F.A.C.E. Position Paper ~ Insurance

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Until the mid-seventies, insurance was never an important issue among straight chiropractors.  First, there were relatively few insurance plans that covered chiropractic and second, the straight chiropractic community had yet to clearly define itself by its objective.  While insurance inclusion of chiropractic has begun to wane there are still many chiropractors who participate in insurance programs, and enough who identify themselves as straight chiropractors, that the issue needs to be addressed.  The objective of the straight chiropractor is to correct vertebral subluxations because they are in and of themselves a detriment to the full expression of the innate intelligence of the body.  Chiropractic care with this objective in mind, is necessary for every member of the human race for a lifetime, regardless of the presence or the absence of medical conditions.  The issue of insurance impacts upon the practice of chiropractic economically as well as philosophically.  The primary thrust of most national and state organizations is to maintain or improve the ability of the chiropractor to be reimbursed by third party pay.  It can be argued very effectively that the medicalization of chiropractic, particularly its educational program during the past 30 years and much of it against the will of the majority of the profession, has been for the ultimate purpose of improving the chiropractors’ position in insurance and government reimbursement.  Because that agenda has not been altered and because so many chiropractors who purport to practice straight chiropractic participate in insurance, it is important that the non-therapeutic straight chiropractor have a position on this issue.  The following are reasons for the objective straight chiropractic position:

1.   Insurance is designed for the treatment, early detection and prevention of medical conditions.  If chiropractic is included in an insurance program, it is because the third party payer implicitly or actively maintains that the vertebral subluxation is a medical condition or is the cause of a medical condition.  Both of these presumptions are incompatible to the objective straight chiropractor.

2.   For a chiropractor to participate and be paid through an insurance plan, he/she must diagnose or imply that there is an effort being made to alleviate a medical condition.  While conditions may be alleviated under chiropractic care, that is not the objective of the straight chiropractor.

3.   Insurance is not intended to cover lifetime maintenance care for the continued monitoring and necessary correction of vertebral subluxations.  The objective straight chiropractor accepts practice members with the understanding that lifetime maintenance care is the intended approach.  Participating in insurance programs with this type of care is not only unacceptable to the insurance company, it undermines the practice member’s understanding and acceptance of that care.

  For these reasons, third party pay is not consistent with the practice of objective straight chiropractic.


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  1. Richard A. Barone D.C. 01/06/2011, 2:06 pm:

    Dr. Joe, I agree w/you 110%. Inclusion in Insurance plans has decimated the true chiropractic profession. Anyone who says they practice straight chiropractic and do insurance work are compromising principles at best and committing insurance fraud at worst. Most so called Chiro-coaches teach insurance reimbursement and selling of treatment plans. The general public is programmed for this type of thinking. I have started from scratch since 4/06 and it is very difficult to build a practice w/no insurance and correction of nerve interference as objective of care, with the public mindset today….but it can be done. Thank God I don’t have $140,000 in student loans which is another result of the insurance $$$$. Which locks them into the program, sad state of our profession. Maybe it is time to separate because we don’t really “fit-in”. Medicare fraud witch-hunts are not too far away.

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