World Chiropractic Alliance protests Kaiser Permanente policy change
The World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) has contacted Kaiser Permanente to voice its opposition to the health plan company’s decision to exclude cervical Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment (CMT) from its policy coverage.
The reason Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group gave for its decision was that “Chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine is associated with vertebral artery dissection and stroke. The incidence is estimated at 1.3-5 events per 100,000 manipulations. Given the paucity of data related to beneficial effects of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine and the real potential for catastrophic adverse events, it was decided to exclude chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine from coverage.”
Since this is completely contrary to proven scientific fact, the WCA wrote to Kaiser Permanente and provided references to more than a dozen medical research studies and related material supporting the safety of chiropractic and countering the widespread myth that chiropractic is linked to stroke.
“In an attempt to discredit chiropractic and discourage people from seeking care from doctors of chiropractic, some proponents of allopathic medicine -- and attorneys interested in filing spurious lawsuits -- continue to disseminate misleading information about a supposed link between cervical adjustments and strokes,” explained Terry A. Rondberg, DC, founder and CEO of the World Chiropractic Alliance and publisher of The Chiropractic Journal in his letter. “Numerous published scientific and medical studies indicate that the incidence of a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or stroke is estimated at between 1 to 3 incidents per million adjustments.”
One study noted by Dr. Rondberg covered a period of 28 years, while another involved reviewing about 110 million chiropractic visits. The results of these and other studies showed conclusively that the risk of stroke from a chiropractic adjustment is so small as to be statistically insignificant.
“If Kaiser Permanente is truly interested in helping its clients and not simply in restricting their care by adding exclusions to their health care plans, I’m sure it will review the material and reverse its decision,” Dr. Rondberg stated. “People need to have access to chiropractic as an alternative to high-risk invasive medical care. They deserve better than to have that access denied them based on false information.”
A copy of the complete letter, with research references, is available for review.
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