How is Healthcare like a box of Cracker Jacks?

cracker-jack

Unless you have been hibernating like a bear you should be aware that nationwide we are experiencing significant issues with the delivery of health care in the good old USA. In Minnesota there are even deeper issues with the way the laws were changed to allow “vertical Integration” a “Minnesota nice” way of saying legal medical monopoly.

This is a factor as to why the largest health care insurer in the country that is based in Minnesota, United Health Care, only does business in 49 states.  The only state it does not deliver its usual product in??? YOU GUESSED IT!! DING! DING!!  Minnesota.  They use Medica as their tool/product in this market.

Basically they (the plans and the state bought into the idea around 1984) that if one entity owned and controlled all of the aspects of care; Hospital, Clinics, staff, all associated therapies and such, even Pharmacy, they would be more efficient and would do a superior job of keep cost down and quality up.

How’s that been working for you?????

The problem now is the lack of competition. There are only four plans operating in the state and they have all focused on areas and segments of the market and have a cozy set up; kind of like organized crime bosses splitting up Chicago or New Jersey. Every ones gets a piece of the turf and they can put the squeeze on their market.

Prices get too high? Nooo problem, the state will make all of us (tax payers) kick in some extra tax coverage for the poor stiff’s they (insurance carriers) squeezed too hard already, the self employed. The insurance companies are making the self insured look like they cost them too much to cover and the insurance companies will not look good leaving them out in the cold. Let’s not even consider allowing more competition into the market, it could (I mean would) make the current plans look bad.

Sorry, but this is just my thirty-eight years of being in practice, running a clinic, attending meetings, going to the capital and talking to a lot of insiders in the health care system and getting a chance to look behind the “Health care Wizard of OZ” curtain.

So let’s take a look at the managed care handling of Chiropractic delivery since 1984. In that year we were told that to be a “good doctor” delivering appropriate services we had to keep our treatment numbers at or below 24 visits on average. This was a consistent value based on research and accepted standards. All reimbursement was basically “frozen” at that level in 1984 and for all practical purposed has only gone down (LESS) since then. Most Chiropractors are losing money on treatments – hard fact based on a study back around 2000.

As of 2016, regardless of the plan  there is a “hidden cap” on the delivery of Chiropractic services state wide that is placed on the Chiropractor by the network they are in, not your insurance plan. This “cap” is now settling in at around 10 visits per person per year. SO, what happened to the 24 visits that were good back in 1984??? Good question!

The phenomenon is a takeoff on the Limbo dance. Basically, how low can the plans make the provider go before they fall down or quit, and now this applies to ALL health providers, not just Chiropractors, but that is another blog.

Your plan booklet may say “unlimited” or the ever great term ”usual and necessary” BUT you have to remember who gets to pick that answer and it isn’t you or the provider!! It seems that this initial fact is now a lost consideration in light of the average individual deductible settling in between $5000.00 to $7000.00. You will hit the provider limit long before you ever reach the deductible limit to get you plan to start paying on anything.

A key strategy is that all of us will have to change how we ask for and think of using health services.  It is actually more effective and cheaper to practice more wellness and prevention approaches to care than waiting to get care or for the symptoms to drag on. You have to actually plan on spending some or the entire deductible amount but you may not spend it in the plan. Each of you will have to have to determine the value of getting care. Many plans now have deductibles in the $30 to $70 dollar range which is also in the range of most cash payments for an adjustment. The average fee for Physical Therapy is $150 per hour in this area. Our cost for seeing our CNP for family care ranges in the $80 to $130 and procedures all listed on our web site. In the same range as most walk in convince clinics. Chiropractic care can range from around $35 to $150 depending on the extent of your problems and the level of therapy or services needed.

So, how is health care like a box of cracker jacks? Well, from my experience I always expected the prize to be more and give me more satisfaction that what I ever got from the cracker jacks. I think most of us are expecting more from the expensive plans we all are paying for and the “prize” of coverage really never meets our needs or expectations. I think we all deserve than a health delivery system that can only deliver “yah never know what you may get in your health coverage”.  I am willing to spend a buck on a box of Cracker Jacks to this lowering of expectations but none of us should be doing this with our lives and healthcare.

Chew on these thoughts while you are chewing on some cracker jacks!

Call Advacare clinics for a free consultation with our care coordinator to see how we can help you!   952-835-6653.

Dennis Lenselink

Clinic Administrator Advacare Clinics

Poor Nutrition, Vitamin C, Inflammation and Health

Poor Nutrition, Vitamin C, Inflammation and Health

 

49936107 - healthy and unhealthy lifestyle choices concept

What do poor nutrition and inflammation have in common?  They are a “cause and effect” team that everyone should know about.  When a substance that your body doesn’t want is introduced into your body, your immune system comes to the rescue.  It begins to attack it, causing inflammation.  This inflammation may be swollen and painful joints, stress and anxiety, decreased range of motion, even fatigue. Chronic inflammation is the result of constantly eating foods that our bodies don’t want!

Unfortunately the SAD (Standard American Diet) is still very high in chemical preservatives, fats and too high in certain carbohydrates that promote obesity, inflammation and a long list of degenerative changes and diseases that are continuing to drive up health care costs.

What types of foods are known to promote inflammation?

  • Fast foods
  • Red Meat
  • Hydrogenated and Trans fats – found in margarine, shortening and lard.
  • White sugar and sweets
  • Fried foods
  • Synthetic sweeteners
  • Dairy products
  • Refined carbs (pastries and bread)
  • Wheat products

Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Now that you know what food to stay away from, what foods will fight inflammation? We’ve started a list for you:

  • Almonds and walnuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Salmon and other fatty fish and fish oils (EPA/ DHA)
  • Fruits including cherries, oranges and blueberries
  • Olive oil
  • Leafy veggies like kale and spinach
  • Tomatoes

Inflammation is one of the key factors in the ecosystem of just about all types of neoplastic tissues, illness or arthritic and degenerative conditions. (Your current amount of inflammation is your body can actually predict the chances and length of survival time for numerous types of cancer. A person that has the lowest inflammation levels are twice as likely to survive for at least two years with a cancer diagnosis.)

The simple way to see how inflamed you may be is to see how high or “HOT” the “soup” of your body tissues may be. There are several low cost tests (in the $30 to $200 range) we can perform in clinic to see how ACID or ALKALINE your tissues may be. There are numerous blood and urine markers that can get very specific for disease and tissues markers to check on your cell response to inflammation or functional levels of inflammation in your body.

Another key therapy approach to dealing with any form of inflammation is higher dose Vitamin C therapy. Daily use of oral Vitamin C and high dose IV therapy on acute illness has been shown to reduce inflammation. Much of this has been demonstrated in dealing with Cancer therapy where one of the leading causes of cancer is your body’s level of inflammation setting up the environment to enable the cancer to gain a foot hold and grow.

Do you know what foods are acid vs alkaline forming?  Try this simple test!

Question: What is more alkaline forming: organic whole grain bread, a 6oz hamburger/steak or a grapefruit?

Answer:  the grapefruit. It is often considered acidic as it is high in citric acid BUT in your body they actually have an alkalizing effect. Meats are alkaline before digestion, but leave very acidic residue and therefore is acid forming.

Our human blood pH should be (7.35-7.45) which is slightly alkaline.  Above this range or below means disease and a variety of symptoms.

If you have questions about inflammatory foods and/or foods to help your pH balance, just ask us for help at your next visit. If you are not currently a patient at AdvaCare call today 952-835-6653 to set up a free consult with our care coordinator to see how we can help educate you on health and wellness principles to enable you to have a healthier and more cost effective approach to your lifestyle and healthcare.

Dennis Lenselink

Clinic Administrator Advacare Clinics

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