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November 11, 2010

Kaiser Suspends Policy Change Excluding Chiropractic Manipulation From Coverage

Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (Kaiser) has suspended its decision to exclude cervical Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment (CMT) from coverage.

The change came after the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) outlined in a letter to Kaiser the scientific evidence that documents that cervical spinal manipulation is both clinically effective and safe.

ACA took swift action in August when it learned that Kaiser had revised its Chiropractic Manipulation Medical Coverage Policy. Along with the letter outlining the large body of clinical research supporting the effectiveness and safety of cervical manipulation, ACA President Rick McMichael, DC, noted at the time in a public statement that, if allowed to stand, the restriction would be harmful to chiropractic patients and doctors. 

Kaiser responded to ACA's actions with a letter acknowledging that further consideration was needed and stating that the policy would be suspended. The insurer also recognized (in the letter) the value of keeping its Mid-Atlantic policies consistent with the other Kaiser regions, which do not have such a restriction on CMT services provided by chiropractic physicians.

"This is a positive development," said Dr. McMichael. "Clearly, after ACA's presentation of the related facts, Kaiser decided not to keep the changed policy in place. ACA will remain in touch with Kaiser to ensure that their future policies are based on the best available evidence. There is just no scientific evidence suggesting that a visit to a chiropractic physician for CMT causes any higher incidence of stroke than a typical visit to a primary care medical physician."

Source: American Chiropractic Association

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