4 Ways to Talk to Patients About DEXA Body Comp Scans

If you offer DEXA body comp and related services to patients, you already know how capable the machine is in identifying health and wellness warning signs. You also know how it can change lives for the better.

What you might not know is how to find the time to develop ways to engage patients in a conversation about DEXA. To help, we offer the following four ways to talk about DEXA body comp scans.

1. Hand Them This DEXA Scan/Health Overview
Download and print this simple single-page overview.. It covers some of the most important aspects of the DEXA:

  • The DEXA’s ability to detect visceral fat and bone density
  • The devastating effects of metabolic syndrome
  • The ease of the DEXA body comp scan procedure

Personalize the document with your practice’s information in the space at the bottom. (Requires Adobe Acrobat.)

2. Underscore the Health Issues Americans Face
Metabolic syndrome and poor physical fitness levels account for many severe health and wellness issues today. Leverage some of the comprehensive information available online to underscore with patients the pervasive problems that such conditions create.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers two informative pages. Access them here:

A DEXA body comp scan is capable of playing a significant role in addressing both of these issues. There’s no better time for a patient to get started combatting them than right now.

3. Offer an Introductory DEXA Body Scan Price
Consider some of the standard procedures many patients undergo today.

  • Traditional x-ray (awkward and uncomfortable positions; heavy protective garments)
  • Cataract surgery (uncomfortable and sometimes painful recovery)
  • Colonoscopy (uncomfortable preparation)

It’s no surprise that patients can be anxious about such procedures. None of these is anyone’s idea of a good time.

Hesitation about a DEXA body comp scan, then, is understandable. That’s despite the fact that receiving such a scan requires all the effort of watching TV. To help clear that initial hurdle, consider enticing participation in a DEXA-based program with an introductory price or similar incentive.

4. Throw a DEXA Scan Party
Okay, maybe not a party. An in-clinic event or seminar will do. It’s a safe bet that the majority of your patients, as well as select friends and family members of them, could benefit in one way or another by incorporating DEXA body comp scans into their lives. So why not invite that broad audience to a casual event? It could include:

  • A brief presentation
  • Informative handouts
  • A live demonstration of a scan

When You Want to Talk About DEXA

What happens when you’re done talking to patients about DEXA body comp scans but want to keep the conversation going? Contact DEXA+. We’ll address any remaining questions you have, help develop revenue streams, and ensure your DEXA serves your practice to the fullest of its potential.

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5 Ways DEXA Supports New Revenue Streams

An American Medical Association survey1 found that a desire to help people is the driving force behind many of the people who choose medicine as a career. But even with such a desire leading the way, business operations must also demand their fair share of attention to ensure that selfless decree can be heeded.

That’s why it’s important to always keep an eye out for opportunities to increase a practice’s revenue. A DEXA machine can play a vital role in supporting new revenue streams. Here are five ways it can achieve that.

1. DEXA Powers Revenue Diversity

Investors consider diversification a must for healthy portfolios. Businesses today are no different. A diverse portfolio is crucial to attaining and retaining a healthy bottom line. One study found that “diversification — whether measured in terms of products and services, geography, or number of customers — correlates strongly and positively with financial success.”2

A DEXA machine is an ideal diversification tool. It provides a range of services (measurements of bone density, muscle mass, visceral fat) that work across multiple business types (medical, wellness, nutrition, fitness).

Settling on diversification as a revenue stream strategy means confronting a number of questions. Below are such questions and how DEXA addresses them.3

Diversification Questions

Diversification Answers

What can our company do better than any of its competitors in its current market? Despite its clear — and medically backed — advantages, many people continue to rely on outdated and ineffective methods such as body mass index and skinfold tests as gauges for their health. Body comp testing is gaining ground on them, but the window is still open on getting the jump on competitors and offering more thorough and reliable data.
What strategic assets do we need in order to succeed in the new market? A staff experienced in client service and the technical requirements of their roles, a measure of public awareness, strategic partnerships (with, for example, physician practices and/or corporate wellness programs): these and other represent a nice complement of strategic assets.
Can we catch up to or leapfrog competitors at their own game? Competition today is becoming much more about client experience than about any other business trappings. While a competitor might have a DEXA machine, your office’s capabilities to exceed client expectations represents the true point of distinction.
Will diversification break up strategic assets that need to be kept together? A DEXA-based diversification effort strengthens strategic assets since they all flow from the same foundation of technology-enhanced wellness support.

 

2. DEXA’s Features Anticipate Market Needs

It’s a quote so well-worn in business that you’d expect it to be frayed, yet it remains as relevant as ever: “Skate to where the puck is going.” It’s how hockey legend Wayne Gretzky explained his effectiveness on the ice. Since then, it’s been adopted by the business world as axiomatic. In a world beset by an obesity pandemic as its population ages more rapidly than ever before, there was literally never been more apt circumstances to deploy a resource such as a Lunar iDXA.

Fighting back against the diet-and-lifestyle circumstances that increase diabetes and cancer as well as the bone health concerns of an aging populace means deploying powerful new strategies. And a DEXA machine is as powerful as they come: with a scan as brief as just a couple of moments, DEXA machines can quantify several key markers impacting health today and the prospects of a healthier tomorrow — which can be leveraged in a plan to begin improving both immediately.

3. DEXA Services Can Be “Productized”

One recommended course of action with respect to business diversification is the idea of turning solutions you offer into products or programs. That means incorporating a DEXA machine’s capabilities into a package of services or as a key component of a client wellness program. This results in enhanced value and a potential new revenue stream.

Examples of this might include a body comp scan as part of:

  • A fitness program operated in partnership with a personal trainer
  • A nutrition program conducted in-house, with a local care facility, or with a participating dietician
  • An annual health assessment (to provide additional services to — and realize a new revenue stream from — current clients)

Such programs work well in terms of revenue streams because they scale better4 than labor-based services that, beyond a certain size, can tax your available resources and space.

4. DEXA Works With Partnerships

Speaking of partnerships in the wellness space: DEXA offers a great opportunity to create a revenue stream there, too. Personal trainers, nutritionists, life coaches, corporate wellness program directors: all of them could introduce genuine distinction and value to their respective services — and a new revenue stream for you — by teaming with a DEXA-powered practice. More than 500,000 small businesses are started each month, an amount that practically guarantees viable partners are waiting for you.

Finding and negotiating with them can be a challenge, however. Keep the following points in mind and you should do fine:

  • Identify businesses with complementary goals. As previously stated, this could be personal trainers, nutritionists, etc. Keep in mind that you’re looking for partners with complementary goals, not overlapping goals. Before you reach out to any, make sure you can elucidate the benefits they will potentially receive. The “WIIFM?” element is crucial to demonstrating your interest in a win-win arrangement.
  • Connect with those businesses. Reaching out to potential partners may be as simple as sending an email, making a phone call, or asking for an introduction from a common LinkedIn connection. Joining your local chamber of commerce can also present a great opportunity.
  • Consider a test phase. Maybe the personal trainer gets a volume- or milestone-based discount on DEXA scans for a predetermined period, with your clinic receiving a certain percentage. Tests are so important to ensure an effective rollout of a new revenue stream that they comprise our next point in full.

5. DEXA Tests Well

Few words engendered greater disdain in our younger years than “Time for a test!” or any of its variants. But times change. Now, we understand that tests in business play a critical role in establishing a strong foundation and helping ensure productivity — and profitability — with any effort.

Testing new DEXA-powered revenue streams assumes, in most cases, one of the following two scenarios:

Scenario #1
In circumstances where a practice already has a DEXA machine to provide bone density examinations, testing a new revenue stream is a relatively straightforward process. After all, the machine is already there, the staff is already trained, and clients already have some awareness of it.

Scenario #2
Ironically, instances where a clinic does not already have a DEXA machine don’t require a markedly different process. The assumption here is that a clinic considering a DEXA machine already has a business plan already developed around providing bone density exams or body comp tests. Investigating revenue streams is still about adding to something rather than creating something entirely new.

In both situations, the aim is to expand upon established services. Doing so will ideally involve a test phase that:

  • Gauges the efficacy of the revenue stream and/or its execution
  • Requires only a modest financial investment

Not every attempt to introduce a new revenue stream succeeds. (If you don’t remember Amazon’s Fire Phone, you’re not alone.) But with proper planning and careful testing, a new revenue stream powered by a DEXA machine presents a strong move at the right time.

Next Steps

If you’re looking for additional revenue streams for your practice, contact us today. We look forward to putting our 20+ years of experience to work helping you!

References
1https://www.ama-assn.org/survey-us-physicians-overwhelmingly-satisfied-career-choice
2https://www.bdc.ca/en/Documents/analysis_research/diversification_financial_performance.pdf
3https://hbr.org/1997/11/to-diversify-or-not-to-diversify
4http://www.ignitiongroup.com/propulsion-blog/seven-ways-to-create-new-revenue-streams

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The Ultimate Health Machine

Key features that make the GE Lunar iDXA ideal for patients and practices today

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to overemphasize the benefits of the Lunar iDXA with CoreScan, GE’s flagship dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry system.

Combating metabolic diseases, caring for an aging population, and addressing growing obesity rates requires the best technology medicine can offer. The Lunar iDXA with CoreScan is that technology. It is possibly the ultimate health machine.

GE’s state-of-the-art densitometer stands ready to make a real and immediate positive impact on patients and health practices today and promises to be an enduring platform for many years to come.

This guide provides an overview of the array of features in the Lunar iDXA. But it’s more than a glimpse of the Lunar iDXA’s power. It’s also a glimpse into the future of healthcare. As we’re about to see, it’s a future that is available today.

Best in Body Composition — Bar None

Many people continue to rely on weight scales and body mass index (BMI) calculations to gauge their health. Time and again, however, studies find nothing as effective as body composition examinations offered by machines such as the Lunar iDXA.

The Lunar iDXA provides the gold standard of body composition testing. It quantifies with remarkable precision a patient’s:

  • Fat mass
  • Lean mass
  • Bone density

Tens of millions of people report using health apps each year. But the evidence suggests such use is not moving the needle on the nation’s health.

User abandonment of such apps is a problem. One study found that the top reason respondents stopped using the apps was that entering data into them proved to be too demanding. It required too much effort to use them every day.

Even with multiple scans over a 12-month period, a body composition scan is less demanding than a smartphone health app. This ease of access and consistent use may translate to noticeable diet, exercise, and lifestyle progress.

The Pitfalls of Visceral Fat

With links to metabolic diseases and insulin resistance, a complete picture of a body’s visceral fat can help make dramatic inroads toward improved health. That’s because visceral fat creates health risks unlike any other kind of fat.

Just a short list of some of the health problems associated with excess visceral fat reads like a rogues gallery of some of today’s most debilitating issues:

  • Heart attacks
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Breast and colorectal cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Even among people who register a “normal” BMI, visceral fat is strongly linked to an increased risk of death. That’s a risk subcutaneous fat doesn’t carry.

For many people, visceral fat is a severe threat hiding in plain sight. The Lunar iDXA with CoreScan quantifies visceral fat. In doing so, it’s a useful tool in managing various cardiometabolic diseases.

Determining Bone Density Health

In an aging population, a broken bone means more than a trip to the hospital and an itchy cast. One study found that women ages 65–69 who break a hip are five times more likely to die within a year than women of the same age who don’t break a hip. Helping patients maintain bone health has always been important; with today’s aging population, the matter is sure to reach unprecedented levels of awareness and urgency.

In the fight against bone health degradation, the iDXA is in rarefied air thanks to:

  • High-resolution images that bring essential details into sharp focus. That includes all skeletal sites such as vertebral endplates, intervertebral spaces, and proximal femur details.
  • Edge detection that delivers best-in-class accuracy and reproducibility of bone mineral density results.
  • The ability to detect notably high density for outstanding measurement accuracy.

An effective bone density assessment requires subtracting soft tissue values. This ensures that only bone mineral density (BMD) is measured. That means the entire body must be considered: not just the bone, but lean tissue and fat, too. The alternative is a less accurate assessment calibrated to average patients. To achieve an accurate assessment, the Lunar iDXA features six points of calibration:

  1. Normal,
  2. Osteopenic, and
  3. Osteoporotic BMD values.

Plus:

  1. Lean,
  2. Normal, and
  3. Obese values.

Those six points of calibration help the Lunar iDXA provide the clinical confidence necessary to guide patients to better health accurately.

Bone Health Helpers

Related to DEXA’s bone density capabilities — but worthy of a separate spotlight — are FRAX and TBS.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX). FRAX makes a valued complement to DEXA’s bone density capabilities. A brief series of questions designed to evaluate fracture risk in patients, FRAX effortlessly weaves into an efficient DEXA scan process.
  • The trabecular bone score (TBS) is similarly beneficial. TBS utilizes information provided by a DEXA scan to gauge the structural condition of a patient’s bone microarchitecture. The contribution of sarcopenia (muscle loss) to fall scenarios within our aging population elevates the importance of TBS for clinical purposes.

FRAX and TBS demonstrate that the Lunar iDXA — while a powerful device — needn’t exist in a diagnostic vacuum but can contribute to a valuable array of tools and approaches.

Accommodations for Anxious Patients

Colonoscopies, prostate exams, breast exams. People avoid these and other life-saving procedures every day. They do so because of temporary discomfort and fear. “Fear of bad news, fear of an uncomfortable test, fear of discussing something intimate,” as The New York Times put it.

While there’s no component to the Lunar iDXA that eliminates those issues, there are several aspects of the device that can help combat them.

The Lunar iDXA is:

  • Swift (both in the testing and reporting), accurate, and — perhaps most importantly for some — non-invasive. Patients aren’t even required to remove clothing. (Loose clothing is recommended, and anything metal is prohibited).
  • Accessible by patients of up to 450 pounds.
  • Straightforward; the clarity and specificity of reports generated by the iDXA may help combat patient non-compliance.

A Straightforward Four Steps

The iDXA Lunar makes for an efficient patient workflow:

  1. Sign in for the appointment (which do not need to be longer than 15 minutes thanks to the speed of the scan itself)
  2. Scan with the iDXA Lunar
  3. Study the results
  4. Share the findings (with a short report provided in full color) and a plan to address them

While the “A” in iDXA doesn’t stand for “accommodating,” such a straightforward process can help reassure hesitant patients who might be ideal candidates for its array of features.

Data You — and Your Patients — Can Use

Our current rate of data creation is approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. (A quintillion has 18 zeroes; a billion has “only” 12 zeroes.)

All that data doesn’t do any good, though, if you cannot access it and put it to good use. That’s where the Lunar iDXA shines, with features such as:

Database access for 40 remote users
You can connect up to 40 remote computers with a common patient database, enabling multiple users to access and analyze vital patient data.

Tools for practice management
The included business reporting tools can help your team efficiently provide exemplary service. Readily view the existing patient population, as well as follow-up on the next site visit.

Automatic reports
The Lunar iDXA’s “Composer” feature provides many pre-generated report formats to make sharing information with patients easier. It also gives you the ability to create custom reports.

Customizable reference populations
The Lunar iDXA can create custom reference populations for comparison to your patients’ results.

Click here for a two-page rundown of the Lunar iDXA’s many features.

Affordable Technology

In a world where weight loss products and programs of questionable efficacy, exercise equipment readymade to serve as glorified laundry racks, and unused gym membership account for tens of billions of dollars in consumer spending, an iDXA Lunar scan not subsidized by insurance is a remarkable value.

A scan costs between $49 and $250, depending on frequency, purpose, and other factors. It’s a bargain compared to the $800 annual cost of a gym membership. (It’s an even bigger bargain when you consider that gym owners only expect consistent use from approximately 18 percent of their members.)

The Lunar iDXA is also affordable from the practice’s perspective. There are insurance carrier hassles to worry about since patients pay directly for body composition scans. And with a population in need of more tools to improve their health, a practice is free to determine the ideal scan cadence per day and week. Revenue generated by the Lunar iDXA can readily cover its expense.

Learn More Today

Complete Medical Services leverages its decades of experience to provide an unparalleled client experience. Our appreciation for the Lunar iDXA is matched only by our dedication to providing the support necessary to ensure as many people today have access to it as possible. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us today online or via phone at (586) 532-1142

We look forward to hearing from you!

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An A.P.T. Approach: 3 Essential Elements of Today’s Concierge Medicine Practice

The numbers are sobering.

In its most recent biennial physician survey, The Physicians Foundation discovered that:

  • 54% of physicians rated their morale as either “somewhat negative” or “very negative.”
  • 49% of physicians often or always experienced feelings of burn-out.
  • 49% of physicians would not recommend medicine as a career to their children.

Little wonder, then, that the same study found that 48% of physicians plan notable changes. When more than half of the physicians surveyed rate their morale that low, something’s got to give.

That explains, in part, the rising interest in concierge medicine – cited by that 48% as a possible alternative for them. Conveyed in its simplest terms, concierge medicine is a health care model in which patients pay a primary care physician a monthly or annual fee in exchange for more personal care.

Doctors like concierge medicine because it shifts them from a bottom-line-driven, “quantity over quality” model to one that prioritizes each patient. The same survey cited above revealed that a scant 14% of physicians felt that have the time they need to provide the highest standards of care to patients.

Here’s one way to determine if such a move is an apt one for your practice. We call it, well, A.P.T.: Adaptability + Patience + Technology.

ADAPTABILITY

Because concierge medicine is still relatively new to the medical services field, physicians entering it will need to be ready to adapt to an array of roles as those roles are required.

The role: Conductor
A primary care concierge medicine physician won’t perform all of the health care services her patients need. That means she’ll be required to take a more active role in orchestrating the involvement of specialists and others – conducting their efforts to arrive at the best possible course of prevention or treatment.

The role: Advocate/Educator
Unfair. Elitist. An ethical gray area. Opponents of a concierge medicine approach understand its appeal but express deep-set concerns about what it means for the future of medical care. Addressing such concerns to those who raise them – including other healthcare professionals and patients – will require an educator’s patience, a diplomat’s touch, and an advocate’s measured passion. (Advocating for patients falls under the role of “conductor,” which we discussed above.)

The role: Captain
Not every patient joins the doctor who shifts from a traditional primary care physician model to the concierge medicine model. Especially in challenging economic times, even the most stalwart of patients will walk away.

One study revealed that the median transition time to the concierge model was 12 months. Most physicians gave patients at least three months to find a new doctor. And many were very engaged with facilitating the transfer of care for those patients – underscoring the “conductor” role. That transitional period can be a trying time for even the most confident physician and her business advisors. Which is why strong captaining skills, required to successful sail such uncharted waters, is required.

PATIENCE

Even today, concierge medicine juggles a little bit of an identity crisis. “Boutique medicine” is largely out. “Retainer medicine” and “membership medicine” also pop out periodically. Even the most prominent non-profit champion of concierge medicine struggled. First, it was the Society for Innovative Medical Practice Design. Now, it’s the American Academy of Private Physicians.

It’s only natural, then, to anticipate additional change and to shore up the patience necessary to handle them. The mechanics of concierge medicine have changed a little since its introduction in the mid-1990s and will almost certainly continue to evolve.

One of the ways it has changed? The first recognized implementation of concierge medicine cost individuals $13,200 per year. Compare that to the Cleveland Clinic Florida’s $4,000 per year cost announced in 2018. Other programs can come in at far less – as little as $39 per month.

For specialty practices, the importance of patience rises. Here’s how Wayne Lipton, managing partner for Concierge Choice Physicians, LLC, described it. “Designing a concierge program that works in concert with the goals and characteristics of a specialty practice is like solving a puzzle: there are many parts and they must all fit together for success.”

Primary care, specialty care: irrespective of the background, the concierge medicine field will change. Sometimes, changes are prompted by market fluctuations. The Wall Street Journal wrote about one doctor who shifted the focus of his concierge medicine practice from “A-list” clients who paid as much as $30,000 per month to middle-class clients he charged $59 per month and $10 per visit. The lesser rate offered more streamlined services than its pricier cousin but maintained high doctor accessibility.

TECHNOLOGY

A leading reason why concierge medicine is becoming more affordable? Technology. Consider the current healthcare technology landscape:

  • Apple Watches, FitBits, and other devices designed to help users track their health and activity levels
  • The plethora of health apps for smartphones – a category that will only grow
  • The availability of real-time communication methods such as secure video conferencing, email, and texting to doctors seeking that greater connectivity
  • Remote services such as telepharmacy and telerehabilitation

And those are only the broadly accessible advancements. Today’s concierge medicine practices have even more powerful tools at their disposal.

One such tool is the GE Lunar iDXA Bone Densitometer, a research-grade whole body assessment machine that works across a broad range of patient sizes and conditions. Using a device such as GE’s DXA allows physicians to determine the precise locations of muscle, bone, and fat in a patient.

That last component is especially important. Fat closest to the vital organs, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat, can obstruct vital organs and create serious problems. This means a DXA scan can detect indicators of conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. All told, the amount of patient data available from a seven-minute DXA scan can help guide doctors establish the foundation of a wellness plan for every patient.

Paired with the growing capabilities of wearable tech and communication platforms, today’s technological advances mean a great deal to tomorrow’s concierge medicine practice.

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Considering a concierge medicine practice? We invite you to leverage the experience of the DEXA+ team to help you develop a compelling suite of technological tools that will differentiate your practice for years to come. Contact us today.