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Veteran's Rights and Chiropractic Care Benefits

Veteran's Rights and Chiropractic Care Benefits - El Paso Chiropractor

In the past few years, in acknowledgement of the many health benefits chiropractic care provides, a permanent chiropractic care benefit was established for both active duty military personnel and veterans. Currently, there are doctors of chiropractic, or DCs, at 60 military bases around the nation, nevertheless, according to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report, solely 54 percent of men and women in active service have reasonably been recognized as eligible for accessing their benefit and receiving chiropractic treatment. Although many chiropractic services have become available to many military service personnel and veterans, it still remains a necessity to further increase chiropractic access, contribution, and availability for the individuals that most need it. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs policy ensures that veterans can be admitted to receiving chiropractic care. This service is available according to the availability of a chiropractic doctor on staff and, if there isn’t a chiropractor on staff, a veteran can ask for a referral to a chiropractic doctor located outside the organization. While a referral from a physician is necessary, the veteran has certain appeal rights.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, established the process of supplying veterans with an easier connection to chiropractic services by placing doctors of chiropractic on staff at VA hospitals. The VA has contributed chiropractic care at approximately 40 major Veterans Affairs treatment facilities within the United States. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of U.S. veterans, however, do not have access to chiropractic treatment as the VA still needs to provide full chiropractic care at approximately 120 of its other major medical facilities.

When it comes to these services though, chiropractic care is actually part of the common medical benefits package available to all veterans. As a result, Veterans Affairs should provide a proper availability of these services to veterans by having an on-site chiropractic clinic, and by sending veterans to a private chiropractor using the “fee-basis” approach, where the VA pays the bill.

There are currently approximately 40 Veterans Affairs facilities with chiropractic clinics. Over the past years, thousands of veterans have received chiropractic care at VA clinics as well as through the fee-basis procedure. Many VA primary care providers are regularly considering the utilization of chiropractic adjustments and manual manipulations as an option for their patients. As an active duty military member or a veteran, if you feel the need to seek chiropractic treatment for any possible injuries or conditions that may have developed during active duty, discuss your options with your PCP and explain why you think chiropractic treatment can be a good treatment option for your particular problem.

An official VA document, which is designed specifically for individuals interested in searching for chiropractic treatment, can be found here. This document is to be shared with healthcare providers in the field and/or at the medical site.

As an active service member or veteran currently interested in chiropractic care, several basic considerations may apply to you. Chiropractic care is an effective type of treatment for many types of injuries and conditions, most specifically focusing on spinal complications, with the use of chiropractic adjustments, manual manipulations, and occasionally, the use of physical activity and exercise to speed up an individual’s rehabilitation process. Additionally, chiropractic treatment is a natural, medication-free procedure that offers effective results for many individuals.

Chiropractic Care for Older Adults

It’s important to note that chiropractic services are part of the standard Veterans Affairs benefits and no VA facility should otherwise inform you that they do not provide chiropractic care. Several veterans have faced difficulties where their VA is reluctant to send them for fee-basis chiropractic care and have encountered challenges to simply receive a referral for chiropractic treatment. Please be aware that this is against Veterans Affairs policy and does not go along with their own stated mission to be “veteran centered”.

The VA determines health care eligibility based on a variety of circumstances, including the type and grade of military injuries, military service, and a veteran’s financial status.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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For Additional Information:

El Paso VA Health Care System

Tri West Healthcare Alliance
Tri West Veteran Sevices
Tri West Provider Forms

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*