Spine Pain, Surgery and the Health Insurance Paradigm – Dubai Chiropractor?
Health insurance in Dubai
Why Patients Visit a Chiropractor? Chiropractor’s Experience!!
I normally get patients coming into the clinic complaining of some sort of low back, neck or mid back pain, headaches, or other joint pain. Some patients are referred to the clinic by a friend, or found the clinic on google, but usually referred to the chiropractor by another doctor.
Some patients visit chiropractors as a last resort to surgery, some come in for a natural approach to back pain in an attempt to avoid drugs/medication or injections, some come in for preventative/wellness care, and finally some patients see a chiropractor because of a failed spine surgery or they didn’t find the right chiropractor in the past for whatever reason.
The Chiropractor’s Patient Experience
Now here’s by far the most common and problematic situation I see and hear from my patients, and unfortunately, since health insurance coverage is now mandatory in Dubai and other Emirates in the UAE, it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of abuse in the health care system and insurance companies are finding it difficult, if not nearly impossible to cope.
And it’s not just the health care providers that are to blame…so are the parents as well as the individual policyholders; and who pays for the abuse???
You’d think the insurance companies are forking money out of their own pockets, right?
Wrong, the more mis-billings that exist, the higher the premiums are for the companies providing health insurance for their employees or families and their dependents simply end up paying more for health insurance.
Definitely not good; you’d think that more insurance companies would consider promoting a little more chiropractic and a lot less surgeries.
The Trend In Healthcare System
Policyholders are sometimes to blame too.
Recall the days when a child used to sneeze and the parent would simply tell their child to go blow their nose; nowadays the child sneezes or coughs and it’s straight to the hospital.
And what should be a routine checkup and some basic medicines, ends up in a battery of blood tests, a heart check to assure there’s no infection around the heart, an I.V. drip and a night or 2 in the hospital just to be on the safe side!
So, what should’ve been a 750 dirhams bill to the health insurance company from the hospital, ends up in a bill between AED 3,000 to 15,000 dirhams and in some cases, even more!
This probably happens 100’s of times, if not more, every day. Did you know that chiropractic care has been proven to increase immunity by 40%.
The Misconception and Common Patient Mistakes
On a spinal note, 30% of the global population have some sort of disc lesion/tear and don’t even know about it. So how does a non-painful disc boo-boo turn into a 140,000 dirhams neck or back surgery?
I’ll give you a real-life example of 2 patients, both male and in their early 40’s, who I treated recently in the clinic with chiropractic; both men complaining of almost identical neck symptoms.
One patient received chiropractic care for his neck pain and spent approximately 1,100 dirhams to RESOLVE THE PROBLEM and the pain while the 2nd patient received a 140,000-dirham neck surgery which resulted in metal clips being placed in his neck (I seriously got sick to my stomach when I saw such a needless and stupid surgery) which ultimately became a failed neck surgery.
He stated that he’s now in more pain than he was before the surgery and this was the reason that he chose chiropractic care rather than a 2nd surgery to remove the metal clips.
Health insurance or no health insurance; I currently treat the 1st patient 1 time per month for chiropractic wellness/preventative care, and I’ve started treating the 2nd patient with chiropractic for failed neck surgery; he feels immediate relief for several days at a time from simple chiropractic care to his neck despite the surgery and metal clips.
The Bottom line
So, what happened?
Why such dramatic and opposite results for treatment of what turns out to be simple joint (facet) compression in the neck for both patients? The condition, by the way was MILD to MODERATE Cervical (neck) Facet compression/compromise.
In the case of these gentlemen, this happened due to a combination of reasons: Both patients presented to the clinic with head forward posture. Both patients stated that they sit on their computer for longer hours daily.
Here’s something you probably don’t know, for every inch or approximately 2 centimeters of head forward posture that someone has, is equivalent carrying a bowling ball on your head! Yes, that’s right, a bowling ball.
Imagine if you have 4 centimeters of head forward posture, which is very common these days with the use of mobile phones, laptops and simply poor posture – this is equivalent to carrying 2 bowling balls on your head…will this equate to neck pain, tightness in the traps or shoulders, headache, poor quality of sleep, lack of energy?
You bet it does! Did you know that 90% of the energy that your brain utilizes, is to maintain your posture!
Unfortunately, for many companies (hospitals too) where dollars are the bottom line, you end up with such dramatic financial and health outcomes (disasters too) for the same health conditions!
In order to help break up this health care mess that we’re in, I’ve reached out to 3 of the largest health insurance providers in the country and offered a complimentary 2nd opinion for any “spinal surgical cases” in an attempt to save the patient from undergoing yet another potential and needless surgery. Do you think the insurance companies jumped on the opportunity to allow their policyholders to consider an alternative to surgery?
An opportunity to help their policy holder avoid a 90% chance of another failed and expensive back surgery?
To enjoy millions of dollars in insurance payouts to hospitals for needless potentially failed surgery, which also ends up as savings to the policy holders from rising insurance premiums?
NOPE, let’s keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome. It’s such a shame.
Anyway, back to my 2 patients who simply needed mild neck mobilization and mild manipulations. A total of minutes, yes, minutes required to save one patient from chronic neck pain, and to help the 2nd patient from additional pain caused from a failed neck surgery. Patients like this are common every day in Chiropractic clinics around the world.
Let me mention here, in order to help you the patient, to help insurance companies stop needless bleeding of millions of dollars per year, that all 2nd opinions are free of cost to all patients who are suffering from spine AND other neuro-musculo-skeletal health issues.