Frequently Asked Questions
1) How is Specific Chiropractic different than what I am used to receiving from other offices?
Ans: Specific Chiropractic is the traditional method of Chiropractic care emphasizing precise correction of the spine. Technical analysis of your nervous system and spine include a physical exam, a chiropractic exam, a postural evaluation, x-ray exam, surface EMG, Dual Inclinometry ROM study and a Computerized Paraspinal Thermography exam. Based upon these findings, adjustments to INDIVIDUAL segments of your spine are given to reduce the direction of misalignment and most importantly, to reduce the pressure on the nervous system. Other types of chiropractic care utilize gross, twisting manipulations to general areas of the spine with no emphasis on the nervous system and usually with no technical evaluation or x-rays. The purpose of this other type of "treatment" is to un-stick stuck joints rather than to remove nerve irritation and enhance overall function, health and well being.
2) Why does it take so long to get a new patient appointment in your office?
Ans: Doctor La Barbera has been in practice in Utica at the same location since 1986. His practice is focused on prevention, wellness and corrective chiropractic care. Most patients, once they begin care, stay with him indefinitely to keep themselves and family members as healthy as possible. He purposefully limits the number of new patients accepted into the office in order to accommodate those practice members that are already established. Therefore, if you are committed to starting care, you are expected to follow through with his recommendations. If you are only looking for a quick fix, relief of your current symptoms or just want to "try" chiropractic, it is recommended that you do not begin care with this office. It would be a waste of time and money as well as the doctors time to prepare a care plan for anyone that does not follow through. We only accept cases that understand the commitment they need to make to themselves. We will not take shortcuts with your care.
3) How long will my first visit last?
Ans: Upon entering the office, you will have to fill out paperwork including personal information as well as a complete health history. Most patients finish this in about 20 minutes. A staff member will review your information and have you sign all of the necessary forms. Your time with the doctor will be at least a total of 45 minutes. Necessary x-rays may take an additional 20 minutes. Overall, plan on at least 2 1/2 hours or longer in our office. You may download the entrance forms by clicking on the above link labeled "New Patients". By filling these out at home, you not only save time in the office, but we find that they are usually completed with more detail. Please forward them to our office at least a week before your appointment.
4) I am concerned about radiation exposure, do I really need x-rays?
Ans: X-Ray evaluation is an integral part of our specific assessment. Aside from giving us the information we need to specifically correct your spinal subluxations, we frequently discover underlying health issues and concerns that may warrant a change in our approach or the need for outside cooperative care with a medical provider. In January, 2009, we updated our already high speed system with a state of the art high frequency generator and improved x-ray tube. In September, 2010 we upgraded our complete system to a digital x-ray system. What all this means is that we have the ability to take x-rays with a reduced amount of time AND radiation over traditional systems saving you exposure while providing us with high quality images. NOTE: We do not x-ray pregnant patients until after delivery of the child. We also do not x-ray infants and young children unless there has been a severe trauma or a suspected congenital anomaly is present. As a result, we use a different method of care until we have access to the appropriate images.
5) What insurance companies does the office participate with?
Ans: Currently, we are a participating provider with Excellus (Blue Cross / Blue Shield). We are a non-participating provider for Medicare and all other insurances. This means that you will have to pay for our services when rendered and Medicare will reimburse you directly the amount (if any) that they feel is allowed per law. Most other insurance companies (except EMPIRE Insurance), will allow us to take assignment which means we will get paid your insurance portion of coverage directly from them. You will have to pay any uncovered services and your co-pay or deductible to us at the time of service. EMPIRE will pay you directly for any covered services. You will have to pay for our services when rendered at the time you are seen.
6) Why does my insurance only cover part of my care?
Ans: Each contact of insurance that is between the patient and the insurance company can vary greatly. You should know your coverage prior to starting care. We will not compromise YOUR health or OUR reputation by making recommendations based on your insurance coverage. Optimal care plans will be presented on your second visit once your information has been reviewed. Remember that most, if not all, insurance does not cover "Wellness", "Preventative", "Maintenance" or "Corrective" type health care of any kind other than a yearly medical physical or well care baby exams. While your initial few months of care may be covered, once your spine has stabilized and what is considered to be "non-therapeutic" in nature, further visits will become your responsibility unless you report a new injury or event. We work with all of our practice members to help afford necessary care within their payment budgets.
7) Is chiropractic care safe? I hear stories of people being paralyzed and having strokes.
Ans: Chiropractic is the largest natural health care system in the world and is the 3rd largest health care system in the USA behind Medical Care and Dentistry. Our safety record speaks for itself. Proof of that is our extremely low malpractice insurance rates. Certainly if we were hurting people it would be well published by reputable sources. While nothing we partake in during this life is without any risk, the chances of an injury with specific chiropractic care is so low that it is less than 1 in a million. Consider the fact that some 30,000 people in the US alone die every year from taking aspirin. Also consider the fact that the US Medical system is the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in this country. Some authors go as far to say that it is number 1. So is chiropractic care safe for patients of ALL ages? Absolutely YES!
8) What is that popping sound I hear during an adjustment?
Ans: While most of the adjustments we give do not produce a popping sound, the jury is still out on what causes the sound. Some have reported that it is Nitrogen gas being released from the joint. Others have attributed it to a vacuum affect similar to pulling a cork out of a bottle.
9) Do I need a referral to see a Doctor of Chiropractic?
Ans: The answer is no. Chiropractors are considered primary care providers and as such do not need a referral from your Medical provider. Exceptions are if your insurance plan requires a referral to ANY specialist. In this case, we fit under that umbrella and a referral is necessary for your insurance coverage, but not necessarily to see a DC.
10) What does Chiropractic Cure?
Ans: NOTHING!! Chiropractic does not add to or subtract from the body. We remove pressure from the nervous system (the master control system of the body) to allow it to function to its optimum level of health so the body as a whole can work better. Please click the RESULTS link at the top of this page.
11) I don't have any insurance that covers Chiropractic Care. What will it cost?
Ans: Everyone is different and the amount of care needed depends on many factors. You are entitled to and will receive a good faith estimate based on your examination findings.