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FCA History
FCA's history since 1931 is filled with pivotal legislative victories, consuming legal struggles, personal achievements and fulfilled dreams.
Hundreds of new DCs flock to our great state every year, and become active in the largest state chiropractic association in the U.S. Every year adds new accomplishments to improve access to chiropractic services by Floridians.

The Florida Chiropractic Association was the leadership force which sought and achieved state licensure and regulation of Florida's doctor of chiropractic. Details and historical archives are sketchy, but it was the FCA that doggedly pursued a quality practice environment for the State of Florida

1964 - A traveling PR seminar attracts hundreds of members. The Board of Chiropractic passes Rule No. 2 limiting personal advertising.

1965 - There are 19,551 licensed DCs in the U.S. (MS, LA, NY and MA are the only nonlicensing states.) March is Chiropractic Mattress Month; 12 chiropractic colleges graduate 611 students out of a population of nearly 3,000.

1966 - FCA's first executive director and full-time employee, Bob Bauber, is hired. FCA's first office is established in Orlando; the first spring convention is held in Pensacola; the Florida Posture Queen contest is held at Cypress Gardens; and a wiglet demonstration is held for doctors' wives at the Jacksonville convention.

1967 - The monthly Florida Chiropractor becomes the quarterly Journal of the Florida Chiropractic Association. The ACA develops a standardized practices and procedures manual for proper insurance reporting.

1968 - There are roughly 600 DCs in Florida and 423 FCA members. DCs earn an average of $12,000 a year; Dr. Walter Sligh retires after serving as editor of the FCA Journal for 12 years and Dr. Richard Guenther takes over; and the state of Florida has 43 daily newspapers, 150 weeklies, 25 TV stations, 180 AM and 18 FM radio stations.

1969 - Dr. Ed Williams becomes FCA president and writes the first of thousands of pleas for legislative fundraising dollars. Twenty exhibitors attend the annual convention. Nationally, DCs represent only 4% of all physicians, treat only 2.3% of the population, and only 20% of the population have insurance that covers chiropractic care.


1970 - Dr. Richard Murray becomes FCA's second executive director.

1971 - FCA's 10/10 Club consists of members donating $10/month for 10 months for the new headquarters. The FCA Industrial Relations Commission is formed; 700 people attend the annual convention in St. Pete; a Mobile Educational Unit is purchased for PR use statewide; and Dr. Cecil Foster of Jacksonville, 91 years old and holder of chiropractic license No. 1, is honored at the Cocoa Beach convention. Legislatively Senate Bill 728, the insurance equality bill, passes the Senate; however, the opposition was successful in amending the bill to the point that it was meaningless and of no benefit, so support was pulled.

1972 - Debbie Minor joins FCA as a part-time administrative assistant. Dr. Ed Williams is placed on the FCA payroll and becomes VP of governmental relations. Congress includes chiropractic in Medicare and President Nixon signs it into law. Florida HMOs are created and governed by the Florida Legislature; the annual convention is held at The Playboy Plaza Hotel in Miami Beach and attracts attendees with $16 room rates and Florida's No-Fault car insurance law goes into effect. There are 25,370 active licenses in the U.S., 1,185 active Florida licenses, and 1 DC for every 13,464 Floridians.

1973 - William Trevor's book, In the Public Interest, exposes AMA's conspiratorial plot to destroy chiropractic. Freedom of Choice under the workmen's compensation bill passes the Florida House with vehement opposition from the FMA; and workmen's comp coverage must be provided to all employees.

1974 - During the legislative session, FCA staff mail in excess of 20,000 copies of pro-chiropractic material to the Florida Legislature. There are 655 FCA members; President Nixon earmarks $2 million for chiropractic research under the National Institute of Health; the spring convention in Jacksonville hosts 168 attendees (the largest spring attendance ever); 80 graduates sit for their state board exams and the Council on Chiropractic Education is recognized by the U.S. Commissioner of Education as the accrediting agency for chiropractic colleges in the U.S. Medicaid now includes chiropractic care and acupuncture is legal.

1975 - Chiropractors may perform disability evaluations of Florida retirees. The quarterly Journal of the Florida Chiropractic Association is discontinued due to budgetary constraints, and the FCA Council on Acupuncture is organized. Legislatively HB 1355 passes and gives DCs access to hospital reports of diagnostic X-rays and other lab tests, and the 1974 Malpractice Package passed by the Legislature obtains proper inclusion for DCs.

1976 - Dr. Ed Saunders retires from the Florida State Board of Chiropractic Examiners after serving 25 years and Elaine Carney joins staff as an administrative assistant/ membership services coordinator. Legislatively SB 697 provides that chiropractic services be included in the definition of "comprehensive health-care services" and chiropractic services are included in services provided by HMOs.

1977 - The FCA Newsletter accepts paid advertising for the first time. The outcome to Horowitz v. American Motorist Insurance Co. states, "It is a general rule that a chiropractor is competent to testify in personal injury action as an expert or medical witness, concerning matters within the scope of the profession and practice of chiropractic." Dr. Ronald Harris is the first DC appointed to the Florida Workmen's Compensation Advisory Council, and Paul Lambert becomes FCA's legislative counsel.

1978 - Chiropractic is defined in the Florida State Health Plan as a primary care provider by specific definition. Dr. Vince Lucido is the first chiropractor appointed to the new Governor's Council on Physical Fitness.

1979 - John Culbreath joins the FCA lobby team after serving 12 years in the Florida House of Representatives. DCs may sign school health certificates and provide certification of immunization and Teresa Winfree joins staff as the mailing coordinator.



1980 - Rep. Dennis Jones, a DC from Treasure Island and a former FCA president, is elected to the Florida House of Representatives. Workmen's comp/freedom of health care choice passes. HB 940 is the most difficult piece of legislation the FCA passes because of our nemesis, Associated Industries. HB 940 requires every employer to develop a list of authorized health care providers which must contain at least two DCs; chiropractic access to hospital X-rays and lab reports passes; CA certification passes; and immunity for emergency treatment by volunteer school team physicians including DCs passes. The FCA Sports Injuries certification course is approved by CCE; the New Zealand Report finds that ". . . modern chiropractic is a soundly based and valuable branch of health care in a specialized area neglected by the medical profession"; JAMA gives reprint permission for a medical article to run in the ACA Journal; and the AMA drops the ban against associating with DCs at its annual convention.

1981 - There are 23,000 active DCs in the U.S. averaging a gross revenue of $63,400 a year. Gov. Bob Graham is photographed receiving chiropractic treatment at the Capitol from Rep. Dennis Jones; 1,300 attendees enjoy the annual convention held in Orlando with 81 exhibits. Michelle Smith joins staff as a secretary.

1982 - FCA buys its first computer and an IBM typesetting machine for the production of publications and mail outs. A newly-revised insurance law goes into effect and includes several FCA-sponsored bills: DC insurance equality, HMO inclusion, inclusion in comprehensive health care insurance, insurance equality law applicable to out of state group health insurance policies, and insurance equality applied to Blue Cross. The FCA Journal wins the ACA's Most Improved State Journal award; Marie Bergeron joins staff as a secretary; the first women DC's breakfast is held at the fall convention; from 1940-82 the number of practicing DCs doubles; and between 1965-80 the student enrollment rate in chiropractic colleges increases by 200%.

1983 - The annual convention draws a record crowd of 1,600 attendees and 150 exhibits. Legislatively SB 474 authorizes DCs to refer patients to physical therapists for therapy upon "oral or written instructional directives," - the first law of its kind in the nation! Workers' comp carriers aren't allowed to unauthorize any health care provider authorized by an employer to treat an injured employee; self-insured health care plans subject to Florida regulation must make chiropractic available at the insured persons' request; there is a push for state funding for a Florida chiropractic college at the University of Tampa; PPOs are new kids on the block; and a St. Louis hospital becomes the first accredited hospital to hire DCs.

1984 - The first FCA-sponsored CA certification course begins. Gov. Graham vetoes a "pure insurance equality" law for payment to DCs under individual, group or self-insured group health policies in Florida. This was vetoed two years in a row after the FCA passed it, but the third year the FCA lobbied the Legislature and convinced them to override Gov. Graham's veto. No governor's veto has been overridden since, and this is truly an amazing accomplishment and considered the FCA's finest hour! Dr. Ed Saunders, an FCA member since 1939, is named ACA's Chiropractor of the Year and the FCA Journal wins ACA's Best All Around award.

1985 - The FCA Tallahassee office is established. Newsweek features a story on DC/MD cooperation.

1986 - The FCA breaks ground on new Orlando headquarters. The Sunset Review outcome is: CE hours increase from 12 to 20; DCs may administer vitamins, etc. orally or by injection; DCs may withdraw blood for diagnostic purposes; certified DCs may use proprietary drugs; definitions of health care providers/physicians and medically accepted standards are updated; a bachelor's degree is required for licensure; and business relationships with physicians or other health care providers of different disciplines are clarified. By overriding Gov. Graham's second veto, the Legislature votes in chiropractic's new insurance equality law, HB 170. Burt Reynolds serves as an FCER honorary chairman and assists in fundraising efforts; 2,100 attendees and 215 exhibits make the Orlando fall convention the nation's largest chiropractic convention.

1987 - On Aug. 27, 1987, U.S. District Court Judge Getzendanner found AMA guilty of conspiracy, and its co-conspirators violated U.S. Sherman Antitrust laws. Legislatively a new HMO statute mandates chiropractic services in the "minimum services" HMOs must offer; the IME bill passes, requiring an insurance carrier under automobile insurance to have an IME performed by a physician licensed under the same statute as the treating physician; and chiropractic services are exempt from the sales and use tax under the new sales tax bill. The FCA moves its fall convention to the new Peabody Hotel; the American Hospital Association drops all objections to granting DCs staff privileges and use of lab facilities; "The Today Show" with Bryant Gumbel interviews a chiropractic patient, an orthopedic spine surgeon and an MD/DC and the new headquarters' mortgage goes up in smoke after members donate heavily and pay off the building in only 16 months.

1988 - FCA membership soars to 3,019! Donna Schirmer joins staff as a secretary; the Boy Scouts of America adopt a new policy recognizing physical exams performed by DCs; and Dr. Ed and Paul Lambert work for 18 months so the Statewide School Screening for Scoliosis in Florida manual obtains approval and endorsement by HRS for use in the public school system.

1989 - All American Life Insurance Co. challenges the constitutionality of our insurance equality law so the FCA and Chiropractic Legal Affairs each earmark $50,000 for legal fees. Several members receive full staff privileges at Harborside Hospital in St. Pete; 23 DCs witness the first manipulation under anesthesia; Mindi Rackliff becomes the FCA's new PR Coordinator; and the RAND study shows that chiropractic is the most effective treatment and most cost effective for low back pain.


1990 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found the AMA guilty of having attempted to destroy the chiropractic profession. Legislatively the PPO equality law and the out-of-state insurance equality law passes, and DCs are authorized to certify people as disabled and qualified for handicapped parking permits. The FCA sponsors the Florida Sunshine State Games for the first time; the British Medical Journal reports patients suffering from back pain found those treated by DCs had significantly greater and longer lasting improvement than those treated by medical doctors; the FCA Sports Injuries Council begins; Anita McGee becomes FCA's first full time graphic designer; the U.S. Supreme Court denies the AMA's petition in the Wilk case; and the ACA convinces TWA to allow refunds to passengers who have medical excuses from DCs.

1991 - Former Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles, Charles Canady, teaches members about grassroots politics in a series of workshops and articles. Legislatively the PIP bill excluding chiropractic in PPOs is killed; chiropractic is included in comprehensive health insurance which provides health insurance to seriously ill people who can't obtain health insurance because of their illnesses; and the FCA made sure our insurance equality law applies to the Health Care Purchasing Cooperative Act. The $1,000 tax on chiropractic license renewals is killed; Florida Medicaid law specifically includes chiropractic as services that will be paid on a fee for service basis - another FCA first! And the FCA hosts its first Florida Congressional delegate breakfast in Washington, D.C.

1992 - Dr. Leslie Bartlett becomes FCA's first female president. Dr. Joe Johnson, chairman of FCA's Insurance Relations Committee, begins a campaign resulting in the Florida Medicare Carrier returning to a position that an X-ray report by a DC is indeed acceptable; the U.S. Senate passes an amendment authorizing an unprecedented $6.5 million in federal funding for chiropractic advanced educational training and research-related topics; the FCA offers its first computer class at the spring convention; and Dade County board of director, Dr. Tom Hyde, represents the state of Florida in the establishment of the Mercy Center Guidelines. ABC's "20/20" airs a positive feature on chiropractic and its effectiveness on low back pain. Legislatively FCA is successful in including chiropractic in the small business group health policies bill and the governor's health care reform package; the freedom of choice law, also known as our insurance equality law, is reenacted notwithstanding efforts to repeal it; and the freedom of choice law for group and small-business group insurance is also preserved; the Florida Second District Court of Appeal upholds Florida's Freedom of Choice Law, and under the Weldon decision a health policy can't be validly drafted using obscure words to defeat the Freedom of Choice Law; and the Weldon case ends and All American Life Insurance Co. spends in excess of $100,000 in an attempt to defeat our insurance equality law and to deal a death blow to the chiropractic profession by limiting chiropractic treatment under the guise of limiting physical therapy. A workers' comp proposed rule limiting payment for PT by DCs is successfully challenged by the FCA and declared invalid, and Hurricane Andrew devastates most of Dade County and keeps hundreds of doctors away from the fall convention.

1993 - Legislation on health care reform defines chiropractic as primary care. DCs are granted commissioned officer status in the U.S. armed forces; the FCA board of directors vote to seek a sustaining membership in the Consortium for Chiropractic Research; Jennifer Golden joins staff as Debbie's administrative assistant.

1994 - The first risk management seminar is held at the FCA spring convention. Legislatively the bachelor's degree requirement for licensure is clarified, and a 115% Medicare fee cap for rehab services passes. FCA General Counsel Paul Lambert receives the National Association of Chiropractic Attorney's Attorney of the Year award; Consumer Reports slams chiropractic; and Preferred Chiropractic Physicians, Inc., Florida's first nonprofit chiropractic PPO, is created.

1995 - Chiropractic centennial is celebrated in Washington, D.C. and Davenport, Iowa. AHCPR Guidelines, a landmark federal study validating spinal manipulation as an effective, drug-free initial treatment for acute low back problems, hopes to throw open the doors of managed health care plans to DCs. Legislatively the fee cap amendment is found unconstitutional. FCA sues and wins at trial and on appeal regarding FCA's challenge of a 1992 bill intended to prohibit conflicts of interest by physicians referring patients to other physicians for diagnostic services. Multispecialty practices are on the rise; HCFA, the federal agency overseeing the Medicare program, issues new directives to Medicare carriers instructing them not to deny X-ray providers payments for X-rays for patients referred to them by DCs; the FCA and the FCS produce a practice guidelines document for presentation to the Board of Chiropractic and the AHCA; and Dr. David Boschowitz is appointed to the Workers' Compensation Oversight Board. As part of the FSU movement sciences program, the Lincoln College Education and Research Fund (LCERF) provides $250,000 seed money for the chiropractic and biomechanical research center with $1 million needing to be raised so the state kicks in a $750,000 matching grant.

1996 - FCA Chiro-PAC is the second largest health PAC contributor in the state. LCERF contributions surpass halfway mark and near $1 million goal. Legislatively peer review is repealed; CAs are registered; chiropractic access is included in MediPass; the FCA is influential in the workers' comp fee schedule change; and the fee cap is repealed after nearly five years of lawsuits and four years of intensive lobbying. A landmark federally funded national workshop to develop the agenda for federal and private funding of future chiropractic research begins; the FCA saturates Florida football airwaves by advertising on the Gators/Seminole/Hurricanes Sports networks; four Florida DCs are selected to treat athletes at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta; and HCFA releases its new Medicare fee schedule, including new chiropractic-specific CPT codes from the AMA.

1997 - Dr. Ed is Roasted & Toasted at the fall convention to raise funds for the LCERF. Legislatively HB 1561 becomes law and redefines the definition of chiropractic: It does away with tiered licensure; repeals the prohibition against cash discounts; redefines the practice of chiropractic to be that of the adjustment or manipulation by chiropractic physicians using specific chiropractic adjustment or manipulation techniques taught in CCE accredited chiropractic colleges; and prohibits any person other than a licensed DC from rendering chiropractic services. Several Florida DCs receive major government appointments as a result of FCA lobbying; Diane Lipscomb is the newest FCA staff member; Dr. Ed announces his semiretirement; and the FSU chiropractic research center receives an additional $250,000 for research equipment from the Florida Legislature.