Open letter to Private Medical Insurance companies regarding the reimbursement of Telehealth Consultations

For the Attention of all Private Medical Insurers,

Exclusion of Chiropractors from reimbursement of Telehealth Consultations

It is with great concern and urgency that I wish to discuss the exclusion of chiropractors from reimbursement from Private Medical Insurers for Telehealth and other remote forms of consultation.

Chiropractic in the private practice setting is all but impossible during this time. Inevitably the number of patients attending for chiropractic care declined considerably over the past 10 days as the public was told to limit social contact and restrict use of public transport.

The chiropractic profession has actively supported and endorsed the Governments approach to this crisis and the BCA advised members on Tuesday 24th March that to practice ‘face to face’ in a private practice setting would not be compatible with strong Government advice on staying at home, minimising travel to specific places only and social distancing. We advised members that they should practice via remote links and strongly encouraged them to volunteer in the NHS Volunteer Response.

By using Telehealth style appointments, chiropractors are able to utilise their essential competencies of excluding red flag conditions, providing reassurance, advice to support resumption of daily activities with or without exercise prescription and would be entirely in line with UK and international guidelines for the management of a range of MSK conditions. These are conditions that chiropractors would usually be presented with in clinic, including neck and lower back pain. Best practice guidelines on low back and neck pain from The Royal College of Chiropractors indicate that this approach is appropriate for the profession. Within community-based NHS services, chiropractors are already providing care and support using telephone and video consultations.

Private practice chiropractic makes up almost the entirety of the profession with approximately 3,200 chiropractors providing high quality, regulated healthcare to the UK population. With back pain consistently listed at the number one cause of global disability and 10.8 million days lost as a consequence of musculoskeletal conditions, our professions contribution to caring for your clients, our patients, is significant.

The chiropractic profession is complying with the intention of the Government’s advice and placing the interests of their patients and society first. Your agreement that they can now offer Telehealth and phone/online consultations would be much appreciated and given the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic and the effects is having on our patients, please could I ask you to treat this as an urgent priority.

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Quinn
President, British Chiropractic Association

Thursday 26th March 2020

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