*Member-Exclusive Content* Chiropractors treating veterans via programs administered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were notified recently that they should enroll in a new chiropractic referral network to continue participating in the VA’s Community Care Network (CCN). In its letter to chiropractors, contractor TriWest Healthcare Alliance explained that providers who wish to participate in the “new” Community Care Network must enroll in EmpowerChiro, a chiropractic referral network administered under TriWest. Referrals, appointment scheduling, documentation, claims, codes and reimbursement were also briefly touched upon--leading to questions this blog post seeks to answer.
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October is National Chiropractic Health Month, a fitting designation as on Oct. 30, 1972, President Nixon signed into law H.R. 1, the Social Security Amendments of 1972, ending three years of deliberations on what would improve the program. What the president called "landmark legislation" included the significant and far-reaching provision of defining chiropractors as “physicians” in the Medicare program under Sec. 18619(r)(5) of the Social Security Act. Unfortunately, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulators interpreted the law to define the physician status granted to chiropractors in a way that restricted their ability to participate meaningfully, on a level of basic parity.
The U.S. House of Representatives on June 26 overwhelmingly approved the “Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017” (H.R. 2547), sponsored by Reps. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) and Julia Brownley (D-Calif.). The bipartisan bill aims to ease the transition of military personnel seeking commercial driver's licenses by increasing the number of health professionals―including chiropractors―serving at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities who are eligible to conduct physicals for truck drivers.