McLean-Oberstein Ticket Responds to Crucial Questions About ICA

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
McLean-Oberstein Ticket Responds to Crucial Questions About ICA

No Response from Rodnick Ticket

A few weeks ago the Chronicle asked both of the tickets running for leadership positions in the ICA if they would respond to a series of questions regarding their views on ICA positions in the following areas:

  • Primary Care
  • World Federation of Chiropractic
  • The Chiropractic Summit
  • The American Chiropractic Association
  • The CCE Consensus Document

Only the McLean-Oberstein ticket responded to our interview questions. Here are the questions followed by their responses:

Question 1.  Do you believe that chiropractic is the practice of primary care and if not what will you do to change the ICA’s public statement on this which reads as follows:

“Doctors of Chiropractic are primary health care providers. According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, "The DC can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs and DOs. The doctor of chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC's office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service.’”

McLean/Oberstein Response:

If a primary care provider is the same as a primary care physician, we as chiropractors are neither.  We would be Portal of Entry providers.  PCP's are considered "generalists", where POE's are considered "specialists" which fits exactly what Chiropractors are...Specialists in correcting Vertebral Subluxations.

Chiropractic is a health-care discipline and is either primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary care. Secondary care is by referral, so that lets us out. Tertiary and quaternary care is done in a hospital/institutional setting, which also is not us. Primary care is performed by a health care person who is the patient’s first contact in the health care system. We are primary care. Also known as portal-of-entry, first contact providers. Since there is no “official” definition of primary care, there is no way to “prove” who is or is not a primary care provider.

Chiropractors are NOT, however, Primary Care PHYSICIANS. This term denotes an MD or DO, and implies expertise in areas outside chiropractic practice. The leadership of the ACA has pushed for us to use the terminology of Primary Care Physician. We oppose this, since it is misleading, and implies the practice of primary care medicine.

Question 2.  The ICA continues to financially support the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). The WFC is tied to The West Hartford Group among many other things not supportive of subluxation based chiropractic. What is your stance on the WFC and will you work to remove the ICA’s support for this organization?

McLean/Oberstein Response:

Dr. McLean worked with Dr. Fred Barge to get the ICA out of the WFC a dozen years ago, and succeeded for a month or so, until a subsequent meeting at which the Board members voted to put the ICA back in.

Let us be clear.....we as a group oppose the philosophy and direction of The West Hartford Group!!  As for the WFC, we can honestly say it's philosophical position is not in direct alignment with ours… but does that mean we do not include ourselves to sit at the table with the different groups that are involved?  This is a question we will seek to answer when we take office.  We will do our due diligence, find out how the ICA has benefited from being a member, talk to members like yourself in an open forum from a pragmatic, objective viewpoint, and make a thought out choice of whether to continue or discontinue the ICA's involvement in the WFC.

Question 3. The ICA is a member of the Chiropractic Summit whose focus is on third party pay and gaining PHYSICAN status.  Are you in agreement with the mission of the Summit and if not will you work to remove the ICA's involvement with it?

McLean/Oberstein Response:

The Summit's mission statement contains some positive points, but we are not in favor of using the term "Chiropractic Physician".  The Summit is not living up to its promise because it is avoiding the hard (important) questions in an attempt to perpetuate more meetings, calling its usefulness into question.  Getting leaders of any group together can produce great results when there is commonality.  If the direction continues where nothing is being accomplished, it would be our desire to remove our involvement.  But if there were positive results gained from participating, we would look to stay part of it.

Question 4. The ICA is working closely with the ACA in the area of their pediatric councils despite the recent disparaging statements of the ACA about the ICA Program. Despite the ACA rescinding their statement, why is the ICA working with an organization that is opposed to it in so many ways? Are you in support of these efforts and if not what will you do to stop the ICA efforts in this area?

McLean/Oberstein Response:

We have asked ourselves the very same questions.  When you have a partner, and that partner unprovokingly says disparaging statements about your efforts which directly reflects upon the organization, that is something that we cannot stand for.  We know there is a large faction of the ACA that thinks and acts just like the ICA, and we scratch our heads wondering why they are not with our organization.  Then there are those in the ACA that represent the exact opposite of what we stand for.  We can accept them for their viewpoints without agreeing with them, but we would never go into business with them, unless we were both fighting the same fight politically and it was in OUR best interest.

Question 5.  A representative of the ICA recently signed a document agreeing to a change in the CCE Standards to include “without unnecessary drugs and surgery” the emphasis is on “unnecessary”. Would you have signed on to this if you had been representing the ICA at this meeting?

McLean/Oberstein Response:

The ICA representative, Steve Welsh, who is running for reelection as the ICA Secretary/Treasurer, did not have Board authorization to sign on behalf of the ICA.  The ICA Board unanimously rejected this "CCE Consensus Document" at its next Board meeting, within days.  Dr. Welsh still believes it was the right thing to do.  Our entire Slate- Drs. Mike McLean, Ron Oberstein, Selina Sigafoose-Jackson, Sharon Gorman and John Bueler believe it was a disastrous mistake, and a costly setback for the ICA's efforts at CCE Reform.

Question 6. What is your plan for the ICA and the members it serves beyond increasing membership, fighting the CCE and trying to stop drugs from getting into chiropractic? 

McLean/Oberstein Response:

First of all, the points in your question are what we plan to do... and we feel that we will accomplish them all.  Growing the ICA back to prominence takes more than just phoning doctors or putting an ad in a magazine.  Like rebuilding any company or organization, the ICA must first revisit its Vision Statement and get crystal clear on its Core Values and what it stands for.  Once that is accomplished, everything the ICA says and does needs to be congruent to those Core Values and Vision Statement.  In addition, we need to create VALUE for our members, and we need to make the ICA a place where Chiropractors know what they are getting and serve them in more ways than just political.  If elected, the Ticket of McLean, Oberstein, Sigafoose-Jackson, Gorman and Bueler are dedicated to Reviving and Renewing the ICA. We are willing to make the changes needed without compromising the founding values of the ICA.