Health Care Bill Update ~ How It Effects Chiropractic

The Chiro.Org Blog

Over the past year, Palmer College of Chiropractic has closely watched the healthcare reform debate and subsequent actions taken by Congress. Palmer administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni have been working behind the scenes with government officials, other chiropractic organizations, and at the grass-roots level for more than a year to facilitate chiropractic’s inclusion in healthcare reform legislation, and with the signing of this new law, these joint efforts have resulted in several provisions that are positive for chiropractic.

The provisions in the new law that specifically benefit chiropractic include an important provider non-discrimination provision, also known within the chiropractic profession as the “Harkin Amendment,” which was incorporated into the bill primarily due to the efforts of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) with help from other key legislators such as Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

This provision makes it a federal crime for insurance companies to discriminate against doctors of chiropractic and other providers relative to their participation and coverage in health plans, as long as they are licensed or certified at the state level and are providing care within their scope of practice.

SEE PAGE 51 of the actual Law:

Two provisions of the law specifically mention the chiropractic profession. First, doctors of chiropractic are included as potential members of interdisciplinary community health teams. Community health teams are integrated teams of providers including primary care providers, specialists, other clinicians, licensed integrative health professionals and community resources designed to enhance patient care, wellness and lifestyle improvements.

Second, the new law establishes a National Health Care Workforce Commission to examine current and projected needs in the healthcare workforce. The commission includes doctors of chiropractic by defining them as part of the healthcare workforce, and in the definition of health professionals.

The National Health Care Workforce Commission is tasked with providing comprehensive, unbiased information to Congress and the Obama Administration about how to align federal healthcare workforce resources with national needs. Chiropractic colleges are included among the health professional training schools to be studied as part of this effort.

Chiro.Org’s Blog reviewed this legislation on November 20, 2009, and that material is available for your review.

You may also want to review National Chiropractic Association commentaries about House Bill 3590 from the ACA and the ICA.

You can also read the complete H.R. 3990 Bill in Adobe Acrobat format.

Thanks to Palmer College for access to this information.