August 13, 2018—American Chiropractic Association (ACA) President N. Ray Tuck, Jr., DC, released the following statement in response to UnitedHealthcare’s decision to withdraw a recent policy change that denied coverage of manipulative therapy for the treatment of headache:
“The ACA has confirmed that UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has restored its policy in support of coverage for nondrug manipulative therapy for headache treatment. The original change, to deny coverage, was posted online in a revised policy document for manipulative therapy dated Aug. 1.”
In that policy document, titled “Manipulative Therapy,” UHC stated that headache was not a covered condition for chiropractors to treat, arguing that “Vernon et al. (2009) report that only 2 clinical trials of spinal manipulation for adult tension type headache have been reported, neither of which was fully controlled.”
The ACA argued against this forcefully in the rebuttal submitted by Tuck, noting eight key papers published in peer-reviewed journals that found significant support for manipulative therapy to treat headache. In addition, Tuck noted that chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy offers patients both clinical and cost benefits, while also being safer than other treatments that UHC continues to support.
“We appreciate that UHC weighed the evidence in support of manipulative therapy for headache that ACA provided in its July 23 letter to UHC President Dan Schumacher, and made the determination that patients should have access to this effective, nondrug treatment option,” Tuck said.
The ACA respectfully acknowledged the 40 national and state chiropractic organizations that co-signed the rebuttal, strengthening it, and leading to a successful outcome with UHC to realize “the best possible result on behalf of patients.”
Source: The American Chiropractic Association