CMS Beneficiary Handbook: ACA Action Gets Results!
Controversial Chiropractic Language Will Be Removed for 2023 Edition, a Win for Fairness and Parity in Medicare
As the result of action from the ACA, CMS Medicare will be correcting controversial language currently found on page 34 of the CMS beneficiary handbook, “Medicare and You.” The language, which implies that chiropractors may be billing in an unscrupulous manner, states:
Chiropractic services Medicare covers manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor or other qualified provider if medically necessary to correct a subluxation… Note: Medicare doesn’t cover other services or tests a chiropractor orders, including X-rays, massage therapy, and acupuncture (except for low back pain). If you think your chiropractor is billing for services that Medicare doesn’t cover, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report the suspected Medicare fraud…” [Emphasis added.]
This language has been included in the handbook for several years. The ACA strenuously objected to this inflammatory language, and, as a result of their initiative to correct it, ACA received a letter from CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, stating that they will discontinue the language. As CMS Administrator, Ms. Brooks-LaSure oversees programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the HealthCare.gov health insurance marketplace. Her letter, to ACA President Dr. Michele Maiers, states:
Based on feedback from you and other members of your organization, we plan to update the information in the 2023 version of the handbook that will be mailed in September 2022 to remove the fraud language noted in your letter.
In the letter, Administrator Brooks-LaSure also offers the ACA “the opportunity to review future drafts of the ‘Medicare & You’ handbook during our annual partner review.” Stay tuned!