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Spinal Manipulation Proves Equally Beneficial as Surgery in Sciatica Treatment
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Newsflash
Written by TAC Staff   
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 20:52

Source: biowire

In a recent study, “Manipulation or Microdisketomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study,” (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 2010, Vol. 33 Iss. 8, p: 576-584), researchers concluded that spinal manipulation was just as effective as microdiskectomy for patients struggling with sciatica secondary tobacksurgery2 lumbar disk herniation (LDH).  The patient population studied included people experiencing chronic sciatica (symptoms greater than six months) that had failed traditional, medical management. Overall, 60 percent of patients who received spinal manipulation benefited to the same degree as those who underwent surgery.

“To our knowledge, this is the first, randomized trial that directly compared spinal manipulation, which in this study was delivered by a doctor of chiropractic, and back surgery, two popular treatment choices for this prevalent health condition,” says Dr. Gordon McMorland, who co-authored the paper with neurosurgeons Steve Casha, MD, PhD, FRCSC, Stephan J. du Plessis, MD, and R. John Hubert, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS. “Sciatica is a serious spinal condition that causes pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs.  Many times when symptoms become debilitating and without further help, surgery is prescribed to alleviate discomfort.  But surgery is not without financial and physical drawbacks.”

According to the study, “Outpatient Lumbar Microdiscectomy: A Prospective Study in 122 Patients”, more than 200,000 microdiskectomies are performed annually in the United States, at a direct cost of $5 billion, or $25,000 per procedure. In this year-long study, consenting participants were chosen randomly to receive either an average of 21 chiropractic sessions over a year or a single microdiskectomy, both with the additional integration of six supervised active rehabilitation sessions and a patient education program.  If cost is assumed at $100 per chiropractic visit, there is a direct, total savings of $22,900 per manipulation patient. System-wide, this could save $2.75 billion dollars annually.

“After a year, no significant complications were seen in either treatment group, and the 60 percent patients who benefitted from spinal manipulation improved to the same degree as their surgical counterparts,” says Dr. McMorland, who also points out that, “The 40 percent of patients who were not helped by manipulation did receive subsequent surgical intervention. These patients benefitted to the same degree as those that underwent surgery initially, suggesting there was no detrimental effect caused by delaying their surgical treatment.”

“Our research supports spinal manipulation performed by a doctor of chiropractic is a valuable and safe treatment option for those experiencing symptomatic LDH, failing traditional medical management.  These individuals should consider spinal manipulation as a primary treatment, followed by surgery if unsuccessful.”

About Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress aims to inform and educate the general public about the many benefits associated with chiropractic care. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit us on the web at www.yes2chiropractic.com or call 866-901-F4CP (3427).

 
UnitedHealthcare Overpayment ERISA Class Action Expanded with DME and ASC Providers for Additional Complaints
Newsflash
Written by TAC Staff   
Monday, 02 May 2011 19:03

On April 22, 2011, more healthcare providers, durable medical equipment (DME), ambulatory surgical center (ASC), national and state chiropractic associations, joined and expanded the ERISA class-action against UnitedHealthcare, originally filed on January 24, 2011 by a group of chiropractors, for alleged ERISA violations in its overpayment recoupment and pre-service claim denials in connection with managed care network practice by OptumHealth, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare. ERISAclaim.com offers free webinars to examine this ERISA class-action's impact on healthcare industry.

The first amended class complaint (Premier Health Center, P.C. et al v. UnitedHealth Group et al, Case 2:11-cv-00425-FSH -PS Doc. #15), filed on 04/22/11 in U.S. District Court of New Jersey, expands the original lawsuit, filed on Jan. 24, 2011, with additional class plaintiffs, additional defendant and additional complaints, to include DME and ambulatory surgical center plaintiffs, defendant OptumHealth, and alleged pre-service & concurrent claim denial ERISA violations. All named class plaintiffs are asserting their rights, through representational standing, to obtain appropriate equitable relief to address the abuses at issue on behalf of their Associations or Industry members in all 50 states.

The original action was previously filed on Jan. 24, 2011 by Pomerantz Haudek Grossman & Gross LLP, one of the nation's preeminent class action law firms and a leader in combating the abuses of the health insurance industry, on behalf of a group of chiropractors, and the Ohio State Chiropractic Association (OSCA). Pomerantz seeks to represent a nationwide class of all health care providers who have been subjected to alleged overpayment demands by UnitedHealth Group to repay previously paid health care benefits for services provided to UnitedHealth Group subscribers, only to have such funds forcibly recouped by the withholding of future payments from unrelated claims in alleged violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), the Federal law governing private employee benefit plans.

"Health-care overpayment recoupment market is estimated to be over hundreds of billions of dollars. With little or no judicial guidance, most health plan's relentless and abusive recoupment practices are mixed with genuine but little fraud investigation and mostly retroactive adverse benefits determination (overpayment demand) under ERISA, This UHC ERISA class-action, along with other overpayment ERISA class actions, will become a historical and unique part of U.S. healthcare history," said Dr. Jin Zhou, President of ERISAclaim.com, a National Expert on ERISA and PPACA Appeals and Compliance.

According to the Court papers filed on April 22, 2011, in United States District Court, District Of New Jersey, Case 2:11-cv-00425-FSH -PS:

The plaintiffs are: PREMIER HEALTH CENTER, P.C., JUDSON G. SPRANDEL, II, D.C., BRIAN S. HICKS, D.C., TRI3 ENTERPRISES, LLC, BEVERLY HILLS SURGICAL CENTER, JEREMY RODGERS, D.C., and AMY O'DONNELL, D.C., on their own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated, and CONGRESS OF CHIROPRACTIC STATE ASSOCIATIONS, the AMERICAN CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION, the OHIO STATE CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION and THE MISSOURI STATE CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION, in a representational capacity on behalf of their members.

The defendants are: UNITEDHEALTH GROUP, UNITEDHEALTHCARE SERVICES, INC., OPTUMHEALTH, INC., HEALTH NET OF THE NORTHEAST, INC., and HEALTH NET OF NEW YORK, INC..

The plaintiffs alleged complete violation of ERISA claim regulation by UnitedHealthcare, especially with ERISA requirements for compliant EOB practice, right to appeal and a full and fair review for all overpayment recoupment demand as an ERISA adverse benefits determination, overpayment withholding/offsetting as an ERISA adverse benefit determination, and pre-service claim and concurrent service claim denials.

Among other things, the Plaintiffs demand judgment in their favor against Defendants to find that United have breached the terms of the plan provisions and have violated federal law ERISA, to stop United from engaging any non-ERISA compliant overpayment recoupment demand and offsetting from any future payments, and to stop OptumHealth from denying pre-service claims and concurrent service claims without compliance with ERISA claim regulation and the plan provisions.

A copy of the initial Class Action Complaint is available at www.erisaclaim.com/UHC_Complaint.pdf

A copy of the First Amended Complaint is available at www.erisaclaim.com/UHC_Complaint2.pdf

This ERISA class action will have profound impact on not only DME providers, ambulatory surgical centers, chiropractic providers but also all of the doctors and hospitals in U.S.A, predicted Dr. Zhou.

On March 4, 2011, AMA reported the importance of this UHC ERISA class action for all physicians, stating: "This lawsuit could have implications for physicians who are the target of the same kind of collections, even though the plaintiffs are chiropractors." (www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/02/28/bise0304.htm)

Located in a Chicago suburb in Illinois, ERISAclaim.com is the only ERISA & PPACA consulting, publishing and website resource for healthcare providers in the country. ERISAclaim.com offers free webinars, basic and advanced educational seminars and on-site claims specialist certification programs for doctors, hospitals and commercial companies, as well as litigation support. Dr. Jin Zhou is regarded as the industry "Godfather of ERISA claims" for healthcare providers.

ERISA claim.com offers complete spectrum of overpayment appeal and prevention services, including educational, consulting, litigation support services for overpayment demand, overpayment withholding/offsetting, PPO auditing, SIU investigation, ERISA & PPACA Claim Specialist Certification training.

For more information on overpayment appeal and other services: www.erisaclaim.com/products.htm

For any questions, please contact Dr. Jin Zhou, president of ERISAclaim.com, at 630-808-7237

 
Chiropractic Doctor Head of Health Sciences Division at University and Oversees Six Colleges, Schools and Institutes
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Newsflash
Written by TAC Staff   
Friday, 29 April 2011 00:20

Bridgeport Connecticut, March 20, 2011

David M. Brady DC, ND, CCN, DACBN was named Vice Provost of The Division of Health Sciences at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut in June of 2008. He represents the first, and only, doctor of chiropractic to rise to the level of senior administration within a comprehensive university system worldwide. He has been at U.B. for the past 14 years, serving as an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences in the College of Chiropractic and College of Naturopathic Medicine for the first seven years, as the Director of the Human Nutrition Institute for the past seven, and Vice Provost of the Division of Health Sciences for the past three.

 

Dr. Brady's position has evolved over the past three years he has come to oversee the operations of six different colleges, schools and institutes within the University, as well as the UB Clinics public health care facilities. These academic programs encompassing a broad range of professional health science disciplines, including the College of Chiropractic, College of Naturopathic Medicine, Human Nutrition Institute, Acupuncture Institute, Physician Assistant Institute, and the Fones School of Dental Hygiene. Dr. Brady, who has been trained as a chiropractic physician, a naturopathic physician, and a clinical nutritionist, uses the perspective he has gained from his multiple professional backgrounds to effectively guide the University’s programs in chiropractic, medical, naturopathic, dental, nutrition, and acupuncture training.

 

It was under Dr. Brady’s leadership that the University struck a strategic alliance with St. Vincent’s Medical Center, a comprehensive teaching hospital in the city of Bridgeport, to develop the new UB Physician Assistant Institute. This is the first PA program in the world to have an integrative medicine component weaved throughout the curriculum. The UB-St. Vincent’s collaboration has also resulted in clinical rotations within the hospital system for chiropractic and naturopathic medicine students. Under Dr. Brady’s leadership the University of Bridgeport also struck a collaboration arrangement with the University of Connecticut (UConn); the first such agreement in the State of Connecticut between a public and a private university.

 

Although Dr. Brady's responsibilities include many disciplines within the University, the collaborative and integrative approach to patient care amongst the various health care disciplines has enabled chiropractic, as well as the other professions, to promote more informed and inclusive patient care. His vision of collaborative care is benefitting patients worldwide as the University of Bridgeport professional students work within the hospital systems he has fostered locally and then graduate to take this approach to patients they care for worldwide.

 
NIH launches Web resource on complementary and alternative medicine
Newsflash
Written by TAC Staff   
Thursday, 28 April 2011 22:32

A new online resource, designed to give health care providers easy access to evidence-based information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), was unveiled today by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health.

With this new resource, providers will have the tools necessary to learn about the various CAM practices and products and be better able to discuss the safety and effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine with their patients.

The portal on the NCCAM website at nccam.nih.gov is tailored to fit the needs of all health care providers, including physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and CAM providers. It includes information on the safety and efficacy of a range of common health practices that lie outside of mainstream medicine — natural products, such as dietary supplements, herbs, and probiotics, as well as mind-body practices such as meditation, chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage.

This resource was developed based on a series of NCCAM-sponsored focus groups where health care providers identified the need for an evidence-based, one-stop place to help answer their patients’ questions on CAM. With this need in mind, NCCAM developed a resource that provides reliable, objective, and evidenced-based information on CAM, including:

  • links to relevant clinical practice guidelines
  • safety and effectiveness information
  • links to systematic reviews
  • summaries of research studies
  • scientific literature searches
  • programs for continuing education credit
  • patient fact sheets
  • NCCAM's Time to Talk tool kit on communicating about CAM.

Americans annually spend nearly $34 billion out-of-pocket on CAM products and practices. Surveys show that nearly 40 percent of American adults and 12 percent of American children use some form of CAM. Other surveys show that patients do not regularly discuss these practices with their health care providers. In fact, a recent study of Americans aged 50 and older found that overall two-thirds of respondents had not discussed CAM with their health care provider.

"NCCAM is charged to study and provide evidence-based information on the safety and efficacy of CAM health practices that are readily available and already used by a great number of people," said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of NCCAM. "As a physician, I understand the need to have easily accessible and accurate information on all health practices. This Web resource is a way for NCCAM to share this valuable information with all providers."

To use this resource, please visit http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/.

NCCAM's Time to Talk campaign encourages patients to tell their providers about CAM use and providers to ask about it by offering tools and resources — such as wallet cards, posters, and tip sheets — all of which are available for free at http://nccam.nih.gov/timetotalk/.

The mission of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCAM’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

 
Parker College of Chiropractic Transitions to New Name and University Status
Newsflash
Written by TAC Staff   
Thursday, 28 April 2011 20:57

Parker College of Chiropractic Transitions to New Name and University Status

Parker University will expand graduate level offerings with additional degrees

including sports science and health and nutrition 

ParkerCollegeDALLAS, April 11, 2011 – Parker College of Chiropractic announced today it has achieved university status and will rebrand as Parker University. The Dallas-based school cites the name change as part of an expansion of current graduate degree offerings and programs with a focused long-term strategy of educating the world’s top health care and wellness practitioners for today’s changing health care landscape.

“Alumni and student surveys conducted last year identified many of the suggested degree plans,” said Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president of Parker University. “We’re also working with a SACS consultant to identify the programs with the highest market demand. Although the list is not final, bachelors programs in health technologies and masters programs in public health, nutrition, sports science and many others have been discussed.”

Statistics show a shift in the health care industry as costs rise and patients look to natural, holistic care as an alternative to high prescription and surgery costs. According to CDC National Health Statistics, approximately 38 percent of American adults and 12 percent of children use some form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), which includes chiropractic, massage therapy and more.

“This is a great day for all of us, and especially for current and future students. The new designation further sets Parker apart as a leader in our industry and allows us to position our students for greater success,” said the school’s vice president of academics, Dr. Ken Thomas. “It is critical to seek specialty training to have an edge as a doctor of chiropractic in today’s market, and Parker’s new programs will set our students apart from other wellness professionals.”

Additionally, the name change will raise awareness within the community, allowing for partnerships with regional universities, a new set of campus amenities, research collaboration with other universities and community health services.

Despite the name change, the chiropractic program will continue to serve as the cornerstone of every initiative launched by Parker. Chiropractic is, and will always remain, the hallmark program offered by Parker University.

The first graduation under the name Parker University College of Chiropractic will take place this Saturday, April 16, and the school will adopt its new name immediately. Transition to the new name will occur on the school’s website, materials and elsewhere during the next six to 12 months.

Amid the transition, the focus to spread chiropractic worldwide and remain a leader in chiropractic education, along with the charge to expand opportunities in holistic health care education continues. The prestige, appeal and capacity to diversify educational opportunities will intensify Parker’s status as the leading chiropractic and holistic-based educational institution in the country, supplementing the shifting attitudes of the consumer.

“People today are more aware of the importance of being proactive about their health, and they’re realizing they can do this by making better choices in their lifestyles,” said Dr. Mancini. “Because of this there’s great demand for chiropractors right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that chiropractic is a rapidly growing profession, with employment of chiropractors expected to increase 20 percent by 2018.”

With just 27 students in its first graduating class in 1985, Parker has grown into a leading chiropractic and wellness institution with 270 employees and more than 1,000 students impacting the local economy, education and health care industries. Twenty-eight percent of Dallas area chiropractors are graduates of Parker.

“In all my years as a student, administrator and now president, I cannot recall a more exciting time to be part of the vibrant community here at Parker,” said Dr. Mancini. “I know our founding father, Dr. Jim W. Parker, would have been immensely proud of our college’s evolution to university status.”

The University also expects hiring to occur as the offerings continue to grow with its new focus and status.

“As we expand, we will have a need to hire additional faculty who have the knowledge to support our new programs,” added Dr. Mancini.

 

About Parker University

Parker University, located in Dallas, is one of the country’s leading educators of health care professionals with an international student enrollment. Founded in 1982, this private, nonprofit educational institution prepares men and women to become doctors of chiropractic. Parker University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the bachelor of science and doctor of chiropractic degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA, 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Parker University. The doctor of chiropractic degree program of Parker University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education, 8049 North 85th Way, Scottsdale, AZ, 85258-4321. Tel: 480.443.8877. For additional information about Parker University, visit the college’s website at www.parkercc.edu.

 

For further information, contact:

Stacey Kjerstad

Public Relations

214.902.3449

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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