News & Information
Dr. Fab Mancini At Convention
Sunday, April 27, 2014 03:57 PM

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Back Surgery is Controversial
Written by Editor   
Friday, April 25, 2014 09:51 AM

CBS News reports that "Back pain is one of the most common reasons Americans go to the doctor, and one of the fastest growing treatments is spinal fusion surgery. From 2001 to 2011, the number of spinal fusions in U.S. hospitals increased 70 percent, making them more frequently performed than even hip replacements."

"The procedure fuses together two or more vertebrae often with metal rods and screws, and can result in paralysis or life-threatening complications."

While improving technology and an aging population makes the ability to perform the surgery easier "it has also sparked a debate over whether some surgeons are performing spinal fusions that are unnecessary and potentially dangerous."

For this six month investigation, CBS News exclusively obtained part of a government database. "We asked for, among other things," CBS News reports, "the number of spinal fusions each doctor in the country billed to Medicare from 2011-2012, under codes most commonly used for "degenerative" conditions that cause lower back pain. We put the entire database online and made it easily searchable by the public. We also provided guidance on how to interpret it and details about how it was compiled. 

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ACA Responds to Latest Closed Minded Attack on Chiropractic
Thursday, April 24, 2014 07:12 AM

Letter to Forbes.com

To the Editor:

Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) were troubled after reading the latest ill-informed attack on the chiropractic profession by Steven Salzberg, PhD. FOUND HERE.  His latest Forbes blog post “New Medicare Data Reveal Startling $496 Million Wasted On Chiropractors” is sensationalism at its finest, as chiropractic has historically made up less than 1% of all Medicare claims.

It’s evident to anyone who is truly interested in fixing the problems facing the U.S. health care system that chiropractic physicians, with their conservative approach to pain relief and health promotion, are an important part of the solution. DCs are the highest rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatments—treating nearly 27 million Americans annually—above physical therapists, specialist physicians/MDs (i.e., neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons) and primary care physicians/MDs (i.e., family or internal medicine). This is not surprising when you consider that injured workers are 28 times less likely to undergo spinal surgery if their first point of contact is a DC rather than a surgeon (MD), and that treatment for low back pain initiated by a chiropractic physician costs up to 20% less than treatment started by a MD.

If the blog contributor were truly interested in facts, he would have mentioned that chiropractic consistently outperforms all other back pain treatments, including prescription medication, deep-tissue massage, yoga, Pilates, and over-the-counter medication therapies according to a leading consumer survey. He also might have mentioned that unnecessary spinal fusion surgery (a procedure that has seen a 500% increase in the last decade) has resulted in an estimated $200 million in improper billing to Medicare in 2011 alone. It is noteworthy that Medicare deemed the surgeries medically unnecessary because more conservative treatment hadn’t been tried first.

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Income Tax Fraud Scheme Targets Doctors
Written by Editor   
Thursday, April 24, 2014 07:00 AM

An income tax fraud scheme, has been perpetrated against hundreds of doctors, but government investigators and medical societies are unsure why or how this rash of fraud has occurred.  Scam artists are using the identities of healthcare providers to e-file taxes and collect returns for themselves.

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AMA Claims Medics Add $1.6 Trillion to Economy, but...
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 06:00 AM

U.S. physicians produced $1.6 trillion in direct and indirect economic activity in 2012 and supported an average of more than 13 jobs apiece, according to an economic impact analysis released Wednesday by the American Medical Association.

But some outside observers say the AMA's analysis -- meant to put a dollar figure on doctors' real-world impact -- may be making unrealistic assumptions and be based on unreliable information.

"The authors do not address this at all in the paper, and I wonder whether they have considered it at all," said Gaetano Forte, director of information management at the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the State University of New York at Albany.  "I worry that with all of the attempts to correct or adjust for the limitations of the data, the data are no longer robust.  Each manipulation of the data creates measurement error and eventually, after enough adjustment, the error will be so large that statistically meaningful differences cannot be observed."

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