It’s pretty difficult to open up a newspaper these days without seeing an article on the devastating public health impact of the opioid epidemic in the United States. While there appears to be general agreement on the scope of the problem, there is less consensus regarding what can be done to solve it. Policy-makers and professional associations taking on this challenge have tended to focus on mortality statistics and/or expert opinion. These are obviously critically important pieces of the puzzle but it is also important to take a patient-centered approach. To facilitate discussion on this important topic, Gallup held a research release event on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C., titled “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic With Drug-Free Pain Management.”
Nearly two years ago, ACA embarked on a new journey – a branding initiative – to better understand how we can relate to and remain relevant to members now and in the future. We hired a well known branding consultant who reached out to members, non-members, other health care providers and a variety of stakeholders to ask what ACA means to them. After more than 30 hours of interviews, hundreds of survey responses and volumes of research, our consultant’s recommendations were presented to ACA’s Board of Governors last year on how best to redefine our brand. The results were a wake-up call, to say the least. While some of the information uncovered was expected, other findings and comments were uncomfortable to hear. But we had to hear them.
Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) chiropractic residency program reached an historic milestone in 2016 when each of the five sites received accreditation from the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE)—they are the first U.S. chiropractic residency programs to be awarded this distinction. The programs were also successful in many VA performance metrics, including recruitment of high-quality applicants, 100 percent graduation rates, high degree of graduate placement in VA and/or other hospital settings, and high satisfaction across multiple stakeholders. Consequently, in early 2017 VA transitioned the chiropractic residency pilot into a standing residency program. Two residents of the program will share their experiences through a new ACA blog post series.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) officially ushered in the value-based model of reimbursement, beginning a change to the payment landscape of American health care. But what does this mean to providers? What does it mean overall for you as a chiropractic physician? First of all, we shouldn’t be afraid of the deck being “reshuffled.” Anytime there is a change in a system – especially a system that has delayed or avoided change – it becomes ripe for an innovative, landmark transformation.
The first ACA Choosing Wisely® recommendation states: In the absence of red flags, do not obtain spinal imaging (X-rays) for patients with acute low-back pain during the six weeks after the onset of pain. Some doctors of chiropractic may be surprised that ACA included this recommendation. There are many DCs who are committed to delivery of high-quality patient care that currently take or order X-rays on a majority of their patients because they believe that X-rays are a necessary component of the examination process. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.
*Member-Exclusive Content* A number of systematic reviews have been performed on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), although their findings have been conflicting. The current review was initiated with the purpose of addressing the divergent conclusions among studies and to include new trials that have been published since the previous reviews. The review’s objectives were to provide updated estimates of the effectiveness and harms associated with SMT compared with other nonmanipulative therapies for adults with acute low back pain.
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Long before many of us can remember, there were only two people sitting in the chiropractic treatment room – the patient and the doctor. Gradually, the state licensing boards starting showing up. They were joined by the insurance industry. Then health policy makers like Medicare and Medicaid. Followed by more members of the insurance industry. Then scientists made an appearance, talking about evidence-based clinical practice. Now this already very crowded room may become even more crowded if we open the door to the ever-loudly-knocking performance measurers. We have had time to get at least somewhat used to the state and national boards, insurers, policy makers and even the scientists, to some extent. But what is performance measurement and how might it be beneficial to the practice of chiropractic?