New Science Behind Chiropractic Care
NEW ZEALAND: Ground-breaking research1 has, for the first time, identified the actual changes that occur in the body, the nervous system and the brain during chiropractic spinal adjustments.
The study was conducted by award-winning Auckland researcher, Dr. Heidi Haavik-Taylor. It demonstrates that chiropractic care sends signals to the brain that change the way the brain controls muscles.
Dr. Haavik-Taylor has spent the last seven years researching the effects of chiropractic adjustments on the nervous system. However, in her latest research, carried out in conjunction with fellow New Zealander Dr. Bernadette Murphy, she was able to measure how brain waves are altered before and after spinal adjustments.
This is the fi rst time that anyone has used EEG’s to prove that there are defi nite changes to the way the brain processes information after chiropractic care.
1. Haavik Taylor H and Murphy B. (2007). World Federation of Chiropractic’s 9th Biennial Congress Award Winning Paper (3rd Prize): Altered sensorimotor integration with cervical spine manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, in press.
New Zealand Chiropractors Association
Chiropractor Accused of Overdoing Manipulations
SOUTH CAROLINA: An Anderson chiropractor is facing a lawsuit over accusations that he continued manipulations of a man’s spine in spite of allegations that he had already damaged one of the man’s discs, causing pain that would last a lifetime.
Stephen Wells began receiving the treatments in January 2005, the lawsuit states. Mr. Wells’ attorney filed suit Nov. 26, 2007, against Dr. Douglas Hanner of Hanner Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Anderson. Dr. Hanner has not filed a response to the allegations and a trial date has not been set.
Chiropractor Pleads Guilty to Fraud
VIRGINIA: A Newport News chiropractor pleaded guilty in mid-December to health care fraud, acknowledging that he bilked several health management companies out of $106,545.
Brad L. Forbes, 33, agreed to a plea deal in U.S. District Court in which he faces up to 10 years in prison, a fi ne of up to $250,000 and full restitution for the amount that he falsely billed. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in March.In a statement that he agreed to, Forbes admitted submitting false bills to health care companies between January 2004 and November 2005, with the companies paying him for the amounts.
The bills were submitted to Aetna Inc., Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CIGNA Health Care and Mail Handlers Benefi t Plan.
Some bills were for services that Forbes falsely said he performed. Others were false physical therapy treatments billed under the name of another doctor hired to provide sinus treatments.
Aside from the criminal penalties in court, Forbes faces a possible loss of his license by the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
First issued in 2002, his license expires Feb. 29, 2008. But a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Professions said a felony conviction resulted in an automatic suspension.
Doctor Gets Three Years and 10 months in Prison for Insurance Fraud
PENNSYLVANIA: In late December, a Luzerne County chiropractor was sentenced to spend three years and 10 months in prison for “bilking” more than $200,000 out of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Northeastern Pennsylvania by filing false insurance claims.
Dr. Robert A. Bittenbender was found guilty of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion after a jury trial in June. At that trial, several of his former patients testifi ed about fi lling out insurance claims for treatment they did not receive.
The insurance payouts were split among Bittenbender, other staffers at his chiropractic offi ce and the patients, according to testimony.
In addition to prison time, Bittenbender will also have to pay back more than $311,000 to Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
The case was selected by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority as one of the top 13 cases of insurance fraud this year, according to a release the group sent in late December.
Bittenbender’s attorney said his client recognized the seriousness of the offenses but asked that the judge consider a sentence of home confi nement.
“These charges go against a lifetime of doing good,” he said, adding the doctor could provide free chiropractic services for “the underprivileged” as a community service.
The court rejected the suggestions. Instead, the judge opted to hand down a sentence at the low end of federal sentencing guidelines, which called for up to four years and nine months in prison.
“This is a very serious offense,” the judge said. “Good doctors don’t abuse the system.”