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Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
October, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 10
Claims of Commission
By Dixie Wall, Contributing Editor
In pursuing a career in alternative health as a massage and bodywork practitioner, one usually does not consider being sued for professional malpractice. A lawsuit against you or your practice is sometimes unimaginable, but surprisingly enough, it can happen.We live in such a monetary-driven and litigious society that claims may still occur. Being sued for malpractice can result in repercussion not only at a professional level, but on a personal level as well. What are the most common claims against massage therapists and how can we avoid them? What preventative steps can we take to keep us from being affected at either the professional or the personal level?
Malpractice and/or liability claims are generally categorized into malpractice, criminal or civil. Malpractice includes acts of commission and acts of omission. Commission acts are unintentional or intentional acts performed by a therapist that result in some type of harm to the client. Acts of omission involve a failure to refer clients out when indicated or some type of missed assessment in initial treatment of client. These acts are more common among primary care physicians such as a doctor, chiropractor or acupuncturist.
Criminal suits are usually claims that involve some type of illegal implication and ramification related to unprofessional illegal conduct. You should be aware that most malpractice insurance policies do not cover you for these types of lawsuits. These illegal acts are usually excluded in malpractice insurance policies. According to the Medical Council of New Zealand, criminal acts range in severity. The lowest level is nonphysical contact and involves the use of inappropriate, disrespectful or demeaning language. More serious misconduct involves the use of inappropriate touching and/or draping techniques. The most severe acts involve engaging in a sexual act with a client. When any type of sexual misconduct takes place, the issue is no longer in the realm of malpractice, but now becomes a criminal issue. This long-standing issue is very controversial and will be discussed further in future articles.
This month, let's discuss acts of commission, which can further be defined as any harm resulting from a failure to perform a degree of learned skills ordinarily possessed by reputable massage and bodywork professional. Before I go into detail about the most common commission-type claims, I want to emphasize the importance of attaining and upholding professional liability insurance. Malpractice liability insurance protects therapists by providing for legal needs in the event you are named in a lawsuit. Liability insurance is mandatory to satisfy licensing requirements in states such as Massachusetts, Missouri, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and even in some local permitting regulatory agencies in California. Spas, clinics and other places of employment will typically require therapists (whether independent contractors or employees) to carry insurance in order to protect themselves and their customers. There are several different associations and insurance companies that offer liability/malpractice insurance policies. Policy terms and amount of coverage are generally standardized. Price varies according to membership benefits.
According to the president of the American Massage Council, Phil Stump, the most common claims involve an act of commission in treatment that resulted in physical injury to the client. A majority of these claims involved burning or bruising to the client. Other common claims involved some type of injury to the neck, ribs, and thoracic or lumbar spine. Here are some examples of recent claims and tips to avoid this from happening in your practice:
Client who is injured by burns:
Client who is injured by bruising:
Claims involving injury of neck, spine or ribs:
Next month, we will discuss claim prevention through practice management and the significant value of establishing routine policy procedures. We will also discuss acts of omission, and the importance of staying within one's scope of practice. Ultimately, we are the creators of our own destinies by establishing and following our own professional standards. It is through these principles by which we conduct ourselves that the solid foundation of a lasting career can be set.
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