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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.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 06
The World of the Injured Worker
By Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT
Author's note: This revised article was originally prepared by myself and Sherry Smith, LMT; it was presented to a three-member panel of the Florida Workers' Compensation Division, which included Insurance Commissioner, Bill Nelson.The panel was in the process of revising its 1997 "Florida Workers' Compensation Health Care Provider Fee For Service Reimbursement Manual" during a time when the workers' compensation system was trying to eliminate massage therapists from the original draft for changes in the system; needless to say, workers' compensation carriers in Florida are still reimbursing us. It pays to fight for your rights!
This article is directed toward those interested in working with injured workers. If you have not considered working with these types of patients, this article may help you understand why accepting some insurance for reimbursement is necessary.
I originally wrote this article with the Florida worker in mind, so some references may not fit the circumstances in every state; still, it is generally the same everywhere. Keep in mind that not all cases or conditions are the same, and this article focuses on cases involving the more serious or catastrophically injured worker. Health-care providers who specialize in work injury cases generally agree that the following summarizes the experiences of a typical injured worker.
The Typical Injured Worker Scenario
The Employee's Continuing Nightmare
At this point, the employee can experience any of the following:
Surveillance of Injured Workers
The insurance carrier's surveillance officer begins to film the employee engaging in activities such as attending a child's baseball game; walking with a cane through a fairground; or swimming.
Consider the following examples:
Injured employees may experience fear knowing that their every move may be filmed. They can't tell whether they are being stalked; are about to be robbed or beaten; if their children are in danger; or if it is just the carrier's surveillance crew filming their activities. This causes undue stress and fear for innocent employees who, through no fault of their own, were injured.
These stories go on and on. Surveillance films (paid for by the carrier) often present a distorted or incomplete report of the employee's activities, or are not even of the patient.
Searching for Normalcy
The employee will try to find some semblance of normalcy by trying to engage in daily activities as best as possible, even though these minor activities can cause undue pain. Unfortunately, the surveillance crew is not present to film this pain or disability. The employee's injury may allow him or her to engage in certain activities for short intervals when there is time available to recuperate. These activities may not allow for repetitive motion but may be necessary to begin the improvement process; however, the employee may not be able to perform on the job without ample rest time between activities. Once again, the insurance carrier's spot surveillance is taken out of context, and the employee is punished for trying to rise above his or her injury by beginning to participate in short and varied activities.
The Employee's Changed World
By now, the employee's world has changed - maybe forever - because of this injury. The employee's disability income does not meet financial obligations; disability checks that were initially on time become delinquent or are cut out completely at the whim of the insurance carrier or adjuster.
The employee's once-good credit rating is lost as bills are turned over for collection. Collectors call the home daily. The employee's spouse works, but can no longer carry the financial or emotional load alone. Family emotions and financial pressures continue to escalate. The employee receives the disability check late, or it is reduced or stopped completely. The utilities are shut off. The adjuster refuses the prescribed treatment plan, including medications, and the employee cannot purchase the prescribed medicines. The employee's spouse is leaving him or her, or contemplating doing so. The employee has no choice except to seek legal counsel. The children suffer from experiencing the discouragement, depression and other sorrows created by the situation.
Employee Seeks Self-Medication
To obtain some relief, the employee begins self-medicating with prescribed medications (if he or she can get them through workers' compensation coverage); over-the-counter medications, alcohol; or all of the above, to cope with the physical and emotional pain. Some employees become addicts.
To keep sane, the employee seeks the help of a mental-health counselor or is referred to one by the attending physician. The employee feels emotionally strung out, despondent, and sometimes suicidal. The system has created the need for these additional services.
And They Wonder Why?
Many months (frequently, more than a year) have elapsed since the employee's injury, and the employee feels as if the world is crashing down. Despite many forms of treatment, the employee's condition has not improved and has often intensified. The employee has begged for something to help him or her deal with the pain and get back to a life that includes work and normalcy. Despite what the employer or insurance carrier may think, the majority of employees do not like watching soap operas, feeling incompetent, and being out of the work atmosphere: It has been forced upon them by the system.
It is my belief that the majority of injured employees would rather work than be supported or made to feel the effects of despair, inadequacy, and self-doubt created by the system and this situation. And they wonder why they can't get an injured worker off of temporary or permanent disability to return to work.
No two cases are alike: Not all carriers defer treatment, and not all employees are completely honest; but there are a few exceptions, and it is those exceptions that get the most publicity. It is my opinion, from my years of observation, that employers and insurance carriers pay a much greater price to avoid paying for the catastrophic legitimate cases, than they lose on those who try to elude the system now and then.
I will be attending the annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference again for the 19th year. (Incidentally, there are more surveillance exhibits there than other types of services.)
The Employee Finally Receives a Prescription for Massage Therapy
Watch for the continuation of this article in the August issue.
Click here for more information about Vivian Madison-Mahoney, LMT.
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