Phoenix, AZ: A group of chiropractors today called on Gov. Jan Brewer to fire the director of the Arizona Department of Insurance for not upholding a law they say requires insurance companies to cover chiropractic services.
Dr. Alan Immerman, president of the Arizona Chiropractic Association, claimed Insurance Director Christine Urias is "beholden" to insurance companies, particularly Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, which pays $44 for a chiropractic visit no matter how much treatment is provided and requires the patient to make a $40 co-payment.
Immerman said the insurance company will then pay only $4 on the visit and then only allow six to seven visits no matter how bad off the patient is.
"Health insurance will pay fully for patients to get treatment for back and neck problems when they're seen by medical and osteopathic doctors, but will pay next to nothing if the patient is seen by chiropractors," Immerman said.
The result, Immerman said, is that hundreds of chiropractors are going out of business.
A call to Urias' office was not immediately returned.
Regena Frieden, a Blue Cross Blue Shield spokeswoman, said in an email the company tries to maintain a balance between rising healthcare costs and coverage for services.
She said the company works with a vendor who contracts with 850 chiropractors that have agreed to accept its reimbursement rates.
Source: Arizona Capitol Times