Law for Advanced Practice Chiropractors Prescribing Rights Fails

newmexicosenate2:dropcap_open:A:dropcap_close: law which was claimed to have been designed to allow chiropractors the ability to fill the void of Primary Care Physicians in the state of NewMexico failed in the New Mexico Senate by several votes, after having passed the state house.  The passion that many D.C.’s demonstrated in a debate that has been just under the surface within various chiropractic circles for decades seems to have come to a head.  The “limited formulary” which chiropractors were seeking the right to be able to prescribe, after having passed examinations as well as further training, included such things as muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, and other internal and topical substances.  Opponents of the bill, many of which originated from within the chiropractic profession, claim that chiropractors have no business prescribing medications, as chiropractic, from its inception, has differentiated itself by being a drugless profession.  Supporters of the bill point out that even those that prescribe things such as vitamins, fatty acids, or herbs, may one day fall under the regulatory authority as prescription medications, and that the purpose of the bill is to help with the current shortage of Primary Care Physicians.  Additionally, supporters claim that the measure would reduce the use of prscription medication overall.

Report from RAC: Powering Integration Through Research

:dropcap_open:I:dropcap_close: recently returned from the Association of Chiropractic Colleges’ annual Research Agenda Conference in Las Vegas. The theme was “Focus onracresearch integration: Chiropractic education and practice in integrative healthcare.” The opening session speaker was Rebecca S. Halstead, Brigadier General, (Ret), U.S. Army. Her lecture on how chiropractic changed her life set the stage for a conference that gave attendees a fresh look at how much chiropractic has progressed within the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.

Another insightful session was moderated by Dr. Robert Mootz from the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries. His participating panelists explained how chiropractic is being assimilated into the VA and DoD through DCs being granted hospital privileges and becoming part of the corporate healthcare team. His comments outlined tangible examples of how far chiropractic has come in terms of integration into the healthcare landscape. Once again, the message was reinforced that our widespread acceptance is contingent upon our presentation of data that is relevant to different groups and organizations. I have said for years that the future of chiropractic hinges on the quality of the research that we produce, which can move us ahead of other complementary and alternative healthcare disciplines.

I was fortunate to serve on a panel that was entitled “Challenges with Chiropractic Technique Research,” moderated by the editor of JMPT. The panel included representatives from several chiropractic colleges and other academic institutions, as well as Dr. Partap Khalsa, DC, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health. The takeaway from the 90-minute forum was that techniques need to be supported by quality research or they will not qualify for reimbursement within the insurance environment. Dr. Khalsa of NIH reiterated frequently that research funding is readily available, as long as the chiropractic profession submits grant proposals that are well written and pique the interest of the reviewers. He could not emphasize enough that working hard to submit qualified proposals is the key to securing funding. In fact, I was surprised to learn that NIH has granted over $40 million to the chiropractic profession in the last decade. Clearly, the organization is prepared to support chiropractic as long as the grant proposals warrant it.

The only part of RAC that I would like to see improved is the audience it attracts. Currently, the research community is primarily talking amongst itself. In the coming years, I think we need to work to attract field practitioners, so they may learn from the research experts and vice versa. I remember Dr. Scott Haldeman telling me once that over 80 percent of neurologists attend a scientific conference each year. That audience clearly recognizes the value of research. Conferences like RAC yield information that can make a difference in patient care, but only if field practitioners participate.

Overall, I left the 2011 RAC feeling inspired and excited about the strides we have made and the opportunities that are still available to us as a profession. I hope at next year’s conference we learn that chiropractic has been approved for more grant funding, and that our reach into the broader healthcare environment has expanded yet again. We have all the ingredients to make this happen – to borrow the words of the famous Nike campaign, we need to “just do it.”chiropractic’s effectiveness in:

research

  • relieving low back pain and improving function in active duty service members;
  • evaluating the effects of chiropractic treatment on reflexes and reaction times for Special Operations forces;
  • determining the effect of chiropractic treatment on strength, balance and injury prevention for members of the Armed Forces with combat specialties; and
  • assessing the impact of a chiropractic intervention on smoking cessation in military service members.

The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, headquartered on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus in Davenport, Iowa, is the largest institutional chiropractic research effort in the world, promoting excellence and leadership in scientific research. The PCCR has the largest budget for research in a chiropractic college, receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and now the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. Since 2000, these grant awards have totaled approximately $35 million.

 

Dr. Arlan Fuhr travels extensively to chiropractic seminars, conferences and events around the world. He will be providing his insights and perspectives from these visits as a regular guest commentator for The American Chiropractor. You can reach him at 602-445-4230 or email [email protected]

RAND Corporation, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research and Samueli Institute receive $7.4 million grant from Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program; award is the largest in the history of the chiropractic profession

(DAVENPORT, IOWA)  SCIENTISTS AT THE RAND CORPORATION, THE PALMER CENTER FOR CHIROPRACTIC RESEARCH (PCCR) AND THE SAMUELI INSTITUTE HAVE BEEN AWARDED A $7.4 MILLION GRANT BY THE CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAM. THE GRANT WILL FUND A FOUR-YEAR RESEARCH PROJECT TO ASSESS CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT FOR MILITARY READINESS IN ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL. THIS IS THE LARGEST SINGLE AWARD FOR A CHIROPRACTIC RESEARCH PROJECT IN THE HISTORY OF THE PROFESSION AND WILL BE USED TO CONDUCT THE LARGEST CLINICAL TRIAL EVALUATING CHIROPRACTIC TO DATE.

Ian Coulter, Ph.D., the Samueli Institute Chair in Policy for Integrative Medicine at RAND Corporation, is the research project’s principal investigator. Co-principal investigator and Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., will oversee the design and implementation of the three clinical trials funded by this award. The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research will receive approximately $5.1 million in order to accomplish this task. Samueli Institute Vice President for Military Medical Research Joan Walter, J.D., also is a co-principal investigator for this project.
Because musculoskeletal injuries are among the most commonly occurring injuries in military personnel and may reduce levels of performance and readiness, the study will assess the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for active duty military personnel in a number of areas. Through three clinical trials, the study will assess chiropractic’s effectiveness in:

  • relieving low back pain and improving function in active duty service members;
  • evaluating the effects of chiropractic treatment on reflexes and reaction times for Special Operations forces;
  • determining the effect of chiropractic treatment on strength, balance and injury prevention for members of the Armed Forces with combat specialties; and
  • assessing the impact of a chiropractic intervention on smoking cessation in military service members.

The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, headquartered on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus in Davenport, Iowa, is the largest institutional chiropractic research effort in the world, promoting excellence and leadership in scientific research. The PCCR has the largest budget for research in a chiropractic college, receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and now the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. Since 2000, these grant awards have totaled approximately $35 million.

RAND Corporation, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research and Samueli Institute receive $7.4 million grant from Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program; award is the largest in the history of the chiropractic profession

research(Davenport, IOWA)  Scientists at the RAND Corporation, the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) and the Samueli Institute have been awarded a $7.4 million grant by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The grant will fund a four-year research project to assess chiropractic treatment for military readiness in active duty personnel. This is the largest single award for a chiropractic research project in the history of the profession and will be used to conduct the largest clinical trial evaluating chiropractic to date.

Ian Coulter, Ph.D., the Samueli Institute Chair in Policy for Integrative Medicine at RAND Corporation, is the research project’s principal investigator. Co-principal investigator and Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., will oversee the design and implementation of the three clinical trials funded by this award. The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research will receive approximately $5.1 million in order to accomplish this task. Samueli Institute Vice President for Military Medical Research Joan Walter, J.D., also is a co-principal investigator for this project.

Because musculoskeletal injuries are among the most commonly occurring injuries in military personnel and may reduce levels of performance and readiness, the study will assess the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for active duty military personnel in a number of areas. Through three clinical trials, the study will assess chiropractic’s effectiveness in:

  • relieving low back pain and improving function in active duty service members;
  • evaluating the effects of chiropractic treatment on reflexes and reaction times for Special Operations forces;
  • determining the effect of chiropractic treatment on strength, balance and injury prevention for members of the Armed Forces with combat specialties; and
  • assessing the impact of a chiropractic intervention on smoking cessation in military service members.

The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, headquartered on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus in Davenport, Iowa, is the largest institutional chiropractic research effort in the world, promoting excellence and leadership in scientific research. The PCCR has the largest budget for research in a chiropractic college, receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and now the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. Since 2000, these grant awards have totaled approximately $35 million.

Chiropractic Summit Update: Health Care Reform

capitolsummitAs you know by now, the Republicans have taken over the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of their key platforms during the campaign was to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). However, with the President still in the White House and a Democratic majority in the Senate, 60 votes would be required to change the law, and 67 votes to override a presidential veto. Thus, we must remain vigilant.

Three years ago the Summit was created when the profession’s leaders recognized the looming changes in the health care environment. It was so significant that the only way our profession would be able to successfully navigate the tide would be for the profession to act and speak with one voice.

At the first Summit meeting in 2007, which included participants from virtually all segments of the chiropractic profession, our government relations experts told us that the handwriting was on the wall. They warned that the health care system of our country was going to change in a way that we have never witnessed before. They then advised that we could either sit at the table defining our own place as an essential element of the new paradigm or watch from the sidelines and let others decide our future.

As a result, the ACA, the ICA, the state organizations through COCSA and the chiropractic colleges through ACC developed the following statement as its number one priority: To make certain that chiropractic patients would no longer be discriminated against in the new health care legislation. In addition to our team of political experts from around the profession, the firepower of former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Dick Gephardt was retained to help our cause.

During the legislative phase, there were hundreds of meetings held with congressional leaders who were charged with drafting the language. In addition, other highlights of Summit action included:

1.  The Summit, through the generosity of Foot Levelers and Standard Process, sent placards to every doctor’s office in the country with letter templates and postcards for patients to sign and send to Congress.

2.  The ACA and ICA created the grassroots networks known as ChiroVoice and Adjust the Vote, respectively. Through these electronic, online, advocacy networks, over 100,000 pro-chiropractic messages were sent to Capitol Hill urging both the House and the Senate to include the services provided by doctors of chiropractic in any health reform bill enacted by Congress.

3.  Meetings were held with the new Secretary of the HHS and an official relationship has been established in the Secretary’s office with access never before realized by the profession.

4.  The Summit also developed a number of papers for legislators and regulators on topics ranging from the chiropractic profession’s role in work force and wellness issues to being defined as a physician level primary care provider.

Since we were warned that no specific profession, provider, or condition would be listed in the reform bill, we focused on provisions that would, by definition, meet our goals. Our work paid off. In both the Senate and House versions we had language that was very favorable for our fair and equitable treatment.

As we know, the bill that passed was the Senate version. Once the bill was signed, it was the Summit’s role then to develop and implement strategies to make certain that doctors of chiropractic are treated fairly and our patients have access and coverage for our services.

stethoscopeandflagIn order to accomplish this, the Summit partners began to review the committees, commissions and task forces that were to be developed as a result of the new law. One of the most important was the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) which will help determine the government’s investment in comparative effectiveness research. Dr. Christine Goertz, Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic, was one of only two non-MD’s appointed to this all-important committee. In addition, through the Congress of  Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA), we have held monthly meetings providing templates and guidelines for comments to agencies in both the state and federal governments. Recently, this encompassed topics such as the grandfathering clauses, insurance exchanges for the states, wellness, prevention and patient-centered medical homes through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

As the implementation of PPACA evolves, the Summit will:

1.  Continue to work to secure DC’s participation in committees and task forces.

2.  Work with legislators and other policy makers to keep the intent of the law they passed in the regulations that guide it.

3.  Educate third-party payers about the cost-effectiveness, clinical efficacy and high quality of our services as well as the need for the services provided by doctors of chiropractic to be covered based on enforcement of key anti-discrimination sections of the law.

4.  Actively support each state association to participate in their state exchange development as an active partner.

5.  Work closely with organizations and agencies to remind them of the appropriateness of maintaining a patient’s freedom to choose providers as a key provision in their guidelines.

6.  Last, but not least, we will be working closely with the staff of the offices of the Secretary of HHS, the Department of Labor and other regulatory bodies charged with implementing the new law.

We know that our patients deserve the opportunity to see their Doctor of Chiropractic without any artificial barriers.

We know that many legislators agree with correcting the discrimination that has plagued our profession for decades.

We know the HHS secretary’s office is working to enforce the provisions of the laws and has historically supported a patient’s right to choose. We know we have the finest experts our resources will allow. Their strategies have been successful in the past and we expect they will continue to lead us down the best path. They have been and are continuing to work 24/7 on our patients’ behalf. What we need is for every Doctor of Chiropractic to do the same.

Please support your state and national associations. Please sign up and donate on ChiroChamp.org to help defray our huge lobbying costs. And lastly, when you are asked to participate, please do so. The Summit is an inclusive organization with a defined mission: One Voice, One Message, Securing a Better Future.

Thank you for your support. For more detail on any of the above or other areas of interest please visit http://www.ChiroSummit.org.

COCSA Elects First Female President Dr. Kate Rufolo

The Congress of Chiropractic State Associations held their annual convention in Scottsdale Arizona November 4-6, 2010 and made history.  Of the three major national associations in Chiropractic, the ACA, ICA and COCSA, the Congress became the first of the three to elect a female president.  Never before in the history of the profession has a women been chosen to lead a major national association. 

drkaterufoloDr. Kate C. Rufolo was duly elected by the membership at the annual business meeting on Saturday November 6, 2010.  Dr. Rufolo has served on COCSA for the last 6 years and prior to that had been elected the first female president of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association.  Dr. Rufolo noted that COCSA’s history has always been about providing a voice and neutral ground for the profession to interact regardless of politics or philosophy and based on that it was not a surprise that COCSA would be the first to elect a female president. 

Dr. Rufolo stated that “It is exciting to break glass ceilings and to open up avenues as our profession continues to grow.”  Her plans during her term are to continue to dedicate COCSA as the voice of the states and expand its reach.   Dr. Rufolo as an ambitious agenda for the Congress including strategic planning for the profession and also signing a Community Covenant with the Military.  She said, “At this time the profession has unity of purpose if not unification and until that time, the three major national associations serve a vital purpose and that does not preclude us from working together – one voice – one message. COCSA has 97% membership at this time as the Association for State Associations.  We have by proxy the field doctors who rely on those states associations. By providing a conduit for information and a voice for the states, here is where the momentum for change will come.   Our states are the boots on the ground…this is grass roots.”phies, and the ability to rigorously assess the state of evidence regarding safety and efficacy of various CAM therapies.  With this education in hand, students may then pursue career options related to research (advanced study leading to the doctorate degree), policy and administration (in government or the non-profit sector), or continue their training in one of the health professions.

Pleased with the new collaboration, NYCC Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Michael Mestan said, “We welcome the opportunity to partner with a university the caliber of Georgetown, and are enthused at the prospect of training such capable students with expressed interest in natural healthcare.”

Parker’s Dr. Fabrizio Mancini and Dr. Gilles Lamarche Serve in Haiti and Dominican Republic

Dallas, November 16, 2010 – Parker leaders, Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president of Parker College of Chiropractic, and Dr. Gilles Lamarche, vice president of Parker Seminars traveled to Haiti where they served the people in the earthquake devastated country. Demonstrating Parker’s dedication in spreading chiropractic worldwide, the two provided much needed care for the people in the destitute country.

haitichiroThe trip was led by ChiroMission (CM) co-founders, Dr. Todd Herold, vice president and cultural liaison of CM, and Dr. JC Doornick, president of CM. The group included a team of 68 chiropractors, students, and volunteers. Dr. Doornick assembled a team of 11 and headed across the border from their entry point of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and began serving in Haiti.

“There is just no way to explain what the situation in Haiti is like at this time,” said Dr. Doornick. “It’s overpopulated, unsanitary, dangerous, desperate, and an overall mistreatment of human beings. However, still full of life and courage, I was so proud to be a human being and chiropractic servant and I know our presence and mission played an essential role in providing hope and better health.”

Meanwhile in Puerto Plata, Dr. Herold announced the coming aid through television and radio to prepare the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Over the course of one week, the teams gave nearly 70,000 chiropractic adjustments.

During the trip, nearly $55,000 was raised by the doctors, their patients, and volunteers. Dr. Lamarche spearheaded 90 percent of the effort after visiting a dilapidated mosquito infested orphanage housing 25 children. Dr. Lamarche learned of the effort to move the children to safety and accommodate another 50 abandoned children with $30,000. Within three hours, Dr. Lamarche raised more than $30,000 and the construction had already begun. The team will see the completion of the safe house on their next trip in March 2010.

“Dr. Gilles Lamarche walked the talk and primed the pump with a generous donation and about 15 ChiroMissionaries followed his shining example and chipped in from their own pockets and generosity,” said Dr. Herold.

The group also raised funds for food, clothing, and toy donations to people in the communities. In addition, notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies were distributed to local schools. Teachers that have been working for free will also now receive a monthly donated salary.

The Chiropractic College State of the Union

Since last spring, I have toured and made presentations at nine different chiropractic colleges in the U.S. and overseas. I always love speaking to students as their enthusiasm is thoroughly contagious. From my observation, it appears that people who have chosen to make chiropractic their life’s work are truly dedicated to helping people get and stay well, and not just in it for profit.

I have never fielded better or more realistic questions than I have in these past several months. Usually, the questions I get are those I have heard a hundred times before, but this time was different. For example, at Palmer Florida, a freshman asked me a question about research that I hadn’t previously considered, and his insight has actually influenced the direction of one of our current studies.

It was also my impression that students are more interested in data than dogma, which I believe is both healthy and progressive. When I was a student those many years ago, we had no data and were forced to rely on dogma, or what we called “philosophy.” I am happy to report that, following my presentation at Northwestern Health Sciences, a student came up to me and said this was one of the best “data-driven” lectures he had heard since starting his chiropractic training. The aspect he appreciated most was the fact that we were not afraid to admit we didn’t know everything, and if we tested an idea and it was not solid, we discarded it and moved on. I told him this approach is known as science.

I do think we are finally maturing as a profession and the perspectives of these students reinforce that position. They are seeking fact, not fiction, and are willing to embrace new ideas if it means they can provide the best treatment possible to their patients.

Enrollments are up in most of the colleges, as students recognize that the public is welcoming natural methods of healing more often. Leadership in the administration offices and the strength of faculty at these institutions are also a credit to our profession. And the bonus: The student of today continues to have a burning desire to help people, mirroring the same inspiration that led me to study chiropractic after achieving wellness through its care. Add in that Forbes.com recently named chiropractic as one of its top small-business opportunities, and choosing the professional path of chiropractic is both intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding. As chiropractors, we should feel fortunate that our legacy is being upheld by such a strong group of new practitioners. They will make us proud, I’m sure.

Former ACA & ICA President Michael D. Pedigo, D.C., Passes Away

Dr.-PedigoDr. Michael Pedigo, D.C., of Camino, California, passed away on October 10, 2010. At the time of his death, he was a member of the board of directors of NCMIC, a role he had served for 17 years.

Dr. Pedigo held two unique distinctions in the chiropractic profession. He was the only chiropractor to be elected president of the International Chiropractors Association (1985-88) as well as elected president of the American Chiropractic Association (1997-99). In addition, he was the only chiropractor in the history of the profession to be named Chiropractor of the Year both by the ACA (1991) and the ICA (1988).
Within the profession, Dr. Pedigo will probably best be remembered as one of the lead plaintiffs in Wilk, et al. v. AMA, et al. In this lawsuit, he was instrumental in making a compelling case for and defeating the American Medical Association’s (AMA) efforts to “first contain and then to eliminate the profession of chiropractic.”

“Dr. Pedigo was a very private person who paradoxically was willing to expose himself and his entire life to an open book examination during the 14-year legal battle with the AMA,” said NCMIC President Louis Sportelli, D.C.
A tireless champion for the unity within the chiropractic profession, Dr. Pedigo frequently engaged in friendly banter with D.C.s regardless of age, college of graduation or style of practice.
In remembrance of Dr. Pedigo, his family requests donations be given to fund chiropractic research, an effort Dr. Pedigo supported his entire chiropractic career. To make a donation in memory of Michael Pedigo, go to www.ncmicfoundation.org or send a check to:

NCMIC Foundation, Inc.  
Mail Stop A3E
14001 University Avenue
Clive, IA 50325

This article originally appeared in NCMIC’s Examiner magazine and was reprinted with the permission of NCMIC Group, Inc. No further reproduction is allowed without the express permission of NCMIC.

In Memoriam: Dr. Paul Anthony White, Founder of Nutri-West

In Memoriam: Dr. Paul Anthony White, Founder of Nutri-West

 

paul_whiteDr. Paul A. White passed away suddenly on Saturday, October 17, 2009 at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming.
Dr. White was born to Francis (Dickenson) White on April 14, 1939 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, six hours after his twin sister, Paula. Paula said those were the happiest six hours of her life.
While attending Aberdeen Central High School in 1954, Paul met the love of his life, Marcia VonWald. Following graduation and their marriage in Aberdeen in 1957, the couple moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Paul attended Northwestern College of Chiropractic year round, in addition to working the night shift at Golden Valley Hospital. While at Golden Valley he worked in the psychiatric ward, in the pathology lab assisting in autopsy, and as an orderly. Following graduation in 1962 he purchased his cousin’s chiropractic practice in Douglas.
Paul was one of the original 12 founding members of the International College of Applied Kinesiology. He began lecturing worldwide on nutrition and applied kinesiology with the White/Walther Seminars, and continued to do so for the next 15 years.
In 1981, Paul and his family started Nutri-West, a nutrition manufacturing company, to provide supplements to his family and patients. The company rapidly expanded into an international nutritional company with worldwide distribution. In 1997, Nutri-West was purchased by Paul and Marcia’s children and continues to flourish under their management.
Paul was always the center of attention with his quick witted sense of humor. He worked hard, played hard, and enjoyed a fine glass of whiskey and an expensive cigar.
A memorial to the Dr. Paul A. White Memorial Scholastic Fund in care of the First National Bank, P.O. Box 1570, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 would be appreciated by the family.