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Navigating HIPAA in the Electronic Age:What DCs Must Know

By |April 29, 2015|HIPAA, Practice Management|

Navigating HIPAA in the Electronic Age:
What DCs Must Know

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   ACA News ~ March 2015

By Gina Shaw

It has been nearly 20 years since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was passed and more than five years since its privacy protections for health care consumers were significantly strengthened by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, as more healthcare transactions became electronic.

But even so, many clinicians — especially those in smaller, often non-hospital-affiliated practices such as chiropractic — may not be up to speed on what they need to do to protect their patients’ privacy in the electronic age and comply with laws like HIPAA and HITECH, says Steven Baker, DC, DABFP, DABCO, a councilor with the Council on Chiropractic Education.

“Pretty much every office has a HIPAA form that they have their patients sign, saying here’s what we can do with your information,” he says. “But often they have just picked it up from a practice management group, and they may not really know what’s on that form or what it obligates them to do.”

So here are a few things every doctor of chiropractic (DC) and chiropractic office staffer should know about electronic privacy:

1.   Do the laws apply to you?

Most health care practitioners are considered “covered entities” under HIPAA and HITECH — but not necessarily all. Healthcare providers are considered covered entities if they electronically transmit “PHI” — protected health information. You can collect individually identifiable health information without transmitting it electronically, although that’s becoming rare these days.

Learn more about HIPPA @ our:

HIPAA Compliance Page


What Are You Really Saying?

By |March 12, 2014|Practice Management|

What Are You Really Saying?

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   Today’s Chiropractic

By Rachel Sullivan

Actions may speak louder than words, but for the busy chiropractic office and the average patient, words may not be doing much at all. In an ideal world, a patient would seek out care, ask pertinent questions, provide all relevant information and leave feeling secure they had been heard, understood and, most importantly, treated well.

Unfortunately for far too many patients—and their chiropractic caregivers—the world is far from ideal. To this end, numerous experts agree miscommunication generally arises either during the course of chiropractors’ lay lectures or discussion of case histories.

“The single biggest problem, in my opinion, is that too many chiropractors talk too much,” says Bill Esteb, owner of Patient Media. “Most people think effective communication is about eloquent, suave answers, but behind that is the ability to listen. I’ve met a lot of chiropractors who aren’t good listeners, because they confuse listening with hearing. One is a physiological act; the other is a social skill.”

Mike Headlee, D.C., agrees. “In a nutshell, to do my job and spread the message of chiropractic care, the first thing I tell patients is it’s about them. I let them talk and when it’s my turn to explain what I can do, I will clarify what they said. This is about building a rapport and really making a connection. The object is to put them at ease and get the message across, but the main objective is to help each patient on the particular day I am seeing them.”

In this capacity, Headlee says he begins each session with his patients using an open-ended question like, “What can I do for you today?” Then, and most importantly in his opinion, he shuts up to listen. “I think it’s absolutely critical to know what experience my patients have had with chiropractic before me,” Headlee explains. “I’m not asking for the names of their former doctors, but I do want to know what worked and what didn’t. It’s important to hear what the patient has to say about their situation. It’s amazing to realize how many patients know something is wrong with them, but don’t know what.”

There are more materials like this @ our:

Chiropractic Assistant Page and our:

New DCs Page


Cash-Only Practices: Medical Doctors Reconsider Their Options

By |February 16, 2012|Practice Management|

Cash-Only Practices: Medical Doctors Reconsider Their Options

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   Medscape ~ 2-10-2012

By Neil Chesanow

It’s not just chiropractors who are considering switching to all-cash practices. Managed Care is also losing its grip on medical practices.


Cash-only (also called “direct-pay”) medical practices, in which doctors shun managed care contracts and are paid in cash by patients, are gaining adherents — admittedly slowly, but surely. And while there have been philosophical and logistic criticisms of the model, some of those are steadily breaking down.

One reason is that low insurance reimbursements, particularly from Medicare, are making it harder to meet practice overhead expenses. Another is that increasingly more doctors, particularly primary care physicians, seek greater control over their patient visits and patient relations.

“How do you create a practice model where your patients are your payers, where you get doctor and patient back into a real relationship, and where patients can trust in the way doctors work and how they do business?” asks Alan Dappen, MD, who has a cash-only solo practice in Vienna, Virginia.

Cash-Only: Making a Real Impact?


First, Make Rice

By |October 12, 2011|Clinical Pearl, Practice Management|

First, Make Rice

The Chiro.Org Blog

Fledgling sushi chefs spend months (sometimes years) doing nothing but making the rice for the head chef.

If the rice isn’t right, it really doesn’t matter what else you do, you’re not going to be able to create and serve great sushi.

The clinical education provided in Chiropractic curricula invariably has to assume that their students already know how to “make the rice”.

They have to assume that you understand the art of asking questions and listening, that you have experience with building rapport, that you have an innate empathy for what your patients want and think, that you know how to make a compelling case that chiropractic can help them, that you know how to enroll them in the concept of a corrective care plan (think orthodontia), that you know the difference between presentation and conversation, and when they say yes, you know exactly what to do to get them started. (more…)

To Be or Not to Be An Associate Doctor

By |June 10, 2011|Practice Management|

To Be or Not to Be An Associate Doctor

The Chiro.Org Blog

SOURCE:   The American Chiropractor

By Peter G. Fernandez, D.C.

These 8 questions will help you decide if you should become an associate or start your own practice.

1.   Are you inexperienced, but don’t want outside help?
2.   Is your ego too big to pay for – and listen to expert advice?
3.   Can you raise the money?
4.   Are you willing to work 70 hours a week?
5.   Are you too scared to open a practice?
6.   Do you lack self-motivation?
7.   Are you a passive person?
8.   Is your spouse going to be supportive?

Every DC has a vision of starting their own practice, becoming extremely successful and enjoying the riches of life. Reads like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? Realistically, this scenario is a fantasy to the many DC’s who aren’t destined to start and operate their own practice. How do you know if you have what it takes to start a new practice—or if you’d be happier as an associate? Your personal answers to the following questions will tell you.

1.   Are you inexperienced in starting a practice, but don’t want outside help?

Do you know how to find, hire and train the best person for a chiropractic assistant (CA) position? The American Management Association tells us that it costs over $12,000 to hire and train a good CA. Frequently having to replace CA’s can sink a new practice. Unfortunately, the average new DC goes through three CA’s his first year in practice. (more…)

For CAs: The Health-Service Role of the Doctor of Chiropractic

By |October 23, 2009|Chiropractic Assistant, Education, Practice Management|

For CAs: The Health-Service Role of the Doctor of Chiropractic

The Chiro.Org Blog

We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.

This is Chapter 3 from RC’s best-selling book:

“The Chiropractic Assistant”

These materials are provided as a service to our profession. There is no charge for individuals to copy and file these materials. However, they cannot be sold or used in any group or commercial venture without written permission from ACAPress.

Chapter 3: The Health-Service Role of the Doctor of Chiropractic

This chapter briefly describes the role of the doctor of chiropractic in the health care of the nation. It also introduces the reader to the rationale of clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, rehabilitation, and counseling in the chiropractic approach. Some particular areas of special interest are also described.


The diagnostic process of a patient’s disorder begins with the recording and interpretation of the patient’s medical history. Thus, the initial interview and consultation with the patient is of utmost importance. It will direction the examinations and tests that are to follow. Every measure of observation that will substantially profile the patient is employed and recorded. A systematic and thorough physical examination is conducted using the methods, techniques, and instruments that are standard with all health professions. In addition, the doctor of chiropractic will include a postural and spinal analysis, an innovation in the field of physical diagnosis and examination.


The chiropractic physician uses the standard procedures and instruments of physical and clinical diagnosis, and he is well acquainted with the need for differential diagnosis. Diagnostic radiology, especially as it pertains to the skeletal system, is a primary clinical diagnostic aid in chiropractic and has been since the early 1900s.

In addition, doctors of chiropractic are knowledgeable in the standard and special clinical laboratory procedures and tests usual to modern diagnostic science. Facilities for roentgenography (x-ray), thermography, electrocardiography (ECG or EKG), and electromyography (EMG) are standard among many other technologic advancements. Each accredited chiropractic college has a laboratory licensed to carry on clinical laboratory examinations, including such fields as cytology, chemistry, hematology, serology, bacteriology, and parasitology. (more…)