National Campaign Seeking Full Physician Status in Medicare Program
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 29, 2015 11:49 AM

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has launched a national grassroots effort to eliminate anti-competitive provisions of Medicare law that arbitrarily limits reimbursement for medically necessary services delivered by doctors of chiropractic (DCs).  The statutory change would define DCs as "physicians" under Section 1861 of the Social Security Act for the provisioning of any existing Medicare covered service that falls within the scope of practice of an individual DC as defined by their applicable state law.

ACA will focus on generating a robust level of patient grassroots support aimed at Congress seeking to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have full access to covered services that are legally provided by chiropractic physicians. Grassroots support will be largely generated via a National Medicare Equality Petition that will raise awareness of how the current Medicare system shortchanges seniors  needing the essential services provided by DCs.

 To support the campaign:  

1. Ask people to visit www.acatoday.org/equality to sign the petition and have their voice heard in Washington. 

2. Click here for a paper petition that you can print out, have patients sign, and fax or mail back to ACA. If you are asking your patients, to comply with HIPAA regulations you will need to have your patients complete and sign the petition, make three copies: one for your patient to keep, one to put into his or her patient record and one to mail or fax back to ACA at 1701 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22209 or 703-243-2593.

3. This will be an ongoing campaign. Continue to distribute the petition and collect the requested information until instructed otherwise by ACA.

Follow the progress of the campaign and receive updates on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram at #MedicareEquality.

"Studies have shown that essential services provided by chiropractic physicians can help aging Americans live healthier lives, yet every day our nation's seniors are being unjustly denied reimbursement for Medicare-covered services by chiropractic physicians that could improve their quality of life," said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC.

According to Dr. Hamm, the federal government continues to rely on an antiquated statute that discriminates against Medicare's chiropractic patients by not covering medically necessary and mandated services delivered by DCs. The federal Medicare program, which in many cases serves as a model for private insurance plans, currently serves more than 55 million Medicare beneficiaries. Various projections forecast the number of people age 65 or older increasing by about one-third over the next decade. Chiropractic inclusion in the Medicare program was established in 1972 and has seen little change since then, other than elimination of the X-ray requirement in 1997.

ACA strongly encourages DCs across the country to recruit the active support of patients and other chiropractic supporters to sign the petition and add their name to a growing list of Americans who demand coverage for all services provided by chiropractic physicians for the Medicare population.

ACA's House of Delegates passed a resolution in February 2015 making Medicare parity a top legislative and regulatory priority.  The National Medicare Equality Petition is part of ACA's comprehensive strategy to ensure that chiropractic physicians providing necessary care permitted under their state scope of practice are not unfairly discriminated. 


Source:  American Chiropractic Association