Healthcare Reform

ACA is up on Capitol Hill daily representing the interests of doctors of chiropractic. Whether participating in stakeholder roundtables, submitting potential legislative language, or pressing lawmakers for clarifications to current or proposed regulations, ACA is known on the Hill as the go-to organization for doctors of chiropractic.

Recognizing that an estimated 47 million Americans remain without health care coverage -- and that the continued rapidly rising cost of health care may cause millions of others to lose their existing health care benefits in the future, healthcare reform became a major objective of the 111th Congress and White House.  On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.

Resources

*NEW*  Senate Report Language on Sec. 2706 (July 2014)

ACA Responds to Request for Information Regarding Provider Non-Discrimination (June 2014)

Senate HELP Committee Support Letter to Burwell Regarding Provider Non-Discrimination (June 2014)

Congressional Support Letter to Burwell Regarding Provider Non-Discrimination (June 2014)

Implementing Employer Shared Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2015 - US Treasury Department Final Regulations (February 2014)

Questions and Answers: Getting Ready for PPACA (September 2013

The Case for Full and Non-Discriminatory Inclusion of Doctors of Chiropractic in America’s Health System--These materials will provide you with information and guidance that can be used for healthcare reform lobbying efforts in your state.

ACA Letter to HHS on the Significance of Section 2706 in PPACA

ACA Letter to Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging on Primary Care Provider Shortage

Medicare Shared Savings Program and Private Sector ACOs: What’s Next for DCs--This resource will provide you with information regarding how to affiliate with an Medicare Shared Savings Program and/or Private Sector Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements for Accountable Care Organizations --This guidebook will provide you with information regarding how to get involved in an ACO and an easy reference for the many requirements of the Medicare Shared Savings Program

ACA Comments on Healthcare Reform Implementation Regulations

What Now? What Healthcare Reform Legislation Really Means


See below for more details on ACA's stances.

NEWS AND UPDATES

Senate Appropriations Report – July 2014

Congressman Schrader Letter on 2706

View Weekly ACA Government Relations Updates

View PPACA Implementation Timeline

For details about specific events/etc in health care reform, click on the links below.


LINKS OF INTEREST


TAKE ACTION

 ACA calls on all doctors to mobilize their patients and get as many people involved in chirovoice as possible. This grassroots e-advocacy initiative will be one of the main ways to advance chiropractic's interests on Capitol Hill. Head to chirovoice.org today to learn more.


ACA POSITION ON NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM

A PARADIGM SHIFT IS NEEDED

No reform effort, no matter how well it is structured or funded, will succeed fully -- or achieve its maximum potential to benefit the American people, unless such effort is coupled with a broad transformational change –a paradigm shift—away from the current health delivery system, which is largely oriented towards providing care for those who have already become seriously ill, to a more forward thinking and progressive system that has as its main focus comprehensive wellness care and disease prevention.

Given the high cost of providing health care generally, the undeniably high incidence of preventable disease that exists, coupled with America’s rapidly aging population -- it is both logical and imperative that we move towards a “wellness” model of care as the primary and favored model of health care delivery as rapidly as possible.

IMPORTANT FACTS FOR POLICYMAKERS

  • Doctors of chiropractic are educated and trained to diagnose patients by taking a detailed medical history coupled with a physical exam and inspection. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in fully accredited colleges and universities in a post graduate environment, and receive the equivalent of a four-year clinical doctorate degree.
  • It is estimated that doctors of chiropractic treat over 30 million people annually. Today, next to medical doctors and dentists, doctors of chiropractors comprise the largest number of doctorate level, portal-of-entry, primary-care providers in the nation.
  • Doctors of chiropractic typically employ a holistic approach to the treatment of illness, with an appropriate emphasis on wellness concepts that involve diet, nutrition, exercise, and positive lifestyle changes.
  • Doctors of chiropractic employ a non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical approach to health care that utilizes “spinal manipulation” to treat a range of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. (The range of conditions treated typically includes: back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches and other spinal-related maladies -- conditions that the vast majority of Americans will experience one or more times during their lives).
  • The cost to society of back pain alone is estimated to exceed $50 billion dollars annually (treatment, loss of productivity, etc).
  • Cost savings, including the avoidance of unnecessary surgeries and the reduced use of prescription medications, is one of the major benefits to the utilization of chiropractic care.
  • As chiropractic treatment does not involve the use of drugs or surgery, the treatment is not only cost effective, but is also low-risk. Complications are rare and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is typically higher than care being offered by other providers attempting to treat similar conditions by other means, such as “traditional” medical care.
  • Doctors of chiropractic are licensed to practice in all fifty states, and in most states are allowed by law to use the term “physician” in describing their services. Doctors of chiropractic are considered physicians under Medicare.

IMPORTANT POLICY IMPERATIVES FOR POLICYMAKERS

Decision makers with influence over the current and any future health delivery system should seek to fully integrate chiropractic care into a delivery system oriented towards wellness care, with the goal to fully exploit chiropractic’s potential to:

1. Save the system money by providing care that is often more cost-effective than traditional care offered;
2. Increase the quality of health care offered;
3. Improve patient outcomes and levels of patient satisfaction;
4. Expand patient treatment options and choice of provider;
5. Improve the overall health status and quality of life of the public by providing an effective, holistic wellness approach to health care;
6. Reduce medical errors and improve patient safety (chiropractic care is inherently safer and less complicated in comparison to the use of surgical intervention, hospital stays, and the use of pharmaceuticals);
7. Expand the nation’s capacity to deal with a major healthcare emergency.

In attempting to achieve the above, policy-makers should be careful to:

1. Avoid the preemption of state laws that help ensure a patient’s right to seek care from the provider of his or her choice, unless such laws are replaced by federal standards which are clearly superior.
2. Ensure that any federally defined package of “minimum benefits” that may be established specifically includes chiropractic care provided by doctors of chiropractic.
3. Adopt a comprehensive set of patient and provider protections (Patients Bill of Rights provisions) that will be made applicable to ERISA regulated plans.
4. Ensure that the availability of chiropractic is equal to the availability of traditional medical care in all federally established or regulated plans, including managed care plans, and that any discriminatory policies adverse to chiropractic patients and providers are eliminated.