Last Thursday, at their final meeting of 2018, the MAC Board of Directors voted unanimously to sign on to a letter to Congress from the ACA and other chiropractic organizations regarding HR 7157, the “Chiropractic Patients’ Freedom of Choice Act of 2018.” Other signatories of the letter include the ChiroCongress (formerly COCSA), the Clinical Compass, the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, and (as of this writing) more than 30 other state chiropractic associations.
The text of the letter can be accessed online here.
HR 7157 would allow chiropractors to practice within their state’s scope of practice. Currently, the only chiropractic service covered by Medicare is manual manipulation of the spine to correct subluxation. In the vast majority of states, however, chiropractors are empowered by their scopes of practice to provide a wide range of safe, effective, non-drug approaches to managing pain and promoting health. The bill would add no new services, but rather allow patients to access benefits through Medicare that chiropractors are licensed and able to provide.
The MAC and ACA are making HR 7157 the primary focus of next year’s “Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill during the 2019 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC). NCLC is the profession’s premier grassroots effort, offering excellent opportunities for chiropractors nationwide to meet with their national lawmakers and high level health care policymakers to discuss issues important to the chiropractic profession.
How You Can Get Involved
The MAC is closely monitoring the progress of HR 7157 as it moves its way through the “lame duck” session. It is unlikely Congress will have time to act on HR 7157 before this legislative session is over (December 31), but the introduction of the bill this session paves the way for future reintroduction and the beginning of the education process, of which NCLC will be a huge component. Stay tuned!