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Medical FAQ:


I already have a nurse practitioner on staff. Why do I need a health coach?

A nurse practitioner has specialized training in: prescribing medication dosages, routes, and frequencies. Ordering, performing, or interpreting the results of diagnostic tests such as complete blood counts (CBCs), electrocardiograms (EKGs), and radiographs (x-rays). They diagnose or treat acute health care problems such as illnesses, infections, and injuries.


A health coach has specialized training in: self-determination theory, motivational interviewing and the transtheoretical model/stages of change. They are trained to tackle the barriers that stop your patients from improving their health and qualify of life. In addition, coaches handle the lion's share of patient education and self management training leaving you time to do what you do best.


Nurse and coach roles fill very different needs and are both essential in establishing focused team approaches and integrated whole-person care.


I tell my patients what to do but they just refuse to listen to my advice. What's so different about health coaching?



A quote by Joseph Addison, British essayist, poet, playwright and politician captures the essence of coaching:


"There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice."


Coaching understands that telling the patient what to do creates resistance. No one likes to be told they have to do something. Coaching works with a patient to define and identify their optimal health goal by taking the time to explore their values. Once a client knows what is truly important to them regarding their wellness, they have a foundation set to begin their steps toward change.


I see the value in adding a health coach to my practice, but how can I afford it?

Steve Eckstat, DO (physician leader of primary care for Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa) reported they have successfully used health coaches at the Mercy Medical Center. In a recent presentation titled: Using Health Coaches to Drive Quality and Revenue in the PCMH, he reported that adding coaching services to your practice pays for itself and produces revenue for your practice. This is accomplished by relieving physicians of clerical work, increasing the number of timely, preventive office visits, allowing billing for proactive levels of service, increasing testing revenue and supporting outcome initiatives.


Also, most insurance companies cover health coaching visits under the “800 rule” created by the Colorado Medical Society in 2010 and adopted by the state legislature. The rule allows unlicensed healthcare personnel to provide certain services with a physician’s direction. Westminster Medical Clinic uses CPT code 98960 to bill for their coaching visits (the patient must have an accompanying diagnosis).


Contact us today to schedule a brief consultation and learn how you can not only survive but thrive the industry shift from volume-based to value-based reimbursement.


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