Chiropractic-MEDICARE -Before to Future
The July issue of Reader's Digest features an article degrading Chiropractic entitled "Should Chiropractors Be Paid With Your Tax Dollars." As a practicing Chiropractor, I would like to defend my profession.
Statements made in this article tend to make me believe that the author attended a secret meeting in May that was held by the AMA Committee on Quakery in Washington, D.C. to which presidents of both the American Chiropractic Association and the International Chiropractors Association tried to gain entrance. Their request was flatly refused! Since all licensed health professions are eager to eliminate quakery in all groups, why is it that the AMA did not allow chiropractors to participate in this meeting? Is it because there is a considerable amount of quackery in the medical profession.
The medical profession has been saying for years that Chiropractors are not qualified to diagnose diseases and that in many cases patients are treated through chiropractic and become worse, but what they fail to realize is the fact that chiropractic malpractice insurance hasn't been raised since 1947 while medical malpractice insurance has been raised many times during the same period of time.
Why shouldn't Chiropractors be included in Medicare. Isn't the main concern of the patient his health and restoration of the same. Should it matter where he seeks help as long as help can be obtained. The patient should have the right to go to the doctor of his choice.
I could go into detail regarding this article, but space will not allow it.
In conclusion I would like to say that the medical profession, when thinking of Chiropractors, should not look down and back, but straight ahead and to the side, for we are there.
What has happened since I wrote the above article. Well there have been numerous cases in both the Federal Courts and many of the State Courts between Chiropractors, the Medical Establishment and the insurance companies. In just about every case the Chiropractic Profession has come out on top legally. The fact that we have won in the courts has some of my fellow chiropractors commenting that they believe the medical profession, since it has been unable to win in the courts, will presumably try to accomplish its goal through the corporate board rooms.
Recently there was an article in Dynamic Chiropractic on November 7, 2005 by Michael Schneider,DC, PhD(c); Donald R. Murphy, DC, DACAN; and Gary Iema,DC, DABCR called
Mainstreaming Chiropractic: The Miserable Medicare Model
They comment that "As the 21st century unfolds and the chiropractic profession tries to expand its role in the mainstream health care system, the Medicare Model continues to hang around our collective necks like an albatross of failure. For the past 30 years, the Medicare model has boxed chiropractors into a small corner of the health care marketplace by limiting payment to the treatment of spinal manipulation by manual manipulation. No other diagnostic or therapeutic services provided by a chiropractor or under his or her order are covered by Medicare."
They further comment "Should chiropractors be expected to only provide manipulation to these patients without performing differential diagnosis and clinical evaluation devices? Should chiropractic physicians spend time, utilize their expertise, end expose themselves to inherent risk in properly evaluating the patient, including ordering special tests and possibly coordinating specialist referral, without getting paid? Our role as physician requires us to be able to take the appropriate time to examine and discuss treatment and diagnosis options with these patients."
They further comment "Second, the Medicare model sets a dangerous precedent by excluding coverage for physical medicine services such as rehabilitative exercises, extremity manipulation, manual soft-tissue therapy, and physiotherapy modalities."
They further state "If chiropractic is to flourish as a viable health care option for the largest influx of Medicare patients the country has ever seen, the Miserable Medicare Model must change. Fortunately, there is some hope on the horizon for for such, as Senator Chuck Grassley
(R-IA) and other members of Congress have supported an expanded role for chiropractic care in the medicare system by sponsoring a pilot program that allows for a select number of chiropractors to provide the full range of services they are authorized to provide under state scope of practice laws. This would include E& M services, extremity manipulation, manual soft-tissue therapy, X-ray services, and physiotherapy modalities."
They further stated "An expansion of the Medicare chiropractic benefit would likely create a trickle-down effect to other managed care health plans that look to Medicare as a role model for creation of their own benefit structure."