Month: April 2003

What the world needs now

By Dr. Stew Bittman

Hello, you awesome warriors, and happy spring. In these parts, March came in and went out like a lamb, and now it’s been dumping snow ever since the clock struck April. Such is life in this world run by the Great Mystery. When I last wrote to you all, I had embarked on the long-awaited (by me, anyway) project of writing a book. Well, it’s done, and it was an incredibly Innate-driven project, thank God. After years of trepidation and self-doubt and multitudinous whining about the impossibility of the task, I finally surrendered and it all got done in a matter of 2 months. Thru the process I have been reminded once again of the unlimited ability we all possess to express our gifts when we simply set an intention, sprinkle in a pinch or two of focus, stir in some energy, and then let Innate cook it into existence. I have realized, too, that I often remember and acknowledge Innate within my practice folks, and often forget It in me. No matter how many times I have experienced the magic of remembering, I still tend to think I run the show. The poop that invariably results continually reminds me of where my Power lies. And while I continue to turn on the Power in others, I need to allow the Power to flow thru me with as little interference as possible. That way I have my maximum impact on the world.

Speaking of the world, it certainly could use a bit of impact from the principled sector of its occupants. But there’s a catch. And it’s all in my head. Such is the nature of my brain that when things “out there” become increasingly chaotic and ugly and scary, it tends to become increasingly hopeless and withdrawn and powerless. Then it can join in with the rest of its brethren, engaging in the truly useless activities of complaining, whining, and blaming everyone and everything. At that point I no longer want to run the show, or even to have a bit part in the show. Unfortunately, however, I am part of the show, and at these times it is my true Power that must emerge. Can It really help to change things? Can It really fly in the faces of war and unconsciousness and even HIPAA? Well, to those questions I simply quote Jimi Hendrix and say, “with the power of love, anything is possible.”

What the world needs now is love. And since God is love, and since Innate is my personification of God, and since I am Innate, then what the world needs now is me. It needs my courage, my faith, my ability to be a warrior for peace and truth. It needs me to express my highest Self. It needs me to actualize my love by serving the rest of creation with my gifts. This is precisely what everyone who has ever made a positive impact on the world has done. Recently I saw the movie, “Gandhi” for the first time. What he accomplished still seems impossible. But he did it, and was loved and revered even by his enemies, because he was a clean, hollow bone thru which God spoke and acted. He became the change he intended to see in the world. Four hundred million people stood behind him, simply because they could not withstand the power of love. And each of us could emulate that, without even wearing a diaper!

Better yet, we have something that Gandhi didn’t have, and perhaps needed (the ink wasn’t even dry on documents proclaiming independence from Britain before the fighting began between Muslims and Hindus that still continues today). We have the chiropractic adjustment: the physical manifestation of love. The adjustment helps clear the way for love to take root in people’s hearts and to flourish. It brings people closer to the realization of their gifts, their dreams, and their love. When enough people are touched in that way, and then are touched by the power of love in our intentions, what could we not achieve? Only that which we choose not to achieve. So, it comes down, as always, to a choice. Complain or speak our truth? Whine or do the work to give ourselves away? Blame or take responsibility for our part in the show? Every day I see the world changing as I change. If only I could get the weather to change. @ 8:13 pm | Article ID: 1051758824

Selling Drugs is Good Business

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

On September 10, 2002, researchers from the National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation (The NIHCM Foundation) provided a report to the Federal Trade Commission at a health care workshop. The topic was Direct to Consumer (DTC) advertising of drugs: is it helping or hurting?

I came across a news piece recently titled, “Are Drug Ads Helping or Hurting?” and was not surprised by the spin the media had taken on this same topic.

There is no question, the use of prescription drugs is way up and costs are continuing to rise. There has been extensive research during the past 3 years on the effect DTC advertising is having on this increased use and spending. But is it good for us?

The Numbers
In 2001, drug companies spent $2.8 billion on DTC ads. They also spent $4.7 billion on doctor detailing (a person to person marketing interaction designed to get MDs to sell specific drugs). Drug companies spent $2 billion on seminars and events aimed at educating physicians about their drugs and doctors gave an estimated $10 billion worth of free drug samples to consumers.

As Seen on TV
According to several surveys, DTC marketing to consumers has been super successful in selling more drugs. In one survey, half of those that made a request to their doctor for a specific drug received it. In another study, more than seventy percent got the drug they asked for.

Analysis of sales data found that in 2000 doctors wrote 25% more prescriptions for the 50 most advertised drugs compared to about 4% more prescriptions for all other drugs combined. Increases in the sales of those 50 drugs most advertised accounted for almost half of the overall $20 billion + rise in spending on drugs in the retail sector from 1999 to 2000.

Who Pays the Tab?
In 1990, insurance paid 25% of the total national tab for prescription drugs. In 2000, insurers and health plans paid 44% of the bill, a 19% increase. In the mid to late 1990’s, there was also a rapid increase in managed care coverage of drugs (usually with low co-pays). Basically, a TV or similar media ad suggests you need a particular drug and the drug pushers already know many in their market have little or no out of pocket expense for it.

Public Service?
The pharmaceutical industry boasts that DTC advertising serves an educational function as well as a marketing function (see the ABC NEWS spin link below). If this is true, where are the ads for non-blockbuster money making drugs? Very simply, the selling of drugs is economically driven, and not based on educating and empowering patients. Personally, I think a better public service would be to continue to run the ads and just list the side effects. You know the ones… diarrhea, abnormal bleeding, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, death, etc… heh, but there’s temporary headache relief.

Drug companies say that more people going to doctors for more drugs leads to better health since more are now getting treatment. One may be asking how many of those visits are appropriate and necessary? According to the reports, it is quite feasible that DTC advertisements for some drugs could generate a fairly large volume of inappropriate demand. Viagra would be a good example. Are there really that many men that cannot get it up? Also, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, pain or obesity may induce the public to seek a drug inappropriately.

There are two concerns here. 1) the cost of all of these unnecessary prescriptions and 2) patients getting drugs they do not need. The medical profession certainly does not have a good track record when it comes to the over prescribing of drugs such as antibiotics, which have cost us all in both our wallets and resistance to newly occurring strains of bacteria. Maybe it won’t be long before they release super-strength Viagra for those that have devolved a Viagra-resistant limp (not in the hip).

The report presented before the Federal Trade Commission Health Care Workshop ended with the following… “We would also advise that research be directed at learning to what degree DTC ads foster a belief that prescription drugs are safer or more effective because they are advertised in mass media.” Safe like cigarettes, heh, it’s on TV.

As is typical, media reports on DTC advertising skipped over much of the above information and just focused on the so called “educational benefits” of selling more drugs to more consumers.

Check out the following two links.
This is a PDF File Link…
FTC.GOV: “DTC Advertising: Is It Helping or Hurting?” – Statement before the Federal Trade Commission Health Care Workshop
ABC Are Drug Ads Helping or Hurting? – Direct-to-Consumer Ads Lead to New Diagnoses @ 7:13 pm | Article ID: 1051496005

Are Your Patients Dying?

A Monday Morning Message
By Sharon Gorman, D.C.

Most people die from heart disease, strokes and cancer. Think for a minute, how many of your active patients who get adjusted on a regular basis die from any of these ailments? I’m not talking about patients that stop in a few times a year to get their “aspirin” adjustment. I’m talking about your regulars. Have you thought of any yet. Not to many, if any, I bet.

People die, it’s part of life yet we know from years of experience that people’s lives and the quality of their lives are greatly enhanced by doing what we spend so much time telling them to do. This stuff works. People who get adjusted on a regular basis have greater expression of life. Their life is turned on. We all know that as we clear someone’s nervous system they are more in tune with their ability to adapt to the world. They are also spiritually connected even if they don’t understand it. They are closer expressions of their creator. They live healthier lives. I’m as sure about this as that I am sitting here. The evidence is in the results.

Do you tell people about chiropractic like their life depends on it? It does. Get out of your comfort zone and serve. Nothing feels better than knowing you got through to just one person. No matter how many days, weeks, or years they get adjusted you know you ignited their spark. You shared the truth. Be thankful that you have a truth to share. You never know how far reaching something you might think, say or do will effect the lives of millions and millions of people. We are pioneers. Tap into your pioneering spirit.

Special thanks to John Madeira for inspiring this Monday Morning Message.
Sharon @ 7:36 am | Article ID: 1051195000

Patients with Brain Injuries

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

According to a recent study, more patients than ever before with traumatic brain injuries are turning to alternative approaches such as chiropractic care instead of, or in addition to the traditional medical approach towards such injuries. Also, the majority of these patients are not discussing their use of alternatives with their medical doctors, according to the study.

The findings are similar to previous complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) studies which found increasing numbers of people turning to alternatives in health-care and not sharing that information with their medical doctors.

According to the new research, more than 80 percent of individuals that suffered from traumatic brain injuries interviewed believed that the alternative approaches to health that they chose were effective even though there has been little medical assessment in most cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injury, which is damage to the brain often caused by a sudden physical assault to the head.

Patients with a traumatic brain injury often experience chronic motor and cognitive impairment. They may also suffer from seizures, and sensory and visual deficits which may affect information processing, memory, perceptual skills and physical functioning.

According to the study, the lack of definitive medical treatments for traumatic brain injuries has resulted in more patients turning towards alternatives in recent years. More than half of individuals interviewed said that they had used at least one alternative approach for their injuries.

According to patients, the most commonly used approaches were massage, meditation, herbs, and chiropractic.

EurekAlert: Brain injury patients now turning to alternative medicine for treatment – Eighty percent feel CAM is effective, however very few discuss use with physician @ 1:45 pm | Article ID: 1050439502

U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Major Victory To HMO Critics


In a historic and far reaching decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court on April 2nd, managed care plans can no longer impose discriminatory limitations on access to participation on the part of willing providers. This case, Kentucky Association of Health Plans v. Miller, 00-1471, was hotly contested by the managed care establishment, and despite the arguments of the managed care industry lawyers, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that states can force HMOs to open up their doctor networks, upholding a practice used in about half the states to give patients broader health care choices.

The ruling is a shocking blow to the grip the managed care industry thought they had on the health care marketplace, and proved that their arguments, which centered on the assertion that closed networks are more cost-effective because doctors and hospitals that join agree to accept lower fees in return for a guaranteed stream of patients, were simply not convincing when held up against patient and provider rights of access.

ICA has had the passage of any willing provider laws on the top of its state legislative priority list for several years and encourages all state chiropractic communities in jurisdictions where this protection is not in place to mobilize to enact such a bill. ICA’s State Legislative Task Force, chaired by Dr. Donald Hirsh, has prepared an “Any Willing Provider Resource Book” to assist in such efforts.

The Supreme Court decision validates the so-called “any willing provider” laws passed by state legislatures requiring managed care networks or insurance companies to accept out-of-network health care providers, if in return, those providers agree to the insurer’s reimbursement rates and contract terms. The laws affect HMOs in all areas, but are particularly helpful to patients in rural areas or small towns, where health care choices are limited. In those areas, patient sometimes have to drive many miles to see an in-network health care provider. The Kentucky statutes were challenged by a group of HMOs and an industry trade association. The case turned on whether the laws regulate insurance, which states are allowed to police, or regulate employee benefits, an area reserved for Congress. The Bush Administration, in a somewhat unexpected turn, had asked the court to uphold the Kentucky laws.

Some Related Links:

FORBES: Supreme Court To HMOs: Come One, Come All
ABC NEWS: Court: HMOs Can Be Made to Open Networks – Supreme Court Says States Can Force HMOs to Open Doctor Networks, Giving Patients More Choices
CBS NEWS: Supreme Court Deals A Blow To HMOs @ 11:33 am | Article ID: 1049826819

Fish Spills Guts

By Harvey Fish, D.C.

“Sudden, Unexpected Death May Kill Many Adults” — headline from Reuters Health, March 28

I don’t know about you but the headline above speaks very loudly about the way folks in the media try and communicate to us about some of the more humorless aspects of life. I suspect that some reading the headline will nod their heads and “tsk, tsk” the thought about “sudden” (and lest we forget “unexpected”) deaths and assume that something profound just crossed a few synapses in their brains. They might even be motivated enough to find a charity group that supports finding the cure for deaths of this type. Really.

I had the idea that the headlines we tend to read about chiropractic or ‘tors tends to follow this same line of thought. “Sudden, unexpected ‘chiropractic’ neck cracking may kill many children and adults.” Or “Medical doctors find no evidence to support chiropractic treatment.” Or “Chiropractic medicine group tells populace to avoid unnecessary visits and to leave the children home.”

I know you could make up a few hundred more “headlines.” We’ve all seen them. Maybe I’ll hold a contest for you to send me your best chiropractic headline in scare quotes. I’ll compile the list and then send them back to you for a laugh and then a cry.

Why is it we rarely see the great and laudable things we do show up in a headline? I can only remember the piece in Long Islands Newsday on Andy Forelli a short time back. Kudos to Andy, great job and a huge win for all of chiropractic. But it’s too rare an occurance of something that produces such profound changes and miracles. Don’t people like to read about miracles?

I know that there are frequently articles on DCs in the style section or the living section of papers and for those in those stories a congratulations and a thank you are in order. Good press is good for us all. But it’s the headlines I want to see. How about tomorrow we see one that says “Six year old girl lives thanks to her chiropractor,” or “Regular chiropractic care is a must if you want to be healthy.” How about, “President weighs decision on Iraq, waits to get adjusted first.”

Do you get what I mean? I know we try to blow our own horn around our patients and we encourage them to blow our horn to their friends and family, right?. And I know that bad news tends to get the headlines more often than the good stuff. But with so many of us out there moving the bones and turning on the life you’d of thought we’d get some better press, don’t you?

My skin feels like it’s trying to jump off my body when I read of chiropractors turning their offices into fronts for prostitution. I cry when I read of medical tragedies that could have been avoided if only an adjustment was given. Sheesh, I am sad to say that there are times I wonder if we’ll survive as a profession. Perhaps my proximity to Life has cast a light pall over me lately. So many students have left. I get sad over the thought that it was chiropractor against chiropractor that caused this to happen – a clash of philosophical titans. Yeah, the headlines appeared daily about Life’s woes. Sure Dr. Sid bears some of the fault, no question about it. But so does CCE, and COA. And each and every one of us who stood by and watched a small, immature group of CHIROPRACTORS completely devoid of professional esteem destroy one of the most productive campuses in the country. Don’t you ever feel as if we should take up arms (no pun intended) and kill the bastards? Hell, Chuck Norris made his killer cervical breaks look so easy. Maybe we could volunteer to “adjust” some of these pathetic jerks and blame our poor results on bad supervision in the clinic.

So I ask you a question I’ve posed in the past but it bears repeating. Will chiropractic survive? Could you imagine a time when one of your colleagues is successful in making it a crime to adjust a symptomless person? Call me Dr. Underground if that sorry day should ever arrive. Don’t mind the locked doors and secret knocks and try and ignore the .45 on my hip, it’s not for you.

I had lunch today with a very well known DC. He and I talked of many things. He made a statement that even stopped my mouth from moving for a while but did put my brain in gear: “I believe that chiropractic was discovered about 500 years too early. People aren’t ready for it. Chiropractors don’t understand it and the largest portion of our profession still can’t see the potential that we possess with it.” Remarkable statement and I’ll leave it there except to say that his words might make more sense than I want to admit.

So go and make some great headlines in your offices. I know that if you’re reading this, you’re ready to deliver chiropractic. Even though your daily miracles may never make it to the front page of your local paper, it nonetheless, still needs to happen. You can make it so. Remember, the world is counting on you.

As always,
For the principle,
Harvey @ 8:20 pm | Article ID: 1049772037