San Francisco Chiropractor comments more on chiropractic x-rays
Posted Jun 02 2009 4:32pm
Is there a financial incentive for chiropractors or medical doctors to take x-rays?
Here is another excerpt from April 2009 issue of "the Back Letter" regarding Routine Imaging:
What About Profit Margins?
Early routine imaging does appear to have one potential benefit-an economic one. In-office imaging facilities can be a major profit center for clinical practices and health care systems in arena of lean reimbursement. And there has been a rapid proliferation in physician owned imaging facilities in the United States in recent years.
However, earning revenue from an assessment strategy that has negative consequence for patients obviously raises troubling ethical questions. And this practice may also have important consequences down the road.
Translation: Doctors are exposing patients to unnecessary radiation (and surgeries/treatments) and increasing the overall costs of health-care by taking x-rays that typically offer no useful benefit. The research continues to show that the conclusions that are being drawn from imaging studies are leading to unnecessary surgeries and medical treatments.
Personally, I have decided (after 16 years of taking x-rays) not to x-ray routinely anymore. I don' t even have an x-ray machine at my new clinic, Executive Express Chiropractic in downtown San Francisco. If we feel a patient needs x-rays (the red flags support it), we will send them out to a medical facility where an expert radiologist can read the x-rays and provide a report.
So far...350 New Patients later (in 6 months), and thousands of chiropractic treatments...we have not had to send a single person for x-rays.
Hey...I love to look at x-rays...but now that I realize they are not the useful, cost effective, medically necessary tool I though they were...it' s no go...and we are fine without them...not as rich...but sleeping better at night.