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Senate Bill Includes Key Chiropractic Provisions

Senate Bill Includes Key Chiropractic Provisions

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   The Daily Hit ~ November 20, 2009

by Daniel Redwood, DC


Here’s some good news from my favorite Blogger, Daniel Redwood, DC:

The Senate Democrats’ blended bill contains the nondiscrimination language championed by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT), along with a couple of other steps forward.

Here’s today’s report from the American Chiropractic Association:

Reid’s Reform Bill Includes ACA Supported Provider Non-Discrimination Provision

Of specific interest to the chiropractic profession, is the fact that Reid’s bill includes an important federal provider non-discrimination provision the inclusion of which was strongly advocated by the ACA. The provision, found in Section 2076 of the measure, would apply to ERISA and other health insurance plans, and is intended to serve as an important protection aimed at preventing insurance plans from discriminating against entire classes of non-MD health care providers, including DCs, based solely on their state license or certification. The inclusion of the provision in the Reid bill was primarily championed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), current Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee and Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn). The inclusion of the provision in Reid’s bill means the chiropractic profession will not have to launch what would likely be an uphill battle to insert the provision via the amendment process on the floor of the Senate. With respect to provision, ACA’s main mission now, is to work to ensure that the provision remains included in the final floor amended bill, assuming one is successfully voted out of the Senate. It is important to note that the recently House passed version of the heath reform bill (HR 3962) does not contain an identical provision, but does contain an important non-discrimination provision that seeks to maintain the applicability of state-enacted provider non-discrimination laws. The ACA will lobby for inclusion in any final bill to be enacted by Congress of both the House and Senate provider non-discrimination provisions. (NOTE: HR 3962 did not pass, and the current law HR 3390 does contain the full Harkin non-discrimination provision)

Chiropractic Included in Other Provisions:

• Community Health Teams: Doctors of chiropractic are specifically included as potential members of interdisciplinary Community Health Teams. These teams support the development of medical homes by increasing access to comprehensive, community based, coordinated care. Community health teams are integrated teams of providers including specialists, other clinicians and licensed integrative health professionals as well as community resources to enhance patient care, wellness and lifestyle improvements. The language in the bill ensures that doctors of chiropractic can be included in these patient-centered and holistic teams.

• National Health Care Workforce Commission: The bill establishes a National Health Care Workforce Commission to examine the current and projected needs in the health care workforce. The Commission specifically includes doctors of chiropractic by defining them as part of the health care workforce, and including them in the definition of health professionals. Schools of chiropractic are also included in the health professional training schools to be studied. The National Health Care Workforce Commission is tasked providing comprehensive, unbiased information to Congress and the Administration about how to align federal health care workforce resources with national needs. Congress will use this information when providing appropriations to discretionary programs or in restructuring other federal funding. The language in the bill guarantees that the need for doctors of chiropractic will be addressed when considering federal health care workforce programs.

This is an important step forward in what promises to be a long journey.

You may also enjoy these articles on the topic:

US Health Care Bill ~ March 22nd, 2010

Health Care Bill Update ~ How It Effects Chiropractic ~ March 25th, 2010

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10 comments to Senate Bill Includes Key Chiropractic Provisions

  • This is good news. I hope that it becomes a reality, though.

  • DrKane

    Agreed. This is landmark for chiropractic and will help solve so many problems for this country’s health care system. Every DC should get behind this effort.

  • karl

    It appears there may will be wellness and prevention benefit(s) in this health care insurance cost reform. I really don’t have any idea but I suspect it will be based on “evidence based” literature. I have mixed feelings about this health care insurance cost reform. Call me cynical but I believe that special interests writes/influences legislation/government programs to( be perceived to) have failed. Having said that, it’s easy for me to recognize the problems but I’m not sure of the solutions. The uninsured and under insured is a growing demographic(s) which puts increasing pressure on the paying pool/TAX payers. Although I’m a humanitarian type I understand the argument that the HIDDEN TAX put on the paying pool/TAX payers is NOT fair. What I’m saying is the ER is not the answer. The other big issue is that health care ins. companies don’t have/like competition…this has to change to bring down cost. Curently a family four to insure cost $13,000….in ten years it will cost $25,000. It’s NOT sustainable. I’m personally amazed there are people that deny a potential/crisis exist. A recent CEO roundtable found on reuters suggest that the cost per-employee for a corporation to provide health care insurance will TRIPLE in cost by 2019. Our ability to compete in a GLOBAL economy is in my opinion dependent on this health care insurance cost reform. I hope chiropractic is recognized,involved and treated fairly.

  • Thanks Karl

    Our Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Page lists most of the notable studies demonstrating the vast superiority of chiropractic to help AND save taxpayer money.

    I’m also sure that ACA and ICA both have access to that information. Our biggest limitation is that so few DCs belong to National Associations (either one), so they have limited dollars with which to work.

  • Karl’s point about the CEO round table study saying that health care insurance costs will triple by 2019. It has doubled in the last ten years and is one of the most expensive, short of wages, part of employee compensation. When you weigh in that changes in deductibles to reduce the employer’s cost only to be passed onto the employee, the individual is taking more fiscal responsibility for their co-pays and deductibles, may decide to “live” with their problems rather than seek the treatment they need.

  • This is a real shot in the arm for Chiropractic and health care. I agree that there are many studies out there now that prove the effectiveness and cost savings that Chiropractic care will provide.

  • karl

    GOOGLE this recent study that came out regarding the OBESITY epidemic. If current trends continue there’s potential for up to 43% of Americans being obese by 2019. This will create many challenges for individuals and the public specifically the associated will be about $344 Billion Dollars by 2018/19. Many changes need to be made but we can part of that change with helping people help themselves……”personal responsibility”. GOOGLE the indirect/direct cost of OBESITY for 2008 was $147 Billion Dollars.Time to embrace the “wellness model”.

    RESPONSE: One aspect of the role of a doctor is to give advise. I also feel that most overweight individuals (or heavy drinkers, or smokers etc.) are reasonably aware that their choices have health consequences. So it’s the classic case of leading the horse to water. Should society, or insurance companies hold these individuals accountable? Should they pay more for their coverage? Should they pay more in taxes to support Medicare? There are lots of unanswered questions about how far to take the personal responsibility issue.

  • karl

    Personally, I educate one patient at a time. I have intentions of not assuming that a person knows all the consequences in this case being obese. i don’t know for sure what the answer(s) are to the obesity epidemic, but until then, I do feel it’s my responsibility to put my best foot forward to educate a patient on the reasons to obtain/maintain a near “normal” body fat/weight. The bottomline for me is this…the obese demograhic is going to increase in numbers and I feel the chiropractic professional is prepared to be involved in helping reduce the problem/cost one patient at a time. GOOGLE the projections for the obesity epidemic……I was surprised. We are all going to pay for the ongoing/growing Obesity epidemic.

  • Frank,

    I completely agree about the lack of support for the associations. I had the pleasure to see a presentation that Terry Yokum did about uniting the chiropractic professions associations, and it was very convincing(in spite of my preconceived opinions.)

    With a similar presentation, Dr. Yokum was able to help unite the three associations that were present in the state of Colorado.

    Once we realize that we should all be in this together, and choose to stand up for fellow chiropractors, even if we choose to respectfully disagree with their technique of practice method, we will be all the stronger. The freedom to make the choices we all individually want with the strength of an association would put us all in a better position.

    That way our influence would rival or at least equal that of other health professions who would rather see our entire profession gone just due to market share.

  • chiropractor

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the future. Cheers

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