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Posted on 03-03-2017

Media, Myopia, and The Art of Advocacy

With all the time spent on our preparations for Leg Con next week, I’d like to take a brief trip down CCA’s memory lane of our methods of advocacy.

We’ve put added emphasis on media advocacy in recent years utilizing some tried and true methods and some new more innovated ones as well.  We’ve used newspaper advertisements carefully placed in papers known to have high readership amongst the political establishment.  In fact, we are currently partnering with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress to run an ad in the Sacramento Bee on the day of Leg Con.  The ad focuses on the opioid epidemic and chiropractic as its solution. Check it out here. 

We’ve run political advertisements supporting our legislative proposals in on line political media highly frequented by Capitol's players. Check these out from last year: AB 1992 and AB 2407.  We’ve also had a very good run of television and radio interviews. Check out some those here, here and oh yes, here!

Even our fundraising efforts for our PAC have gone to a 21st century on-line platform that makes it so easy to contribute it’s almost a sin not to do so.  There are even point and click options to donate to the campaign of your choice and send it all to your network of patients, family and friends via social media platforms to encourage them to help the cause as well. All at calchirogive.org - just click here!

Of course, there is no replacement for retail, grassroots lobbying and that’s what Leg Con is all about.  We can run the best media advocacy possible, but at the end of the day in politics it comes down to the art of hand shake advocacy. The in-person interaction with the people who control the future of our profession will always be the most important element of our advocacy.

It’s important to keep in mind that politicians are people too. It is too easy to either demonize, or dehumanize politicians. Political pundits make a living doing so, but for us that’s not an option. Our elected representatives make a lot of sacrifices to do a job not many of us covet.

The vast majority of legislators and their staff serve us with the best of intentions and motivations.  They deserve our respect and appreciation regardless of whether we find ourselves in disagreement.  Even the most challenging of legislators have good intentions and work hard to use government to serve the citizenry well.    As we utilize our most powerful tool of advocacy, personal interaction, we should keep these realities in mind and make the most of our opportunities.  It would be deleterious to allow ourselves to suffer the consequences of myopia when it comes to our representatives.

Taking the art of relationship building to heart, our illustrious President, Dr. Leslie Hewitt, will be dining with the President of the California Medical Association the evening before Leg Con. The time for divisiveness is past, and the time of collaboration is upon us.  We look forward with hope and anticipation to positive outcomes.

Department Of Workers' Compensation Update

Under the heading “statistics being tortured into a confession,” the Division of Workers’ Compensation released its annual audit of claims administrators.  According to the report, claims administrators earned high scores in 2016. Overall, the audit found 94.1% of treatment requests were approved. It also revealed that nearly 85% of treatment requests were approved without going through Utilization Review (UR).

Out of the 15.3% of requested medical services that went through utilization review, 59.8% were approved by non-physician reviewers, while 40.2% were forwarded to a physician for a formal determination.  When requests were sent to a physician, 70% were denied. 

According to CCA’s illustrious Workers’ Compensation Committee, the denial rate of the decisions sent to UR physicians is affecting injured workers with more serious injuries involving lost time and ongoing treatment.  The 85% of requests approved, without going through formal utilization review are likely minor treatments for relatively minor injuries.

Consequently, comparing the 15% of cases that go through utilization review to the 85% of requests that don’t, is akin to comparing manipulation to yoga.  It is a deficiency of discernment we are working to clear up as we continue to engage with DWC on this and other issues of concern to CCA members in the work comp arena.

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.

Danny Gambino DC said:

Interesting perspective.

2017-03-03 15:49:45

Brian Porteous, DC said:

With all the work you guys do for us and the $$ we pass " their way" ... Sad we have to beg for sponsors for our bills ...With the lack of $upport from the majority DC's in CA You do an amazing job for all DC's

2017-03-04 10:01:27

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