Chiropractic Advisory Committee Named by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

It took an action of the US Congress, but the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has finally taken measures toward providing chiropractic care to all US military and veterans. The first step involves the creation of a committee to oversee and make recommendations to the DVA on how best to offer chiropractic care to all their beneficiaries. As was reported in the August 8, 2002 issue of the Chiropractic News Service, as well as most every other chiropractic publication, the five member Advisory Committee was made up of representatives from most national chiropractic associations.

Among the important issues which this Advisory Committee will handle is going to be direct access to chiropractic care, a crucial component of any benefits plan and one of the leading points in this and in all health benefits programs. The majority of the chiropractic profession is worried that the DVA will attempt to restrict the access of chiropractic care, putting the benefits beneath the direct referral of medical doctors. The chiropractic profession and the national associations are unanimous in their objection to any provision that would limit the rights of US veterans to have direct access to chiropractic services when they desire them.

The wording of the bill that requires chiropractic care to be offered by the DVA includes the following. "The program shall be carried out at sites designated by the Secretary for purpose of the program. The Secretary shall designate [at least] one site for such program in each geographic service area of the Veterans Health Administration. The sites so designated shall be medical centers and clinics located in urban areas and in rural areas. The chiropractic care and services available under the program shall include a variety of chiropractic care and services for neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, including subluxation complex."

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