The Patriot Project was found by Dr. Tim Novelli, and this inspired organization started after one life changing weekend.
No one tells the story better than the man himself.
Why is The Patriot Project so important?
In 2002, President George W. Bush signed Public Law 107-135, legislation that ensured that chiropractic would become a permanent benefit for recipients of veterans’ health care services. As a result, chiropractic care was gradually added to more than 30 VA medical centers.
In the remaining 120 VA treatment facilities, however—including those in several major metropolitan areas, the chiropractic care benefit has remained virtually nonexistent.
All veterans with service-related disabilities are supposed to have access to chiropractic care; if not at a hospital then in the civilian community. Chiropractic treatment is a standard VA benefit and no VA facility can deny the essential health benefits.
Chiropractic physicians are considered specialists with the Veteran Administration and with the Department of Defense, which means the Veteran must request from their PCP approval for them to receive chiropractic treatment.
Problem #1: Vets DO NOT KNOW they have chiropractic benefits.
Problem #2: There is no listing of chiropractic benefits within the VA HealthCare Benefit section within their website except under ancillary services.
Problem #3: Vets DO NOT KNOW the benefit they can obtain from chiropractic treatment which includes acupuncture.
Problem #4: Vets DO NOT KNOW they can appeal their PCP's denial of their requests for chiropractic treatment.
Problem #5: Armed forces families do not have chiropractic benefits.
Problem #6: Veterans reliance upon medications results in a high probability of developing additional health problems and or even developing life-threatening/ending situations.
Some veterans have found their local VA is reluctant to send them for fee-basis care outside the facility, and have required them to jump through many hoops to get a referral for a Doctor of Chiropractic. This is against VA policy and does not go along with the VA's own stated mission to be "veteran-centered."
Many times the VA facility is trying to save money by denying fee-basis care delivered by doctors of chiropractic, even though they spend a great deal on numerous other treatments. VA facilities are unaware that chiropractic treatment can reduce their facility's costs.
Medical literature has revealed that when insurance companies limit/reduce chiropractic treatment benefits, their total costs for healthcare, actually increase.
- A patient receiving regular chiropractic care experiences reduced hospital admissions, surgeries, and pharmaceutical costs.
- Studies indicate that greater chiropractic coverage, despite increased visits to a DC, results in significant net savings in both indirect and direct costs.
- Chiropractic care could reduce Medicare costs—both payment for all services and average per claim payment.
- Chiropractic patients typically pay less and are more satisfied with their treatment than MD patients.
- Chiropractic care can be used to control health care costs.
- Chiropractic patients reach maximum medical improvement sooner than when treated by a medical doctor.
- Chiropractic treatment is not an add-on, it is a direct substitution for other treatments.
Services delivered by doctors of chiropractic are part of the standard VA benefits and no VA facility can say "do not provide" these essential health benefits. Some veterans have found their local VA is reluctant to send them for fee-basis care outside the VA facility, and have required them to jump through many hoops to get a referral for a Doctor of Chiropractic. This is against VA policy and does not go along with VA's own stated mission to be "veteran-centered."
The Patriot Project is determined to change this, with your help.
Who qualifies as a Patriot Project patient?
With the enormous demand for chiropractic care, we are focusing on priority groups. This would include the veterans with service connected disabilities, active duty military, their family members and gold star dependents. If the retired service member has a disability caused or aggravated by their service they would be qualified to receive treatment under The Patriot Project.
If the patient is an Active Duty Military with Tricare, how come I cannot bill their insurance?
Active Duty Military do not have chiropractic coverage under their TRICARE. We only ask to see their TRICARE card as proof of service.
I have contracts with insurance companies stating that I can’t give care away free to certain groups of people. Can I still participate without losing my contracts?
If your contract restricts your service donation, don’t despair. In 2002, President George W. Bush signed Public Law 107-135, legislation that ensured that chiropractic care would become a permanent benefit for recipients of veterans’ health care services. Many veterans find it difficult to access these chiropractic benefits, so we provide it for them.
If you are treating a veteran, you may ask them to request these benefits. If approved, the V.A. will send you the appropriate paperwork to become a V.A. vendor. Once this process is complete, you can submit claims to be reimbursed. This doesn't always happen and regardless the patient will never receive a bill from the Patriot Project. As far as we're concerned, their bill is paid in full. We treat active-duty military, their families (this would include spouse and their children), service-connected veterans, and all gold star dependents.
If I have multiple patients is there a selection process on who receives the discounted/free service?
At this time we don’t have a selection process. You can prioritize your patients as you see fit.
What is the order of events when treating a Wounded Warrior?
Ask Wounded Warriors for a copy of their DD214 and their service connection papers.
Please help and guide them through applying for chiropractic benefits. See these patients right away even if they are still in the process of obtaining coverage.
I would like to give a testimonial about the Patriot Project - how do I do that?
Doctors should document any treatment a patient receives under the Patriot Project. It’s as simple as keeping track of why the patient is coming in and what effect the care is having on them.
Patients are not required to give testimonials, but it would be appreciated. If you are a Patriot Project patient, we request that you send testimonials and documentation to us via email: [email protected] You may also post these testimonials on Facebook; don't forget to tag us @ThePatriotProject!
We are gathering this information to use before Congress. It is our goal to ensure every military member is aware of the chiropractic care available to them. In turn, Congress needs to know how vital it is to our troop's mental and physical health. We hope to become an intricate part and alternative to the current health system offered to our service members.
What if I want to treat more than one qualified patient a week? Outside of that, what else can I do to give back?
We ask that you treat at least one deserving individual a week, but if you’d like to treat more under The Patriot Project, please do!
Outside of that, there are so many other ways to contribute to The Patriot Project. Here are a few ideas:
- Encourage your patients to submit testimonials. These true stories are invaluable in promoting our cause.
- Tell your fellow chiropractors about us - your alumni class, your friends, and yes, even your competitors. Our military does not discern who they protect, and neither should we. The easiest way you can support us is by liking and following us on social media. Help us spread the word!
- Host a fundraiser; creative and new ideas are welcome! We will gladly help with and promote any Patriot Project event.
- Finally, we are always looking for State Directors. If you are interested, please contact us here.
How do I manage my profile as a Patriot Project Chiropractor?
To access your profile - log in, and pick "Settings" from the control panel that appears on the right. On this page, you can control your page content.
Keep this up to date and contact us with any changes that need to be made to your listing on our map.
I've signed up, but I don't see my office/name on the map. Why?
You must sign up as a member chiropractor. Please be sure to check this box below your entered email or you will not receive your activation email. In your activation email, you will find a survey with a few questions that allow us to place you on our website map to help patients locate you. Also, check your spam folder. If you still cannot find this email, contact us. We will be happy to help you.
I think I qualify as a Patriot Project Patient and I need care. How do I find these services?
You have come to the right place! Use our website map to find a Patriot Project Chiropractor close to you. View that map in full screen by clicking on this icon . Once you enter your location (you may enter a zip code, city, address, etc), click on one of the checkmarks to view the Chiropractor's information. Please contact them by their listed cell phone, email, or website to schedule an appointment. They can help guide you in your next steps to receiving care.
If you successfully located a chiropractor and have benefited from their service, The Patriot Project wants to hear about it. You may submit testimonials via email ([email protected]) or post them on Facebook. Don't forget to tag @ThePatriotProject.