A Brief and Selected History of Insurance and Chiropractic
Chiropractic can have many difference faces. It is true that as a profession chiropractors are not always as unified as one would hope. While our education is not lacking our necessity to make ends meet can be a bit more challenging that other doctors who can easily rely on insurance to support and sustain their practice. Chiropractors no longer have this luxury.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s insurance reimbursement for chiropractic services was a LOT easier and much more available. Sadly we (chiropractors) are often our own worst enemy when it comes to the chiropractic profession. This was never truer than during those years when many of the chiropractors abused the system set in place and billed insurance excessively with little to no documentation validating their care. I’m not saying the preventative and maintenance care wasn’t beneficial or even necessary. At some point to you actually, have to give a reason for the chiropractic healthcare being provided if you expect a third party to continue paying for it.
Insurance caught on pretty quick and took advantage of the low-hanging fruit in the form of poor reimbursement, audits and managed care. This put an end to chiropractic care getting reimbursed for anything beyond pain management. Being pigeonholed in such a narrow and limiting scope has really hurt the profession. Even worse is that many chiropractors changed by limiting the chiropractic services they offer. Primarily based on the requirements set by insurance instead of what is actually necessary to correct a patient’s spinal structure.
I suspect that this has been an issue because the science and research that proved what chiropractors already knew was not quite available yet. Once D.D. and B.J. Palmer began to understand the value of the chiropractic adjustment. It was easy to see that a common sense approach could be used to help improve the health of millions in a safe and effective manner. Even if they didn’t yet have a library of double-blind placebo research studies to “prove” it.
Chiropractic has always been supported by science and research even if it’s not the same model of research that the medical community wanted. Fortunately, we now have some brilliant men who have been able to take a more numeric and objective method to the science of an often subjective and anecdotal albeit safe and effective form of chiropractic care.
Chiropractic BiophysicsTM (CBP) developed by Dr. Donald and Dr. Deed Harrison is quickly becoming the cornerstone of objective chiropractic science. Dr. Donald Harrison returns to school after over 10 years in chiropractic to earn Doctorate in Applied Mathematics and Masters in Engineering. This helped him to develop a method we know today as CBPTM.
CBPTM is the most researched chiropractic method in the world. At its core is the Harrison Spinal Model, a research-based model for side view spinal alignment. It is the geometric track of the ligament connecting the backs of each vertebra from the 1st vertebra on the top of your neck to the bottom of the lower back. The Harrison Spinal Model finally gives chiropractors a structured model ideal for the human spine. One that is based on mathematics and engineering principles. Just like the body has and normal or ideal range for your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, there is an ideal structural position for the spine that allows the body to function optimally. The Harrison model is the measuring stick that all chiropractors will eventually be using.
All medical doctors understand that the spine should be straight when you look at it from the front. It’s so well understood that even most laypeople understand this and know that scoliosis, which is when the spine curves to the side, is an abnormal presentation of the spine. However, the medical community and often many chiropractors have yet to understand that there is a specific normal structure, demonstrated by the Harrison Spinal Model when looking at the spine from the side. The Harrison Spinal Model clearly shows the normal curves that should be the spine; forward in the neck, backward in the mid-back and forward in the low back.
It’s likely though that because it’s so common to see anterior head syndrome and other abnormal presentations of what should be normal curves in the spine, that chiropractors and medical doctors alike have just accepted this as normal. Not unlike the current movement in our culture that prides obesity and something to be accepted and beautiful. Fortunately structurally focused chiropractors, including Corrective Chiropractic in Greenville, NC know that there is an ideal structure that we should all strive to achieve using chiropractic.