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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.
*NEW* 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.
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
- ACA Comments to HHS Regarding Standards on the Essential Health Benefits Proposed Rule (Dec. 21, 2012)
- ACA Comments to HHS Regarding the Health Insurance Market Rules Proposed Rule (Dec. 21, 2012)
- ACA Comments to OPM Regarding the Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program Proposed Rule (Dec. 21, 2012)
- ACA Comments to HHS Regarding the Essential Health Benefits Proposed Rule (July 5, 2012)
- ACA Comments to HHS Regarding the Essential Health Benefits Bulletin (January 25, 2012)
- ACA Comments to HHS Regarding Essential Health Benefits (November 30, 2011)
- Comments on Summary of Benefits Coverage and Uniform Glossary (October 18, 2011)
- Comments on 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (August 30, 2011)
- Comments on the Establishment of Exchanges and Qualified Health Plans (August 18, 2011)
- Comments on Medicare Accountable Care Organizations--Shared Savings Program (May 23, 2011)
- Comments on Essential Benefits at Institute of Medicine Meeting (January 14, 2011)
- Comments on CMS' Shared Savings Program/Accountable Care Organizations (November 29, 2010)
- Comments on NCQA Accountable Care Organization Draft Criteria (November 12, 2010)
- Comments on the Establishment of Health Insurance Exchanges (September 24, 2010)
- Comments on Cost-Sharing Waivers for Preventive Services (September 8, 2010)
- Comments on the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (August 20, 2010)
- Comments on Grandfathering Regulations (August 9, 2010)
What Now? What Healthcare Reform Legislation Really Means
- Issue Brief--Tax Credit Provisions for Small Employers in Health Care Reform
- Issue Brief--Healthcare Reform Legislation-Timeline
- Issue Brief--Healthcare Reform Legislation-Frequently Asked Questions
- Issue Brief--Healthcare Reform Legislation-Chiropractic Perspective
- Issue Brief--Healthcare Reform Legislation-Medicare
- Issue Brief--Healthcare Reform Legislation--Small Businesses
- Issue Brief--DCs Serving as Prevention and Wellness Providers
- Issue Brief--DCs Addressing the Looming Health Care Provider Shortage
NEWS AND UPDATES
View PPACA Implementation Timeline
For details about specific events/etc in health care reform, click on the links below.
- Debt Deal Could Impact Chiropractic (August 1, 2011)
- The Road to Implementation: National Health Reform Moves Forward Despite Court Rulings, The Chiropractic Summit, March 2011
- The Road to Implementation: State Based Health Insurance Exchanges, June 2010
- AMA Resolution on Sec. 2706 of the PPACA
- COCSA Advocacy Notice for Chiropractic State Associations
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (March 12, 2010)
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (March 5, 2010)
- Background on the Reconciliation Process
- How the Health Care Reconciliation Process Could Work
- President Obama's White House Summit Letter to Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and Representative Boehner March 2, 2010
- President Obama’s Health Care Reform Proposal (Feb. 22, 2010)
- PARCA Coalition White House Summit Letter (February 16, 2010)
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (February 19, 2010)
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (February 12, 2010)
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (February 5, 2010)
- Tracking Health Care Reform with the Washington Post
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (January 29, 2010)
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (January 22, 2010)
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (January 15, 2010)
- PARCA Letter on Non-Discrimination January 2010
- Update Report for the Chiropractic Community (December 18, 2009)
- PARCA Thank You Letter to Senator Harkin
- Congressional Letter to Speaker Pelosi (October 26, 2009)
- Support Letter for the Medicare Physician Fairness Act of 2009
Ross Action Alert October 2009
Letter to Speaker Pelosi October 2009
- Health Care Reform, the Road to the Oval Office
- Non-Discrimination Letter to Majority Leader Reid (October 5, 2009)
- Non-Discrimination Letter to Speaker Pelosi (October 5, 2009)
- Non-Discrimination Letter to Speaker Pelosi (September 14, 2009)
- August 17th ACA Letter to President Obama
- Health Care Cooperatives
- June 2009 ACA Talking Points on Health Reform
- Chiropractic Summit V Issues Call To Immediate Action on National Health Care Reform
- Obama administration March 5th, 2009 Health Care Summit: ACA and its coalition partners send letters to the administration requesting a seat at the table at future Summits and health care conversations. Click here for the ACA letter; click here for the coalition letter.
- Obama administration May 11th, 2009, Press Conference: Click here for ACA's summary of this event.
- ACA Press Release on draft health care reform language: June 6, 2009
LINKS OF INTEREST
- HealthReform.gov: Obama administration webpage with various reports, stories, videos, proposals
- Senate Finance Committee
- Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Commitee Hearings (includes video and testimonies)
- House Ways and Means Committee
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Washington Post Feature Health Care Rx: Experts Debating Policy Reform
- Kaiser Family Foundation Website on Health Care Reform
- C-SPAN Health Care Hub
- House Energy and Commerce Committee
- House Education and Labor Committee
- House Majority Leader
- House Rules Committee
- House Republicans
- Senate Republicans
- Real Clear Politics: Health Care Reform Polls, News and Commentary
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.