MILITARY CORNER

Military Corner

The F4CP launched its Military Corner to provide educational information about chiropractic care and the military. Military Corner provides in-depth and topical information including current care integration at military health facilities, policy and accessing rights, DOD/VA news, and the latest developments regarding chiropractic and the military. Additionally, guidelines are provided for both veterans and doctors of chiropractic about referrals, gaining access to care, even if initially denied, and how to help further care integration or attain employment within military health facilities.

INTEGRATION

Integration of Chiropractic Care and VA/Military Facilities

Department of Defense (DOD)

In recent years, in recognition of the value and benefits of chiropractic care, Congress has passed, and the President has signed into law, legislation establishing a permanent chiropractic care benefit for both active duty military personnel and veterans. Furthermore, a doctor of chiropractic is now stationed in the U.S. Capitol to provide necessary care to members of Congress

To date, there is a doctor of chiropractic at 60 military bases around the country; however, according to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report, only 54 percent of servicemen and women eligible for chiropractic care can reasonably access the benefit. It is still necessary more is done to increase chiropractic access and availability.

Chiropractic Clinics
in DOD Facilities

 

Veterans' Affairs

A Department of Veterans Affairs policy enforces that veterans have access to chiropractic care. How this service becomes available will depend on the availability of a chiropractic doctor on staff. If a chiropractor isn't on staff, a veteran can ask for a referral to a chiropractic doctor outside the system. While a referral from a physician is necessary the veteran has certain appeal rights.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has initiated the process of providing veterans with access to chiropractic care by placing chiropractic doctors on staff at VA hospitals.

The VA now provides chiropractic care (via hired or contracted staff) at approximately 40 major VA treatment facilities within the United States. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of America's veterans still do not have access to chiropractic care because the VA has taken no action to provide chiropractic care at approximately 120 of its major medical facilities.

Veterans' Rights Chiropractic Clinics
in VA Facilities

The Patriot Project

The Patriot Project is a grass roots movement to provide chiropractic care to all Active Military, their Families, Wounded Warriors & All Gold Star Dependents. Click below to learn more:

Patriot Project

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GET INVOLVED

Guidelines for Getting Involved as a D.C.

Information Regarding Veterans Health Administration Chiropractic Positions

As of January 2011 there are 43 VA facilities with on-site chiropractic clinics: each of the 21 VISNs has at least one site, and some VISNs have multiple sites. This represents a growth rate of about 65% since the program's inception. It appears to be consistent with the natural expansion of any new clinical service added to a large healthcare system, and suggests successful program implementation.

The decision to initiate a chiropractic clinic in a VA facility is made by individual facilities, based on local needs and resources. Commonly when a VA facility wishes to hire a D.C. it will be done by posting the openings on the VA Careers Website.

Although opportunities continue to emerge, there is no standing process for a chiropractor to plan for and obtain a VA position. D.C.'s interested in such future positions are advised to consider following the information below as guidelines to successfully prepare and fulfill VA employment.

Learn More

 

VA Facility Employment Opportunities

It is extremely unlikely that an individual D.C. could contact a VA facility and convince that facility to start a chiropractic clinic. Many have tried this and so far none have been successful. This decision is made inside the VA. It is not recommended that you cold-call or attempt to send a CV when no job is posted to any given VA facilities or the VA Central Office. This makes one appear naive and does not lead to good results.

 

Drive Chiropractic Inclusion at a VA Facility

Join efforts with a local veteran group. One example is the Wounded Warriors Program, which has shown consistent success in motivating development of chiropractic in VA facilities.

Wounded Warriors Project

 

Develop your Professional Competencies

The following attributes will help to mold you as an attractive, well-qualified candidate
for an available D.C. position in a hospital setting:

It is difficult (and indeed very rare) for a DC to obtain experience in all of those areas. However, these are the types of features that make one stand out as an applicant, and also make one best suited to be successful within a medical system.

There appears to be strong interest in VA positions among the chiropractic profession, and we have seen that new job openings are extremely competitive. It would be very unlikely for a new graduate to be chosen for a position at a facility that is starting a new chiropractic clinic (that is, a facility with no other chiropractors on board). A D.C. with an established track record would likely be better suited for such a situation. However a new graduate may be suited for a position at an existing chiropractic clinic that is expanding, where he/she would be part of an established department.

Please visit the ACA or ICA sites for additional information.

VETERANS' RIGHTS

Learning About a Veterans' Rights

Chiropractic services are part of the standard medical benefits package available to all veterans.

1. By having an on-site chiropractic clinic

2. By sending veterans to a private chiropractor using the "fee-basis" approach where the VA pays the bill

Currently there are 40 VA facilities with chiropractic clinics. Over the past years thousands of veterans have received chiropractic care at VA clinics as well as through the fee-basis procedure

Many VA primary care providers are routinely discussing chiropractic care as an option with their patients. If your PCP has not discussed this with you, bring it up and explain why you think chiropractic treatment can be a good option for your particular problem. Download the official VA document designed for patients interested in exploring chiropractic treatment. This document is to be shared with healthcare providers in the field and/or at the medical site.

The following are reasons to consider chiropractic treatment, and some of these may apply to you:

Remember that chiropractic services are part of your standard VA benefits and no VA facility can tell you that they "do not provide" chiropractic care. Some veterans have found that their VA is very reluctant to send them for fee-basis chiropractic care, and have required that they jump through many hoops to get a referral for chiropractic. This is against VA policy and does not go along with VA's own stated mission to be "veteran-centered."

You should be very concerned if your PCP refers you for fee-basis chiropractic care and someone else at the facility denies that referral.

If you suspect that you were unfairly denied chiropractic care you should make a complaint with the patient advocate at your facility.

If that is not successful you should bring it to the attention of a VSO such as VFW, Wounded Warrior Project or others. The more veterans that make this known, the more likely it is that positive change will occur.

The VA determines healthcare eligibility based on a number of factors, including the type and extent of military injuries, military service and a Veteran's financial status

VA Healthcare Eligibility VA Policy

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LEARN MORE

Get more information about current research and
legislation regarding chiropractic and the military, please visit:

American Chiropractic Association International Chiropractors Association

Also check out the latest articles in Chiropractic and the Military:

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