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Kleitman hadn't heard of Colorado's pilot. But, she says, "it would be great if someone could show that [alternative therapies] reliably work or reliably work in certain people, so they could be sent in that direction. If, in this pilot, somebody is keeping track of how things work and doing it carefully, in an unbiased way, it could be a whole additional benefit....That's where you have the chance to build from a pilot into something that can be standardized and used with confidence."

Hinton Leichtle would like nothing more than for that to happen. Though she herself won't participate in the pilot program — she doesn't want to take a spot, and she's afraid she'd skew the results because she's already convinced that alternative therapies work — she's motivated by the thought that others with spinal cord injuries will come to the same conclusion.

"This is for them," she says.

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9 comments
Corners
Corners

Hi Chanda, I appreciate all you are doing to try and help others with spinal cord injury. I have an L1-L2 level injury from an accident when I was sixteen years old. Today I am walking with crutches, but I have worked really hard in physical therapy for a lot of years to walk.You can learn more about my story: http://zinahermez.wordpress.com  I agree with you, and I have never been a fan of pain medication myself. 

patricia.calhoun
patricia.calhoun moderator editor

we'd like to publish some of these comments in our print edition, ideally with the author's full name/town. If that's okay, e-mail me at patricia.calhoun@westword.com

notonmydime
notonmydime

Thanks Westword for alerting us to the use of the Medicaid waiver program to waste taxpayer money.

No one wants to say no to pretty victims of spinal cord injuries like Chandra, or self-motivated men like Mr. Haenel, so it is easy to see how the Chandra foundation has made progress. Sadly, its goals are clear--to get public money for unproven treatments.

 

Conventional medicine is based on scientific knowledge whereas alternative medicine is based on clinical or anecdotal evidence. We have an entire wing of National Institute of Health devoted to trying to prove that alternative therapies work (with little success, I add), and their website states: "there is insufficient evidence to draw definite conclusions about the effectiveness of acupuncture for acute low-back pain."

 

There are no control groups to this pilot program, and the medical person administering it is someone with a vested interest in the therapies offered. Proven treatments like physical therapy are lumped in with pseudo medicine, invalidating any objective demonstration of success that may come from the program. However popular these alternative therapies might be, we need to see evidence that they work.

 

I hope Colorado citizens and legislatures will thank the Chandra foundation for ironing out kinks in the Waiver program while demonstrating exactly how to suck scarce dollars from taxpayers in the name of the disabled. I also hope we demonstrate our thanks by showing poorly designed programs out the door, because our Medicaid patients deserve better.

 

kcm2us
kcm2us

gee Westword, could you make the lede to the story a little more lurid?

"carries her, like a bride over a threshold. He props a pillow between her legs, hikes up her redNebraska Huskers T-shirt, unwraps his sterile needles and taps them into the skin above where her black lace underwear peeks out from the top of her yoga pants."

 

kcm2us
kcm2us

Great! Will medicare start paying for my Budweiser? It kick-starts my kidneys, bladder and ureter and I prefer it to noxious drugs. 

cheryl.bianchi
cheryl.bianchi

this is fantastic news...now to get california to step up...thanks for your hard work

brendacombs
brendacombs

@notonmydime I certainly hope you never have a family member to suffer from a spinal cord injury and have only drugs with horrible side effects to deal with their health issues.  Please, where is your compassion?  Not all things are known and able to be proven by a medical system that will not listen to information that does not pad the pockets of  big pharma.  Is not the word of the patients any good for whether the alternative health care is working for them.  Would you rather pay for a surgery and and hospital bill with medicaid dollars than to pay for a few acupuncture treatments that takes care of the problem with no side effects?  Please open your mind and learn more about this issue before condemning disabled people to issues you can not begin to understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

ybarcewski
ybarcewski

 @kcm2us I won't pay for you Bud but maybe it will pay for your rehab.

notonmydime
notonmydime

Medicaid and private insurance should both be paying for effective rehab, but this is a poorly designed program. We could just as well pay for toothpick based placebo treatment and point to its cost-effectiveness.

 
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