“Medicare currently limits the services doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are allowed provide or order for their patients. This limitation has persisted for nearly 50 years with no scientific or valid policy basis. Patients face delays, higher health care costs to obtain covered Medicare chiropractic services.”
H.R. 2654: Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act Providing access to chiropractic services in Medicare removes barriers to care, levels the playing field for physicians, supports beneficiaries. The bill would allow Medicare beneficiaries access to the chiropractic profession’s broad-based, non-drug approach to pain management, which includes manual manipulation of the spine and extremities, evaluation and management services, diagnostic imaging and utilization of other non-drug approaches that have become an important strategy in national efforts to stem the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse.
The Importance of H.R. 2654 for Patients
• Access to chiropractic care is in the best interest of patients and it is a bi-partisan issue. Medicare serves more than 55 million Americans.
• Research shows annual charges for opioid prescriptions were 78% lower for patients who received chiropractic care.
• Musculoskeletal pain, led by spinal disorders, cost the U.S. health care system $874 billion per year and is the most common cause of severe long-term pain and disability.
• Positive evidence-based outcomes and cost effectiveness have advanced private chiropractic coverage and state licensures to meet patient needs.
• Medicare currently limits the services doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are allowed provide or order for their patients. This limitation has persisted for nearly 50 years with no scientific or valid policy basis.
• Patients face delays, higher health care costs to obtain covered Medicare chiropractic services.
• Patients could face more costly or higher-risk procedures that often are unnecessary.
Key Points of the H.R. 2654:
• Provides patient access to all Medicare-covered benefits allowable under a chiropractor’s state licensure.
• Does not add any new services to Medicare.
• Fully defines a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) as a “physician” in the Medicare program.
• Requires that DC’s complete a documentation webinar.
• Is bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.).
Members of the House of Representatives are urged to support their Medicare beneficiaries by cosponsoring H.R. 2654.
As things stand, Medicare coverage for chiropractic care is very limited. Medicare only covers a chiropractic adjustment to the spine. The attached bill seeks to broaden coverage to many of the other procedures that private insurance often supports. I urge you to contact your congressman in favor of this legislation.
Providing broader chiropractic coverage could serve to lower the use of opioid prescriptions, lower overall Medicare costs as chiropractic patients are less likely to receive surgery, and provide Medicare patients with the benefits obtained by providing diagnostic and treatment alternatives currently not covered.
You can contact your congressman through www.house.gov