American Chiropractic Association
Wal-Mart, ACA Meet to Discuss
Value of Chiropractic
The ACA and Wal-Mart forged a new working relationship after meeting in December 2002, to discuss the company’s decision to drop chiropractic services from its employee benefits in 2003. Wal-Mart indicated a willingness to look at new data regarding the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care.
The ACA was represented at the meeting by ACA President Dr. Daryl Wills, ACA Chairman Dr. James Edwards, ACA Executive Committee Member Dr. George McClelland and ACA Vice President Patricia Jackson. Wal-Mart representatives included the Senior Vice President for Benefits and Claims, and the Vice President for Benefits. Dr. Ted Morter, III, a local DC whom Wal-Mart officials know and respect also attended.
ACA presented Wal-Mart with research showing how chiropractic can reduce costs by deterring the need for drugs. “We want Wal-Mart employees to have a choice in health care, and allowing employees to choose chiropractic will benefit not only their health, but also their productivity,” explained Dr. Wills.
The benefit that Wal-Mart is cutting in 2003 impacts approximately 85% of associates enrolled in the PPO plan. The remaining 15% of associates with HMO coverage, and those with Workers Compensation claims, have chiropractic benefits intact. Although only 15% of Wal-Mart employees choose to enroll in an HMO, over a third of Wal-Mart employees have access to an HMO.
“Losing chiropractic as a core benefit will be a deterrent for employee utilization,” said Dr. Edwards. “ACA will work with Wal-Mart to ensure paid health care options for employees who choose non-surgical and drug-free care.”
International Chiropractors Association
New Coalition Organized to Defend Chiropractic Independence
According to a newly formed coalition, chiropractic is in danger of being taken over by a group of medically oriented chiropractors and organizations who are trying to change the very nature of the profession, and in the process minimizing the profession’s unique role in health care and possibly placing the public at risk.
The Chiropractic Coalition—founded in November 2002 by three major chiropractic organizations, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO)—cautions that several rogue groups are trying to position chiropractors as quasi-medical doctors, unnecessarily and irresponsibly blurring the boundary lines between the professions and confusing the public.
The Coalition specifically referred to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) as two of the groups, which were overstepping their authority in an attempt to control the direction of the profession.
“These groups, which are by no means representative of the tens of thousands of doctors of chiropractic active in the United States, are trying to change educational requirements and state licensing statutes to allow, and even require, chiropractors to diagnose and treat diseases and medical conditions, at the expense of the focus on chiropractic’s unique procedures,” noted ICA President Dr. D.D. Humber. “Public interest in and demand for subluxation care is growing, and their needs and concerns must be chiropractic’s first priority.”
The real danger, warns the Coalition, is that chiropractors will be forced to provide services that aren’t within the scope of chiropractic. Expecting chiropractors to act as medical doctors will not only destroy the unique character of chiropractic, but most importantly will put the public at risk, the Coalition says.
World Chiropractic Alliance
Kristina M. Collins, D.C., a member of the WCA International Board of Governors, is one of six new members appointed by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to its National Advisory Council on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The Council is the principal advisory group to NCCAM, a component of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Collins is a subluxation-based doctor who enjoys educating the public about the role of chiropractic in health and wellness, and about the benefits of chiropractic for children.
The WCA has issued a position paper on the duty of chiropractors to diagnose, inform patients of unusual findings, and make referrals to other health care practitioners. The lack of a standard definition of chiropractic diagnosis has resulted in numerous malpractice lawsuits and confusion among the public. “The health care landscape is dotted with malpractice land mines. The World Chiropractic Alliance’s position paper is intended to provide guidance in these matters, and support in court and before boards,” the WCA announced. The paper is posted on the WCA website, www.worldchiropracticalliance.org.
A new WCA Chiropractic Advocacy Council, headed by Matthew McCoy, D.C., has been formed to help doctors locate resources to defend themselves in court or before a board, respond to media attacks, and combat discrimination by regulator agencies, HMO’s, insurance companies, state chiropractic organizations, and other groups. The Council provides information, resources, and support on issues such as diagnosis, stroke, caring for asymptomatic patients, record keeping and chiropractic for children. For more information, visit www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/councils/advocacy.htm. TAC