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.