By that, I mean they’re approved for 8 sessions but they “disappear” after 4 or 6. They weren’t “discharged” purposefully. They just stopped coming. What’s the cost of those lost patients? What if you could reduce that figure by 10%? or 20%? or 40%? And what if, at the same time, you reduced your No Show and/or Cancellation rate by a similar margin? This is one of the models being targeted by a handful of PT clinics, and it makes very good sense. They are looking to offer complimentary wellness coaching for a select group of their patients with the expectation that all of the above will improve. And if it improves only a small amount, the program will more than pay for itself (and may then lead into the post-DC coaching noted above as well).
Employer Offering (or Occ Health Partnership)
Employee wellness programs continue to grow, and this provides an excellent opportunity for healthcare facilities. Not only are we able to build an additional revenue stream by offering an employee wellness program to employers in the area, but this strategy may also result in additional work comp relationships for additional referrals. A related alternative to this would be to partner with an Occ Health facility in your area to offer this service and build similar relationships and resultant growth in business.
Your Own Business (on the side)
It’s great being a healthcare professional (or having the opportunity to partner with one). Consistently rated among the top professions in the country, we are fortunate to be doing what we’re doing. But sometimes we ponder what alternatives may be available as our bodies change over time. Or maybe we’re just looking for a small additional stream of income that could pay for that family vacation or bring retirement to life a few years earlier. Wellness coaching requires very little in terms of initial investment or overhead, so it may help meet these goals quite effectively.
In addition to the various components noted above, there are several other benefits that come along for the ride when integrating wellness coaching into your practice or your facility. For example, a JAMA study noted that only 1.2% of the US population meets the 7 key areas of health and wellness. That means that the remainder (98.8%!!) fall short. Physicians know this, but they are unable to invest the time to change it. Something as simple as earning your CWC certification may lead to additional referrals from those who know their patients could benefit in areas beyond traditional care.