United Healthcare Rescinds Headache, Pediatric Policy

Chiropractic profession’s swift, unified response to “flawed” policy is effective.
Following an unprecedented profession-wide campaign led by the ACA, United Healthcare (UHC) announced in January that it will rescind its recent policy declaring chiropractic manipulative treatment for headaches and pediatric patients unproven and, therefore, not a covered service.

“We are pleased that UHC has decided not to implement this policy,” said ACA President Glenn Manceaux, DC. “We strongly believe that through the actions of ACA, along with the other chiropractic organizations, the profession made a compelling argument as to why this policy should be rescinded. Our members, the profession and our patients will be well served by UHC’s decision.”

Since September 2007, ACA has maintained a line of communication with UHC to emphasize its members’ concerns over the proposed policy change. Furthermore, ACA joined forces with the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP), the Council on Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA), the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) and ICA to issue a joint letter opposing what the groups described as a “flawed” and “unconscionable” policy and supporting a detailed CCGPP analysis and critique of UHC’s stance. The ACA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics also submitted a separate response to UHC.

In October, after the chiropractic profession’s swift and unified response, UHC delayed implementation of the policy pending additional review of research and information provided by the ACN Chiropractic Professional Advisory Committee (CPAC) and other chiropractic organizations.

“ACA is proud to have led this effort, which serves as a very important reminder that there is strength in numbers. When all corners of the profession work together with a single vision and a single voice, there is no limit to what we can accomplish,” said Dr. Manceaux. “It also underscores the critical role research and evidence play in the reimbursement world, and the need for insurers to consult with the chiropractic profession before implementing changes that negatively affect our patients.”
To read United’s announcement and the letters and evidence that the chiropractic profession presented to the insurer, visit www.acatoday.org and click on the United release in the News section.