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Posted on 09-08-2016

You Shall Not Steal...

Worker’s Compensation - Meeting With Director Christine Baker

Moses said you shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. This seemed particularly relevant to me Monday as I sat with the Chair of our Workers’ Compensation Committee, Dr. Moses Jacob as he prepared to lead his band of advocates, Dr. Wayne Whalen, Monica Miller and myself into a meeting with Director Christine Baker of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).  Medical Director, Dr. Ray Meister was also present.

We weren’t sure what to expect.  We’d heard rumors of chiropractic prejudice at DIR.  I’ve heard a lot of juicy political gossip over the decades, but I always keep in mind something President Reagan was fond of saying, “Trust, but verify.” 

This was our first meeting with the Director and we thought it important to keep an open mind.  Interestingly, what we encountered were open minds generally supportive of our positions.  We’d been booked for a thirty-minute chat and Director Baker gave us an hour.  A generous and rather extraordinary circumstance.

We were focused on covering the topics of the 24 visit cap and lack of mention in the alternatives to opioid guidelines.  Director Baker agreed in principle that the cap is no longer necessary, but she did not think the political will to remove it is currently present. 

Director Baker suggested a couple of strategies for us:

  • Begin working with employer groups to educate them (this is not something I’ve focused on, but think it a fine idea and will do so).
  • Get invited to make presentations at significant events of the employer community (we can certainly pursue this).
  • Get labor to support us (We have been working on this and are very close to having labor carry this issue politically).               

We provided Director Baker and Dr. Meister a copy of our 503 pages of evidence based studies on the efficacy, cost effectiveness and safety of chiropractic.  We also provided a series of infographics from Palmer’s Gallup poll results for this year. See the reports and Gallup results here.

When we discussed the lack of mention of chiropractic in the alternative to opioids guidelines, Director Baker thought spinal manipulation was in them.  Dr. Meister let her know it was not.  Dr. Meister made the case that chiropractic covers a lot of ground because our scope of practice is large, so using chiropractic specifically would not be appropriate.  He had no problem with using spinal manipulation.  An interesting interpretation, but by that argument yoga has a zillion positions, so it shouldn’t be listed either.

Our point on this topic was we lobbied heavily on this issue and the final guidelines came out and we’d been ignored.  Why?  We didn’t get an answer to that query, but Director Baker informed us that they would be amending the guidelines in the near future and we could address this at that time.  We will be following up with Dr. Meister on this opportunity.

We also discussed being removed as PTPs after the cap is hit and Director Baker understood the idiocy of that piece of the law.

We covered a lot of ground over the hour and Drs. Jacob and Whalen were fabulous at pointing out the real world realities of how things work and don’t work, in work comp. Having access and getting access are two very different things.

Monica did a great job of laying out the political history of the subjects including reminding all that Governor Brown has a been a proponent of chiropractic dating back to his first tenure as governor of California.  I kept hitting our core arguments: We’re the most efficacious, safe, cost effective care for injured workers; the cap is a symbolic insult, contrary to current public policy, pushes injured workers with chronic issues needing periodic care over the 24 cap to opioids and scalpels, and it’s completely unnecessary.               

Director Baker and Dr. Meister presented as being open minded and even supportive of chiropractic in the work comp system.

At times presenting and acting are two very dissimilar things and it is incumbent upon us to be vigilant and aggressively push to see the items discussed are implemented.  We’ve been treated well in person in the past and been shafted in the present.  I’m looking forward to having coffee with the Secretary of Labor to discuss our meeting with Director.

Dr. John Roza Appears On Good Day Sacramento

KFB Public Affairs continues doing a great job advocating on behalf of chiropractic. Their most recent accomplishments feature Dr. John Roza.  Check out our star television advocate appearing on Good Day Sacramento.  What a major coup! 

Make sure you watch the part of the show where the anchor wants to end the story and Dr. Roza pulls a Lieutenant Colombo by saying “just one more thing if can, CCA is great!”  It was awesome!

And it didn’t’ stop there. Check out Dr. Roza also hitting a home run for chiropractic in the Sacramento Bee. 

This is the kind of positive media that is going to translate into political advocacy success, PAC fundraising success, increased patient loads, membership growth and retention.

Other Media Opportunities On The Horizon

KFB is also working on a comprehensive paid media plan to augment the earned media they’ve been capturing for us.  CCA is creating a bright future for chiropractic in California.  For a more comprehensive update on KFB’s activities click here.

SB 277 Injunction Update

On a less upbeat note, most of you are aware of the federal judge’s denial of an injunction of SB 277.  James Turner, lead counsel for the 17 families and the four health and education associations bringing the suit, said, "Judge Sabraw provided a detailed and thoughtful analysis of the more than 100 year old mandatory vaccine law, and how courts have recently interpreted it. This analysis provides a specific roadmap for how to challenge an 'aggressive' (Judge Sabraw's word) vaccine law such as SB 277."

The legal team is confident that its next case will focus the court's attention on the facts of vaccine mandates and that California's law is outside what is permitted under the more than 100 years of vaccine law analyzed by Judge Sabraw.

The International Chiropractic Association (ICA) has created a unique online advocacy platform, AdjustTheVote, which has a special arrangement for contributions to this important issue, 100% of which are directed to this critical challenge of personal health rights. To contribute to this cause, click here - ICA's donation site provides the opportunity to indicate an organization or coalition you are aligned with and would like to be identified as part of the donation process (you may also use Group code CHIRO).

GA Out & About

I recently had a great opportunity to catch up with Assembly Member Brian Jones and his staff the day after the legislative session ended. If you remember, Jones is not only a staunch chiropractic supporter but also authored our pre-athletic sports physical bill (AB 1992) last session.

We had a relaxed visit as it is always nice to share time with folks who not only “get” chiropractic but actually DO something for us. Many thanks to Jones and his staff!

That’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.

Did you know you can comment directly on the Corner? Just look below for the comment box. I encourage your feedback and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

©2016 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

David Bunganich said:

Way to go, Cris, and the rest of our advocacy team. Tireless effort does not go unappreciated. Thank you!

2016-09-08 17:22:48

Jay Shery said:

Thank you Chris, Wayne and Moses for your time and effort. We need more warriors like you.

2016-09-08 21:58:27

Bob Chatfield said:

Thanks for this well focused effort, Monica, Cris, Moses and Wayne! We have to continue to shine the light on the gross inequities of the work comp laws to the legislators and all their constituents. Continuous pressure!

2016-09-09 14:38:34

Delia Gorey said:

Cris , et all ... Thank you again for all that you do for our profession , and our patients !

2016-09-09 16:29:49

Rodney Cummings, D.C. said:

Excellent report.Thanks for keeping us updated. Someday we will get our due respect and be treated as professionally as we deserve.

2016-09-10 10:00:12

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