Dr. Richard Cole, President of the ICCN challenged United Healthcare’s new policy that prohibits reimbursement for spinal manipulation for the treatment of headache pain. The challenge was in the form of a letter that Dr. Cole sent today to Mr. Dan Schumacher, president and CEO of United Healthcare.
“At a time when everyone is looking for alternative pain treatment to fight the opioid addiction, this is a really stupid move.” stated Dr. Cole. “This decision hurts United Healthcare insureds and will actually drive up the cost of headache treatment by removing a highly cost effective treatment option.”
Spinal manipulation, mainly performed by chiropractic physicians, has been proven to be clinically effective and a highly cost effective method of treatment. This proof is backed by a wide body of research.
Chiropractic neurologists are well versed in headache management and tend to attract as patients the worse headache cases. “We tend to treat the tough cases,” stated Dr. Cole, referring to his fellow chiropractic neurologists. “Patients who fail to respond to medication, acupuncture and other chiropractors find their way to our offices. We are usually able to help them.”
Dr. Cole’s letter highlights the main research articles that proves that chiropractors are great at treating headaches. Two articles demonstrate the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care.
“Insurance companies have a duty to their insureds,” stated Dr. Cole. “by enacting this policy, UHC is shirking its main responsibility of providing cost effective care to their insureds.”
Dr. Cole anticipates a response to his letter and hopes UHC will heed his suggestions.