resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
I always felt that the case of Meador v Stahler and Gheridian would have made a terrific case for the award-winning television show "Boston Legal." I could just picture Alan Shore (brilliantly portrayed by James Spader) eloquently and passionately representing his client while educating the rest of us about our legal rights as patients.
Not familiar with this case? Let me explain. In 2005, a Massachusetts woman, Mary Meador, sued and won a $1.5 million award against her obstetricians for performing a C-section she made clear she didn't want. She didn't claim that the procedure was negligently performed or that her postsurgical complications (which left her bedridden and unable to work for a number of years) were foreseeable. The merits of her claim were that the doctors had misrepresented the risks and dangers of her birth choice -- a vaginal birth after a prior C-section (VBAC) -- and that they ignored her repeated pleas and requests for a vaginal birth.
The doctors were brought up on charges that they failed to obtain Meador's informed consent, which constituted substandard, negligent medical care. The forensic psychiatrist who testified at the trial established a link between the lack of informed consent and the physical and emotional toll it took on the patient and her family by forcing her to undergo a procedure she did not want and did not medically need.
When it comes to labor and childbirth, a woman's emotional vulnerability and physical discomfort makes it difficult for her to stand up for her rights. She needs to focus on her labor and not be engaged in an argument about what she is entitled to. According to the Childbirth Connection's "Rights of Childbearing Women" brochure2 (www.childbirthconnection.org), "Every woman has a right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests, and treatments and to have her choices honored." (For a free copy of this important pamphlet, send a SASE to Childbirth Connection, 281 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY, 10010.)
Fifteen years before the Meador case, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) as an amendment to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. It became effective in December 1991. Basically, the PSDA requires that Medicare and Medicaid providers (hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs, home health agencies, and HMOs) give competent adult individuals, at the time they are admitted or enrolled in the program, information about their rights under state laws governing advance directives. These rights include:
The PSDA also prohibits institutions from discriminating against a patient who does not have an advance directive or a plan of care.
All hospitals that receive federal funding (nearly 80 percent of hospitals in the United States) must conform to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoP) which requires that hospitals honor patient rights as expressed by the PSDA, the Consumer Bill of Rights and the EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Advanced Labor Act) law to be fully informed of the risks, benefits and alternatives of any proposed treatment and to participate in all treatment decisions. Hospitals that fail to uphold this practice run the risk of receiving stiff fines and/or losing their right to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid funding.
In New York, we have the Public Health Law, Section 2503, passed in 1978 (see my March 2006 column "The Truth About Pitocin" ), that requires all doctors and midwives to fully disclose and require informed consent from laboring women, regarding the use of all drugs during labor and delivery. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO) accredits 80 to 85 percent of American hospitals, and one of their standards for accreditation is patient rights. Complaints about patient rights violations can be made to them at www.jacho.org or (630)792-5800.
In my May 2005 column "'V-Back' to the Dark Ages," I addressed the political environment surrounding VBACs and the increased medical denial of this choice, so I am not going to go into the benefits and risks of VBAC again. Instead, I want readers to know that we and our clients have choices and responsibilities when it comes to our health care. Informed consent can only be provided if the patient is truly informed, and by regularly conceding this right to our care providers, it proves how rare and improbable this practice is. The onus of education, the burden of learning the facts, options, alternatives and side effects of procedures and drugs must be the responsibility of the patient. That is the only way, regrettably, that the patient will learn all the facts. Patients don't have to be powerless about their rights.
This is neither a war against individual doctors, or hospitals and their care, nor a diatribe against the medical community at large. It is a wake-up call to those patients who have remained passive about their own health decisions for too long and who have merely accepted the choices that are made for them by others. Only when patients and their care providers can openly discuss, debate and compare options based on shared evidence-based information can we really have a partnership, a team, dedicated to a person's total health care. Alan Shore would have fought -- and won -- for these rights. We can too.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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