These are Challenging Times for Chiropractors

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program
These are Challenging Times for Chiropractors

Let's Not Forget Our Basic Principles

Our team at ChiroFutures Malpractice Insurance Program has been very busy over the past several days as you - the chiropractors we insure - have grappled with how best to respond to the unprecedented challenges we are facing not only as chiropractors but as citizens in the wake of the Coronavirus.

We encourage you to take a moment, breathe and give some thought to a few issues.

Dr. Anthony Carrino and I built this company and the risk management strategies based on the principles taught to us and handed down by some of the greatest leaders in chiropractic.

We were fortunate to have sat at the feet and learned first hand from some of the most dedicated and powerful chiropractors that ever lived. Chiropractors who faced adversity beyond anything we could imagine in our lifetimes.

They instilled a confidence in us about the power of the human body to heal and what happens when that is obstructed and interfered with. They instilled in us a sense of moral responsibility to take care of people that others had given up on or would not see.

Over 700 of them went to jail to protect the rights of the public to receive our care. Many of them died in jail defending that liberty.

They also admonished us to fully understand, research and further advance the science on which chiropractic is based.

That science includes that the body is a self healing, self regulating organism. That the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body. And that vertebral subluxations obstruct and interfere with that process.

Anthony and I were charged with a Sacred Trust and were told very clearly and explicitly to guard it.

We accepted that charge when we graduated from LIFE College in 1989 and for over 30 years since have navigated the personal, clinical and political minefields all around us. Many times taking positions that were unpopular with our colleagues and our communities.

Over the past several days Anthony and I have been bombarded with questions and concerns from our insureds and our friends in chiropractic. In addition to each other we are supported by a top notch team of insurance underwriters that are second to none in the chiropractic malpractice industry.

Because we built a company focused on chiropractors who practice and live their lives in a vitalistic, salutogenic model we have noticed that the focus of the conversations with our insureds has been about how they can keep caring for their people - their practice members.

Questions about shutting down, should I shut down, do I have to shut down and every variation of that kind have come up. Keep in mind we are having these conversations all the while Anthony is in his practice along with his wife Dr. Shannon from morning to night taking care of his own people and my wife Dr. Pam is in her practice taking care of her practice members.

We are there with you - on the ground.

Some of the chiropractors we spoke to are genuinely afraid. Some of them, who are not in any of the risk categories, are simply afraid because they did not have the lens to view this through that Anthony, I and our wives were fortunate enough to have been given.

Others are afraid because they or a loved one do fall into a higher risk category and they don't want to make the situation worse. Some are being told by other chiropractors that they should be ashamed that that they are going in and caring for people during this time. That its somehow irresponsible.

Let us be clear: No one should feel guilty about their decisions and no one should feel obligated to put themselves at risk.

Everyone, including chiropractors, must do what makes them feel safe with notions of safety being informed by evidence. Otherwise the fear is for its own sake and represents an unhealthy, non-adaptive response.

The vast majority of chiropractors we have been in communication with over the past several days are not in high risk groups and are in their practices caring for their people and they want to continue doing that. They tell us that they need to continue doing that. That their communities need them now more than ever.

We have heard stories from chiropractors whose practices have slowed down as patients deal with their own level of safety and comfort and as they triage and advise those who are expressing symptoms to make the best decisions for all concerned.

We have heard stories from chiropractors who remain very busy triaging and caring for their existing practice members and welcoming new ones looking for strategies to deal with the current crisis.

We are heartened that there are so many chiropractors that have this sense of obligation to serve.

We are heartened by this because there are also chiropractors, chiropractic organizations, chiropractic regulatory authorities and "leaders" in chiropractic that are attacking those who choose to keep serving in the face of this unprecedented event.

Chiropractors are being told and even threatened not to "Tell the Story". Sadly, they are being told not to tell the public about the fact that the nervous system controls the immune system - the two of them are actually a combined supersystem. They are being told not to share these facts with anyone and not to tell anyone that in addition to the important public health measures such as hand washing, responsible social distancing etc. that they should also consider getting their spines checked and adjusted if necessary along with other salutogenic activities that will support nervous and immune function.

These actions are as important and crucial as all of the other measures because beyond the hand washing and distancing there is no other solution except the robustness of one's immune response.

We will not tolerate those within or outside of the profession who seek to silence these truths or the science supporting them because that will lead to a worsening of the public health crisis and people will suffer unnecessarily due to their ignorance.

If we do our jobs correctly as chiropractors then we may be part of the solution in this crisis because we can help the engines of commerce to continue to function and help triage people who do not belong in the ER. Then those who are not sick and not at higher risk can work, provide for their families and take care of those among them that cannot take care of themselves.

At ChiroFutures we feel strongly about the role of chiropractic as a staple in supporting the health and well being of the public along with other salutogenic measures to enhance health and well-being and assist the body in adapting to physical, chemical and emotional challenges.

Our goal is not only to mitigate the malpractice risk to you, your practice and staff but also to assist you in providing a safe and healthy environment for the public to receive your care.

Please know that we do not want to add to the fear and panic that is already out there. Our intention is not to scare anyone. Our intention is for you to understand YOUR risks and those in your practice given the current situation.

We can not and will not tell you how to practice but we can tell you where the risks are and then you can make informed decisions about how much risk you want to take on.

Our goal is to reduce your risk and thereby hopefully reducing risk to your practice members. More importantly our goal is that the public, the government, health care workers and your community view you as a reliable resource for information about their health and the health of the public.

We want what we believe you want: For everyone to understand the value and unique service that we provide as chiropractors and our role in providing a vitalistic, salutogenic approach to health.

What we urge you to understand is that promoting chiropractic care for the treatment of ANY infectious disease , including one like COVID-19 that is now considered a pandemic, is specifically outside the chiropractors' scope of practice . Suggesting or stating in any way, shape or form that chiropractic or chiropractic adjustments will stop COVID-19 or cure someone of it puts YOU under a great deal of risk. Putting those statements on the internet so a public health authority now has evidence that you made the statement(s) only makes matters worse - and their job of prosecuting you that much easier.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions and/or concerns over the coming weeks and months as this situation unfolds.

We are here for you.

Yours in Chiropractic

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
CEO & Co-Founder

Anthony Carrino DC, FICPA
President & Co-Founder

ChiroFutures Malpractice Program