Printer Friendly Email a Friend PDF RSS Feed

Dynamic Chiropractic – October 10, 1990, Vol. 08, Issue 21

We Get Letters

RHT. You Are Wrong!

Dear Dr. Tyler:

You are wrong! In response to your article in the August 15 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic titled "You're Wrong," I feel compelled to set the record straight for you and your readers.

Not only are you wrong for not supporting the organization that best fits your philosophical beliefs, but you are wrong in printing untruths, half-truths, misconceptions, and innuendos. You have the power of the pen to have a positive influence on your beloved profession; but instead, you have chosen to encourage others not to join the only organization with any hope of saving this profession.

To specifically answer some misleading statements, I'll start with flaw #1. The ACA is not sitting on millions. We have about one year's budget in reserves which is what top management firms recommend. Last year we had more expenses than income. This year the House of Delegates voted to invade the restricted reserves up to $1 million to litigate against HCFA to mandate chiropractic coverage for Medicare recipients in HMOs and PPOs. The delegates also voted up to $250,000 to help fund the Standards of Care project, and up to $250,000 to gather and analyze data to prove chiropractic cost effectiveness. As for flaw #2, the "do nothing policy," allow me to enumerate some of our "do something actions":

  • Sent 160,000 copies of Wilk Appeal Decision to leading opinion makers.

  • Developed an insurance video and materials to foster better relations with all third-party payers.

  • Developed a hospital video in cooperation with Dynamic Chiropractic to expand our inclusion in hospitals.

  • Obtained the American Legion Resolution endorsing chiropractic care for veterans and advertised this in leading magazines and newspapers.

  • Hired James Drury, the Virginian, to be chiropractic's spokesperson, generating publicity valued at over $1 million.

  • Contracted with Drs. Larry Markson and David Kats to provide low-cost practice management seminars.

  • Contracted with Drs. Joseph Sweere and Scott Donkin to conduct Industrial Relations seminars.

  • Instituted the Correct Posture Awards program resulting in publicity in a variety of newspapers and magazines.

  • Designed and marketed the "Your Friend Ben" program.

  • Created the Anti-Steroid program.

  • Created "Freedom of Choice Ads" and paid for placement in major magazines and newspapers.

  • Cooperated with Springwall Mattress Company in developing a TV commercial that has aired on many segments of CNN.

  • Presented public messages airing on over 5,000 television and radio stations on a consistent basis.

  • Created feature news releases on various health subjects appearing in newspapers and major magazines.

  • Instituted the Health Journalism Awards program which has opened doors and motivated journalists to not only take a more favorable view of chiropractic, but also to write about it.

  • Hired one of Washington's most respected political strategists, Dennis Shedd.

  • Introduced Medicare Reform legislation.

  • Introduced a bill to commission DCs in the military.

  • Gave testimony on a bill to include chiropractic services in a Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan.

  • Established the ACA/NET which is a network of three chiropractors assigned to every congressman with 200 patient contacts each.

  • Cooperated in a reception for the secretary of HHS.

  • Prepared a "Friend of the Court" brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of litigation to remove the ERISA pre-emption of state-mandated insurance equality laws.

  • Created a State Relations Department to disseminate information in a timely fashion to all states, saving them the cost of "re-inventing the wheel."

  • Created a Council on Occupational Health, to increase chiropractic presence in industry.

  • Created a Council on International Affairs to promote the growth of chiropractic globally.

  • Granted a total of $650,000 to the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) and Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) to help these organizations with the research and educational needs of the profession.
Dr. Tyler, I disagree with your statement "do nothing policy of the ACA," but I do agree that Dr. Lou Sportelli has helped institute and promulgate many of the aforementioned projects. Allow me to quote Dr. Sportelli from a recent ACA Journal, "There is only one way that the profession's problems will be solved and that is for every member of this profession to get behind the organization that has the best possibility and greatest potential to achieve those goals -- the American Chiropractic Association."

Dr. Tyler it puzzles me that you can state "the ACA is just about perfect," but yet you fail to join. If you wait for ACA to become perfect, it will be too late. Please overlook some of our deficiencies and follow the advice of Jim Parker, "Don't let the negative few overrule the positive many."

I now have the responsibility of carrying out the ambitious programs put in place by Dr. Sportelli and the New ACA, and need the financial support of you and the rest of chiropractic's largest body -- the non-affiliated doctor of chiropractic. Enclosed is an ACA membership application so you can share the burden of positioning chiropractic into the mainstream of the health care delivery system by our centennial year, 1995.

David J. Redding, D.C.
Chairman of the Board
American Chiropractic Association
Arlington, Virginia

Dear Editor:

I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Tyler and enjoy his column in Dynamic Chiropractic immensely.

I am, however, disappointed to read he is not a member of any association. For all their imperfections, associations world-wide have been responsible for a great many of the professional benefits enjoyed by today's chiropractors.

Associations are sometimes like insurance companies. For 30 years I have paid insurance premiums, never made a claim, and am not always consciously aware of the day to day benefits I derive. But it's great to know they are there to support me if I really need them.

I find it anomalous that Dr. Tyler can frequently chastise certain groups or individuals who maintain separation from fellow chiropractors because they do not agree with everything others say or do. Yet, he stays out of an association for the same reason.

Associations can only be changed for the better from inside them. Come on, Dr. Tyler, join up -- an association needs you to help it improve its many benefits to members and the profession generally.

Alan Plint, D.C.
Brisbane, Australia

Dear Dr. Tyler:

I read with surprise and amusement your recent column in which you stated that you were not a member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Surprise because I thought that you were committed to unity for the chiropractic profession, something the ACA has always stood for, and amused when I found that your reason for not joining was the typical trite and lame reasoning I've heard from most non-joiners -- that the ACA is not doing anything worthwhile.

For your edification, the recent ACA House of Delegates and Convention meeting in Alaska resulted in three most important resolutions being passed. The ACA has allocated up to $1 million to finance needed litigation against HCFA as regards mandated benefits under Medicare, the House allocated up to $250,000 to fund research regarding the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care vs. other types of treatment, and the House allocated up to $250,000 to fund the ongoing RAND study concerning standards of care for the profession. Additionally, in the past few years the ACA has filed a Medicare Bill and Commissioned Officers Bill with Congress. The ACA was the leader in responding to a TWA policy which did not accept excuses from chiropractors concerning a patient's inability to travel. The ACA also responded rapidly to the recent Ford commercial that was derogatory to chiropractic. And of course there are so many more behind the scenes daily accomplishments that the ACA is involved in that affects every DC, member or not.

Dr. Tyler, if you were not an ACA member because you did not philosophically agree with the ACA, I could accept that. But to not join because you perceive the ACA as being inactive is a reason that stems more from apathy than anything else.

I would like to issue you a challenge: Join the ACA for two years. Be a concerned and contributing member. Truly see if the ACA is not working hard for both members and the chiropractic profession at large. If you feel that it is not, then end your membership; however, if you find out that the ACA does work hard to affect changes on a nationwide basis, then I urge you to not only continue your membership but also to encourage others to join. As I've said to many DCs over the years, there is strength in numbers -- something I'm sure you can relate to, Dr. Tyler.

John J. Gentile, D.C.
Miami, Florida

Dear Dr. Tyler:

I have to give you credit. You've got guts. You write an article criticizing the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) then proceed to tell them what and how they need to change, and you aren't even a member.

You stated, "In fact, I don't belong to any association. Sounds pretty awful, doesn't it? But there are reasons for everything." Wrong! If you truly care about chiropractic, there is no valid reason for not belonging. If everyone waited for an organization to be perfect before they joined, there wouldn't be any associations.

True enough, the ACA has been weak in several areas, but it's still the best national association we have, and it's getting better. You obviously have some good ideas. Join the ACA and share your thoughts and energies where they'll do some good. As an outside agitator you'll never accomplish anything. You're just blowing smoke.

Join and work from within to bring about the changes needed to advance the profession.

In a nutshell, put up or shut up.

Gene Coffman, D.C.
Pasadena, California

To report inappropriate ads, click here.