COVID-19 Updates: Essential Business and Chiropractic Practice

The NYSCA is working to remain vigilant at helping members understand and address the COVID-19 pandemic and remain responsive to updates and changes as this situation continues to develop.

The New York State Chiropractic Association recognizes the gravity of the crisis regarding the COVID-19 virus and the need to function under the state of emergency declared by Governor Cuomo.  Per the Governor’s guidance, essential businesses may remain open, which has now been updated, includes "emergency chiropractic services".  While remaining open per “essential” business guidelines is possible and permissible, it remains an individual decision, based on your professional assessment of the need and risk of continuing or closing your practice.  Use your best clinical judgment, common sense, and an eye for public health in determining and rendering "emergency chiropractic services".

We have been able to achieve a measure of clarity regarding NY's updated language including "Emergency Chiropractic Services".  We have been able to ascertain that the best interpretation of his language means, urgent and necessary chiropractic care.  It is the duty of all professionals to exercise their best judgment. We trust you will use yours and continue to place the needs of your patients and community paramount.

We understand the role of the Chiropractic profession in an integrated health care system and its place in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders that would otherwise add to the burden on a medical system already in danger of being overwhelmed. Musculoskeletal conditions are the second leading cause of visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments. At a time when hospital and urgent care facilities are being overwhelmed with people in need of life-saving care, Doctors of Chiropractic can provide urgent and necessary care, reducing the need for these patients to utilize critical resources.

Further, urgent and necessary chiropractic can serve those who are on front lines ensuring that they can keep going - healthcare and hospital staff can continue their duties, police, fire and first responders, parents or those who live independently that can’t perform basic functions.  

Those providing patient care need to follow recommendations from the CDC and DOH for symptom recognition, referral of suspected COVID-19 cases, sanitary procedures and do everything possible to ensure a safe treatment environment that limits the spread of COVID-19.  Examples include, spacing of patient visits to avoid or significantly limit in office contact is most appropriate.  Protective measures for staff include operating with only necessary staff and removal of items that may spread the virus should be performed.  Routine disinfecting of common surfaces should be repeated throughout the day.

There is a need for your service to public health. Non-essential patient care must be delayed until after this crisis passes.  Emergency chiropractic care including urgent and acute patients can be provided during this time.  

As always, emphasis and education on optimal health, wellness, and active lifestyles is one way to assist individuals and communities in this time of need. This may be performed via telemedicine allowing physical distancing.  For patients seeking this type of care, please utilize your expertise in nutrition, lifestyle counseling, and exercise-based approaches to facilitate optimal health and function via diet, exercise, stress-management, and self-care.

As more resources are released in the coming days and weeks, they will be cataloged here:  Together, we will overcome this crisis.

Stay healthy, remain vigilant, and thank you for continuing to put the needs of patients and community first!

Updated April 9, 2020

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