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Posted on 02-09-2017

I Don't Believe In Pessimism...

After CCA President Dr. Leslie Hewitt’s high-profile week of wowing the influential and powerful cognoscenti of the political world in Sacramento, it was back to the basics this week.  There’s simply no substitute for boots on the ground, grassroots tenacity.

The Long And Rocky Road To Bill Authorship

The bill introduction deadline is February 17th and thus far we’ve receive no commitments from legislators to author our bills.  Monica Miller mentioned this to some of her lobbyist colleagues and they too weren’t receiving commitments for their bill proposals on behalf of their clients.  It’s always nerve racking for everyone trying securing authors for their legislative proposals.

As a Chief of Staff I always endeavored to get decisions made early; so others weren’t sentenced to a state of constant fretting.  Alas, some legislators simply take longer to make these decisions than others and a lot of data goes into those decisions.  Things like, does this bill proposal fit into the identity I want to create?  A legislator focusing on building his/her identity as the “go-to-person” on transportation issues is less likely to be interested in carrying health relative legislation.  Who will be opposing this legislation?  Some authors don’t want to take on the additional effort of overcoming powerful interests. There are multitude of considerations and as you can see, there’s a reason we don’t get much sleep during the process of pitching our bill ideas.

But pitch them we are…Monica and I have pitched our proposals to a strategic group of legislators and many others as well.  We continue our conversations with all these offices and hope for closure soon.  In the meantime, we’ve also enlisted the aid of Key Doctors with close relationships with their legislators to help make the pitch.  We are using all our resources to secure authors.  Should we not succeed in this effort we have other options to move our agenda forward.

Moving Our Agenda Forward

We continue conversations with the Chair Tom Daly and Vice-Chair Melissa Melendez of the Assembly Insurance Committee to secure an informational hearing on the need to ensure Primary Treating Physicians in Work Comp refer to conservative care first before prescribing opioids or surgery. 

As you may recall, the committee had offered such a hearing during the interim, but legislators got caught up in the responsibilities of an election year were unable to hold the hearing.  A hearing on this subject matter, which was contained on last year’s AB 2407 (Chavez) would be a seminal opportunity to educate key legislators. 

Leg Con 2017 – Be Prepared To Lobby Hard!

With Leg Con on an ever-nearing horizon, March 7, we hope to have legislation to lobby, but regardless, we’ll be lobbying hard on our issues.  As always, we will make a huge impact on the legislature with our profession’s highest profile event of the year.

We are just coming off a huge success with our inaugural Student CCA ChiroCon held on January 24th. These committed students were engaged and we look forward to building on the great lobbying work of our student CCA members. Many of these students will also be attending Leg Con. So, be sure to thank them!

CCA Takes Action On Sedgwick & Continues To Press Blue Shield

One of our members brought to our attention that any person seeking information on Sedgwick Claims Management Services website, regarding the availability of health care providers with the Medical Provider Network (MPN), is immediately provided the following inaccurate and illegal advisory:

Be advised that chiropractors within the MPN are limited by their network contracts through Sedgwick network partners to treat only within chiropractic specialty medical services. Because of the contract limitations, chiropractors are not eligible for appointment as Primary Treating Physicians within the MPN.

CCA’s Insurance Committee, Chaired by Dr. Jay Shery, immediately acted and sent letters to the Insurance Commissioner, Director of Department of Managed Health Care, Secretary of Labor and Work Force Development, Director of the Division of Workers Compensation, and the Administrative Director at the Division of Workers Compensation.  Read the letter here.  We will follow-up with each of these folks to ensure Sedgwick ceases this activity.

Speaking of misbehavior, we continue to pursue redress for all our DCs who continue to receive recoupment letters from Blue Shield.  Our conversations with Blue Shield have produced mixed results.  One of our doctors received three letters basically saying, “oops, our mistake disregard,” and three saying “you still owe us the money.”  We have brought this to the attention of DMHC, providing documentation of the capricious nature of Blue Shield’s activity.  We have another meeting scheduled and will continue to keep the pressure on.

Third-Party Administrators Coalition Meets Again

We have continued our work with the coalition of health care providers working to address the many grievances with third party administrators (TPAs).  A coalition meeting was held this week and we continue to struggle with which grievances are best suited for legislative solutions.  We have spot-bill language drafted to buy us all time until the March deadline for amending bills; but we still need authors to introduce the spot-bills.  We will carry on our work with our coalition partners to address TPAs.

You may have noticed a theme to this week’s Corner.  I’ve always maintained success is ultimately a byproduct of a tenacious spirit that doesn’t allow failure or negativity to distract one from their goals.  The world is full of highly talented people who are failures.

I take inspiration and solace from those who give voice to paradigm of tenacity and persistence.  Like Clint Eastwood said, “I don’t believe in pessimism.  If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead.  If you think it’s going to rain, it will.” 

And perhaps my favorite spokesperson on the idea of perseverance, former President Richard Milhous Nixon, said, “A man is not finished when he is defeated.  He is finished when he quits.”  Truer words were never spoken, and for chiropractic none more prophetic.

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.

2017 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.

cshieldsdc said:

Thanks for he updates..Im glad you are there at the capitol for us..

2017-02-10 19:37:53

Rodney Cummings,D.C. said:

Rock on Cris!!!

2017-02-11 12:28:36

Steve L Smith said:

Well Said Chris

2017-02-15 14:57:15

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