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Posted on 12-15-2016

You Either Get Bitter Or Better

I spent the lion’s share of Friday in beautiful downtown Oakland (that’s not sarcasm by the way) attending a meeting of the California Health and Safety Workers’ Compensation Commission (CHSWC). 

There wasn’t anything specific on the agenda relative to chiropractic, but I like to fly the CCA flag at these things to let folks know we are watching.  Also, the Secretary of Labor advised me to be a ubiquitous presence in the work comp arena and I’m never one to ignore good advice from a trusted source.

Chatting It Up Leads To Important Information

The meeting itself was interesting (focus was on a study regarding injuries in union and non-union janitorial businesses), but not anything we’d need to get involved in.  I wouldn’t have accomplished much more than flying the chiropractic flag except I used the opportunity to hang around afterwards and chat up DWC Medical Director, Dr. Ray Meister.

Your ever-engaged Workers’ Compensation Committee and I have been involved in an ongoing conversation with Dr. Meister and Director Baker regarding ensuring that chiropractic is included in DWC’s alternatives to opioids guidelines.  Most recently, Dr. Meister asked our crack team to provide feedback on American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s (ACOEM) and Official Disabilities Guidelines (ODG) on the subject.  Here’s our letter regarding that issue.  In addition, we’ve been sharing some recent studies proving chiropractic reduces opioid prescriptions. You can read those here.

Dr. Meister has shared he believes these are encouraging examples supporting our argument for inclusion and has even shared the data with ACOEM.  I was glad I had the opportunity after the meeting to engage with him.  What I learned from our exchange was that DWC intended to adopt ACOEM’s and ODG’s guidelines as their own.  When I asked if they did not include chiropractic in their guidelines, would DWC add us?, he responded they would not.

Bottom line: we’ve been working under the erroneous assumption that California’s state agency was working on guidelines for the state, when in fact, another entity would determine them.  This after months of working with DWC on the matter.  Needless to say, we’re more than a little perturbed.

ACOEM and ODG expect to have their updated guidelines completed by March of 2017 and DWC expects to have adopted them by July.  We are in overdrive now addressing this development.  We’ve already reached out to our College Presidents, my friend the Secretary of Labor, our friends in labor, and BCE’s Executive Director.  We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Dr. Wayne Whalen on our WC committee as he was recently appointed a reviewer for ODG and has maintained a good relationship with their President.  Dr. Whalen is working on setting up a meeting with the President. 

Naturally, we’ll keep all apprised of developments.

Bill Shopping This Holiday Season

Work comp wasn’t our only work this week.  Monica Miller, Michelle Bancroft and I have begun the process of beseeching legislators to introduce our bills in 2017.  Preparation included compiling a wish list of legislators based on a variety of factors.  I don’t want to give away our intellectual property, but it’s safe to say a lot of strategic elements are involved in this decision making.  In addition, we prepared a plethora of collateral materials for our sales pitches and we’re hitting the Capitol hallways with verve and vigor.

Student CCA ChiroCon – January 24, 2017

For the multitude, completely geeked out about our inaugural student lobby day, ChiroCon we have great news.  We have concluded the effort to secure a signature symbol for ChiroCon.  It’s important that everyone at the Capitol can tell at a glance when it’s student chiropractor lobby day.  It seems small or subtle to the uninitiated, but for the inside-the-beltway folk, it’s a sign of relevance, acceptance, and legitimacy.  We’re going to accomplish this with our wonderfully designed chiropractic and ChiroCon themed scarves.  These will provided at no cost to all attending students.  Very special thanks goes out to Kayleigh Carey, CCA’s Membership and Marketing Coordinator.  You may not know that in Kayleigh’s previous professional life she rocked the world of retail fashion.  Her connections in the industry and fashion talent were instrumental in getting us a great looking product at a great price. 

In addition, we have our wonderful team at KFB Public Affairs designing collateral material for our students to leave with legislators and staff that will highlight our fabulous colleges and the benefits of chiropractic.  Our students will be provided everything they need to represent CCA, their college and chiropractic with distinction.  We couldn’t be more excited.

Senate Bill 18 – Fertile or Fallow?

A newly introduced bill has been generating a fair amount of attention this week.  SB 18 was introduced by Senator Richard Pan on December 5.  It is a spot-bill about a children’s bill of rights.  What has some concerned is the language could be construed as an effort to weaken parental rights regarding health care decisions for their children. 

For those unfamiliar with the term spot-bill, it refers to legislation that contains loosely defined intentions, but no details.  It is literally holding a spot for the real bill language to come later.  I was hand delivering our legislative scorecard this week when a health committee staffer approached to reassure me the bill will have nothing do with the concerns being postulated on social media.

The devil’s in the details of course, but this encounter tells us the legislature is monitoring our profession’s activity on social media.  I would counsel all doctors to exert restraint in this arena, on this issue.  We launched several new initiatives in 2016 and expended half a million dollars in the election to make new friends and repair strained relationships because of our efforts to defeat SB 277 in 2015.  It would certainly be a shame to lay fallow that fertile soil we’ve sowed. 

I think American youth advocate, Josh Shipp got it right when he said:

You either get bitter or better. You either take what has been dealt you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down.  The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.

Ultimately, the fate of chiropractic in California belongs to us and our actions will make our reality.  

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


Want to respond to what you just read? 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.

Dr. Greg Call said:

Great update Cris. Thanks for all the hard work. Live reading the weekly report.

2016-12-16 14:45:29

Dave Paris said:

Special thank you Cris, Wayne and Moses. This has been a tremendous amount of well-planned work in the WC arena. I believe it's going to pay dividends for us. Thank you.

2016-12-16 15:38:25

Delia Gorey said:

Another wonderful report . Thank you all for the work you do for our profession . Happy Holidays !

2016-12-16 22:16:32

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