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 »
New Models for Health and Healing: A Brief History of the American Health Care System from the Perspective of a Chiropractor with a View Toward the Future, Part ThreeDecember 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 »
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 »
The Insurance Game: A Brief History of the American Health Care System from the Perspective of a Chiropractor with a View Toward the Future, Part OneJune 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 »
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 »
I recently returned from attending my second NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show. This year, as in the past, I was working with MusiCares, the charitable health and human services arm of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs).
MusiCares offers support for musicians in need. Among other benefits, it helps them pay their rent, subsidizes the cost of medical services, and provides free support groups for musicians who are dealing with staying clean and sober. Read the rest of this entry »
People are talking about mindfulness as if it’s the latest fashion trend: mindful eating, mindful communication, mindful movement, even mindful business management. The explosion of books, CD’s and videos on the subject now includes weekend seminars and lengthy meditation retreats. Leaders of this new field articulate the merging of mindfulness, technology, and ancient wisdom traditions to rapt audiences. Academies are dedicated to its study. An industry has been born.
But what exactly is mindfulness? Read the rest of this entry »
With seemingly clear boundaries between our bodies and the world through which we move, it’s easy to feel separated from everything outside our skin. But as physical, chemical, emotional, and energetic beings, this perception belies our true nature. Read the rest of this entry »
You’ve been at the computer for six hours and feel that familiar tug. From your upper back, spreading slowly to your neck and grabbing the base of your skull, stiffness turns to pain and the dull ache turns sharp. Your movement becomes restricted. Unable to turn your head, you tell yourself that it is time to see your chiropractor. You remember that it has been a year since you saw him last. Read the rest of this entry »
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has profound implications for the future of American health care. Of course it will lead to changes in how care is delivered. But it will also lead to a transformation in our perception of the meaning of health and healing. Read the rest of this entry »