Arizona Chiropractic Society eNewsletter

Breaking News      

April 12, 2011Newsletter Subtitle

Month Year
ACS Members benefiting from major additions to ACS webpage 

The first change has been a flow of new patients from the ACS search engine. Then there is the Auto Accident Medical Legal page which is a virtual PI low speed impact course specific to Arizona. Then check out the 58 very special member benefit documents, services and products, and  you will see that ACS membership more than pays for itself. 


To gain full access to all pages and documents, all you have to do is join or log in if you are a member. Join today and streamline your practice while supporting our lawsuit to restore insurance equality. It's as easy as clicking a button on the webpage which directs you to a secure online server. You can also donate in any amount to support the cause. Even $10-$25 per month makes a difference.


Members can always contact Dr. Immerman for the most current information and for personal assistance. Dr. Immerman does not see patients and works for ACS members full time. He has been licensed since 1980, practiced full time for 20 years, and has been President and Executive Director of ACS since its inception in 1991. Dr. Immerman is here to help you today. Just send an email to or call (602) 368-9496.

Quick Links

Read entire full color PDF with breaking news about the ADOI lawsuit, BCBS, ASH, the Board, insurance equality and much more by clicking on this link.

Website with Full Info about ACS Attorney David Abney

ACS Four Point Plan to Deal With ASH

The Arizona Chiropractic Society is here to serve you!

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3515 E. Carol Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85028
VOICE 602.368.9496
FAX 866.567.6762


Alan M. Immerman, D.C., ACS President and Executive Director
Alan M. Immerman, D.C., ACS President and Executive Director


     The California Department of Managed Health Care has just released a formal letter documenting that it has initiated a "non-routine" investigation into American Specialty Health (ASH) regarding possible violations of the state Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) law. To read the letter, go to and scroll down to the section on Breaking News.


     ASH is a subsidiary of ASHN which is a licensee of the California Department of Managed Care and so subject to the state MLR. This law requires plans including ASH to spend at least 85% (in special circumstances 75%) of revenues on patient care, and no more than 15% (special cases 25%) on overhead and profit.


     According to ASH financial statements which are posted on the ACS webpage next to the California letter, the ASH MLR is approximately 50% which appears to be a clear violation of the California MLR. It is for this reason that a "non-routine" investigation was launched immediately upon receipt of complaints from ACS.


     The outcome of the investigation will be reported by ACS as soon as it becomes available. It appears inevitable that ASH will be found in serious violation and ordered to pay fines and refunds.


     To inform you about the MLR, ACS has written an article entitled: The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Law and How ASH is Doomed. This report is posted on the ACS webpage at,-ISSUES-AND-LITIGATION.php, #3.


     When ASH is forced to spend no more than 15% to 25% on overhead and profit instead of the current 50%, much more money will be available to pay to doctors for their services rather than to the many "babysitters" hired to oversee the treatment of every chiropractic patient. This is as it should be.


     It is wrong that 50% of premium dollars is being spent on overhead and profit and not patient care, and this is why laws were passed to ban such outrageous percentages. Much more of this money must and will be spent on patient care thanks to the complaints filed by ACS and the upcoming enforcement action by the California Department of Managed Care. ASH will be unrecognizable when it can only spend 15% rather than 50% on overhead and profit. Prepare for major change, brought to you by ACS. If you are not a member, please join or donate to continue to make this work possible.



Good morning Senator Gray,


I noted from Dr. Immerman's newsletter that there may be a misperception that I have refused to provide you with the 20 subpoenas you requested. Actually, I am still in the process of preparing the package.  I apologize that I was unable to respond immediately; however, we have a very small staff with a substantial work load.  To date, the subpoenas have been pulled and copied and patient information has been redacted due to confidentially requirements. I have drafted an explanation for each subpoena, and have sent my draft to the Office of the Attorney General for review to make certain that I do not violate any confidentiality laws. I expect to have the package completed by next week and will have it delivered to your office.



Patrice Pritzl

Board of Chiropractic Examiners


Dr. Immerman's Response:


Interesting. I wonder if Director Pritzl really intended to send over the subpoenas before the newsletter was sent out. In any case, they will be very revealing. We all can't wait to see them. It never should have taken her this long to simply make copies of 20 subpoenas. Also, there was no need to redact names since they are all public documents. I believe that is a phony argument and a stall tactic.



ACS has killed the Chiropractic Board's effort to pass legislation which would have given it the authority to raise chiropractor's relicensure fees by an unlimited amount without having to gain the approval of any independent authority such as the Legislature or the Governor's Office. The bill, HB 2111, failed to move out of the Republican Senate Caucus for a vote by the full Senate due to a hold placed by Sen. Linda Gray and so died this year.


The bill had passed the Senate Health Committee by one vote after ACS testified in opposition and the AAC testified that it was neutral on the bill. Then, Sen. Linda Gray demanded that the Board supply the last 20 subpoenas sent out to chiropractors in response to complaints filed. Her intent was to see if the Board is still sending out broad and open-ended subpoenas ("fishing expeditions") in every case or if the Board has begun to comply with the recommendations from the Auditor General to only send out narrow subpoenas pertaining exclusively to the issues raised in the complaint. For example, if the complaint only mentions fees, the Auditor General stated the Board should only subpoena records regarding fees and not also subpoena clinical records such as x-rays and progress notes.


Sen. Gray, a member of the Health Committee, asked Patrice Pritzl, Executive Director of the Board, to supply the 20 subpoenas as part of her investigation. Ms. Pritzl, in a rare act of defiance to a state legislator, refused to comply with the request and instead asked that HB 2111 be pulled from the voting calendar and all further consideration. This was done and the bill is now dead as a result. Clearly, Ms. Pritzl did not want the Legislature to see that the Board has elected to ignore the dictates of the Auditor General and is still routinely sending out broad and open-ended subpoenas in every case and wasting the state's resources.


The AAC, as usual, could not stand up to the Board and just say "no." In the Senate Health Committee, the AAC's position on HB 2111 was "neutral," not "opposed." ACS was opposed. Once again, the AAC proved its deep alliance with the Board. The AAC has never and will never protect the profession from the excesses of the Chiropractic Board. That has been and will continue to be solely the responsibil
ity and mission of ACS. We are very pleased to report victory again this year, and thank Sen. Linda Gray for her part in this achievement. The profession did not need the Board flooded with loads of extra money to hire more investigators to pour over doctors' progress notes, exam forms, x-rays, treatment plans, etc. looking for minor errors to prosecute.


ACS argued to the Legislature that if the Board complied with the Auditor General, it would save so much money that the increase in fees would not be necessary. The fishing expeditions result in the Board unnecessarily combing through scores of doctors' files looking for violations unrelated to the original complaint. Some minor violation is almost always found leading to generation of a new complaint and Board proceedings with disciplinary or non-disciplinary action.


For extensive information about ACS's effort to reform the Board over the past five years, read the information on the webpage devoted to the Chiropractic Board at Chiropractic Board reform is one of the major missions of ACS.




Dear AAC Board Members and Members of the Association:


This is exactly why I'm not a member of your association. How long are you going to sing "Let's Kumbaya" with these people while our profession continues to suffer? I think you should join and give support to ACS in this lawsuit effort. The insurance companies will not and have never worked with us on anything. They continue to break the law and you guys just say oh it is ok we will try to live on the table scraps. 


I just had a patient that was under PT for frozen shoulder for 2.5 months and they helped her increase her abduction by 3% in 2.5 months. I saw her 3 times and increased it by 75%.  Guess who the insurance company is going to pay? That is right, the PT and he literally did nothing for her. Guess who did not get paid? That's right, me the chiropractor who helped her BIG TIME. But as far as I'm concerned you, the AAC, have done NOTHING for this profession and continue to be inept when it comes to helping our profession. WAKE up they will NOT negotiate with us PERIOD. Join the fight NOW!!!!!


Our income has dropped by 30% that is what your worthless negotiating has done for our profession... Please stop negotiating you are killing me. If you continue maybe you can drop it another 30%. Do you see I have school loans and bills to pay, I have not been around since the stone ages like most of the AAC board members when I was raping the insurance companies, now I'm paying the price and you couldn't care less. All you are worried about is having the prestige of being a part of the AAC and are so happy to feed off the scraps on the floor while our profession is being strangled illegally. 


So if you DON'T care then keep negotiating so I can finally go get a job at Circle K and you can make your insurance buddies happy and no one will have any chiropractic care at all. You are doing a great job of negotiating all of us out of business. You are as an association INSANE. How's that, well I will define it for you. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results = INSANITY. 


Sincerely disgusted and amazed at your lack of effectiveness,


T. Steve Van Laecken, DC. MUAC, DAAMLP



     Litigation is expensive but without it there is no hope of restoring insurance equality. We know that right now your cash flow is decreased because of current tactics by insurance companies. The only hope of reversing the status quo is to gain enforcement of our excellent insurance equality law. The only way to accomplish this goal is to get a judge to order ADOI to enforce the law. This takes a lawsuit which means lawyers and money.


     Be smart and invest in this lawsuit to restore health insurance coverage for chiropractic. There are multiple ways to help. You can either join as a member or donate in any amount by going to www.AZChiropractor.organd clicking on the Become a Member Online or Donate Today Online! buttons in the upper left corner of every page. You will be directed to our online secure server for your transaction. Act today and safeguard your future. This lawsuit is literally your only hope. Even $25 to $50 per month donations are meaningful and there is no doctor in Arizona that cannot afford this amount. Everyone needs to participate in this effort in order for us to have a chance at winning. It's  now or never. This is truly D-Day for chiropractic in Arizona.