November 23, 2014
The Ebola epidemic is still raging through West Africa. Thousands are dead, including many health care workers who bravely fought the disease on the front lines.
There is an urgent demand to develop the medicines needed to defeat Ebola. Experimental drugs are being rushed to field hospitals. While it is projected that large batches of drugs should arrive by January, many thousands will by then be dead–and tens of thousands will likely be infected.
Much has already been written about why the world was caught “off guard” when the Ebola epidemic struck despite warnings by infectious disease experts. We have a highly sophisticated pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma) that produces a steady stream of “miracle” drugs. But what drives the research and development of these ubiquitous medicines is singular: profit. Read the rest of this entry »
August 22, 2014
In a health care environment marked by raging turf battles that pit one profession against another, positive change will require—as a start–introspection and self-criticism by providers from different disciplines.
I am trained as a chiropractor, and have practiced my craft for almost 30 years. But the dominance of the allopathic medical profession has forced me to work in isolation. Chiropractors have been excluded from hospitals, marginalized by insurance companies, and subjected to ridicule by the American Medical Associations PR wing.(1)
To survive, we have upheld a holistic philosophy and championed effective treatment. As a result, chiropractic has become the most powerful and popular of the “alternative” modalities. At the same time, the pressure to work on our own in solo practices has tended to separate us from practitioners in the other healing arts. Read the rest of this entry »
June 18, 2014
Discussions about health care reform tend to focus on payment methods. Critics assert that insurance companies (in concert with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals) are the primary causes of runaway costs. While there is a relationship between payment methods and quality of care, too much time has been spent on the former part of the equation. To reform the American health care system we must begin our analysis by looking more deeply into how care is delivered. Read the rest of this entry »
December 24, 2013
We are currently in a full-blown health care crisis. The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) roll-out was a disaster. People in some states are still struggling to register through exchange websites to buy insurance. Others resist being forced to get insurance at all (the young and healthy), while some have learned that, despite President Obama’s promise that they could keep their old insurance plans, they could not. For many, the new policies are shockingly expensive.
On the provider side, things are even worse. Allowable benefits have been reduced, and reimbursements slashed by 60% or more in 2013 alone. Facing these cuts, providers are being forced to leave insurance networks, provide reduced quality care, or just get out of practice altogether. Meanwhile, patient premiums are rising. Read the rest of this entry »
October 28, 2013
My good friend and colleague, Paul, strongly disagreed with my last blog. In that article I described what I believed to be a paradigm shift taking place in health care: a cultural movement away from allopathic medicine, now our dominant mode of healing, to a medicine that is more inclusive and integrative. Read the rest of this entry »
June 15, 2013
A few weeks ago, a patient gleefully told me that he had gotten excellent new health insurance through his employer. The coverage included more chiropractic visits than his previous insurance plan, yet his co-pay was still minimal.
It was difficult for me to share his excitement—especially since I knew what he would tell me next. Read the rest of this entry »
April 23, 2013
As she scanned my passport, the teenage Israeli soldier stared through the bulletproof glass that separated us. Looking down at my photo and then up again, she finally waved me through.
On the other side of “The Wall,” taxis waited. I picked one out of a clump and haggled over the fare. (“It’s fucking hard here man” my driver said, as he demanded an exorbitant price. I bargained it down, all the while assuring him that I could see it was “fucking hard” here). He drove me to my hotel, the Paradise. Read the rest of this entry »