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Alternative Health Carrier Wins Legal Battle

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A managed care company that covers chiropractic care, acupuncture and other alternatives to conventional medical care has won a victory in a state court in California.

American Specialty Health Inc., San Diego, says a state judge in San Diego has entered a final judgment in favor of 2 ASH units, American Specialty Health Plans of California Inc. and American Specialty Health Networks Inc., and against the California Chiropractic Association.

The chiropractic association sued the ASH units in 2001 over allegations that the units had failed to live up to the terms of their provider contracts. The state court dismissed 15 of the 18 charges in December 2004 but let the chiropractic association press ahead with 3 charges.

The final judgment blocks the last 3 claims, ASH says.

The court found that the chiropractic association had failed to prove that the ASH units’ utilization management procedures were arbitrary or that the units’ rates were unreasonable. The court also rejected efforts by the chiropractic association to challenge the ASH units’ efforts to limit the number of chiropractors in their networks.