How to get a chiropractic referral?
Chiropractic services are part of the standard medical benefits package available to all veterans.
VA facilities can choose to provide chiropractic care in two ways:
By having an on-site chiropractic clinic
By sending veterans to a private chiropractor using the “fee-basis” approach where the VA pays the bill
Currently there are 40 VA 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 routinely discussing chiropractic care as an option with their patients. If your PCP has not discussed this with you, bring it up and explain why you think chiropractic treatment can be a good option for your particular problem. Download the official VA document designed for patients interested in exploring chiropractic treatment. This document is to be shared with healthcare providers in the field and/or at the medical site.
The following are reasons to consider chiropractic treatment, and some of these may apply to you:
I have tried it before and it worked for me
I have a friend or relative with similar problems and chiropractic care helped them
I prefer to avoid unnecessary pain medication for my problem
Chiropractic treatments such as spinal manipulation have as much scientific evidence as NSAIDs, opiods, muscle relaxants and exercise for managing back pain
Chiropractic treatments such as spinal manipulation are part of current VA/DoD guidelines on treating back pain.
Remember that chiropractic services are part of your standard VA benefits and no VA facility can tell you that they “do not provide” chiropractic care. Some veterans have found that their VA is very reluctant to send them for fee-basis chiropractic care, and have required that they jump through many hoops to get a referral for chiropractic. This is against VA policy and does not go along with VA’s own stated mission to be “veteran-centered.”
You should be very concerned if your PCP refers you for fee-basis chiropractic care and someone else at the facility denies that referral.