Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘cost of health care’

Stop Discrimination!!! Stop Killing Medicare Patients!!!

Posted by Dr. Gray on Friday, November 6, 2015

2760970STOP DISCRIMINATION!!! Did you know… Medicare patients continue to be denied quality, affordable, and safe treatment options?

  • Medicare requires, but WON’T PAY FOR, an examination… when performed by their chiropractic doctor.
  • Medicare requires, but WON’T PAY FOR, x-rays… when prescribed by their chiropractic doctor.
  • Medicare WON’T PAY FOR physical therapy… when prescribed by their chiropractic doctor.
  • Medicare WON’T PAY FOR any services by a specialist… if their chiropractic doctor referred them.
  • Medicare WON’T PAY FOR any imaging (CT scans, MRI, Ultrasound, etc.)… when prescribed by their chiropractic doctor.
  • Medicare WON’T PAY FOR ANYTHING performed or prescribed by a chiropractic doctor other than a chiropractic adjustment… but they’ll pay an untrained medical doctor (Manipulation: 835 hours – 0 hours… compare here) 400% MORE for the same service… that they’ve never trained to do.

It’s absolutely ridiculous. The greatest shortage in the American health care system today, is primary care providers. How often do you hear someone say they can’t get in to see their medical doctor for 3+ weeks? All this while 60,000+ chiropractic doctors could manage a huge percentage of those primary care visits, if only Medicare would allow it. Instead, we have to first refer to their PCP, who then refers to an imaging center, back to the PCP, then to the specialist… and on and on. Keep in mind, every step in this progression equals another out-of-pocket copay for the patient and more time without the care they need.

By far, the most common reason for a visit to the medical doctor is musculoskeletal pain. Sciatica, back pain, neck/shoulder pain, bursitis, tendinitis, tension headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. Study after study continues to prove that chiropractic care is the most effective, cheapest, and safest form of treatment for musculoskeletal complaints.

  • Chiropractic doctors take 549 hours more than medical doctors in orthopedics.
  • Chiropractic doctors take 193 hours more than medical doctors in anatomy.
  • Chiropractic doctors take 201 hours more than medical doctors in radiology and diagnostic imaging.
  • Chiropractic doctors take 220 hours more than medical doctors in rehabilitation and exercise. (MD’s take zero)

Chiropractic doctors are recognized and licensed in all 50 states and around the world as physicians. Regardless of etiology, they are trained to take a detailed consultation and history followed by an examination when dealing with their patients just like all other physicians. They are trained to diagnose the most likely cause of a complaint, and then to determine the next proper course of action… whether that is further testing, further imaging, referral, or advise treatment.

The discrimination against chiropractic by the insurance companies and Medicare is profit-driven, and is costing patients quality of life in addition to money. Our aging population deserves the best health care this nation has to offer. They will continue to take advantage of us until we band together and demand change. The American Chiropractic Association is spearheading this process and has launched a petition that simply asks legislators to correct the inequity in Medicare. Please take one minute and add your name to this list, and then share it with a friend.

Dr. Gray … PLEASE SHARE THIS AROUND!!! Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Reddit, E-mail, everywhere! Our Medicare patients deserve it!

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Most Powerful Documentary You’ll Ever Watch

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Many of you may have heard about a recently released documentary called, “Doctored.” I finally got to see this video within the last couple days and I have to say… I was much more impressed than I expected to be. Most often, documentaries are produced with an agenda and/or a message in mind, and this one is no different. However, too often those documentaries fall extremely short in actual data and truth in reporting. I’m happy to announce that this is NOT one of them. Although there is a good deal of anecdotal stories, this documentary had a ton of statistically verifiable evidence in support of the underlying message. Many of you that know me, know that I’m not an “Anti-Med” chiropractor. Yes, I’m natural first, but I recognize that there are times and conditions that warrant concurrent pharmaceutical intervention. That said, this documentary is essential watching to anyone interested in true “health care” as opposed to “sick care.”

I want to thank Dr. Mercola for making this video available for free on his website for a limited time. Watch it now, before it’s taken down. Once it’s taken down… it’s worth the few bucks to order a copy on DVD.  Keep your eyes peeled, because I’m sure it will be available on pay-per-view at some point, too. Here is the link to the free video on Dr. Mercola’s site: Click here to go to Dr. Mercola’s site with the free video.

– Dr. Gray

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions, Political, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Weight Loss, Better Health… Awesome Story

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, July 5, 2010

I want to extend a well-earned congratulations to one of our patients who has lost 80 pounds in 20 weeks! I’d also like to thank Steve for granting me permission to write about his story and reprint an article published about him. Steve has been a patient and friend for many years. I am so proud and happy for him and his accomplishments! Kudos, buddy!!!

Here is an article that was written about him in Carondelet Connection, a periodical published for employees of the behemoth Carondelet Health Care System.

Steps Add Up to Weight Loss, Better Health

When Steve Clarke makes up his mind to do something, it’s as good as done. Five months ago, he weighed about 285 pounds and says he was “fed up with not being able to breathe well doing simple things like tying my shoes.” Clarke works in Environmental Services at St. Mary’s Medical Center and has to walk throughout the medical center while on the job. He decided to take off some weight.

Today, you’d be lucky to keep up with him. Clarke dropped 80 pounds in 20 weeks the “old-fashioned way” – through diet and exercise. He started following the program his wife joined – counting points to determine how much he should eat. The plan encourages exercise and at about the same time, SM [sic] opened its fitness center to associates and Clarke became a big fan of the treadmills.

“I try to walk about four to five miles a day,” says Clarke. That’s in addition to the miles he puts in on the job. “I’ll walk at a pace of about 4.7 miles per hour for a while, then slow down a bit; then go back to 4.7 again.” When the weather’s nice, Clarke walks outside – on the fitness trail at SM or around his neighborhood.

Equally as impressive as the weight loss are the other health improvements Clarke has made. He used to take medication to control his blood pressure – not any more. His resting heart rate went from “about 80 beats per minute” to under 50. His total cholesterol dropped from 234 to 153. His LDL level dropped in half – from 141 to 71.

“I’ve lost weight at other times in my life, but never saw the big improvements in my numbers like I’m seeing this time,” says Clarke. He credits exercise, plus eating the two teaspoons of olive oil daily his eating plan calls for. He says exercise has become a routine he will continue because there’s no doubt about the difference it has made in his life.

Once again, congratulations, Steve! You are an inspiration, and a prime example of how healthy we can be if we just get back to the basics. Steve didn’t need medications to lose weight. He didn’t need a lap-band… a stapling procedure… growth hormones… over-priced multilevel juices… questionable supplements…  the latest infomercial gadget… or any other fad that has come and gone. Steve has just decided to make different choices. Better food choices, better portion sizes, and regular exercise is all it took. And look at all of the other unexpected benefits that came along with those healthy choices!!!

Steve graciously stated that he credits regular chiropractic care in our office with being a contributor to his achievements. Although I would love to take the credit, the admiration and respect remains with him. Chiropractic is but one tool he uses to achieve his health care goals. A little willpower, and some self-responsibility are the most important tools… and Steve’s got plenty of each!

The power that made the body, heals the body. Too often we think it’s our medicines making us well. We credit this technique, that gadget, this other treatment, etc… for “healing us.” Well, that’s just bull! Our bodies heal themselves. Any health care option we choose is just a means of trying to assist the body in healing itself. Our goal is to get the body to do what it’s supposed to do. Think about it. It’s not the band-aid that heals a scrape. It’s the body’s innate ability to recognize a problem and find a solution. Where we come in as health care providers is in assisting the body when there is dysfunction. Chiropractic seeks to optimize neuromusculoskeletal function thereby allowing the body to operate optimally. Antibiotics seek to assist the body’s immune system in fighting off bacterial infections. If you look at how tons of health options are designed, most of them are just designed to assist the body.

Therefore, as with Steve’s case, if you feed the body optimal nutrition and take care of it… it needs less assistance. Simple as that. Steve changed how he was taking care of his body, and it responded by recovering it’s ability to take care of itself.

Dr. James C. Gray

Posted in General Health, Nutrition, Stretches & Exercises, Testimonials | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

When Government Plays Doctor

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A good friend of mine posted a wonderful piece recently that I felt worth reposting here.

This week, concerns about swine flu have dominated the media and many government officials. While the American people should be made aware of infectious diseases and common sense preventative measures, much of the hysterical reaction from government only serves to remind us how detrimental to your health it can be when government plays doctor.

As a physician, I have yet to see any evidence that justifies the current level of alarm. Influenza typically kills around 36,000 people every year in this country and hospitalizes a couple hundred thousand. So far there are only a handful of confirmed deaths attributable to this strain, and most of those sickened have or will fully recover. Every death is tragic, but I see no reason to deal with this flu outbreak any differently than we typically deal with any other flu season. Instead, government in its infinite wisdom is performing even more invasive screening at airports, closing down schools and sporting events, and causing general panic.

We had a similar outbreak in 1976, with only 1 death from the flu, but mandatory vaccinations killed at least 25 before the program was abandoned.

When government gets involved in healthcare decisions, the cure is so often worse than the illness. And yet, this administration will likely consolidate the government’s power over your health with sweeping new reforms that are already being discussed in the Senate.

Government has not improved healthcare, and has not made it cheaper. Quite the opposite; costs have skyrocketed, and quality has gone down in many ways. Gone are the days of the country doctor making house calls, or of voluntarily giving away medical services at charity hospitals. The bureaucratization of healthcare these past 45 years has made things worse. It saddens me as a doctor that physicians are less and less accountable to patients, but more and more accountable to government red tape, insurance companies and attorneys. It seems so perverse to me that important medical decisions that will directly affect the lives of all or nearly all Americans are being hashed out behind closed doors in Washington rather than between doctors and patients.

There is perhaps nothing more valuable to a human being than his or her health, which is why I’ve always considered the practice of medicine so crucial to our well-being. Any intrusion by government into the privacy and trust between doctor and patient is detrimental to the art of medicine. It distorts the whole dynamic of who the client really is when doctors must answer more to government or insurance companies than to their patients. The best solutions to improving quality and lowering costs of healthcare would be measures that put decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors, where they rightfully belong. I have introduced HR 1495 The Comprehensive Healthcare Reform Act, which promotes health savings accounts and tax deductibility of healthcare costs as an important step in this direction.

The unfortunate reality of this recent health crisis, as with any crisis, is that it presents opportunities that the unscrupulous will take advantage of, while the fearful become more compliant.

Wow! Pretty profound… yet truthful… statements. I wonder if we can really understand and take to heart what he has said. Let’s break it down, huh?

  1. Although tragic, the swine flu situation is being blown out of proportion for ulterior motives
  2. That motive involves more government control over your health care decisions
  3. Increased government involvement has actually caused the rise in health care costs over the past 45 years
  4. Increased government involvement has also led to a decrease in the quality of care provided
  5. You and your interests are becoming less and less important with the expanding role of government

When are we going to wake up? How far must government go before you learn that they do not have your best interest in mind?

A couple years ago, there were outcries because The Patriot Act was seen as an invasion of privacy and freedoms. Yet, when the government proposes to take total control of your health care decision making ability… nothing. What was the most complained about provision of The Patriot Act? Wiretapping of overseas phone calls. Phone calls… oh the outrage! But now… they want control of YOUR PERSONAL ABILITY TO MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTH CARE DECISIONSand nothing???

Partisanship is not only detrimental to individual and collective good, it is also STUPID. Wake up people. Take a whiff of that crap they’re shoveling before you swallow it whole.

Posted in General Health, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

I warned you…

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

President Obama is scheduled to lay out his budget in a congressional address this evening. Get ready for some serious duplicity and confusion… more about that later. First:

My last post to this blog, which has become one of the most read, detailed the health care ramifications that were insidiously hidden in the recent “stimulus” bill. I received a few emails from those not willing to publicly comment and defend their socialist master. They stated that I was being overzealous in my accusations and that Obama’s plan wasn’t to take over and control health care… just to make it safer. Well, I am looking forward to being proven correct this evening, and expect each of you to contact me again admitting you were wrong.

Through all the rhetoric, bloviating, and yes we can hyperbole this evening, pay attention when he begins discussing health care. He will make statements about “out-of-control” medical costs, yet will not tell you the truth about those costs. (Read this and this) He will talk about “health care coverage for all,” without mentioning rationing of care and lack of choice. He’ll talk about “the uninsured” without mentioning that it’s just a percentage of the total population that has remained consistent for decades. He’ll tug on your heart strings, without noting that 15 million of those “uninsured” live in households with incomes above $50,000 per year… yet choose not to buy insurance. He’ll forget to mention that another 15-20 million of those “uninsured” are children or lower income families that are eligible for state assistance… yet choose not to enroll.

Pure and simple?… The idea of people providing for their own health care with their own money is frightening to those who like big, expensive government subsidies that bribe voters with their own tax dollars.

Back to the “duplicity and confusion” comment… Here’s the deal, folks. Obama inherited a $400 billion deficit, which is a crime in itself. However, within one month of being in office, that deficit now sits at 1.3 trillion (that’s a “T”). Obama, and the other Marxists in Congress, need to slam the economy with as many of these massive programs as quick as they can so massive deficits can be blamed on the previous administration. Now, they want to nationalize one fifth of the entire economy of the country… with this one program. They’re already in the process of nationalizing the banks, Wall Street, the auto industry, and the mortgage industry. They’ve got your money… now they want your blood.

One question… how are we going to pay for this?

Obama will tell you that he’s going to “tax only the rich.” Really? You ever heard of one rich person or company that didn’t pass on their extra costs to the customer? So, regardless of all the rhetorical crap about only taxing the wealthy, he’s taxing YOU! But, Obama said 95% of people will see their taxes cut under his plans… you still believe that? If your taxes go down $10.00, but it costs you $15.00 more to buy daily goods, who paid the extra tax? You did! If your company is taxed at a higher rate leaving less money to reward their empoyees so you don’t get that raise you’re due for, who paid the taxes? You did, moron!

Medicare is currently slated to run out of money in 2016, only seven years from now. So… we’ve known for years that Medicare was failing, and now it looks like it’s going to fail three years earlier than recently thought. Instead of discussing alternatives, they want to make it universal and mandatory?! How does that make any sense? “Maybe if we throw more money at it…” (<– click the link)

Enough for today. Bend over America.

Posted in Political | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Your Health Is No Longer Your Choice

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, February 12, 2009

I am relatively dumbfounded right now. As part of this latest act of socialism from our federal government, they have completely done away with privacy and freedom with regards to health care. DID YOU HEAR THAT AMERICA? One of the most basic and cherished privacies we have enjoyed… the freedom to guide and direct your own healthis gone.

Yes. Slipped into the Porkulus bill, is an entirely new bureaucracy in Washington known as the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. Sounds beneficial, huh? Yeah… let’s coordinate information. But wait. What does that really mean? Well, there are so many ramifications to this we’re going to have to look at them one by one:

  1. Mandates that all medical records will need to be kept electronically. – While this sounds good on the surface, this is just the start of the nightmare. Requiring electronic records means that several hundred thousand health care offices around the country, from medical doctors to dentists to chiropractors down to rural nurse practitioners, will be forced into a huge financial investment in new computers and software in order to comply. Think that’s all? Nope… don’t forget all educational institutions that have any health-related program. Who do you think is going to pay for this? The doctors? The hospitals? NO! WAKE UP! Those offices, hospitals, doctors, and schools will just raise their prices to cover the new expense… so you pay for it.
  2. Mandates access to those medical records by the federal government. – Yes, now that all of your health care information and secrets are in electronic form, the government wants access to review them any time they want. How would you like the government knowing all the details about your drug rehab? Or alcoholism treatments? Abortion? Sexually-transmitted disease diagnosis? Pregnancy status? Blood test results? But, why would they want this information?…
  3. Establishes a new federal bureaucracy that removes doctor or patient choice and discretion. – Although the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology sounds harmless, its true purpose is to monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. Now, don’t miss it… did you really read what that sentence said? They want to “monitor” your treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems “appropriate and cost-effective.” In other words… it does not matter what you want, or what your doctor recommends… you are going to do it their way, or else. According to Tom Daschle, who’s book these policies are based on, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.” What’s meant by “or else?”…
  4. Establishes penalties for non-compliance. – Doctors, health care offices, and hospitals who are not “meaningful users” will be subject to penalties, fines, injunctions, and/or charges. “Meaningful users” is not defined in the bill. That definition and the increasing stringency of enforcement will fall to the Secretary of Health & Human Services. So, if you decide that you don’t want to do what some bureaucrat in Washington says you should, good luck finding a health care practitioner that will provide an alternative because he faces fines, loss of license, or even jail. Wooo hooo… hooray for slavery! Isn’t socialism fun? Now… can you imagine a politician sticking their neck out and being the one responsible for denying and rationing health care? Of course not, so… What penalties will your doctor face, and who will make these “tough” decisions that elected politicians won’t?
  5. Establishes another expensive bureaucracy known as the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. – The goal of this new group is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. In other words… Punishment and rationing of care will be meted out by this group so the politicians won’t be associated with their decisions to place their cost savings ahead of your health.

Do you realize this Porkulus bill allocates more funding for these bureaucracies than for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines… combined? There is nothing “stimulating” about these new provisions. But, why would they stick something like this in a “stimulus” bill, you ask. Well, in 1994, Tom Daschle supported President Bill Clinton’s failed massive health care overhaul. He said the main reason for failure was “debate and delay.” In other words, when people actually sat down and talked about it, they realized that not only could we not afford it, but we didn’t want it and it would not be the best option for the citizens of this country. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.” So… the people be damned, we need to sneak this in before anyone can actually figure out what we’re doing.

Congratulations, sheeple. You’re getting the unintended consequences of what you voted for. Land of the Free… right. Home of the Brave… where? The American populace isn’t brave anymore. Neither are they free. Newsweek’s cover article this week states, We Are All Socialists Now. It’s not an discussion or article that even hints that this goes against everything The Constitution stands for… it’s an article saying that we are all socialists now… and anyone who opposes it better fall in line. I found this quote particular telling: “The sooner we understand where we truly stand, the sooner we can think more clearly about how to use government in today’s world.” You get that? The sooner you understand where you truly stand… There you go. Where do you truly stand? Newsweek has made it clear where they stand. They choose bondage. They’ve relinquished their freedom. They will capitulate to the almighty federal government at their own peril. No longer free… no longer brave…

Welcome to the United Socialist States of America.

Posted in General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Voice For Chiropractic Patients

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, January 26, 2009

The American Chiropractic Association has established a new website and organization to bring chiropractic to the people on a grass roots level. This new group is called ChiroVoice, and we all need to sign up in support of this endeavor. As our country moves in new directions, and the new administration is considering a more active role in the health care arena, we need to ensure that our representatives know what we want and need.

Through this chiropractic advocacy network, we will be working to ensure that:

  1. Congress does not restrict your access to essential chiropractic services
  2. Congress does not limit your coverage for chiropractic services within Medicare
  3. Insurance and managed care companies do not deny patients’ access to the essential chiropractic services they need

Membership is free, and will only help to protect your rights as a chiropractic patient. Please take two minutes and sign up for this worthwhile cause. Click on the logo below, and it will take you directly to the sign-up page.

Please Click Here To Support Chiropractic!

Please Click Here To Support Chiropractic!

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sick In America – Part Six

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, October 13, 2008

Let’s wrap it all up. Much of this episode gives real-world discussion and evidence of how and why returning to a more free market-weighted system will be more beneficial, for more people, for less money, with more advancements, etc.

Hope you all enjoyed this video series. Since it has become such a hot topic, I may write a post with more of my own personal feelings about how health care should be run in this country. Perhaps we could get a good dialogue going in the comments section.

Posted in General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sick In America – Part Five

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, October 13, 2008

Only one more part after this. Thanks for following along everyone.

This episode begins to discuss different alternatives to universal health care, or the current trend of employer-sponsored insurance in America. What does it all boil down to? Taking more personal responsibility, and an active role in one’s health care process. This may be the best segment in the series.

Posted in General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sick In America – Part Four

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, October 13, 2008

And now, a more in-depth look at the difference between private and public responsibility. Nice section in the middle where Michael Moore is interviewed and shown some good rebuttal evidence. His answer? “Don’t show anyone those examples, they’re horrible.” Well, no kidding, Mike. The truth hurts.

Posted in General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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