Local chiropractor drops insurance, shifts to low-cost model to encourage wellness

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Dr. Jess with a young patient at Healing Hands Chiropractic.
Dr. Jess gets ready to adjust Sarah, who has been a patient at Healing Hands Chiropractic since she was a month old. Dr. Jess is certified to work with patients of all ages, including children and babies, as well as expectant mothers.

MANCHESTER, NH – Healing Hands Community Chiropractic, a wellness-focused chiropractic practice for men, women and children located at 195 McGregor Street, is shifting its payment model to a sliding scale and will no longer accept health insurance, effective May 1.

The change aims to make care more affordable and convenient for patients by charging what they can afford, and more efficient for the practice by requiring less time for processing claims – allowing more time for patients.

“Some of our patients who were in pain and needed care were withholding it because of insurance restrictions. This runs counter to our philosophy of providing consistent and preventive care, and led us to move to a simpler and more affordable model,” said Brian Caruso, the office’s business manager and cofounder. “By charging what people can afford, we’re making it possible for them to be proactive with their preventative care and alleviate problems before they begin.”

He added that the change will allow staff to spend less time working through insurance claim issues and more time on actual care. The new fee structure will allow patients to pay what they can from $20 to $40 a regular office visit with the office’s chiropractor, Dr. Jessica Caruso (or Dr. Jess to her patients), who has practiced in New Hampshire for 10 years.

Chiropractic medicine is a healthcare discipline that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and the symptoms that disturbances in these systems can create. Dr. Jess practices community and family style chiropractic care and is certified in the Webster Technique for treating expecting mothers and babies. She was voted Top Alternative & Complementary Health Care Doctor 2015 by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine, and has won Parenting NH Magazine’s Family Favorite Chiropractor award for the last three years.

“We see entire families who consider chiropractic care an important part of their health routines,” Dr. Caruso said. “Our office practices community style care, so we welcome children to come and play with other kids while their parents are getting adjusted; adults can relax with a cup of tea in our open concept office while they enjoy views of the Merrimack River and the downtown Manchester skyline. We strive to provide our patients with an office space that is inspiring, open and friendly.”

The Carusos are a husband and wife team who co-own the Mill West practice and also work out of the practice’s sister office in Portsmouth, which has been operating under the sliding scale payment model for several years. The success there, along with encouragement from other local alternative healthcare providers who have adopted this model, were contributing factors to the payment shift. But the true impetus for the change is the goal of improving the health of people in the greater Manchester community through access to quality chiropractic care to anyone who wants it.

“The best decision that I’ve ever made for my health is starting chiropractic care,” said Joyce Archer, who has been treated by Dr. Caruso for the last year. “My symptoms are improved, I’m sleeping better, and regular appointments with Dr. Jess help address any issues before they become health problems.”

Caruso discovered chiropractic healthcare while recovering from a car accident caused by a drunk driver in 1996. Inspired by the positive results of holistic and wellness-centered treatment, she gave up her forensic studies degree for a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. The memory of that first chiropractic experience stuck with her.

“People would come in with pain, and leave well,” she said. “As a student, it was cost prohibitive to have regular appointments with my chiropractor, so I got a job as a receptionist at a chiropractor’s office to experience office operations and receive free care as a benefit. And now as a self-employed, high-deductible health insurance policyholder, I understand firsthand the difficult choices families make when it comes to healthcare.”

Now, the Carusos and their two-year-old son, who live in Manchester, are building upon community connections to share their story with city residents. They’ve adopted two parks in Manchester’s West Side, are active members of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Intown Manchester, Manchester Young Professionals’ Network, and volunteer with several local and statewide groups.

They’re holding a family-friendly open house from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 1 to celebrate the new payment model with music, snacks, a ribbon cutting by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and raffles to benefit the NH Food Bank.

To learn more about Healing Hands Community Chiropractic, please visit healinghandsnh.com. Read more about the upcoming  open house via Facebook.

About Healing Hands Community Chiropractic

Healing Hands Community Chiropractic is a family wellness center that promotes and supports the overall health, well-being and highest quality of life of all individuals and families through natural chiropractic care and education. The practice is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Dr. Jessica L. Caruso and Brian Caruso, and operates on a sliding fee model charging patients what they can afford. At offices in Portsmouth and Manchester, New Hampshire, Dr. Caruso treats men, women, children and babies. She is a Webster Pregnancy Technique certified chiropractor, and was voted Top Alternative & Complementary Health Care Doctor 2015 by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine, and has won Parenting NH Magazine’s Family Favorite Chiropractor award for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Learn more at healinghandsnh.com.


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About Carol Robidoux 5283 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.