Over 32.5 million Americans suffer from Osteoarthritic knee pain today. As one of the important body joints, a hampered knee can seriously affect a person’s mobility and ability, making daily tasks difficult. Depending on the severity, if there is Knee pain, swelling, or stiffness from cartilage damage, even basic activities like walking could seem like Everest to climb.
As knee issues become a common occurrence, people are looking for treatments to improve their daily lives. As a result, knee replacement surgery has become one of the most commonly sought-after surgeries in the United States, mainly due to the lack of non-surgical treatments available in the market.
As a remedy for this problem, Integrative Practice Solutions, LLC has developed an innovative clinical business model that focuses on Osteoarthritic knee pain relief. Co-developed by Dr. Robert McGrath, D.O. and Lance Liberti, the Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol (AARP) is an FDA-approved non-surgical treatment, covered by most insurance including Medicare.
Leading the medical experts at Integrative Practice Solutions, is Lance Liberti, President & CEO. The LifeSciences Magazine is thrilled to feature him in our issue of The Most Innovative Arthritis Relief Solutions Provider Platforms – 2023. And below are the snippets from our intriguing conversations with him.
A Necessity and A Purpose
Born out of necessity and a purpose to help people, Integrative Practice Solutions and Juventix Regenerative Medical were founded to solve one major problem – the lack of effective nonsurgical treatments available for chronic degenerative diseases, such as Osteoarthritis.
Lance realized that if he were in his patient’s shoes, he would be thrilled to avoid knee replacement surgery. Drawing motivation from the idea, he opened the first facility to test out a concept that would help the local community knee pain sufferers. The process used to achieve this was later standardized and the necessary infrastructure was built to train people in offering this revolutionary treatment.
To make further advancements, Juventix Regenerative Medical helped naturally harness the body’s innate healing processes to rebuild cartilage and other damaged tissues without any drug or surgery.
A Blessing In Disguise
While playing high school football, an accident caused Lance to tear multiple knee ligaments. He had to undergo a lot of steps over the next year to restore the knee from damage. That accident changed everything. While Lance was able to walk normally, he was unable to pass the physical sports test that was required to get back onto the field.
A few years later, he lost almost all of his knee functionality and could barely bend it. An MRI concluded that knee replacement surgery was the only option. Although Lance was dejected hearing this, he found a glimmer of hope talking to one of his clients. The client’s father was an Osteopathy doctor who treated elderly patients with degenerative joint disease using a medication called Hyaluronic Acid.
The client decoded his father’s treatment to Lance. Soon enough, he invited Lance to fly up and stay with him in his hometown New Jersey, so his father could treat Lance’s knee, and Lance accepted. As it turned out, the very first injection helped Lance soothe his knee from the pain. As they reached the third injection, his pain completely disappeared, and by the fifth one, he was jumping and running, as if his knee was never injured.
This whole incident felt like a medical miracle to Lance, here is what he initially thought:
“If I was told knee replacement surgery was my only option, how many other people are being told the same thing when this treatment might work for them as well?”
This led to Lance starting a non-surgical knee treatment revolution. To help him in his endeavors, he convinced the client’s father to leave his job and open a healthcare clinic in southern New Jersey, which would allow him to treat others with knee Osteoarthritis.
That was the original clinic where IPS developed its now patented Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol, also known as the AARP program. After the initial successful years, they quickly moved on to training other nationwide physicians to include this plan in their own practices. Later, they started collaborating with private investors to begin non-surgical Osteoarthritis treatment clinics from scratch.
Now after ten years of teaching and licensing, with the help of 200+ clinics, the company has treated more than half-million knee patients across the nation. And surprisingly, although it felt catastrophic at the time, it was Lance’s injury that turned out to be a blessing in disguise which helped others avoid drugs, surgery, and a lifetime of pain and loss of function to degenerative joint disease.
According to Lance, depending on whom you ask, you’ll get two schools of thought that will explain the industry’s evolution. The first would say that it is always evolving, and the other will say that it’s never accepting of an evolving thought in any circumstances. But for the most part, as new technology is introduced and discoveries are made, the healthcare industry is constantly changing and evolving.
The Industry always preferred treatments such as NSAID’s and cortisone injections for knee pain. But because those did more harm than good, the need for something better arose. And PRP/PRF is exactly that, an evolution of the NSAID’s treatment. Depending on the application, this approach stimulates the body to revive lost cellular structures, helping people relieve pain and increase mobility.
In today’s day and age, the days of treating pain with opiates are long gone. Platelet-Rich-Fibrin, or PRF for short, is a natural autologous scaffolding that can replace lost tissue and help the body rebuild naturally, eliminating the root cause of pain instead of just treating the symptoms. In addition to pain management and orthopedic applications, PRF is revolutionizing the anti-aging market as well.
Traditional facial fillers add extra weight on the structural face tissues, and can lead to undersired outcomes over time, such as “pillow-face”. Compared to cortisone injections, PRP/PRF treatment offers a bonus benefit of the lack of long-term issues. And the same can be said for aesthetics, a popular choice of many years with celbrities and athletes, which is now showing its long-term positive impact on Hollywood and Proffesional Sports alike extending the careers of many.
Battling Through Challenges
“The process of opening our first clinic started nearly 15 years ago”, says Lance, and the obstacles were endless. In the middle of the 08’ housing crisis and the financial collapse, securing a loan was close to impossible, especially for a startup. After months of searching to execute their business plan, albeit receiving half the funding required, IPS found a community credit union that believed in their idea.
At its early stage, a lot of bootstrapping meant that everyone was forced to think out of the box, to overcome budget constraints. A prime example of that is the Company’s use of horse stall liners from a local farm to renovate their physical department floor, and not the rubber tiles that were typically expected from these spaces. Surprisingly, with its unique look and feel, this floor made for horses turned out to be the most complimented part of their practice, as people liked the look and feel of it.
As often is the case with startups, IPS also had to battle through struggles at the start. However, every time they faced an obstacle, their business model kept growing stronger. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially a challenge due to the nature of IPS’ practices such as physical therapy, which required personal interaction. Understandably, patients were afraid to follow up on these practices.
Keeping the best interests of patients in mind, IPS developed a home exercise protocol (HEP), which utilized a home rehabilitation device, allowing patients to perform ligament-strengthening exercises along with re-aligning the joint to relieve pain for better mobility over a longer period of time. Along with solving a problem, it also added a new revenue stream for the company clients, adding nearly $2,000 in additional profit to each patient case at Medicare’s allowable fee schedule
Effective Yet Cost-Friendly Solutions
Both the companies, Integrative Practice Solutions, and Juventix Regenerative Medical, are committed to developing innovative solutions for common health problems that do not get the needed attention, in the most effective yet cost-friendly manner. This is especially important because if the prices were too high, it would restrict patients from seeking the care they need, no matter how effective and innovative the treatments are.
The quality of the manufactured and distributed products is a testament to the company’s belief in them. The same belief allows the companies to proudly stand behind their products and offer a “No Questions Asked” product replacement warranty.
Understanding that education is integral to success, the companies produce regular live clinical training and certification events. The trainers are highly experienced medical proffesionals that train the clients one-on-one in their own space, along with developing a comprehensive library of written and video clinical instruction aides.
Products And Services
Integrative Practice Solutions, LLC:
- The Advanced Arthritis Relief Protocol™:
A patented process that combines videofluoroscopy-guided injections of Hyaluronic Acid (Viscosupplementation) into the knee joint to cushion and lubricates the joint, with unloading knee bracing to increase tibiofemoral joint space reducing friction and providing stability, along with a Home Exercise Protocol (HEP) that strengthens the ligaments of the knee returning range of motion and function to the joint.
- OAide 300 Unloading Knee Brace:
A patented single-hinge, upright knee brace that can correct medial or lateral loss of joint space, and even “bone-on-bone” contact.
- Orthoscan Mobile DI:
Integrative Practice Solutions is the largest distributor of the Orthoscan Mobile DI, a portable digital x-ray and video-fluoroscopy combination device that allows our clinics to quickly, effectively, and safely image the knee and shoulder joints to diagnose and treat degenerative joint disease through non-surgical injection procedures.
Juventix Regenerative Medical, LLC:
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Preparation Tube:
Juventix Regenerative Medical has developed and distributes the highest-purity PRP preparation device in the world. With a fast (8 minutes) and easy (single spin) method for preparation of the blood plasma sample using a standard countertop angle rotor centrifuge.
- Biotin + PRP Preparation Tube:
Juventix Regenerative Medical has developed the first patented PRP preparation device to include 2cc of Biotin (Vitamin B7) to support the keratin structure of the hair follicle. This allows our proprietary delivery method to enhance the size, strength, and sheen of the hair follicle, in addition to enhancing the rate of growth of the follicle itself.
- Hyaluronic Acid + PRP Preparation Tube:
Juventix Regenerative Medical has developed a combination PRP preparation device that includes 2cc of non-cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid. This natural alternative to chemically cross-linked facial fillers has less risk factors, and supports healthy new tissue growth, reducing the need for repeat procedures as is often the case with most commercially available facial filler products.
- VitalitySpin™ Centrifuges:
- Juventix Regenerative Medical manufactures and distributes a line of high-quality, low-cost, and easy-to-use countertop centrifuges for the rapid preparation of PRP from a patient’s whole blood sample in the outpatient setting.
Exploring The Future Possibilities
The company’s primary industry has been orthopedic, but the aesthetic division that opened about 4 years back, has been a joy to explore. The feeling of seeing the immediate results get even better as time passes can’t be described in words, says Lance.
In 2023, Integrative Practice Solutions is collaborating with some industry giants, including a renowned women’s sexual wellness key industry leader. Additionally, Integrative Practice Solutions is exploring potential industry-adjacent wound care professionals to partner with. This versatility is primarily a result of PRP, which allows the company to effectively choose its partners from the ever-growing Industry.
Facing The Future With Firm Aspirations
The business model is the reason why IPS was so successful during COVID. Millions of knee surgeries were canceled, with patients left to either source their own solution or depend entirely on painkillers, which often came with long-term side effects that were worse than surgery.
During the pandemic, the AARP program and PRP enabled thousands of patients to achieve life-changing results, helping them avoid risky surgeries. Integrative Practice Solutions hopes that an unfortunate event like COVID never happens again, but if it does, Integrative Practice Solutions is more than ready to help where needed.
The Future of Healthcare
In Lance’s views, these 3 trends are all set to reshape healthcare for the better.
There is a reason 50 years ago getting a second opinion was taboo, and today it is standard. Whether patient or clinic, Education has allowed patients to be more rounded consumers with a better understanding of the options on the table for them.
2. Cash pay Procedures:
Premium prices and out-of-pocket expenses are skyrocketing, forcing people to find a cash-pay solution. Having control over healthcare puts the onus on primary care to provide the best quality care, or people can just switch to another provider. A core tenent of Juventix Regenerative Medical’s business strtagey is to delop products that are not only clinically effictive, safe, and easy to administer, but that are also cost-effective so that access to care is maximized to allow the most pateints to find relief naturally. In many cases PRP/PRF is less costly to the patient than their co-insurance for other standard of care tretaments, or their out of pocket costs spent on prescription medicaitons or surgery.
3. Medical Tourism:
In the last decade, this industry has witnessed a major boom, especially for countries that come here for treatment due to socialized medicine. In their own country, people cannot get the needed care due to regulations, as a result, people visit the United States and pay cash to get the required procedures. While not initially anticipated, Lance is seeing perspective patients contact them directly from all across the globe such as the middle east, and even as far away as Australlia recently, in an effort to gain access to these treatments through their own physcian, or even traveling to recieve care.