Dynamic Chiropractic - September 23, 1994, Volume 12, Issue 20

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Book Reviews

By Steven Eggleston, DC

Title: The Chiropractic Form & Sample Letter Book Authors: Attorneys Campbell, Ladenheim, Sherman, and Louis Sportelli, DC Publisher: Health Services Publications, Inc. Publication: Hard cover, 557 pages Category: Administration/office procedures

To order, please call (800) 543-4337 or (610) 826-2811

Have you spent much time designing forms for your office? Have you bought form after form and each one was not exactly right for you? Have you ever wondered what to do when a patient gets mad and wants his money back? Here is the book for you. There are 557 pages of forms, each page 8 1/2" x 11" and perforated so it can be torn out and photocopied. Most of the forms have one filled out as a sample and a blank one you can use to make copies. Since three of the authors are attorneys and one a chiropractor, there are extensive explanations as to why, when, and how to use each form.

For example, the Financial Hardship Payment Agreement form is used when any patient is unable to pay usual and customary fees for your services. Since dual fee schedules and cash discounts are potentially unethical and illegal, this form helps protect the practice when a patient truly needs your care but cannot afford it.

This form contains language like: "I hereby certify that I have been informed of the usual fees of Dr. Smith for the examination, testing and treatment he has recommended that I undergo. I am unable to pay those fees at this time without substantial financial hardship. I have no expectation of being able to recover those expenses from any third party. To enable me to obtain his services, Dr. Smith and I have agreed to a special payment arrangement ..."

Another form is the fax cover sheet. It states: "The information contained in the facsimile message is doctor-patient privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above ... and dissemination, distribution, or copy of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, you are asked to not read the pages which follow ... notify us by collect telephone call, and destroy the original message."

Many forms that you use right now in your office can be amended or updated using the excellent ideas in the forms contained in this book. From a legal perspective, some of these ideas are invaluable and many protect you from liability.

Here are a few examples of forms included in the book: a letter confirming that patient discontinued care voluntarily; patient re-call letter; collection letters #1, #2, #3; athletic physical form; no doctor-patient relationship established form; home care and exercise report; safety belt exemption form; consent to participate in research release of all claims (settling potential malpractice claims); credit card payment form; and many more.

There is only one thing that would make this book better. If a companion software package was available so each of these forms could be imported into my word processing program, that would be nirvana. In my office we have customized some forms put onto our letterhead or put our name on them. This has necessitated me to have a CA retype them into our computer. I suppose this isn't even a criticism, just a request for more of the excellent work done by the authors. Even if or when such a program becomes available, the book is still necessary because of the explanations about how, when, and why to use the forms.

In reviewing this book, I believe it to be worth its weight in gold -- so I weighed it. It weighs in at a solid three pounds and that makes it worth over $1,000. The actual price is a lot less. In the next few years, this book will save you at least a thousand dollars in time and/or liability. Get out your checkbook or credit card and purchase this book today. Let me repeat that the ACTUAL cost is NOT a thousand dollars, that is only the value I place on it. The actual cost is $189.

Eggleston Rating: 10

Title: Radiographic Positioning for the Chiropractor, Second Edition Author: Robert Percuoco, BS, DC Publication: Hard cover, 163 pages Publisher: Self published (through Palmer College) Category: Student education, practitioner reference

Please see #T-154 on the "Preferred Reading &
Viewing List, pages XX for ordering information
or call 1-800-359-2289

The second edition of Robert "Bucky" Percuoco's text Radiographic Positioning for the Chiropractor was a pleasure to review. It is a well-indexed, comprehensive guide to positioning developed for use by his students at Palmer College. Radiographic views are categorized and thereby easily accessed. Categories include: weightbearing, full spine and sectional series, additional spinal views, upper cervical specific, extremities, and miscellaneous axial and soft tissue studies.

The text begins with precautions regarding proper equipment usage, technical preparation, gowning, and shielding. All of the precautions are worthwhile, but I question the appropriateness of including first aid procedures in this section. Obviously, we all need to be prepared for unexpected patient reactions, in the x-ray room or elsewhere, but two pages of emergency procedures is hardly sufficient for these eventualities.

The bulk (120 pages) of the text, dedicated to positioning, is exceptional in its exhaustive content, thorough delineation of necessary parameters, professional format and graphics, and value for cost. All views include data (but are by no means limited to) film size, marker placement, collimation, and breathing instructions. Line drawings depicting central ray and patient placement are provided, along with simulated digitized film results for each view. These graphics are extremely clear and instructional, with the exception of areas with many overlying structures. For these views, such as the skull and face, the digitized drawings were overly complex for easy interpretation in the size and format provided.

Additionally, Dr. Percuoco includes valuable sections on artifact detection and control, specific technique parameters, and an extensive glossary of terms. Space is provided for the student or practitioner to make additional notes at the end of each section. The only other distraction was the five-page index of Huston classification for subluxation listings. It is included not as an appendix but rather as an "inclusive, defensible and widely accepted" method of subluxation classification. Many would find that point arguable.

In all, the book is wonderfully produced and fills a vital niche both as a learning tool for the student and an easy reference for the practitioner for views not routinely used. It would also be a great reference to supply to RTs and other medical technicians not familiar with weightbearing spinal views and other specific series ordered by the chiropractic physician. The cost of this text is $27.50.

Silvestrone Rating: 8.5