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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 29, 1996, Vol. 14, Issue 03

The Chiropractic News Source

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
It is truly amazing how fast the world of health care is changing. The task of keeping a handle on the changes in health care (external to the chiropractic profession) that affect you and your practice is becoming a much bigger job.

Within the chiropractic profession, some of the changes are even more startling. There are many important events taking place around our chiropractic world. The chiropractic profession itself is changing, and the pages of "DC" are designed to reflect those changes from all points of view and allow open debate.

Last year brought into focus a number of trends that affect everyone in chiropractic. These are just a few of the influences that will be coloring our second century:

Clinical Guidelines -- Whether you agree with most of the Mercy Guidelines or wish they had never been written, the reality is that clinical guidelines are a fact of life. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), practically every managed care organization, and almost every third-party payer has some type of guideline/review system, mandated by out-of-control medical costs. Guidelines are here to stay.

Research -- While some people are satisfied with anecdotal "evidence," most health care policymakers want proof in the form of objective research. Self-serving position papers of the anecdotal variety lack credibility. We must continue to produce research that demonstrates the effectiveness of the chiropractic adjustment. Rest assured that others are burning the midnight oil in attempts to show that osteopathic manipulation, manual manipulation and various forms of physical therapy are effective. We have no shortage of competitors.

Limited Dollars -- The cost of health care has reached a level where every expenditure is being examined. Every form of care is being compared with every conceivable alternative. The business people who run most managed care organizations don't care about anything more than patient welfare and the bottom line. This is a time of opportunity for chiropractic, but only if we can find our place in the managed care model. We must show how many medical, pharmaceutical and surgical dollars can be saved for every chiropractic dollar spent.

Lost Confidence -- Someone has to say it: The majority of DCs have lost confidence in their national chiropractic associations. While this statement isn't meant to place blame, the reality is that without effective national associations, we have no voice in Washington, D.C. Without that voice, we don't exist in the minds of national policymakers. Unfortunately the same can be said for many state associations as well.

Yes, there are other forces affecting your life, but clinical guidelines, research, the managed care explosion, and the inability of many of our chiropractic organizations to be as effective as we want them to be are influencing you and your practice.

As everyone knows, information is power. Here at Dynamic Chiropractic, we believe we have two missions:

Inform -- The more you know and understand about what is happening the better you will be able to make informed decisions that affect your future. This is your publication; it's meant to inform you. If you aren't getting the information you need, call me. We are interested in knowing what you need.

Empower -- We are dedicated to working within the profession to expand the role of chiropractic care for every person on earth. This commitment includes working with all responsible chiropractic organizations and individual DCs in efforts to promote chiropractic and defeat unjust treatment of our profession.

This is what we mean by "The Chiropractic News Source." This is your source of information that will engage you to make decisions and change your community, state, and country; these are changes that will allow your practice and chiropractic to flourish.

This is why we exist. Some people within the profession hesitate to contact us assuming we are "busy." Please understand, you are the reason why Dynamic Chiropractic is published.

We are here for you, and here to fight for chiropractic.

DMP Jr., BS, HCD(hc)

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