Concerns Grow About Control of the NY State Chiropractic Board by the ACA - Use of X-ray in NY Under Threat

News Staff
Concerns Grow About Control of the NY State Chiropractic Board by the ACA - Use of X-ray in NY Under Threat

Northeast College, ACA & NYSCA Influence is Apparent

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has infiltrated nearly every crevice of chiropractic practice, regulation and education in its effort to limit the use of x-ray for the analysis of vertebral subluxation, to expand the scope of practice to include drugs and position chiropractic as the practice of primary care (as opposed to portal of entry).

The ACA's tentacles now apparently reach deep into the regulation and education of chiropractors in New York State. According to the minutes of recent meetings of the New York State Board of Chiropractic, the Northeast College of Health Sciences (NCHS) teaches and enforces the red flag, pathology only model of x-ray necessity as outlined in Choosing Wisely and the American College of Radiology.

The ACA long ago adopted the Choosing Wisely guidelines which forbid the taking of x-rays for the analysis of the biomechanical components of vertebral subluxation. All members of the ACA must sign a pledge to abide by its guidelines in order to be admitted into and maintain membership in the ACA.

CLICK HERE for more on Choosing Wisely & the ACA

As it turns out the New York State Board of Chiropractic is essentially under the control of the ACA, the New York State Chiropractic Association (NYSCA) and the Northeast College of Health Sciences (formerly New York Chiropractic College).

According to publicly available records, the current Chair of the NY State Chiropractic Board is Mark. R Craft DC - a member of both NYSCA and the ACA.

The Vice Chair of the state board is Fiona Jarrett-Thelwell, DC, MS. Jarrett-Thelwell received her Doctor of Chiropractic and M.S. in Diagnostic Imaging degrees from Northeast College and has been a professor in the Clinical Sciences department since 1995.

According to minutes from a recent meeting of the board of chiropractic, The New York Chiropractic Council (NYCC) expressed its concern that chiropractors who take x-rays for subluxation analysis were being denied reimbursement even though the law governing chiropractic in NY state explicitly allows the taking of x-rays for such purposes.

When Dr. Jarrett-Thelwell was asked what she and Northeast College require for imaging she cited the American College of Radiology (Choosing Wisely) Guidelines and the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria. She also mentioned the Ottawa Rules. Jarrett-Thelwell asserted that "Employing these guidelines helps providers enhance quality of care and contribute to the most efficacious use of radiology."

The ACA and other groups in chiropractic make the argument that taking x-rays for the analysis and correction of vertebral subluxation is not patient centered.

In addition to the Chair and Vice Chair being ACA members and supporters, another member of the NY state chiropractic board - Elaina A. Pirro-Lombardi, D.C. is a member of the Northeast College of Board of Trustees. She is joined on the NY Board by another Professor from Northeast College - Michael Zumpano, DC, Ph.D.

That makes at least half of the NY state regulatory board for chiropractic under the thumb of the ACA and its patrons.

Making the situation in NY State even more alarming is that the current Chair of the Northeast Board of Trustees is Rick Rosa DC who is a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractors of the ACA.

Rosa is joined on the Northeast College Board of Trustees by none other than Ray Tuck DC, the immediate past president of The American Chiropractic Association, a National graduate and a member of the Virginia Board of Medicine. Tuck is a strong proponent of the ACA's Choosing Wisely guidelines.

And the cherry on top of the control that the ACA has over Northeast College is none other than its President - Michael Mestan DC, Ed.D who is a dues paying ACA member. Mestan served as chief resident during his diagnostic imaging residency, and maintained a private practice of radiology for 10 years. Mestan served on the executive committee of the American Chiropractic College of Radiology for six years and was the Executive Vice-President and Provost at the New York Chiropractic College as well.

The revelations regarding the control that the ACA, NYSCA and Northeast College have over the regulation of chiropractic in NY State comes at a significant period in the state as the New York Chiropractic Council (NYCC) and the New York State Chiropractic Association (NYSCA) continue their negotiations over language in NYSCA's so called "Scope Modernization" Bill. As currently written the bill, in addition to expanding the scope of practice, would alter the current language which allows chiropractors in NY state to take x-rays to assess the biomechanical aspects of vertebral subluxation.

This would be a huge win for the ACA and its friends who want to further marginalize the practice of correcting vertebral subluxations.

McCoy Press