Top Policy Advisers at Conference Forecast Direction of Chiropractic Doctors
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 04:23 PM

Delegates at a high-powered conference held in Miami, Florida, on the opportunities for chiropractic in changing healthcare systems in the U.S.A. and internationally heard that chiropractic was well positioned for substantial growth.  This would depend, delegates were told by experts, upon whether doctors of chiropractic could deliver superior patient results and satisfaction at a competitive cost in the prevention and management of common neuromusculoskeletal disorders, because health systems are requiring and rewarding delivery of value, rather than paying attention to the professional designation of the provider. This creates new opportunity for chiropractors.

The theme of the conference, held by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) and jointly hosted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and International Chiropractors’ Association (ICA), was Chiropractic Education for a Changing Healthcare Environment.

The opening session heard of high levels of integration of chiropractic education and clinical services in current mainstream healthcare in Denmark, Canada, and the VHA system.  Speakers from various other countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, and the U.K., described the interprofessional, integrative, and evidence-based models of chiropractic care that exist in their communities.

Edgar Rivera-Ortiz, DC, from Puerto Rico spoke of opening his private practice and being invited to work in the local hospital, where interprofessional cooperation and ability to use common language have led to permanent chiropractic services welcomed by patients and medical staff.

“Many invited speakers at this conference, such as Dr. Ian Paskowski from Beth Israel Hospital in Massachusetts and Dr. Carlo Ammendolia from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, have shown that today’s students must be prepared for interprofessional practice and an expanded world of opportunity for the profession,” said WFC President Greg Stewart, DC, who practices in Winnipeg, Canada.

The third day of the conference explored new career options other than clinical practice for chiropractors and the steps educational institutions should take to prepare students for these. On opportunities in general education, Kathy Dooley, DC, of New York, explained how she was teaching anatomy at the Albert Einstein Medical School and three other colleges.

Robert Mootz, DC, medical director for chiropractic at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, spoke of positions in policy, as did Brian Justice, DC, who is in charge of development of spinal care pathways at Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield in New York. André Bussieres, DC, PhD, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, reviewed the extensive openings for chiropractic researchers at Canadian universities.

One of 13 specific consensus statements agreed at the end of the meeting was that the utilization of patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) should be incorporated within chiropractic curricula and practice because they have an important role to play in a changing healthcare environment.  The conference heard from many speakers that PROMS were important to both patients and payers for measurement of progress and results, and to support ongoing care.