Insurer uses unfair payment practices, chiropractors allege

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona's copay requirements are unreasonably high and, consequently, are driving chiropractors in the state out of business.

The Arizona Chiropractic Society says Blue Cross isn't complying with the state's chiropractic insurance equality law since changing its reimbursement practices for chiropractic visits. Arizona's largest private insurer pays $44 per visit--of which the patient must pay $40--and only allows seven chiropractic visits per year, reports The Arizona Republic.

In contrast, Blue Cross last year provided $85 in reimbursements for chiropractic services, according to the West Valley News. Decreasing its reimbursements from $85 to $4 has forced 130 chiropractors out of business or to move out of state.

Janis Raynak, Blue Cross director of litigation services, didn't dispute the chiropractic society's specific figures; however, she said coverage and payment provisions vary according to policies. She added that the insurer covers medically necessary chiropractic services while trying to control rising healthcare costs, reports the Associated Press. "We believe chiropractors are an important part of care for people," Raynak said. "We're just trying to ensure it's delivered according to the contract and for every policy that we're not paying for things that aren't included."

The Arizona Chiropractic Society wants Gov. Jan Brewer to make the state Department of Insurance Director Christina Urias enforce the chiropractic insurance law or appoint someone else in her place who will enforce it, the Republic notes.

To learn more:
- read the Associated Press article
- check out the Arizona Republic article
- see the West Valley News article

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