A new policy submitted by United Healthcare denies those suffering from headaches to be treated with Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT), one of the main treatment techniques used by chiropractors world wide. This policy effectively limits their members the freedom to treat their headaches without the use of drugs.
UnitedHealthcare (UHC),a for-profit managed healthcare company ranked as #5 in the US on the Fortune 500 is the largest healthcare company in the world by revenue $184 billion (2016). UHC cites SMT as a treatment for headaches as being “unproven and/or not medically necessary”. In a recent letter to UHC President and CEO Dan Schumacher, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), along with the Colorado Chiropractic Association, calls the policy flawed as they willingly chose to exclude valuable research that would oppose any “motive” in making this determination. Furthermore, this is not UHCs first attempt at making this policy. In 2008, UHC tried to deny coverage of SMT for headaches however later reversed its decision due to evidence provided by the ACA and others.
Along with all the legal, political, and financial red tape that goes with new policies such as this, it brings a greater question to light. How is the largest healthcare company in the world changing the way millions of Americans are able to treat their own health and bodies and also how individuals think about the providers who choose to use non-drug therapies? The Bloomberg 2017 Global Health Index ranks the USA as number 34 on the list of healthiest countries despite it being the country that spends the most money on healthcare. Certainly the most common choices Americans make end about their health end up being the most expensive routes.
While we certainly encourage you to contact UHC to oppose this new policy, we would also like for you to think twice about the information you might be provided in regards to your health. It may seem to be an easier alternative to take medicine for a headache since it is just a temporary inconvenience, but what is your body REALLY telling you is going on? Taking care of the body as a whole and treating these small whispers before the body begins to shout louder is going to make you a healthier person and likely save money in the long run.
Supporting a small business like Canyon Chiropractic Center in Boulder, Colorado is one step towards redirecting the narrative on how this country looks at healthcare and wellness. If you haven’t tried chiropractic care for your headaches or other health needs in general, we ask that you consider speaking with one of our doctors and seeing the difference for yourself.
After all, shouldn’t you be treated by what makes sense instead of what’s popular?