February 2021 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act Means Chiropractic Care Just Got More Affordable
» Whole Grains Benefit Blood Pressure
» Excess Protein - A Diabetic Risk
» ACA Responds to Report on Construction of Essential Benefits Mandated by Health

Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act Means Chiropractic Care Just Got More Affordable  

On January 13, 2021, Congress passed the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, something that levels the financial playing field in the insurance industry, including the affordability of chiropractic care.

"The American Chiropractic Association advocated for this important change for many years. The passage of this bill is an essential step toward increasing competition in health insurance markets and lowering prices for consumers," said ACA President Robert C. Jones, DC.

Previously, insurance companies were considered exempt from federal antitrust laws. Said laws served the purpose of eliminating monopolies and fostering a competitive market. Insurance companies have been able to establish monopolized territories and cherrypick what healthcare services they decide to cover, including chiropractic.

The American Chiropractic Association explains in their article that, "It levels the playing field between a doctor and a health insurance company. Doctors have long been subject to federal antitrust scrutiny… Health insurance companies […] have been free to exchange among themselves suggested price information, terms of service and criteria for the reimbursement of doctors of chiropractic.

"They also have been free to obtain and utilize reimbursement criteria from various 'medical consultants' who often are direct competitors of doctors of chiropractic and have anticompetitive intent. With certain limited exceptions, this ability of insurance companies now ends with the elimination of the ‘business of insurance’ exemption to the federal antitrust laws."

The Act has finally been signed into law after years and years of being struck down by previous legislations. There are mixed reactions to the new law. The bottom line is that it means change in the insurance industry, and potentially change in the cost of specialized healthcare.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:American Chiropractic Association. January 20, 2021.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2021


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Whole Grains Benefit Blood Pressure  
Consuming plentiful amounts of whole grain foods appears to ward off high blood pressure according to the latest research. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a new study found men with the largest consumption of whole grain foods (52 grams/day) were 19 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure as compared with men consuming just 3 grams of whole grains daily. The process of refining grains results in the removal of their outer coating making them more quickly absorbed by the body (and thus, potentially turning into body fat more easily) as well as removing many beneficial nutrients. Thus, when purchasing grain products, it’s better to choose whole grain foods as compared with refined foods. Another finding researchers noted was that men who consumed more whole grain foods also tended to gain less weight. Of course, everything in moderation.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2009.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2009


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Excess Protein - A Diabetic Risk  

According to new research, individuals consuming excess protein, especially animal protein, are putting themselves at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have also shown higher levels of protein intake, especially red meats and processed meats, to be tied to long-term diabetes risk. Approximately 26,000 individuals were included in the study who on average ate 90 grams of protein per day. Those individuals who consumed the most overall protein, approximately 111 grams per day, increased their odds of developing diabetes by 17% as compared with those who ate the least amount of protein daily - 72 grams. When evaluating specifically animal based protein, those who consumed the most were 22% more likely to become diabetic compared with those eating the least amount; 78 grams vs 36 grams, respectively. According to researchers, plant based protein was not linked to diabetes. In fact, plant based proteins such as nuts, whole grains and legumes have been associated with a lower incidence of diabetes in past studies. Researchers recommended minimizing red meat consumption to no more than twice per week and keeping poultry and fish consumption to no more than 4 times per week. They also recommended minimizing cheese and processed meats and avoiding the consumption of skimmed milk and yogurt on an everyday basis.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Diabetes Care, online April 10, 2014.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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ACA Responds to Report on Construction of Essential Benefits Mandated by Health  

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has reviewed the recommendations outlined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommending a methodology for constructing an essential health benefits package to be included in qualified health plans developed as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). “We look forward to working with HHS Secretary Sebelius over the next several months on this issue,” said ACA President Keith S. Overland, DC. “We will make our position crystal clear: that doctors of chiropractic can provide services in many of the broad 10 essential benefits categories in the newly regulated environment created by the PPACA – and we will work to ensure no language is adopted at the federal level relative to ‘essential benefits’ that would specifically exclude services provided by, or the participation of, chiropractic physicians.” At the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) late last year, IOM undertook a study to make recommendations to HHS on the criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits package. When ACA testified in January before the IOM panel charged with developing a set of recommendations for HHS, one of the items ACA stressed must happen is transparency throughout the essential health benefit determination process. The IOM keyed on this request and made sure in its recommendations that transparency is a vital focal point in the process going forward.  Another ACA proposal, urging that HHS considers the wide range of patient protections at the state level in determining an essential benefit package, was also included in the IOM report. The IOM stated in its report that while state patient protections, or mandates, should not be given preferential treatment, they should indeed be subject to the same inclusion criteria as any other service. In addition, in an effort to protect patients, ACA recommended that HHS also create an extensive review process for patient appeals if essential benefits are denied. The IOM also recommended that HHS create a strong framework for appeals and other protections when implementing and updating essential health benefits. The next step in the process may be a proposed rule, open to public comment, issued by HHS. The department may also create a series of public “listening sessions” where individuals may be able to voice their concerns orally and in-person. The exact scenario for public feedback should be determined in the next several weeks. “Transparency during this entire process will be fundamental in its success,” said Dr. Overland. “We believe that through research, evidence and patient satisfaction, the services provided by doctors of chiropractic will not only be deemed essential, but vital, to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.

Author:American Chiropractic Association
Source:Acatoday.com, October 7, 2011.
Copyright:American Chiropractic Association 2011


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