The MAC: Celebrating Our First Decade!
Part IX: Additional Legal Wins (2014)
More Major Legal Wins – MI Supreme Court Denies BCBSM and BCN Appeals!
In May, we won two major legal victories when the Michigan Supreme Court issued two orders denying Blue Cross and Blue Care Network’s appeals of the Michigan Court of Appeals decision allowing our lawsuits to move forward as class action lawsuits and that damages could be awarded.
MAC President Dr. Dennis Whitford was elated by the news: “This is a critical win. The MAC will continue to fight discriminatory, anti-chiropractic insurance practices, while standing up for doctors of chiropractic and our patients across Michigan. This is truly a momentous step on the road to eventual victory.”
After the Supreme Court declined the appeals, the cases returned to Ingham County Circuit Court, where the focus shifted to the actual merits of the cases themselves, rather than the procedural matter of class certification. As the cases moved forward, we continued to negotiate in an effort to settle these lawsuits. But more on that in an upcoming article.
Michigan Chiropractors DC Bound – Again!
For the second year in a row, a dedicated contingent of doctors from the MAC Board of Directors and MAC committees attended the National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC), joining hundreds of chiropractors, students and chiropractic supporters at the profession’s premier legislative event. Our doctors also took the opportunity to meet with Michigan’s Congressional Delegation and/or their staffs, advocating for chiropractic and informing them about important initiatives such as new opportunities in Medicare, military and veterans’ health care, and more.
The doctors also met with delegations from other states and national chiropractic organizations in an effort to compare notes, hear new ideas, and brainstorm on numerous critical topics affecting DCs across the nation. MAC Executive Director Kristine Dowell planned the COCSA Round Table, where MAC President Dr. Dennis Whitford spoke about MichiCare, the MAC’s Independent Physician Association.
Medicaid Expansion April 1
The MAC Government Relations team fought to ensure that chiropractic care for adult Medicaid recipients was included in the State budget. On April 1, Healthy Michigan, the State of Michigan’s health plan under the Medicaid expansion brought about by Obamacare, began operations. By August 25, more than 373,000 Michiganders signed up for the new plan. By July of this year, the program would add more than 660,000 adults to the Medicaid rolls, far beyond the expected enrollment. With Obamacare and its expanded access to Medicaid still the law of the land, inclusion in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services budget remains critical.
MAC Programs Assist Docs in ICD-10 Transition
With the deadline for the transition to ICD-10 looming on October 1, the MAC teamed up with ChiroCode Institute’s Dr. Evan Gwilliam, a Nationally Certified Insurance Coding
Specialist, for a series of seminars throughout the state. Dr. Gwilliam, outlined implementation strategies attendees could use to ensure their practices were ready for this major effort. The MAC Education and Programs Committee would have Dr. Gwilliam back for his “ICD-10 Boot Camp” seminars in 2015. The series would reach hundreds of doctors and staff members through this important series.
Screenings Programs Includes Social Media Ads for Participants
The MAC, in conjunction with our strategic partner the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH), developed our health screening program to put MAC doctors in the public spotlight and spread the word about chiropractic. The program provides MAC members with exposure at high profile health events in their communities, and helps create many public relations opportunities, including a state-of-the-art Facebook advertising program.
A unique MAC member benefit, the social media campaign targets Facebook users within 20 miles of the doctor’s practice, and each post averages thousands of views – most posts have reached more than 16,000 patients!
Doctors are raving about this program. Dr. Sara Whedon, member of the MAC PR Committee, called the accelerated social media campaign “a real practice builder.” The MAC Screenings program and associated social media ads continue to this day. For more info, check out www.macscreenings.com.
MAC Conventions Continue to Rock!
In October, Dr. Patrick Gentempo served as the keynote speaker at the Fall Convention, highlighting an incredible lineup of speakers throughout 2014, including Dr. Fab Mancini, Dr. Mark Charrette, Dr. Francis Murphy, Dr. Dean DePice, Dr. Steven Weiniger, and more. Under the direction of Dr. Glenn Caudell, Dr. Nick Hartop, and the Education and Programs Committee, MAC conventions continued to impress, with nationally known speakers seeking to reach Michigan’s dedicated chiropractors.