Inside This Issue
The Power of One
Tips For Losing A Pounds Per Month
Treating Leg Pain…Chiropractic, Injections or PT?
Class Action Lawsuits Against Aetna
Medicare Announces 2014 Rates
Three Ways To A Healthier Spine
The Power of One
Did you make any resolutions for this New Year? If so, how are you doing with them? A recent study showed that 45% of us make resolutions but, only 8% are successful in achieving them. Why is that? There are many reasons, of course, but one very common one is that people set unrealistic goals which they deep down do not believe they will succeed at. So for many, year after year passes with the same unmet desires. Is there really any hope that this year can be different? I believe so. The answer lies in the concept of the power of one.
Research shows that people with very clear, WRITTEN goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them than those without! Since one of my major life goals is to help people live healthier, happier lives, I am going to focus on achieving HEALTH goals. The first step is to pick ONE aspect of your health that you REALLY WANT to improve this year. It could be as universal as losing 10 pounds or dropping a size. Or it can be taking up a sport, yoga, increasing energy and flexibility, reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches, back pain, WHATEVER! It may help to think about what frustrates you most on a daily or weekly basis. The key is to pick ONE, just one. Write down exactly what you hope to accomplish and set a completion date. Think about 1-3 actions you can take to achieve that goal. Set mini-goals along the way to completing your big goal. Think of little rewards you can give yourself for each small success along the way. Keep thinking about how happy and proud you will feel when you reach your goal. Then just get started! Today, tomorrow, as soon as you can!
Each week, review your goal and the progress you made. Don’t get discouraged if you didn’t reach your goal. Think of what you may do different this week. Move the completion date back a little without feeling guilt or discouragement. Read a book or do internet research for additional ideas to help you succeed. Be determined that you are going to do it. If you seriously want to accomplish what you set out to do, and follow these steps, you will have a 10 times greater chance of making it happen this year. If you reach your goal sooner than expected, your confidence will go up and you can set a new goal for something else you know will enrich your life. The key is in the power of picking and working on ONE big goal at a time. Take a few minutes to think, pick, write down and make a plan. Then just get started. You can do it!
How Will You Lose ‘Just One’?
At the start of the New Year, many people make resolutions to lose weight. Their lists typically include going to the gym, eating healthier, limiting alcohol, routine exercise, dieting, etc. However, trying to change so many different lifestyle choices is hard!
Here’s an idea which, if followed, alone may help you lose one pound per month. Pick ONE ; Instead of trying to alter several lifestyle habits at once, simply pick one, and stick with it! One pound per month may not seem like a lot now, but over time, it adds up; within two years, you can lose up to 25 pounds! This is a very realistic goal to obtain and follows a healthy weight loss pattern. Some good lifestyle habits to choose from include:
- Develop exercise habit 3-5x/week
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly
- Drink 3-5 8 oz. glasses of water/day
- Cut alcohol consumption by half or completely
- Cut soda consumption by half or completely
- Cut out fast foods by half or completely
- Eat 3-5 raw fruit or veggies per day
- Cut caffeine consumption by half
- Limit red meat consumption and replace
- Limit processed foods with more seeds/nuts
- Eat a wider variety of vegetables/fruits
CHIROPRACTIC MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PHYSICAL THERAPY OR STEROID INJECTIONS FOR LEG PAIN
A 2013 study reported in the European Spine Journal compared 51 patients with leg pain related to a problem in the sacroiliac (hip or pelvic) region of the spine. It compared results after 6 and 12 weeks between patients treated with physical therapy, sacroiliac joint steroid injections or chiropractic care. The chiropractic group showed 72% favorable response versus 50% for the corticosteroid injection group. The group receiving physical therapy reported success in only 20% of those treated. You can read more about the study by searching “Chiropractic Best Option for SI Joint Pain”.
Visser L, Woudenberg N, et al. Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a randomized-controlled trial. European Spine Journal 2013 [online]. doi: 10.1007/s00586-013-2833-2.
Pending $120 Million Settlement Against Aetna Insurance Company
If you are/were an Aetna member and received health care services from an out-of-network Health Care Provider between March 1, 2001 and August 30, 2013, you may have received notice about a pending $120 million settlement against Aetna to be decided on March 18, 2014. A class action suit was filed against Aetna alleging the company used “reimbursement policies to reduce reimbursement amounts improperly” for those receiving out-of-network care.
If you were in that group, you should have received legal notice giving you the option to file a claim by March 28, 2014. If the settlement goes through, you may be eligible to receive some reimbursement for services received between those dates. If you feel this applies to you but do not have the notice, we have a copy which you could look at or have us copy and send to you.
Our office was in Aetna for a couple of years during that time. We made the decision to drop out of Aetna due to their unreasonably low reimbursement rates and paperwork/authorization requirements. If this settlement results in Aetna changing their policies and following standard UCR (Usual/Customary/Reasonable) reimbursement rates used by other insurance companies, we would be open to participating in the Aetna network again.
Medicare Announces 2014 Rates
Each year, the government determines the rates for chiropractic and medical services for people on Medicare. They only cover two levels of service provided by chiropractors. One of them is 98940 when you are having a problem in one part of your spine. The second is 98941 when you are having multiple areas giving you trouble. As of January 1 st , 2014, the new rate for billing code 98940 is $26.86 and $39.61 for 98941 with a yearly deductible of $147. Under Medicare policy, treatment of the spine is the only service covered when provided by a chiropractor.
Medicare does not cover treatment for conditions not related to the spine such as: rotator cuff strains, knee injuries, heel pain, and plantar fasciitis among others. Since these are conditions frequently treated in the office, you would have a $20.00 therapy fee if choose to have Dr. Wohar work on any of these.
These new Medicare rates apply to those of you who have traditional Medicare or Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans such as Freedom Blue or Security Blue.
It really is easier to stay well than to get well. All of us need to adopt habits that help us function at our best. It is unwise to wait until we are forced to take action because of some serious ache or pain.
You may consider the following ideas in helping you improve and maintain your health:
- Become “spine-conscious”:
- Choose ongoing Chiropractic Care:
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the necessity and benefits of ongoing chiropractic care. It is an important part of your personal health care plan. I truly believe chiropractic care is paramount to most people’s ability to be well and enjoy the healthiest and most productive lives possible. I hope you do too!
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the office.