Health Atlast

HealthAtlast1

Health Atlast is leading the way with comprehensive integrated healthcare.

By Kat Zeman

As the world’s first multi-disciplinary healthcare franchise, Los Angeles-based Health Atlast is forging the way with comprehensive integrated healthcare.

Founded by chiropractors Stephanie and Wayne Higashi, Health Atlast is a healthcare franchising model that integrates multiple disciplines under one roof. That includes medical, chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage and diet and nutrition.

“We take the holistic approach by treating the whole body,” Stephanie Higashi says. “Not only are our patients getting medical care, they are getting counseling about lifestyle, nutrition and we emphasize prevention.”Health Atlast Fact Box

The husband-wife duo founded the Health Atlast integrated health care concept in 2010 and started franchising in 2012. Their business venture is the result of a desire to offer their patients alternative therapies to drugs and surgery. “We saw a large number of patients suffering from side effects of multiple, often conflicting, medications from multiple doctors,” Higashi says. “We were also seeing a lot of unnecessary and failed surgeries.”

For example, she once treated a college student who had been prescribed 22 different medications from a variety of doctors. It’s unclear whether the different doctors knew about each other.

A Growing Brand

The Higashis wanted to create a multi-disciplinary approach to healing where doctors work together as one to optimize a patient's health. The couple took over a preexisting practice and grew it from 35 to 365 patients per week.

“We added more doctors and more staff,” Higashi says. “We took preexisting practices that only offer medical or chiropractic and we added the additional services.”

Health Atlast has five locations in California and two in Florida but is looking to expand. “I think that the coastal states tend to be trendsetters,” she says. “You see things happening on the coast and then working inwards, and we are looking to expand on those locations.”

Next year, the company hopes to open an additional five franchisees and reach 25 a few years down the line. “In my lifetime, I would like to have more of these franchises than there are Starbucks,” Higashi says. “They are certainly more needed than caffeine and french fries.”

Chiropractors, medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine and wellness professionals looking to expand and improve the health of their patients are potential franchisees. “We are looking for people that want to make a positive and impactful difference,” Higashi says. “Up to now, all of our franchisees have a medical or chiropractic experience.”

Franchising Perks

Healthcare providers who wish to open a Health Atlast franchise must have between $50,000 and $150,000 in liquid assets. The company charges a franchisee fee of $20,000 for medical professionals who want to convert their existing practices. An existing clinic that is between 1,000 to 10,000 square feet with key administrative staff is relatively easy to convert, Higashi says.

For those that don’t have an existing practice, it will cost around $40,000 for a new practice. A minimum practice is about 1,500 square feet, but the average is approximately 4,000 square feet. Health Atlast charges an ongoing royalty fee of 8 percent.

Health Atlast provides its franchisees with guidance in site selection for new locations and assistance with lease negotiation, equipment purchases, training and recruitment.

Other support services include training and assistance with marketing, billing and legal compliance.

“There are doctors that try to do this on their own,” Higashi says. “But they are usually unsuccessful because they do this in the wrong order or they make incorrect choices. The worst is if they do something that is not compliant and they get into trouble with state and federal regulators.”

Franchisees also have access to an online library of training materials and videos that they or their staff can access any time. They also have access to franchise developers and support on site, by phone, text or email.

Aside from providing training for best medical practices, Health Atlast has established vendor partnerships that give franchisees more purchasing power and proven marketing strategies and local advertising campaigns. It also offers ongoing analysis of business operations and access to research and development of new products and services.

Why It Works

As consumers become more health-conscious, they often look to alternative therapies and treatments before taking drugs and seeking surgery. “The amount of money being spent on alternative healthcare has skyrocketed into the billions,” Higashi says. “This has been happening and is going to continue to trend upwards.”

Health Atlast patients have access to knowledgeable and experienced healthcare providers under one roof. Services include medical, chiropractic, osteopathic, acupuncture, physiotherapists, therapeutic massage and nutrition. For many patients, the key benefit is that Health Atlast coordinates all of their healthcare providers to eliminate unneeded and conflicting medications that may cause unwanted health effects.

“We teach a daily lifestyle approach to health,” Higashi says. “It’s the choices you make every day and every hour of your life that determine your health.”

Once a Health Atlast doctor makes a medical diagnosis, the first goal is to treat the patient with rehabilitation and alternative healing methods before considering drugs or surgery. The Health Atlast model does not oppose medication and surgery, but strives to avoid them whenever possible. “We have a proven concept with very successful clinics that help people every day,” Higashi says.

Health Atlast believes in a “patient-first” culture that collaborates across a variety of disciplines with holistic medicine. It also offers innovative solutions such as Advanced Prescriptive Amino Acids. Also known as “medical foods,” they enable patients to reduce their prescription medicine doses while maintaining the efficacy of the medication.

Founding Members

Stephanie Higashi is the CEO and founder of Health Atlast. She has been a practicing chiropractor for more than a decade. She collaborates with other practitioners to provide a customized long-term treatment plan for patients with stable results without the use of drugs and surgery whenever possible.

Wayne Higashi has been a licensed chiropractor since 2000 and a certified athletic trainer since 1996. He graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences in 2000 and from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1996.

He’s a member of the California Chiropractic Association, National Athletic Trainers Association and the Southern California University of Health Sciences Alumni Association. In addition, he also has P.A.D.I. Rescue Diver Certification and American Red Cross CPR First Aid Certification.

 

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