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Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
U.S. Olympians Have a DC in Their Corner
It's probably old news to you that doctors of chiropractic play an increasingly prominent role in treating athletes, from youth sports participants to weekend warriors, to elite / professional competitors.
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
Hey, Doctor Wanna-Be's
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Want to be just like doctors? Here's your chance! At least once a week, I get something in the mail urging me to sign up in a managed care network. One network went so far as to threaten me by giving me a deadline that I had to have its forms completed and filed so it could meet some regulation.
These are usually followed by phone calls: "Mr.Stephens, did you get our application form in the mail?" The incredible opportunity offered to me is: 1) to do more paperwork, and 2) to charge patients less money who belong to the network's "group." My response to these offers is to send back their postage-paid envelopes empty. I do not believe in discrimination -- for example, charging one rate for purple people and another rate for green people. People in an insurance group are "purples"; they get the good rate. People not in the insurance group are the "greens"; they pay extra.
I can justify rate adjustments based on real need. However, these approved-provider, managed-care and insurance discounts are not based on needs. In reality, the affluent belong to the plans and the poor do not. Why give the rich a better deal? Participation in the discrimination created by these plans is immoral and unethical.
This unethical behavior ultimately comes home to roost in lower moral and job satisfaction, as documented by a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Doctors have been involved in these unethical schemes far longer than massage therapists have. Here's what we have to look forward to as we become more and more entangled in the allopathic insurance web. We will be just like doctors in this way. Won't that be great?
Physicians Report Declining Morale, Cite Dissatisfaction with Managed Care
Ninety percent of physicians who participated in the Kaiser study said that the overall morale of their colleagues has decreased in the last five years. A smaller percentage, although still a majority (58 percent), said that their own enthusiasm for practicing medicine has lessened during that time. Among the factors cited for the decline in morale are the number of work hours physicians spend on administrative activities; the lack of professional autonomy; their potential income over the next five years; and the amount of time they have for nonprofessional interests, family and friends.
The survey also indicated that managed care is a major source of doctors' woes. Three-quarters of the physicians surveyed said that managed care has had a negative impact on the way they practice medicine. Specifically, 95 percent said that managed care has increased their paperwork, and 88 percent said it has decreased the amount of time they can spend with patients. Although the physicians surveyed did credit managed care with increasing the use of practice guidelines and disease management protocols (these are currently being developed for massage... sigh), 73 percent said that managed care has decreased health care quality overall.
For more results from this survey, go to: www.kff.org/content/2002/20020426c/.
So, doctors are getting bummed out having to do all the paperwork, being told what they can do and how much of it they can do, and having to work more and more for less and less. See what happens when you let insurance companies and the government get between you and your patients? You lose. Ultimately, so do the patients. Third-party reimbursement (insurance) is like a drug to both the patient and the practitioner. The best response to the temptation is to "Just Say No!"
For those of you who care about health freedom, which should be all of you, it is time for an update on the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA). I mentioned this act earlier in the year. This sinister legislation was developed by power-hungry public health bureaucrats and is being pushed onto every state. These opportunists have been planning this for a long time and are using the current crisis/panic state of people to fulfill their dream of complete state control over your health. After all, they believe they know what is best for you. MSEHPA will severely infringe on citizens' medical privacy and freedom to choose their health care. If you believe in mandatory vaccination, this bill is for you. If you like martial law, ruled by public health officials, you will love this bill. If you believe in freedom of choice in health care, this bill will be terrifying to you. Are you in a licensed state? If this bill passes in your state, you and all health-care facilities, doctors, and health-care providers will have to agree to abide by the MSEHPA during declared public-health emergencies to maintain licenses to practice or run a health-care business. This means you!
This bill will, by careful design, greatly diminish Americans' health freedoms -- including the freedom of doctors and other health care providers. Under the MSEHPA, doctors could be required to administer treatments to which they object. This legislation clearly would infringe on doctors' and other health care providers' freedom of conscience. Moreover, the draft legislation does not state clearly that it will uphold existing state laws that provide for exemptions to vaccination. However, it does state that individuals who refuse medical examination and treatment (including vaccination) could be quarantined or isolated. For the sake of your patients and your practice, you had better get out and work against this bill. In states that have already enacted this legislation (Maryland, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah), it is too late for you. In states that have introduced MSEHPA (Arizona; California; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New York; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Tennessee; Vermont; and Virginia) - you folks better get to work! You still have a chance to save yourselves.
This legislation won't make any headlines. You will never know it passed, until one day they pull it out and stick it to you. MSEHPA is inactive or has been defeated in Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Congratulations -- you saved yourselves! Stay alert, they will bring it back again if more states pass it.
Your responses to my columns on massage education have been immense and positive. Hopefully, many of you are organizing to enact improvements in your state. Next month, I will present a vision of massage education. Stand by for "Beyond the Rub."
Hope you have had wonderful summer. Have a great Labor Day.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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