Well­ness Arti­cles

Chi­ro­prac­tors Fight­ing for Patient Rights

Recently Doc­tors of Chi­ro­prac­tic have stepped up the fight for their patient rights. In sev­eral dif­fer­ent US states the issues have made it to the court­rooms. In one such action in the state of Wash­ing­ton, the Wash­ing­ton State Chi­ro­prac­tic Asso­ci­a­tion (WSCA), recently filed a for­mal com­plaint with the Office of the Insur­ance Com­mis­sioner (OIC) against Regence/​Blue Shield. The com­plaint, filed April 10th, 2001 seeks relief for actions and con­tem­plated actions by Regence/​Blue Shield against chi­ro­prac­tors and other com­ple­men­tary and alter­na­tive care pro­fes­sion­als. The pur­pose of the law­suit is to get Regence/​Blue Shield to abide by the “Patient Bill of Rights” state law that allows patients to see their chi­ro­prac­tors with­out a prior physi­cian refer­ral, and requires dis­clo­sure of uti­liza­tion man­age­ment guide­lines for health­care providers, includ­ing chi­ro­prac­tic and alter­na­tive providers. “The WSCA wants noth­ing more than for Regence to accept and fol­low state insur­ance laws with­out resort­ing to tac­tics that will blunt the effect and pur­pose of these laws,” stated John Peick, attor­ney for the WSCA.

In another action ten Alabama chi­ro­prac­tors have filed suit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BC/​BS) of Alabama for dis­crim­i­nat­ing against chi­ro­prac­tors. The suit alleges two antitrust vio­la­tions of the Sher­man Act: restraint of trade or com­merce in an agree­ment with Health­South Corp., and monop­o­liz­ing or attempt­ing to monop­o­lize health care reim­burse­ment ser­vices in Alabama. Along with other issues the suit also alleges that BC/​BS has engaged in estab­lish­ing severely restric­tive ben­e­fit lim­its for chi­ro­prac­tic ser­vices that are arbi­trary and with­out rea­son­able jus­ti­fi­ca­tion and reim­burs­ing chi­ro­prac­tors at a much lower rate than the reim­burse­ments paid to other providers for com­pa­ra­ble services.

In still another legal bat­tle the New York State Chi­ro­prac­tic Asso­ci­a­tion, in con­junc­tion with sev­eral indi­vid­ual doc­tors of chi­ro­prac­tic and chi­ro­prac­tic patients, has filed suit against seven of the largest health plans and man­aged care net­works in New York state. The suit alleges the insur­ance industry’s appar­ent fail­ure to com­ply with the require­ments set down in the New York Chi­ro­prac­tic Insur­ance Equal­ity Law, a law designed to pro­tect patient’s rights. The suit charges the plans with fee dis­crim­i­na­tion; unrea­son­able fee and ben­e­fit lim­its; improper restric­tions on the scope of chi­ro­prac­tic prac­tice and the ser­vices chi­ro­prac­tors pro­vide to health plan ben­e­fi­cia­ries; as well as other prac­tices that dis­crim­i­nate against chi­ro­prac­tic patients and their doctors.

Recently more of these types of actions are being taken on behalf of chi­ro­prac­tic patients. The goal of all of these is always to allow patients the right to choose chi­ro­prac­tic care with out hav­ing any addi­tional hard­ships or dis­crim­i­na­tion. As more peo­ple are going to chi­ro­prac­tors and demand­ing that these ser­vices be avail­able, more of these types of actions will be brought up to pro­tect and ensure the patient’s rights.

Ran­dom Article

This shock­ing head­line comes from the April 8, 2005 United Press Inter­na­tional, but was also reported by Reuters news ser­vice and Med­ical News

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