H.R. 2654: Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Chiropractic Coverage in Medicare Re-Introduced in U.S. House
Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act Would Allow Chiropractic Patients to Access Additional Medically Necessary Services
Contact your U.S. Representative TODAY and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 2654, the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act. Use the MAC Legislative Action Center to email your federal representative TODAY!
On Monday, April 19th, the Chiropractic Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654) was re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would allow chiropractors in Medicare to practice to their state’s full chiropractic scope of practice, enabling chiropractic patients to safely access medically necessary conservative, drug- and surgery-free care.
Imagine the improved outcomes and patient satisfaction associated with being able to provide Medicare beneficiaries with access to the full complement of the chiropractic profession’s broad-based, non-drug services. How would your Medicare patients benefit from manual manipulation of the spine and extremities, evaluation and management services, diagnostic imaging, and utilization of other non-drug pain management approaches that have become an important strategy in national efforts to stem the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse?
The critical first step in making this dream a reality for Medicare patients from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula to Michigan’s southern border is securing co-sponsors for this important bill. Last Congress, four Michigan congressmen – Rep. Bill Huizenga (Holland), Rep. John Moolenaar (Midland), Rep. Fred Upton (St. Joseph), and Rep. Tim Walberg (Tipton) – were among the 90 co-sponsors of the bill from both sides of the aisle. With the beginning of the new Congress in January, we are now starting from scratch, and as of May 2, 2021, no Michigan congressperson has agreed to sign on.
Contact your U.S. Representative TODAY and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 2654, the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act. Use the MAC Legislative Action Center to send your federal representative an email on this topic. If you live in one district and your office is in another, send an email to both representatives. This is an important first step in the long campaign for full inclusion in Medicare!
More on H.R. 2654 – The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act
Medicare covers more than 55 million Americans, and with the Baby Boom generation aging into the program over the next decade, projections forecast that up to 80 million seniors will be in the program by 2030.
For nearly 50 years, you and your fellow chiropractors have been forced by antiquated Medicare laws and regulations to care for these Americans with one hand tied behind your backs. Michigan’s chiropractic scope of practice allows chiropractors to perform such services as examinations, physical medicine procedures, x-rays, and more. But Medicare restricts your ability to provide these services by restricting chiropractic care in Medicare – the nation’s largest single payer for health care – to providing only one service – medically necessary manual manipulation of the spine to correct subluxation. In fact, since the inclusion of chiropractic in the Medicare program, the only change to chiropractic coverage in the program is the elimination of the X-ray requirement in 1997. There is no scientific or valid policy basis for this unfair restriction, which increases barriers to care and creates an unlevel playing field for chiropractors and chiropractic patients.
This restriction forces chiropractic patients to pay out of pocket, see another health care provider (adding time and cost to their care), or to forego needed care – care that could greatly enhance their daily life – altogether.
There is little doubt that if H.R. 2654 is passed, it would be the most important patient-centered federal chiropractic victory since the profession was first included in Medicare in 1972.
Given the enormous influence that Medicare has on both Medicaid and private health insurance, passage of the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act could revolutionize chiropractic’s standing in America’s health care systems.
The current Medicare law is unfair to chiropractic patients and the profession. It also drives the skyrocketing costs of the Medicare system – a system that we as federal taxpayers are funding – by pushing patients into higher risk, higher-cost medical alternatives and away from the use of safe, efficacious, and cost-effective chiropractic care.
Getting Patients Involved
It is critical that your U.S. representative hear from you and your patients on this important issue! Even if every chiropractor in the country contacts their lawmaker, that may not be enough to pull the bill across the finish line. The MAC is developing a handout you can give to all your adult patients on this critical issue. It will contain talking points and instructions on how to use the MAC’s Legislative Action Center to contact their federal representatives. Stay tuned for this important patient mobilization resource in the coming weeks.
The MAC Executive Committee, Insurance Relations Committee, Government Relations Committee, and Legal Affairs Committee are all firmly committed to a grassroots campaign behind H.R. 2654.