Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The ChiroVoice Initiative

Science asks, "what is true?" not "what do you want?" Advocacy has no role in determining what is true.

Subluxations do not exist. Sorry. Writing your congressman won't change reality. Although it can fuck up US Healthcare for a generation.


With the prospect of health care reform making news headlines, chiropractic leaders from across the nation recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to meet with Congressional leaders and to stress the importance of chiropractic’s role in effective patient care. The group came together for the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC).

Almost 600 doctors of chiropractic, students and supporters converged on the nation’s capital Feb. 25-28 to hear speeches from government leaders, to receive advocacy education and training, as well as to urge elected officials to support pro-chiropractic measures and provide patients with direct access to the essential services delivered by doctors of chiropractic.

“I’m proud to report that during this year’s NCLC, ACA representatives visited virtually every congressional office here in Washington. During these visits, our doctors presented a specific statement on national health care reform that emphasized the essential role chiropractic should play in any health care reform plan,” said ACA President Glenn Manceaux, DC. “ACA will continue to urge Congress to make the necessary investments to put America on the path to a health care system that maximizes chiropractic’s potential to provide high-quality, patient-centered care, while at the same time, saving the system money.”

Throughout NCLC, a recurring theme was the power of grassroots lobbying and the positive impact of patient voices. ACA leaders called for chiropractic offices nationwide to actively support the ChiroVoice initiative, the association’s national database of chiropractic patients and supporters. Launched in January 2009, ChiroVoice will allow ACA to mobilize coordinated campaigns to lobby Congress and the new administration on issues vital to patients’ access to chiropractic services.

“ACA’s campaign to create a national, secure database of patient contact information is active and growing. Thousands of patients have joined, but this is only the beginning,” Dr. Manceaux said. “The best way individual doctors of chiropractic can add momentum to ChiroVoice is to personally discuss the program with their patients and ask them to join at www.ChiroVoice.org.”

Keynote speaker and famed political consultant Paul Begala echoed the importance of leveraging the influence of chiropractic patients and grassroots lobbying efforts. He advised attendees to be visible, vocal, and accessible to their Congressional representatives.

“We have plenty of very good lobbyists who come with statistics and charts. Don’t do that. Tell stories about what [your] constituents are getting from you and your services,” Begala advised. “Facts tell, but stories sell.”

Known for his role on CNN’s “Situation Room” and other political programs, Begala predicted that major health care reform will happen during the Obama presidency—possibly in the first year. He commented that unlike in 1993, the insurance industry seems ready for real reform, which may speed the process on Capitol Hill.

Sharing similar sentiments was longtime chiropractic supporter Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who noted that the prospect of true health care reform was music to his ears. “But friends,” he said, “I can’t win this fight all by myself. I am going to count on ACA to mobilize its members and share three simple messages with every member of Congress.

“First, we need to replace the current sick care system with a genuine health system. We need a health care system that integrates the very best scientifically-based medicines—whether conventional or alternative. And, we need to end the discrimination against chiropractic,” Sen. Harkin asserted.

Several other members of Congress visited with NCLC attendees, including: Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine), and Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.).

ACA House of Delegates Meeting
Each year, NCLC is held in conjunction with an official business meeting of the ACA Board of Governors (BOG) and ACA’s House of Delegates (HOD).

“During these challenging economic times and as we face the likelihood of unprecedented changes to health care, the ACA Board of Governors remains committed to providing leadership not only for ACA, but the entire chiropractic profession,” said ACA Chairman John Gentile, DC. “The Board will continue to place a high priority on expanding chiropractic services within Medicare and ensuring chiropractic inclusion in any health care reform plan, and we will work with the Chiropractic Summit and other chiropractic organizations to present a united front on the issues of grave importance to our viability.”

The HOD portion of the event included a presentation by Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, about the importance of DC participation in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). Dr. Goertz explained that the intention of the PQRI is to enhance the value of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Specifically, the PQRI authorizes a financial incentive for eligible professionals who voluntarily report on quality measures.

Calling PQRI “an amazing opportunity” to level the playing field, Dr. Goertz warned that, “if no one participates, [chiropractic will] fall further and further outside the health care delivery system.”

In other business:
More than 380 Student ACA (SACA) members from all 18 colleges attended the Student Leader Meeting.
Prominent women from the chiropractic profession offered their unique perspective to students through the SACA Women’s Forum.
As part of the State Association Roundtable, ACA shared its perspective and efforts on health care reform with representatives from more than 20 state associations.
Additional coverage of both NCLC and the House of Delegates meeting will be available in the April 2009 issue of ACA News, the association’s flagship publication.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the case of Simon Singh versus the UK Chiro association will finally force the honest discussion about what's really behind chiropractic, namely good old fashioned musculoskeletal work and placebo.