A storefront franchise that sells chiropractic treatment to the masses is expanding into the North Bay area.

With locations already in Vacaville, Berkeley and Pinole, The Joint Corp. has plans for retail clinics in Napa and Santa Rosa, and Vallejo, according to Eric Simon, VP of franchise sales and development.

Initial visits to The Joint are advertised at $29 including consultation, exam and adjustment, and are $39 per treatment thereafter.

The clinics thrive on selling membership plans and packages that start at $69 a month for up to four visits.

Since its founding in 1999, the franchise has grown to nearly 400 clinics either open or in development nationwide with more than four million patient visits annually.

“Right now, we have the largest umbrella of chiropractic clinics in the world, but we’re only just getting started,” said Peter Holt, CEO of The Joint. “There’s been a shift toward convenience in the healthcare industry and that’s something we’ve stood for since day one.”

It is estimated that chiropractors treat more than 35 million Americans annually, according to a Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Report

The idea is to sell chiropractic treatment as part of a regular wellness routine and make it affordable and accessible. It’s a cash-pay business and does not accept insurance. Patients are also seen on a walk-in basis, Simon said.

The Joint strategically places locations near high-traffic shopping centers, grocery stores and retail areas, with evening and weekend hours, making access to the clinics easy for consumers.

The Vacaville clinic is located in the popular Nut Tree Plaza next to Verizon. In Pinole, The Joint located in the Pinole Valley shopping center, between Five Guys and Supercuts.

Chiropractor Bradley N. Moody had a private practice in Vacaville for 25 years, treating accident and work-related injuries. He opened The Joint in Vacaville in September, 2016.

The biggest reason he opted to join the franchise was to eliminate the hassle of processing patients’ insurance, which required three employees on the payroll.

“Not having to deal with insurance was the main thing. It was a big headache,” he said. “The reduction in overhead is tremendous. Dealing with insurance is very expensive. Now, I pass the savings on to my patients.”

In private practice, Moody said he witnessed patients whose insurance had run out, but were still in pain, and couldn’t afford treatment.

At The Joint, most patients come in for maintenance-type visits instead of for trauma or pain. They come in for an adjustment to keep feeling good, Moody said.

He also sees a greater number of patients. Whereas he saw about 40 per day in private practice, at The Joint, with another part-time chiropractor, he sees 60 – 70 per day. Routine treatments last between 5 – 10 minutes.

Members can also use their membership at any The Joint clinic, as chiropractors across the company’s network have access to patient files.

The chiropractic chain is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its former CEO, John Leonesio, founded Massage Envy, a chain of massage spas with almost 1,200 locations and annual revenue of more than $300 million.

According to the company, The Joint franchise and corporate locations are earning double-digit percentage annual revenue growth, with a 17 percent increase from 2015-2016 and similar projections for 2016-2017.

Moody’s clinic is owned by a subsidiary of The Joint, which owns about 40 clinics located in the Bay Area and as far north as Seattle, which all split their profits.

For entrepreneurs looking to get in on the franchise, programs and marketing support starts at $211,400, which includes the initial franchise fee.

The company has 74 clinics in California, 40 of which are in the southern area of the state.

Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.