PO‘IPU — At Dillberg Integrated Healthcare in Po‘ipu, alternative modes of healing run in the family. Dr. Kerry Dillberg founded the practice, which is expanding to a new office in Lihu‘e headed by his son, Dustin Dillberg.
Dillberg Integrated Healthcare is thriving without accepting insurance, according to the Dillbergs.
Leading the company is Kerry Dillberg, a doctor of chiropractic medicine, licensed acupuncturist and Fellow of Applied Spinal Biochemical Engineering. He has been in clinical practice for more than 30 years, specializing in preventive healthcare.
His practice includes nutrition, chiropractic, postural and spinal rehabilitation, Neuro-Emotional Technique and traditional Chinese medicine. He offers comprehensive preventive care, he said, “allowing patients to reach higher levels of vitality and longevity.”
Dustin Dillberg is a licensed acupuncturist and postural alignment specialist, who practices functional healthcare and sports medicine.
He joined his father at Dillberg Integrated Healthcare in 2007, bringing expertise in traditional Chinese medicine, live blood analysis and sports therapy with an emphasis on surfing-related char.
Dustin Dillberg serves as a holistic practitioner for professional surfers on the Association of Surfing Professionals tour. In 2008, he traveled to Australia, Europe, the Mainland and across Hawai‘i with the ASP. He has worked with Roy Powers, Dustin Barca, Fred Patacchia, Jordy Smith and others.
Dustin Dillberg also is the primary care provider for Bethany Hamilton, a world-class surfer who in 2003 suffered the loss of her left arm in a tiger shark attack.
Dustin Dillberg on Sept. 1 opened Pain Free Kaua‘i, a related office in Lihu‘e at 4366 Kukui Grove St., Ste. 200, right next door to dermatologist Thomas Potter, M.D.
The move to Kaua‘i
Kerry Dillberg moved his clinic to Kaua‘i in 1992, a few months before Hurricane Iniki, what he called “a baptism by wind.” He moved here from Los Angeles, which was beset by wildfires and mudslides.
“We wanted to live in a small town atmosphere,” he said. “We felt this would be better and cleaner for our kids.”
Before choosing Kaua‘i, the Dillbergs explored possibilities in Europe, Maui and the Big Island. “We were on for Kaua‘i for barely a half hour,” he said, “and we already felt like we’d come home.”
After Dr. Dillberg opened his health care practice in Koloa, he said, a 1994 front page story in The Garden Island about his success with a multiple sclerosis patient “really made a difference in our practice.”
At the time, two other chiropractors were on the island. “Now there are maybe 25 or 30,” he said. “I was the third acupuncturist on Kaua‘i in 1992, and now there are 10 or 12 of us.”
Unlike the AMA-affiliated Kaua‘i County Medical Society for traditional “allopathic” doctors, Kaua‘i does not have a professional organization for alternative health practitioners.
“A few years ago we tried to schedule a meeting to share information with one another,” Dr. Dillberg said, “but it’s hard for busy doctors to find the time to meet.”
Instead, Dr. Dillberg uses his free time for “a fair amount of traveling to speak at conferences, and I play with my eight grandkids whenever I can.”
With his wife Michelle, who manages the office, Dr. Dillberg has three children, who are well known on the island.
Eldest son Jamie Dillberg owns and operates the Po‘ipu-based Kaua‘i Surf School with Nathan Metzger.
Daughter Sundey Dillberg owns Organic Functional Fitness based at the Kukui‘ula Shopping Village in Koloa.
Youngest son Dustin Dillberg co-owns Dillberg Integrated Healthcare with his father.
The family practice
Dr. Dillberg said his practice encompasses every age group from newborns to seniors.
He said about 20 percent of his practice is pediatric care, such as allergies or immunity weaknesses.
About 60 percent of his practice is adult females dealing with issues like weight loss, digestive disturbances, hormonal imbalances and muscular-skeletal issues like headaches and back pain.
The rest of his practice is with adult males, mostly with muscular-skeletal issues, posture correction, hormonal imbalance, dietary issues.
Dr. Dillberg applies a “Four Vector Approach” to health and wellness that assesses weaknesses in the body and uses advanced techniques to reduce stress, balance the body’s frame and chemistry, then restore overall health. “This dynamic approach to wellness is unparalleled in the state of Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Dillberg.
By reviewing a patient’s structural integrity, nutritional levels, blood toxicity, cellular health, mental and emotional stress patterns, Dr. Dillberg said he can “determine interferences and restore natural levels of health and vitality.”
For example, he said, a patient can develop headaches because of structural stress from skeletal misalignment, poor posture or an injury, because of chemical stress from dehydration, poor diet or exposure to toxic chemicals, because of electro-magnetic stress from exposure to television, computers and cell phones, and because of emotional stress from anxiety, fear or frustration.
“These factors can individually cause a headache,” he said, “or they can be an accumulation of several combined cause. Once we identify the stress indicators, we can work with patients on a program that helps them achieve their health goals.”
No insurance coverage
Once services have been provided, Dillberg Integrated Healthcare does not accept payment by insurance for treatments, and the practice is not licensed to prescribe pharmaceuticals.
“Much of what we do may be covered by your health insurance policy,” Dr. Dillberg said, “and we will give you the paperwork to file a claim, but we will not bill any insurance company directly.”
About 40 percent of the patients at Dillberg Integrated Healthcare have medical insurance, the doctor said, “and perhaps half of them ask for the forms to submit to their insurance carriers.”
More and more doctors are making the same business decision to drop out of insurance coverage, he said. “The nightmare of paperwork and restrictions is too much for us.”
At his practice in California, Dr. Dillberg said, he had two full-time staff members doing nothing but processing insurance claims plus a third staff member handling collections and dealing with insurance company attorneys.
With new national healthcare regulations, causing insurance companies to change all of their diagnostic codes in January, he said, he just could not abide his staff here on Kaua‘i having to spend more than 20 to 25 percent of their time on administration.
Besides, he said, there is a chance that all or part of the Obama healthcare law will be ruled unconstitutional, given the fact 26 states have filed lawsuits. “If it all may crumble, why get involved with it?” he said.
As for Medicaid, Dr. Dillberg said he believes reports that say at least 40 percent of all Medicaid claims are either fraudulent or duplicate payments from administrative mismanagement. Consequently, he does not accept Medicaid.
Dr. Dillberg said he also is not a fan of the single-payer systems in Canada and Europe, and he knows of doctors opting out of those systems, too.
“One doctor from Italy told me about being expected to see 200 patients a day,” he said, “and that doctor woke up one morning hyperventilating from fear of not having enough time with each patient, missing something important or doing something wrong.”
Dr. Dillberg said he’s aware some chiropractors see a large number of patients every day. “I’m content to see three or four a day. I have a tendency to spend a lot of time with each patient.
This careful and time-consuming approach to heal care may reduce his income, but it also reduces his risk for malpractice claims.
“We do everything we can to hold down to cost of health care by getting our patients more involved with their own self-care,” he said. “That’s why preventive health care is really where this country need to go.”
Dr. Kerry Dillberg graduated in 1976 from the Los Angeles campus of Cleveland Chiropractic College. His post-graduate work was at Samra University of Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles. Through his mentor, Dr. Emuha Chung, he delved deeper into acupuncture, herbology and nutrition.
While working with Dr. Chung for several years before opening his own clinic in Beverly Hills and Woodland Hills, Calif., Dr. Dillberg developed a “four-vector approach” to health and wellness that integrates the body’s structure, chemical makeup, electro-magnetic properties and emotions.
Before and since relocating to Hawai‘i, Dr. Dillberg has earned post-graduate certifications in spinal rehabilitation, bio-energetic synchronization, nutrition, detoxification and neuro-emotional techniques. He teaches these techniques at medical conferences worldwide.
Dustin Dillberg at age 16 purchased Kaua‘i Surf School with his brother, Jamie Dillberg. At age 23, Dustin earned a masters degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, Calif.
He did his post-graduate work at Egoscue University in San Diego and the Pettibon Institute in Chehalis , Wash., gaining certifications in nutrition, spinal rehabilitation, postural alignment, Neuro-Emotional Technique and sports therapies. He also was certified by American Biologics in the practice of high resolution blood analysis.
Dustin Dillberg was the first affiliate instructor of Egoscue University as their Pacific Rim Trainer. He currently is working with the Egoscue Foundation to raise funds to purchase fitness equipment for Kauai‘s public schools.