they can never take away our freedom!
But we can give it away.
Bob Braile, D.C., F.I.C.A., President, I.C.A.
One of the most dynamic and moving movies of the decade was the movie starring Mel Gibson, named "Braveheart". In the movie Braveheart, Mel Gibsons character, William Wallace fought for the freedom of his people despite some of the heads of his own peoples clans wanting to preserve their wealth and standing. In one scene Mel Gibson rides up in front of his assorted countrymen and convinces them to fight for their freedom. In what may be one of the more moving scenes, he convinces them that no matter what else they may lose he yells out, "They can never take away our freedom!"
As the movie goes on William Wallace is betrayed by the heads of the clans from his own country who strike a deal with the English, the very people who were the oppressors William Wallace wanted to fight and win freedom from. Despite the efforts of William Wallace to fight for freedom for his people, a group of clan leaders decided their status and short term gains were more important than the long term goal of freedom. So they betrayed William Wallace to the English for small increases in their personal fortunes. The parallels between this movie and chiropractic today are inescapable.
Today our profession continues our 100 year fight for our freedom. We fight for equal inclusion into all programs to allow maximum access to the people we wish to serve. We fight for our own unique identity so the public can clearly understand and want our services. We fight for our own freedom to practice chiropractic and offer the greatness of chiropractic to everyone who wants it. We fight to prevent absorption and elimination by the larger and more powerful medical industry. As a parallel to the English in the movie Braveheart, the large oppressive group that has continually tried to contain and eliminate chiropractic has always been the Medical Community.
Over the history of mankind a larger force eliminated many a culture. One of the most effective tactics to wipe out a culture was elimination of that peoples language. In chiropractic we have our own language. We have a unique set of terms and descriptions that clearly represent what we do and why. Unfortunately, for too long we have been forced to live under the tyranny of a language that was created by those who would seek to destroy us, the medical profession. For the past few decades we have been slaves to a coding system that barely, and inaccurately conferred what we did and who we are. These codes were not written by us or controlled by us.
For the first time our profession has the opportunity to claim our birthright and define our care and ourselves in our own terms. The "Council on Chiropractic Codification" (CCC) has been formed with representation from across every area of our profession. We are now on the path to doing what the dentists have done a few short years ago in declaring their freedom from the medical monopoly by creating their own procedural code book.
Unfortunately, as in the movie of Braveheart, certain leadership elements within the our profession have secured a deal with the AMA to add four codes to the AMAs Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) book to represent the entire professions work. The reality is that not only are these codes not our language, but they also are not exclusive to us. Any type of physician can use these new codes. The name for these services as they appear in the AMAs codebook is "Chiropractic Manipulative Treatment" (CMT). These codes do not adequately represents the specificity, expertise, principle, value, or history of the chiropractic adjustment.
In the movie Braveheart, the heads of the clans struck a deal to betray William Wallace. Has not this same thing happened when certain elements in our own profession have gone behind the backs of the profession and secured a deal with the AMA? Was the entire profession asked to participate in the development of these codes, or were we just told they are good for us and will make us more money for now.
Because these new CMT codes are generic and not specific to chiropractors (even though they say chiropractic), all health professionals can use these codes and fulfill any state or national requirement requiring chiropractic services to be offered. The problem is that now with these codes these services can be rendered by any physician and do not have to be performed by a chiropractor!
In the hopes of securing short-term gains we have jeopardized our long-term freedom. The new CMT codes are the property of the AMA. They own them, they control them even though these codes say chiropractic. Unfortunatly,even after the newly formed Council on Chiropractic Codification brings in the entire profession for consensus and completes its work and finalizes an entire set of chiropractic specific codes, the medical profession will still own the right to say they can do chiropractic and use their CMT codes.
The "Council on Chiropractic Codification" (CCC) intends not to work in the shadows of anonymity. The CCC will have open dialog from the entire profession where every interested chiropractor can participate and have their voice heard. Through the use of the Internet, mailings and open meetings nothing will be done behind the backs of the profession. We are determined to secure our future through our own language and codes.
William Wallace suffered terribly and was killed in his fight for freedom. Many in our professions history also suffered ridicule, prejudice, and many were even imprisoned for their fight for freedom. The spirit of chiropractors to remain separate and distinct in the health care world will overcome any betrayal some may perpetrate. No matter what the medical profession tries to take away in the form of insurance or respect, as long as we continue to serve the people with that service which is unique to us...
they can never take away our FREEDOM !!!
Proud to be... Chiropractic