HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of Americans insured by Highmark Inc. are about to have some of their medical treatments decided by a computer program, rather than their doctor or therapist, according to a professional healthcare association in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association (PCA) today warned Highmark customers that the company is changing coverage for physical medicine services, which include chiropractic, physical and occupational therapy treatments starting September 1, 2012. Healthcare consumers and professionals are urging the state insurance department to prevent the controversial program from being implemented.
Highmark's usage of the new software program, known as the Physical Medicine Management Program (PMMP), is at the heart of the devastating changes being made by the insurer. The computer program will begin making the treatment decisions for patients, rather than the doctor or therapist who actually examined the patient and made the diagnosis.
"This is a chilling snapshot of the future of healthcare in America, and one of the most egregious violations of a patient's right to choice as we've seen," said Dr. Daniel Schatzberg, President of the PCA, which represents more than a thousand chiropractors in Pennsylvania. "Doctors and therapists who are actually seeing the patient will no longer have control over that patient's treatment. Instead, a computer algorithm will decide if a patient is even eligible for treatment, and if they are, how and when they will be treated. '1984' has truly come to healthcare, thanks to the questionable business practices of Highmark."
Find more information about Highmark's PMMP at www.pennchiro.com.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association