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Have a Heart: Say No to Soda
It's not enough that soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to cavities and weight gain, among other negative health consequences.
You are What You Eat Part II: Integrative Protocols
In the previous installment of this article I discussed important ideas concerning gastrointestinal health and foundational ideas from TCM, which can provide key insights into creating effective protocols for healing the gut.
Helping Patients Through Pregnancy Loss
There is a lot of focus in the acupuncture world on fertility and helping women get pregnant. It's exhilarating to hear the news that a patient is expecting a baby. The other side of that is pregnancy loss. That includes abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth.
The Potter's Wheel: Reflections on Practicing in a Technology-Driven World
In my very early years of practice, an older patient named Cora would call me at home, usually late Sunday night after she had consumed an unknown quantity of beer.
Chiropractic: The Right Choice for Relieving LBP
"Low back pain (LBP) is a common threat to medicine and a reasonable threat to all national health care systems. ... Reducing ineffective treatments is necessary to decrease the LBP associated costs."
Economics of Complementary/Integrative Care
Although this column doesn't usually feature a book review, we're going outside of our usual public health format to discuss a new book written by Patricia Herman ND, PhD.
Going Shoeless: The Pros & Cons of Barefoot Running
With the subculture of barefoot runners and the products catering to them growing daily, just about every chiropractor has been asked at one point or another about their opinion regarding barefoot running.
There Are No Secrets: Treating Complicated Conditions with TCM
Including standardized extra points, there are just over 400 acupuncture points on the body. You get 400 and I get 400 - same. Yet, time and time again treatment protocols are coveted as if they were some secret formula only intended for the right and privileged.
Side Effects From Big Pharma: Wellbutrin – Dangerous for You and Your Baby
Are some of your pregnant patients taking Wellbutrin? If so, it could be a danger to them and their baby. This drug is extremely popular, but it has a serious history.
Remembering Joe Weider (1920-2013)
With the death of Joe Weider, the world's most famous body-building visionary, crusader, fitness magazine publisher and icon, on March 23, 2013, chiropractic has lost one of its greatest friends and supporters.
Medicine Presents: A Great Opportunity
The changing nature of health care presents both opportunities and challenges. While we tend to focus on our profession, we can sometimes forget the impact other health care professions can have on us.
Helping Infertility Patients with the Spirit Essence
As many of you know, when it comes to treating infertility, we are dealing with a patient population that is, generally speaking, in emotional turmoil. These patients often experience fear, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, grief and anger.
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Patient Perception and the Farce of "Fast Relief"; A Fly in the Ointment; Persecuted for Choosing to Practice Chiropractic.
Why You Should Get to Know the National Vaccine Information Center
Barbara Loe Fisher has been a diligent advocate for providing parents with the information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the usage of vaccinations for their children.
Research Abstracts From the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics
Effect of Pain Relief on Lumbar Muscle Function and Activation; Effects of Thrust Amplitude and Duration of HVLA Spinal Manipulation; Immediate Effects of Upper Thoracic Manipulation on Cardiovascular Response.
Herbal Medicine: Go Mainstream
When it comes to practicing herbal medicine in a mainstream setting, there are a number of important points to understand when it comes to prescribing formulas. Some important questions to ask are - what method of prescribing and dispensing is most effective in this setting?
Happenings in Our Evolving Profession
Good things seem to be happening for our profession and recent developments show we are all on board. Talking about being on board, this September The Veterans Express-Purple Heart Tour is expected to make its way out of the station.
What the Science Says About Magnesium Stearate
It's often been said that scientific studies can be used to support just about anything. But discoveries are never made one study at a time.
Correcting Kid Logic in Health Care and Research Design
A recent broadcast on public radio described a fascinating phenomenon known as kid logic.
Are They Finally Fixing Medicare Reimbursement?
Even with federal sequestration cuts taking effect in March, including a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursement to health care providers, hope may be on the horizon in the form of a much-anticipated, perpetually suggested overhaul of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which serves as the basis for determining physician reimbursement.
The Spirits of the Points: The Gall Bladder Official
The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. In any given day, this Official makes countless decisions – conscious and unconscious, which influence every aspect of our being.
Energy is a hot commodity. Society pays dearly for it and for the expertise of those who know how to cultivate it.
Peer Points: Stories of Practice Success
When patients go see Arizona-based acupuncturist Jing Liu, it is to get top care from an practitioner well versed in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Some Thoughts on the TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is an interesting and dynamic articulation that can cause a lot of problems.
Let's face it – patient evaluation takes time. Unless you are really into the diagnostic evaluation game, you probably have found the formal exam protocol tedious if not downright annoying.
SOAP Notes: It's Time for a Cleaning
I have been planning for some time to write an article about how traditional SOAP notes do not fit chiropractic practice, and the unfairness of holding DCs to a model clearly created for and primarily applicable to medical physicians.
A Building Block of Healthy Aging
Coenzyme Q10 has gained enormous attention in recent years, and with good reason —it's the Energizer Bunny of the cellular world.
What They Don't Say Could Hurt You
I have written previously regarding the difficulties of drawing information from patients who are poor historians, forgetful or just plain uncooperative. The thought to revisit the topic occurred recently during preparation for an upcoming seminar.
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
Can CAM Help Slow the Growth in National Health Care Spending?
By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor
A recent report from Health Affairs entitled, "U.S. Spending on Complementary and Alternative Medicine During 2002-2008 Plateaued, Suggesting Role in Reformed Health System," sheds light on some interesting spending trends for CAM.
According to study authors Matthew Davis, Brook Martin, Ian Coulter and William Weeks, CAM is an approximately $9 billion market in the U.S. each year, which they say is equal to three percent of national ambulatory health care expenditures. The authors examined trends in the demand for CAM as reported in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey during 2002 through 2008. According to the report, the authors believe that, "should some forms of complementary and alternative medicine be proven more efficient than allopathic and specialty medicine, the inclusion of complementary and alternative medicine providers in the new delivery systems such as accountable care organizations could help slow growth in national health care spending."
In terms of national spending on CAM, "inflation-adjusted expenditures on chiropractic care increased 11 percent from $6.2 billion in 2002 to $6.9 billion in 2008. Inflation-adjusted expenditures on acupuncture, massage therapy and other complementary and alternative medicine services were stable." Another interesting finding was the amount spent per patient on specific services. The authors found that "the mean annual inflation-adjusted expenditure per user decreased for acupuncture (from $260 to $325) and other complementary and alternative medicine services (from $301 to $214), while it increased for chiropractic care (from $447 to $582) and massage therapy (from $259 to $305)."
According to the study, the number of CAM users held steady except for one specific service: acupuncture grew by 16 percent from 950,000 in 2002 to 1.1 million in 2008. Overall, the number of adults who visited a CAM provider at least once during the year increased by six percent, from 15.2 million in 2002 to 16.1 million in 2008. "Chiropractic care accounted for 77 percent to 82 percent of total ambulatory visits to complementary and alternative medicine providers from 2002 to 2008, while massage therapy accounted for 10 percent to 14 percent; acupuncture 4 percent to 6 percent and other services, 3 percent to 4 percent."
The authors acknowledge the historically poor communication between CAM providers and providers of other medical services. However, the authors note that new opportunities to stabilize spending could come from including CAM services in accountable care organizations. "Considering that complementary and alternative medicine appears to be relatively inexpensive when compared to allopathic medicine, if medical care providers are willing to collaborate with local complementary and alternative medicine service providers, offering at least some complementary and alternative medicine services could help accountable care organizations achieve their objectives."
In conclusion, the authors believe that, "as health care policy makers, payers and other stakeholders attempt to reduce waste in health care systems, they should recognize that excluding currently covered complementary and alternative medicine services would, at best, produce only meager cost savings. Operating under more free-market conditions, the pricing of complementary and alternative services appears to be more self-regulating than that of the conventional health care sector. This difference suggests that payment systems that encourage consumers to make educated decisions under the constraint of a budget may help constrain health care spending growth.
"Examination of the U.S. complementary and alternative medicine market is useful in understanding consumer response to a more cash-based health care economy, which can inform future benefit design. If certain types of complementary and alternative medicine services are proven to be efficient in managing health conditions, those who provide these services may find opportunities to participate in new delivery system models such as accountable care organizations, resulting in a more collaborative approach to health care delivery."
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