National Medicare Equality Petition

The Time for Change is NOW

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has launched a major grassroots campaign to enact federal legislation that would allow doctors of chiropractic (DC) to perform to the fullest scope of their license in Medicare. This initiative would significantly improve the health and wellness of our nation's aging population -- and your support is urgently needed.

The National Medicare Equality Petition will raise awareness of how the current Medicare system shortchanges seniors who want and need the essential services provided by doctors of chiropractic (DCs)  to stay healthy, pain free and mobile, and how DCs  can be a part of the solution for what ails the U.S. health care system.

ACA is encouraging doctors of chiropractic across the country to ask their patients and other chiropractic supporters to sign the petition (links below) and add their names to a growing list of Americans who want rightful  access to and full reimbursement for services provided by doctors of chiropractic for themselves or their loved ones who are Medicare patients. The plan is to let signers of the petition have their voice heard in Washington through a series of targeted grassroots campaigns to contact their members of Congress and demand a solution to this problem. The ultimate goal is to create a groundswell of support that Congress cannot ignore.

Doctors can also help support the ongoing efforts to ensure Medicare equality by donating to the National Chiropractic Legal and Legislative Action Fund (NCLAF). Every dollar you contribute will go to ensuring our seniors have full, unfettered access to the essential health care services provided by doctors of chiropractic.
 

Background

In order to benefit America's Medicare patients, ACA’s House of Delegates passed a resolution in February 2015 making Medicare parity a top legislative priority of the association. Chiropractic inclusion in the Medicare program (which is essentially coverage of one service: manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation),  was established in 1972 and has since seen little change, other than elimination of the X-ray requirement in 1997 – despite aggressive lobbying efforts by ACA and its members for decades. This means seniors are being denied the full range of chiropractic services that could help them lead healthier and happier lives.

Why Should DCs Participate?

While Medicare patients may only encompass a small portion of practice for some doctors of chiropractic, Medicare's impact on the practice of health care as well as provider reimbursement is significant—and will become more so as the baby boomer generation continues to age. Medicare serves as a model for private insurance plans and currently serves more than 55 million individuals. Various projections forecast the number of people age 65 or older increasing by about one-third over the next decade. The time for change is now!

What You Need to Do

  1. Ask your patients and supporters to visit www.acatoday.org/equality to sign the petition and have their voice heard in Washington. We need to let the White House and members of Congress know that the time for Medicare equality for chiropractic patients is now. (Ex: Have a laptop or iPad available with the website on screen at check-in.) 
    View the online petition>
  2. As an alternative, you may also print out a paper petition that you can have patients sign, and fax or mail back to ACA. To comply with HIPAA regulations, you will need to have your patients complete and sign the petition, then you will need to make three copies: one for your patient to keep, one to put into their patient record, and one to mail or fax back to ACA at 1701 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22209 or 703-243-2593.
    Download the paper petition>
  3. If your practice has a website, consider posting the National Medicare Equality Petition widget to direct visitors to where they can sign on and lend their support to this important campaign. Simply have your webmaster post the following HTML code directly into the code on your website (or WordPress or other CMS editor):

NMEP Web Widget

<a href="http://www.acatoday.org/equality" target="_blank"><img src="http://storage.acatoday.org/nmep-widget.png" alt="National Medicare Equality Petition" /></a>

This will be an ongoing campaign. Please continue to distribute the petition and collect the requested information until instructed otherwise by ACA.

What Will ACA do with the Names Collected?

Names and other information will be protected and not sold or shared with any third party. Individuals who join the petition will be sent periodic Action Alerts designed to let them know when and how they can contact their members of Congress to advocate for unimpeded chiropractic inclusion in Medicare. They will also receive ChiroHealth, a monthly e-newsletter containing health and wellness tips and information.

What’s Next?

Watch your e-mails, ACA News, the ACA website and other ACA communications for more information about how you and your patients can become involved. Follow the National Medicare Equality Petition Facebook page, and make sure you’re connected to ACA’s other social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.  Much of the information will be transmitted in “real time” and DCs, CAs, and students will be able to share or re-Tweet our posts to ensure we get the information out as soon as possible. 

 

Questions?

Visit our "frequently asked questions" page or contact ACA.