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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 2, 1995, Vol. 13, Issue 01

We Get Letters

"... getting more than he deserves ..."

I'm responding to the letter form Dr. Sallahian, the New York DABCO who wrote regarding the discriminatory practices used by Medicare relative to the lack of ICD-9 codes for chiropractors.

Everyone is aware of the discriminatory practices being used by the Medicare bureaucracy. It is safe to say that over the last 20 years we've spent at least $10 million as a profession trying to get a better shake from Medicare. They hang tough.

His final paragraph, "I would like to see the ACA and ICA get busy on this project" displays a level of ignorance hardly compatible with professional maturity. Both ACA and ICA have been working on just that project for many years.

I noticed that Dr. Sallahian's name does not appear in either my ACA membership directory or the NYSCA membership directory. Why is that? Clearly, both these organizations have tried very hard to be of service with respect to the problem he outlines. How come Dr. Sallahian isn't supporting his profession's efforts to improve chiropractor's status in Medicare? Clearly, his keen ability to see the problem does very little in addressing it. Given what I see, Dr. Sallahian is getting more than he deserves already.

John Gantner, DC
Medina, New York


Pharmaceuticals: Not the Answer

Dear Dr. Name Witheld,

You are right when you say that having an outside job to eke out a living does not make one a "bad" chiropractor. I find it annoying when a well meaning patient says, "I told my friend to find a good chiropractor." Any chiropractor who has a license to practice is a "good" chiropractor. Yet there are those who are academically brilliant and clinically excellent who can hardly make it in private practice, while those who just squeaked through college and the boards are very successful. There are those who do nothing but adjust subluxations whose offices are filled, and those who do all kinds of modalities and hardly adjust at all who are as busy as can be.

To paraphrase Mr. Shakespeare, the problem, dear Dr. Name Witheld, is not in chiropractic, but in ourselves. Being a successful chiropractor is more than giving the best adjustment you can deliver to that patient on the table, it's being a good employer, businessman, administrator, counselor, and communicator. If a patient perceives that they have been mistreated in any way, in any of the many steps from the phone call to the adjustment, the best adjustment in the world may not be enough to keep them coming back.

No, Dr. NW, adding pharmaceuticals to your practice will not insure your success. There are medical doctors who are failures in private practice, and they may be competent in what they do. However, they can make a handsome living working in a hospital or clinic.

Drugs in chiropractic will serve to confuse the public and move chiropractic closer to medical domination. Since they can't eliminate us, they will try to absorb us into extinction.

The road to success starts with willingness to change ourselves, not chiropractic, and there are many successful practitioners who are willing to help.

Arthur Krieger, DC
Greenport, New York


Praise for the Stillwagon's Plan

Dear Editor,

It was refreshing to read the Part I article by Drs. Glen and Kevin Stillwagon in the Nov. 4 issue of "DC." I would like to see more information published regarding their plan for chiropractors to run chiropractic. Our health care system is very medically oriented and the chances of an MD freely referring an obvious chiropractic case to a DC is remote at best.

I thank you for publishing "Staking The Claim, Part I, and look forward to Part 2, 3, etc. (Editor's note: The article was in two parts. Part II ran in the Dec. 2 issue.)

Keep us the good work of informing the public and the profession of chiropractic with the goings-on in the world outside our offices.

James Dubel, DC
Middletown, Pennsylvania


"... shocked and appalled..."

I was shocked and appalled to read the article, "Pro Bono Work" by Linda Elyad in the Nov. 18 issue. The author found an office policy of providing "a certain percentage" of pro bono care per month admirable. If I remember correctly back to our chiropractic oath, there was mention of providing care "regardless of a person's ability to pay."

Chiropractic is a gift to humanity. It is not our job as chiropractors to decide who can have care and who cannot. The idea of giving for the sake of giving, serving for the sake of serving, and loving for the sake of loving must be mentioned here to remind some DCs about chiropractic's true purpose.

When this is put ahead of all other purposes, chiropractic is practiced purely.

Steve Porter, DC
Cooperstown, New York



Thank you for your clarification between the two organizations called the Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic Education (FACE). While it is true, as Dr. Harris states, that the two foundations (his in Atlanta, GA, ours in Levittown, PA) are in no way connected, I must take exception to his comment that we do "not give one dime to the profession."

FACE in Pennsylvania was incorporated in April 1982 as a nonprofit organization that publishes books and provides seminars and other educational material throughout the US and the world for the "betterment of chiropractic."

At the time of the foundation's incorporation, I, as the executive director, was unaware that any other organization had that name. It has recently been brought to my attention there quite honestly are no problems with two corporations in different states having the same name.

While FACE in Pennsylvania has provided a few small scholarships to chiropractic students, it certainly has not come close to the dollars Dr. Harris has graciously given to the colleges. It should be recognized however that contributions to the profession cannot always be measured in dollars and cents.

Joseph Strauss, DC
Executive Director
FACE, Levittown, PA


Better Alternative

Dear Editor,

I read the article by Stanley Greenfield, RHU, in the Financial Forum section of Dynamic Chiropractic, 11/4/94, and would like to offer another side of the concept Mr. Greenfield presented.

The concept is a disability income insurance with a return of premium rider. This is provision offered by a number of insurers which, assuming you never need your policy and go on claim, returns your premiums plus interest. Neat concept.

The other side of the story, however, is rarely presented. What is often omitted from the presentation is should you actually need your policy (statistics indicate most people will before retirement), the first dollars paid to the insured is their own money. Additionally, this rider usually adds 30 to 50 percent to the policy's premium. So the policy ends up costing much more and the likelihood of the insured receiving their money at interest, given the overwhelming statistics, is small.

If your readers like the concept of protecting their income and getting their premium back should they never need their policy, there is a better alternative to the return of premium rider. Everyone should have their own disability policy and pay that premium to protect their income. Calculate the premium differential (base policy versus base plus rider). Invest the cost of the rider in a tax deferred product (fixed annuities offer the strongest guarantees). This way, the insured has protected his income against a probability, and still provides himself and his family with supplemental retirement income.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Greenfield in the need for disability income protection. I suggest, however, the return of premium rider should be carefully examined. Thank you.

Tim McCafferty, CLU, ChFC
Acacia Financial Center
Orlando, Florida

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