Chiropractic Health Alternatives
 
558 Main St, South Portland, ME 04106 | mwilliamsdc@maine.rr.com
 
 
 
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Insurance Acceptance in Portland, ME

Insurance

It is recommended that any new patient check with their insurance carrier to know what coverage is available to them for chiropractic care under their particular plan. If the patient gets different insurance while receiving care, they should find out what chiropractic benefits they have with the new plan and be sure to inform us about the new insurance: when it goes into effect and any other changes associated with it. We will submit all claims for patients.
Patients are responsible to pay any deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance and any other approved non-covered services. Unfortunately, some insurance policies are very limited in what they cover, and any care beyond the limitations of the policy are the responsibility of the patient. Throughout the care, Dr. Williams will keep costs as conservative as possible while working diligently to get the patient back in proper working order. Some items, such as nutritional supplements, are not covered by insurance and are the responsibility of the patient.
Participating Provider:
Dr. Malcolm Williams is a participating provider with:
 
  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
 
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Medicaid/MaineCare
 
  • Medicare
 
 
 
Other Insurances
Other insurances are also accepted.
Some insurance plans use networks that Dr. Williams is in-network. If Dr. Williams is not in-network, the patient will have to meet the out-of-network requirements of their policy, which often mean higher deductibles and higher co-payments or co-insurance.
In some situations there are services that we would reasonably assume will be covered by most insurances. If we later find out that your insurance does not cover that service, you would be responsible for those charges as well. If possible, we will contact the insurance company to discover what is covered by your plan, but we are not always able to do so prior to providing care as it can be difficult to speak to someone in the available time.
It is highly recommended that prior to your appointment, you contact your insurance company and ask what is covered for chiropractic care including:
 
  • spinal adjustments
 
  • related physical therapies
 
  • examinations
 
You should ask how many services are allowed in a year, what your deductible is, how much of your deductible has already been met, the maximum allowed coverage, the maximum out of pocket expense you will have to meet and any other details that you do not know and understand about your insurance plan after you have read your plan information package.
Personal injury: (automobile accidents and other injuries) cases are accepted with assignment.
Worker's compensation cases: The employer or insurance company may designate a required provider, but if you choose to switch to another provider you may do so after 10 days from the date of the first treatment provided by the designated provider.
Payments
Payments can be made by cash, check and major credit cards - Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
 

Healthy Nation

There is a growing need to change the health status of people around the world and even in this country. Health problems abound with more and more concern about the aging population of people who are living longer thanks to medical interventions. While these medications and surgeries are saving their lives, there is the awareness that many of the conditions now being treated are conditions that are the result of life choices and in that sense are preventable. We have to engage everyone in taking an active role in creating a "Healthy Nation."

Redefining "Healthy"

Healthy is the state of all the body systems functioning optimally. Central to normal function is healthy communication in the body, primarily focused on the extensive nerve system that relays information to and from every part of the body. This relates to the brain, spinal cord and all of the myriad of nerves spread throughout the whole body. If this communication is happening and the muscles are getting the right information, the joints are functioning correctly and all of the other systems, (digestive, respiratory, endocrine, circulatory, urogenital and immune), are doing what they should be doing, then we are healthy.
 
 

Rethinking Pain

Our society tends to think of healthy in terms of no pain. So, the thought extends to, if you get rid of the pain by taking a painkiller, then you are healthy again. We need to rethink this. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. It is like a fire alarm in your home. Pulling the battery out of the smoke detector to stop that annoying loud noise and going on about your normal activities is not a realistic plan. Pain is a warning sign that things are not working correctly and need to be attended to in order to correct what is causing the pain. In that sense pain is a friend, particularly if you listen to it when it first presents. Ignored, it becomes like an angry bee, it's going to hurt you.
When someone ignores or medicates the first pains that present themselves, it is not likely that the problem will get better if the cause of the problem is not fixed. After a time, the body will do its best to compensate for the problem to relieve the pain, but if the pain persists, then the brain relegates that pain information into a sub-threshhold category wherein it says this is something we have to live with but we can't do anything about so it is not useful to keep being as aware of it. As the pain gets worse, the ability to ignore it decreases until it becomes the dominant message coming in. Then there is a crisis that is demanding full attention and we reach for, or in the traditional medical setting are prescribed, a pain medication.
The use of a pain medication might be necessary and very useful in some situations, as in following a surgery or a major trauma for short term use. However, many studies and the statistics indicate that pain killers are over-prescribed for conditions for which they provide no meaningful benefit, e.g. low back pain and other musculoskeletal problems.
Use of pain killers gives some relief to the pain in some situations, but does nothing to fix the cause of the pain. While in time the pain will often ease, there can be the continued "need" for some pain relief because the problem is still there and triggers pain again from time to time. This easily leads to physical, chemical and/or psychological addiction to the pain killers.
Pain Killers - Chiropractic in Portland, ME
Chiropractic care gets to the cause of the problem and if that is corrected then the cause of the pain is gone and there is no need for painkillers. Chiropractic is uniquely positioned to assess and correct the functional problems that cause musculoskeletal pains.
For these types of conditions, CHIROPRACTIC CARE SHOULD BE THE FIRST CHOICE OF CARE, only resorting to painkillers if the condition is so severe that some short term pain relief is needed while the correction is being made.
Low Back Pain Statistics - Chiropractors in Portland, ME
When pain medications are used there are often side effects, some short-term, others life-long. If the person has surgery, which sometimes is necessary, there is often significant relief, but the body is compromised and will never be as it was. This is another reason why chiropractic care should be the first route of care for musculoskeletal issues.
Back Injuries Statistics - Chiropractic Physician in Portland, ME
When pain in the musculoskeletal system is ignored and the causative problem is not addressed, there begin to be consequences with degenerative changes in the joint which in time present as arthritis. The muscles compensate and can develop imbalances trying to splint around the painful joint area to prevent irritating movements, and some muscles become over-dominant while others weaken, in the long-run creating an imbalance which becomes harder to fix because of that muscle patterning.
 

Prevention

There is a saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How true this is in the health field. There are simple things that we can do to prevent health problems, and the younger we start the better the result. Even when we are older, while we can't prevent everything that is already in motion, the choices we make on a daily basis, can determine the quality and quantity of our life experience in those later years.
The primary areas of self action are nutrition, exercise and rest. Reducing sugars and avoiding artificial foods go a long way to creating better health. Smoking leads to many problems all of which are preventable by finding the way to break the habit. Drinking plenty of water is another cornerstone of better health. The more involved a person is willing to be in their own health care, the more impact they can have. These areas will be explored in further pages.
Chiropractic care also fits into the realm of prevention. Small injuries that are untreated get worse over time and also lead to joint degeneration which when bad enough is diagnosed as "osteoarthritis." It has been documented that within 2 weeks of an injury, there are measurable degenerative changes in those stressed areas. Early intervention with chiropractic care to reduce that joint stress, can allow restoration of healthier joint surfaces and possibly stop but certainly slow the degenerative changes that are happening because of that structural imbalance.
 
 

Cost of Care

The old adage that a stitch in time saves nine is so applicable to health care and therefor to healthcare costs. The graphic below shows the difference in cost between traditional medical care and conservative chiropractic care.

Conservative Care Cost Comparison - Chiropractors in Portland, ME
Things happen in life. We lift things or we trip. People, animals or even things bump into us. We overdo in the garden or with sports. These are the things which sometimes cause enough of a problem to require our paying attention and seeking care. But more often these same things cause some pain or discomfort that "goes away" after a few days or weeks and then we think all is well and we never get them checked. It is these uncorrected things that accumulate and create compensations. Then when the system is so compensated and compromised we do one more thing that should never have been enough to cause a big problem, but suddenly there we are on the floor unable to get up without severe pain.

Consider how much lower the cost of care would be if people sought chiropractic care with the first warning signs of discomfort and dys-function, rather than waiting until their "house is on fire." Tending to the small injuries quickly prevents them from becoming big events.
Now this does not mean we need to run to the chiropractor every time anything has a little soreness or pain. There is a mindfulness that is needed to consider what happened, how much impact was involved and what that impact did to our system. If it is just some soreness in the muscles from overusing then and there is no structural compensation happening, then we can just stretch and gently exercise to work it out. If however, a joint was strained and it hurts to where we are limping or having to change how we do things, then care would be very beneficial. If the pain and tightness lingers more that a couple of days, or returns shortly after without specific re-injury or strain, then these are warning signs that something is not right, and early intervention to get things re-balanced and working correctly would be very important.
Caught early something of this nature would take one or two treatments to fix the cause of the discomfort. The longer it is left the more compensation sets in and the longer it will take with more work needed to unravel the knot. Masking the pain with painkillers delays the real work and will ultimately necessitate more work to undo the knots and structural compensations.

In the overall economy there is growing concern about the cost of medical care at all levels. The greatest concern is for the spiraling cost of care for the elderly under the Medicare program. If more people accessed chiropractic care for their spinal issues rather than utilizing the medication and surgical route, it has been estimated that there would be significant savings to the Medicare program of $83.5 million. If they accessed chiropractic care way back when the injuries happened or the pains were first noted, the savings would be multiplied many times over - and people would not have had to endure years of pain, suffering and limitation that could so easily have been relieved.
Reduced Medicare Costs - Chiropractors in Portland, ME
 

Useful Links

The following links provide information that you might find useful if you want to know about chiropractic and other things that you can do to improve or sustain your health:
The American Chiropractic Association is the largest professional organization representing Doctors of Chiropractic. Not only do they provide educational materials, but they also monitor legislation and insurance company policies that unfairly block patient access to chiropractic care, and work to have those policies reversed.
By signing up you will help keep chiropractic a vital part of healthcare policy. In the future, you will receive a monthly electronic newsletter with valuable information, health tips and articles of interest to you. We know that chiropractic is an important aspect of your overall health care, so we will also keep you informed about federal and state policies that might affect your access to chiropractic services.
This is a patient education site sponsored by the American Chiropractic Association. They also provide a link to a newsletter and the means of being alerted if legislation, either in Maine or in Washington DC, that effects your access to chiropractic is coming up for consideration, to where you might want to contact your Senators or Representatives to let them know what you think about it.
This company produces high quality customized orthotics and orthotic accommodating footwear.
There are many benefits to therapeutic massage. In conjunction with chiropractic care it can provide an excellent means of keeping your body more relaxed and functioning better. Located in South Portland this facility provides a choice of many licensed massage therapists available 7 days a week with evening hours available too. Massage Envy is a nationwide franchise network.
This is a site that offers a lot of health information on many different topics, predominantly dealing with natural health approaches and things you can do for yourself.
The F4CP proudly announces that Athletic TIPS™ (Towards Injury Prevention in Sports), a national, not-for-profit organization that drives expanded awareness and education around the role of multi-disciplinary care in the recognition, management and prevention of sports-related injuries, has launched its website.