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Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters
Press Release 10-26-2005

The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP), an evidence-gathering council created by multiple national chiropractic organizations in 1995 has recently been asked once again if our members have relationships with third party payers and whether there is risk of a conflict of interest that might threaten the integrity of the Best Practices project.

Those on the Council are volunteers who have put countless hours toward building a best practices evidence base. CCGPP members all have our day jobs with nearly everyone in private practice, but one of our advantages as a diversified group is the breadth of experience of our leadership, so naturally some of our now 135 members and advisors have worked with third party payers in the past and a few do currently. Some have co-authored articles with individuals who work for third-party payers. We represent the broad spectrum across the profession, as would be expected.

CCGPP needs to have as much input into the third party payer system as is possible, and it was our intention to have a limited number of people who do have relationships with payers from the outset. In fact, input from all stakeholders is not only desirable, it is mandated by all international document evaluation instruments in order for whatever we write to be considered valid. We have members from education, from other health care professions, representing consumers and other perspectives as required.

In order to produce an effective best practices product, one that can be used as a mechanism to protect the profession against abuse by third party payors, we must embrace the fact that third party payors are bona fide stakeholders in this process.

We see this diversity as a strength as the best practices document is implemented. Anticipating the need for objectivity as part of the best practices process, it has been the policy of CCGPP since its inception to have an ongoing screening process in place to eliminate any conflict of interest. That process remains in place today and is always open to inspection. All members of CCGPP have signed conflicts of interest, screening affidavits, are aware of potential conflicts, and we are very comfortable in saying that we feel that there are no conflicts of interest.

Members of CCGPP want to see this project succeed for the entire profession. Chiropractic has needed to identify a strong evidence base for many years to work from and to publicize to third party payers and to other professions and that is what CCGPP is assembling.

We are not building guidelines or any other sort of restrictive publication. CCGPP is only providing information that will expose other groups and prospective patients to the advantages of chiropractic and to help chiropractors become more effective as they search for information for their patients.

In 1993, with the Daubert1 case, the courtroom defense of expert opinion has changed significantly. Evidence now is the rule, according to this and a number of succeeding court decisions. Since a number of CCGPP experts also represent chiropractors in malpractice cases as well as regulatory agency cases, we are aware of the dire necessity for a knowledge base of this type on which we can depend, since this evidence may also assist in this defense when chiropractors can be shown to be treating according to established evidence.

1DAUBERT, et al. v. MERRELL DOW PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. certiorari to the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit No. 92-102. Argued March 30, 1993 -- Decided June 28, 1993. This case essentially stated that ”scientific testimony requires a determination that science exists.”

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