Third-Party Networks Explained

Understand what managed care networks are and why you should join.

Patient Experience

Third-Party Networks Explained

Many Doctors of Chiropractic are eager—perhaps over eager—to get into a managed care system. They're afraid their patient load will suffer unless they affiliate with a managed care network. As a result, they don't always ask the right questions and often make poor decisions about managed care participation.


Most of these fears are unjustified. As a trained Doctor of Chiropractic, you have a lot to offer. Remember to approach third party systems and managed care with courage and professional self-respect. And keep in mind the decisions you make now will set the stage for how you practice in the future.

What is Managed Care?

Managed care is a system in which providers, purchasers and patients work together to control costs. In other words, it offers patients access to healthcare providers, usually for predetermined fees. Managed care can include public entities such as Medicare and Medicaid, and private companies such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Why Should You Join?

Belonging to the right managed care network can provide you with many professional and financial benefits, including access to an expanded market for your services. Though chiropractic care is included in most health plans, some health maintenance organizations (HMOs) still don't cover it. However, chiropractic "riders" are sometimes offered to interested groups. 


The information in the NCMIC Learning Center is offered solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as, nor does it represent, legal or professional advice. Neither does this information constitute a guideline, practice parameter or standard of care. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking the advice of an attorney familiar with the specific legal requirements of the state(s) in which you practice. If there is a discrepancy between the site and an insurance policy you have with NCMIC, the policy will prevail.