NCQA is the national accreditation agency for managed care organizations. HCPAC was created at the urging of the American Chiropractic Association and other health care provider associations that were concerned about the lack of input by non-MD and non-DO providers. The council provides guidance and feedback to NCQA leadership regarding issues affecting accreditation, performance measurements and managed care.
As chairman elect, Dr. Johnson will attend the quarterly HCPAC meetings throughout his terms and will serve as liaison between the chiropractic profession and NCQA. He will also oversee the ACA's input on NCQA products such as performance measures, credentialing standards and employer data and information sets before they are introduced to the managed care industry.
"Dr. Johnson's appointment reflects the growing respect that the ACA and the chiropractic profession have obtained through their strong working relationships with NCQA and other health care practitioners," said ACA president Michael Pedigo, DC. "Through the ACA's and Dr. Johnson's continued efforts, doctors of chiropractic and other non-MD/non-DO health care providers will continue to have important input into the nation's managed health care system."
AMA Still Smarting from Botched Sunbeam Deal
Howard Wolinsky and Robert Manor of the Chicago Sun-Times report that the AMA is still experiencing fallout from the 1997 endorsement deal with Sunbeam Corp.1 When many members of the AMA expressed outrage at the deal, the AMA backed out of the contract. Sunbeam countered by suing the AMA for $20 million for breach of contract (see the December 1st and 15th, 1997 issues of DC).
Late this past summer the AMA agreed to pay Sunbeam $9.9 million to settle the lawsuit. Chief operating officer Kenneth Monroe and three other top officials are either resigning or being forced out of the AMA.
In September, the Association of American Physicians asked the District Court in Illinois to make public documents filed in the Sunbeam suit. And the Illinois State Medical Society is reconsidering its "unified membership" requirement, which currently requires that members belong and pay dues to the AMA and to county medical societies.
Dr. Chester Danehower Jr., an AMA delegate and former president of the Peoria Medical Society, said that unified membership has upset some doctors for a long time, and the Sunbeam deal may have been the last straw. "Doctors want to have freedom to choose the groups they belong to," he said. Some doctors just hate the AMA and don't want to belong."1
1. Wolinsky H, Manor R. Sunbeam fallout still giving AMA problems. Chicago Sun-Times September 2, 1998.
CCA Announces Fellowship Award for Chiropractic Research
The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA), in conjunction with the Medical Research Council of Canada (MRC), has announced a new partnership program that will provide support for grants and awards for chiropractic research.
One of the awards, the CCA/MRC Fellowship award, provides support of up to $46,844 per year and offers a yearly research and travel allowance. Candidates must possess a DC degree to be eligible for the award, which provides financial support for up to two years.
The award will be offered to candidates who undertake research training in one of the following areas:
- somatic or visceral disease processes or disorders which may be potentially affected by intervention of chiropractic practices, particularly in an efficacious and cost-effective manner.
- the neuromusculoskeletal system, but any body system may be considered if it can be related to the discipline of chiropractic: spinal or joint pain; arthritis; aging; mobility; flexibility; and headache.
- clinical trials: epidemiological approaches; basic research related to chiropractic interventions with patients. Relevant issues are efficacy and cost-effectiveness studies, public health policy, standards of care and basic science.
Other areas of research relating to chiropractic may also be considered.
The deadline to apply for the Fellowship award is November 1, 1998. Applications will be peer reviewed by the MRC, with a maximum of two candidates to be selected by the awards program. For further information, contact Dr. Allan Gotlib, the CCA's research programs coordinator, by phone at (416) 781-5656, ext. 224; by fax at (416) 781-7344; or by e-mail at ccachiro-inforamp.net. Users with Internet access can also visit the MRC's website at www.mrc.gc.ca.
Colorado's "Chiropractor of the Year"
Dr. Tony Hudgens was named the Colorado Chiropractic Association's "Chiropractor of the Year" at the CCA's annual awards banquet in Denver. A 1982 graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College-Kansas City, Dr. Hudgens has maintained a practice in Boulder, Colorado since 1986. He previously won the "Chiropractor of the Year" award in 1995.
Dr. Hudgens has served as CCA president (1997-98) and on the CCA's insurance and legislative committees. As president, Dr. Hudgens implemented the "Doctors Who Care" program designed to provide free chiropractic care for those unable to afford treatment. The project has resulted in more than 1,000 hours of free chiropractic care per month in Colorado. "Doctors Who Care" has also received national radio coverage and recently earned a sizeable donation from the Kenneth Kendal Foundation.
PT Students from Canary Islands Visit Northwestern
This August, a group of 10 physical therapy students from the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands spent a portion of their summer visiting graduate-level health care facilities in Minnesota. As part of their itinerary, the group visited Northwestern College of Chiropractic for a tour of the campus.
NWCC President Dr. John Allenburg met with the students and guided them on a 45-minute tour of the college campus. The group was able to get an inside look at many of the teaching tools and facilities used by Northwestern students.
"I think the students were amazed at the in-depth study that is done in diagnosis and the basic sciences," commented Lynn Heieie, the college's associate director of admissions, who led the tour. "They were also impressed by the amount of physical therapy that is taught and used here."
Northwestern was one of several health care facilities that the students visited on their trip to Minnesota. The group spent time at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the Sister Kenny Institute in Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota.
Palmer College to Open Foot Levelers Center
Palmer College of Chiropractic recently received a donation of more than $400,000 from Foot Levelers, Inc., to go toward the college's ongoing renovation project. The gift will be used to build the Foot Levelers Center, which will be located in the heart of the campus next to the Campus Center and Davenport Clinic.
The new building will contain five classrooms, including two state-of-the-art classrooms with seating for approximately 250 people. Another classroom has been designed to utilize the latest audiovisual equipment, fiberoptic Internet connections and satellite videoconferencing technology.
"We had a vision and a dream and we wanted to have the technology to make it a reality," said Darrell Slabaugh, Palmer's director of development. We wanted to be fully connected with our West campus in Los Angeles and we wanted to be able to provide continuing education programs around the world. When the center is completed, we'll achieve those goals and more. This wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of the Greenawalts."