Undeniable Facts About Healthcare Waste And Its Affect on Patients

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The quality of American healthcare is suffering while costs are spiraling out of control. Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP discusses the recent findings published by The Institute of Medicine in its report: Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.

About 30% of health spending in 2009—roughly $750 billion—was wasted on unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, fraud, and other problems…roughly 75,000 deaths might have been averted.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP notes that the healthcare system in America is a contrast of contradictions. Recent decades have benefitted from an explosion in knowledge leading to life-saving breakthroughs in therapies and procedures. Yet, using this knowledge to improve care fails to keep pace with the scientific advances. The shortfalls in healthcare performance lead to inferior quality in delivery, poor outcomes, and increased costs for the patient. In 31 of the past 40 years, healthcare costs have increased faster than the national economy. Not only are families forced into bankruptcy, but the very stability of the nation’s economy is threatened.

On September 6, 2012, the Institute of Medicine released its report stating, "The costs of the system's current inefficiency underscore the urgent need for a system wide transformation. The committee calculated that about 30 percent of health spending in 2009—roughly $750 billion—was wasted on unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, fraud, and other problems. Moreover, inefficiencies cause needless suffering. By one estimate, roughly 75,000 deaths might have been averted in 2005 if every state had delivered care at the quality level of the best performing state." A copy of the report’s brief is attached to this article.

Julielynn Wong, M.D. reporting for USA Today and the ABC News Medical Unit notes that this wasted $750 billion “could have provided health insurance for more than 150 million workers or covered the salaries of all of the nation’s first responders for more than 12 years."

About 75 million Americans suffer from more than one chronic health condition. Coordinated care is required with multiple therapies provided by numerous specialists. The increased miscommunication in the system often results in misdiagnosis, conflicting interventions, and dangerous drug interactions.
If banks were as inefficient as the healthcare system, it would take you days to receive your money when you go to an ATM. If airlines ran as reliably as the healthcare system, pilots could design their own pre-flight safety checks…or not do them at all.

Obviously, America’s healthcare system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual. Reform is needed to meet patients’ specific needs, offering them affordable choices while delivering reliable results.

Two of the heaviest costs on the American healthcare system are back and neck pain. Spine-related problems cost over $85 billion yearly, with 26% of adult Americans suffering back pain and 14% having neck pain during the past 3 months. Treatment is often uncoordinated, disorganized, and costly as various therapies and medications are tried.

Dr. Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD of Harvard Medical School and Dr. Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH of Mercer Health and Benefits found that Chiropractic was the most effective modality in treating back and neck pain. When the cost of medications is added to medical physician expenses, Chiropractic care is probably also the least expensive treatment for spinal pain. The full Mercer Report is attached to this article.

Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, Massachusetts also studied the use of Chiropractic care in its low back pain program. Out of 402 low back patients, those treated by Chiropractors achieved clinically successful outcomes with an average of 5.2 visits, for only $302 per case. Pain and disability scores were decreased by approximately 70% in just a few weeks, while the satisfaction rate exceeded 95%.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan is a leader in implementing the most effective treatment while controlling costs for their enrollees. Effective January 1, 2012, UPMC requires prior authorization for all non-emergency low back surgeries. To quote their policy: “To be considered for surgery, patients with chronic low back pain must have:

  •         Tried and failed a 3-month course of conservative management, which includes physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, and medication.
  •         Completed UPMC Health Plan’s Low Back Pain Health Coaching Program.”

A copy of the UPMC health plan update is attached to this article.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP notes, “What makes these studies significant is that we have two highly respected medical researchers, a leading research hospital, and a foremost medical university concluding that seeing a Chiropractor for back or neck pain is not only the most effective treatment, but less costly than other forms of treatment. Chiropractic plays a vital role in controlling healthcare costs while increasing the effectiveness of spinal pain treatment.”

Additional information about Chiropractic and other forms of natural health care can be found at http://www.all-about-wellness.com.

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP

Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf@itol.com, his website at http://www.all-about-wellness.com, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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