"We simply cannot tolerate such illegal behavior in this state," said Merlyn A. Green, D.C. and president of the California Chiropractic Association. There will no longer be a tolerance for the actions of Colonial Penn Insurance and Nationwide Insurance who have refused to reimburse doctors of chiropractic for the rendering of physical therapy services. Dr. Green announced that he will be calling a meeting for May 1990 where the possibility of a nationwide boycott by all chiropractic doctors and patients of Nationwide and Colonial Penn insurance products and services will be the subject of discussion.
Approximately two years ago, both Nationwide and Colonial Penn began engaging in a coordinated pattern of refusing to reimburse for physical therapy rendered by doctors of chiropractic. At first, these carriers attempted to rely on a tentative ruling relating to physical therapy that was rendered in the California scope of practice litigation. When it was pointed out that this ruling had been reversed and that the California Insurance Commissioner had issued a letter specifically prohibiting all insurance carriers from relying on this preliminary ruling, these carriers still refused to change their practices.
Both of these insurance companies are now claiming that the regulations that require reimbursement of chiropractically rendered physical therapy services are incorrect and that they are entitled to simply ignore them.
"These actions by Nationwide and Colonial Penn are particularly outrageous examples of the arrogance that is all too prevalent in the insurance industry. By electing to ignore the law, Nationwide and Colonial Penn have branded themselves as outlaw companies that need to be brought to account before the bar of justice," stated CCA legal counsel, Michael Schroeder.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The CCA urgently requests all doctors of chiropractic to call or write to the CCA if they have any information regarding illegal or improper practices by either Nationwide or Colonial Penn.
The California Chiropractic Association can be reached at 7801 Folsom Blvd., Suite 375, Sacramento, CA 95826, (916) 387-0177.
As counselor Michael Schroeder put it, "Every bit of information that we receive will strengthen our case against these two insurance carriers."