Tone Deaf Colorado Board Votes to Maintain CCE Language in Chiropractic Rule Despite Opposition

News Staff
Tone Deaf Colorado Board Votes to Maintain CCE Language in Chiropractic Rule Despite Opposition

Questions Arise Over the Board's Decision Amidst Strong Stakeholder Disagreement

In a significant decision that has rippled through the chiropractic community, the Colorado Board of Chiropractic Examiners, voted to adopt the controversial language naming the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) in one of the state’s chiropractic rules. This decision comes despite an overwhelming tide of stakeholder comments opposing the adoption due to its specific mention of a private corporation in the rule.

CLICK HERE to view all stakeholders comments

Board's Justification and Missed Alternatives

The Board justified its decision by stating the necessity to comply with statutory references to CCE. However, it's crucial to highlight that the Board had viable alternatives. They could have chosen not to adopt the language, considering the rule's potential monopolistic implications. Alternatively, the Board could have stricken the CCE language from the rule and presented this to the Attorney General, explaining their rationale and allowing the AG to address the issue.

The Colorado Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform (COPRRR) previously addressed this issue in regards to naming the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners in the statute. COPRRR completed an evaluation of the Colorado State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (Board) as part of their Sunset Review of the Chiropractic Statute and one of their recommendations was to repeal statutory references to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

According to the State of Colorado: "Naming specific organizations in statute can be problematic."

The State goes on to explain:

Organizations can change their names, they can merge with other organizations or they cease operations entirely. More problematic, however, is the fact that by naming organizations in statute, the General Assembly cedes the state’s ability to deviate from the standards established by those organizations. Additionally, these organizations are not subject to the state’s rulemaking or transparency requirements. Thus, private organizations can establish state certification standards with very little public input, transparency or state participation.

But the State of Colorado didn't stop there. The State actually got to the core of the problem, one laid out by the Supreme Court of the United States in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC

"Naming NBCE creates a presumption that this is the examination to be selected. As such, the statute grants NBCE a competitive advantage over any other examination."

CLICK HERE for more on that story

For unknown reasons the Board kept the CCE language in the statute and now is furthering the interests of the CCE's monopoly in the state.  The board's decision to use this CCE language in the rule, despite the overwhelming stakeholder opposition, their own state's actual policy and the potential for monopolistic implications, raises critical questions about the board's motivations and its commitment to maintaining a free and diverse chiropractic educational environment.

Notably, the board had alternatives to this decision. They could have chosen not to adopt the rule citing the problematic nature of naming a private corporation (CCE) in the rule and based that on COPRRR's previous decision on NBCE. Alternatively, they could have removed the CCE language from the rule and deferred to the Attorney General for a decision, explaining their rationale. This would have demonstrated a commitment to addressing the concerns raised by the chiropractic community regarding educational freedom and the avoidance of monopolistic practices in the profession and the state of Colorado.

Membership and Potential Motivations

Some of the chiropractors on the Colorado regulatory board are ACA members, an organization known for its support of the CCE. And those that aren't ACA members are engaged in practices that the ACA generally advocates for that are outside the lane of traditional chiropractic.

For example, the President of the Colorado Board is Jill Hutter DC. Hutter is a member of The American Academy of Chiropractic Physicians. This organization is now called the Academy of Advanced Practice Chiropractic Medicine (AAPCM).

On their website the AAPCM promotes the claim that through CCE accredited schools there are "multiple pathways through CCE accredited institutions for advanced scope of practice." Advanced Scope of Practice means the uses of drugs by chiropractors. The AAPCM also promotes and pushes "Modeling of legislative initiatives for expansion of chiropractic licensure" to include drugs. So committed to the practice of prescribing drugs in chiropractic Hutter received her Advanced Chiropractic Physician designation from New Mexico where the APC movement started. It appears she intends to bring this scope expansion to Colorado.

CLICK HERE for more on the AAPCM

Michael Simone DC is not only a former ACA District 6 Governor and Past President of the ACA, but also known for his stance on chiropractic scope expansion to include drugs and his opposition to subluxation-focused care. Simone, a member of the Anti-Subluxation Special Interest Group: The West Hartford Group (WHG), has openly criticized vitalism and the concept of spinal subluxation in chiropractic teachings.

CLICK HERE for more about Simone

The ACA is currently lobbying Congress to pass their Medicare Scope Expansion and Drug bill which if passed would expand the scope of practice in Medicare to each state's scope. This is the reason for the state by state push to expand the chiropractic scope of practice to include drugs.  

According to his website Sergio Rocafort DC another Colorado Board member: "holds active memberships with the ACA". 

All of this raises serious questions about the Board's motivations in not advocating for freedom in chiropractic education, licensure, and practice.

This composition of the Board brings to light potential biases in their decision-making process. The ACA and AAPCM's stances, particularly on subluxation, x-rays, scope expansion and drugs, seems to align with the Board's decision to uphold the rule naming CCE. The ACA has long advocated for scope expansion and the AAPCM clearly indicates on its website that scope expansion is possible through the CCE. This leads to a pressing question: Why has the Board, with ACA-aligned members and a President that wants to bring drugs into chiropractic, chosen not to stand up for broader educational and practice freedoms in chiropractic?

Implications for the Chiropractic Community

The heavy representation of members on the board that want scope expansion, coupled with their decision to adopt the CCE language, leads to questions about their motivations. Are they truly representing the diverse interests of the chiropractic community in Colorado, or are they influenced by a narrower agenda that aligns more closely with the Chiropractic Cartel's policies and views?

This decision, and the composition of the board, calls for a re-evaluation of how regulatory bodies in chiropractic are formed and how they make decisions that impact the entire profession - why is just one trade association so over represented on the board? It emphasizes the need for broader representation and consideration of diverse viewpoints within such boards to ensure that decisions made are in the best interest of the profession as a whole, rather than serving specific factions or ideologies.

Next Steps

The recent decision by the Colorado Board of Chiropractic Examiners to adopt language specifically naming the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) will now proceed to the Attorney General for review. This crucial next step offers a vital opportunity for stakeholders to express their concerns - again. It is imperative for the chiropractic community and other concerned parties to prepare to make their voices heard to the Attorney General.

Stakeholders should articulate clearly that the board’s decision could be seen as a serious misstep, potentially compromising the integrity and impartiality of its decision-making process. Highlighting the potential conflict of interest and the monopolistic implications of naming a private corporation in the rule is crucial. This is a pivotal moment to advocate for the principles of fair practice and educational diversity in chiropractic, underscoring the need for decisions that reflect the best interests of the profession and public health. Stakeholder involvement at this stage is not only important but necessary to ensure that a balanced and fair approach is maintained in the regulation of chiropractic education and practice.

The chiropractic community in Colorado and beyond must remain vigilant and engaged in these discussions, advocating for the principles that uphold the integrity and diversity of chiropractic practice.

McCoy Press