The ACA blog provides readers with information to help them advance their knowledge, achieve their professional goals and strive for excellence, while also creating a greater sense of community among chiropractors nationwide through online engagement and information-sharing with their colleagues.

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Summer Shaping Up to Be Time of Change in Health Policy

Proposal, Final Rule and Other Initiatives Aim to Reshape Medicare and Affordable Care Act

http://www.twitter.com/acaonthehillSummer is often a time in Washington where the business of government seems to slow down as everyone starts to look forward to the August recess and dreads the oncoming heat and humidity.  However, this year is a change from years past, as not only has Washington pretty much been spared oppressive temperatures, but the Senate has decided to stick around most of August and the Trump Administration has issued a proposal, and a final regulation, that could very well shape healthcare policy for years to come.

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Latest OIG Report: A Spark to Reignite Our Pursuit of Medicare Parity

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) received news recently that the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) discovered inappropriate Medicare payments to chiropractors between 2013-2016 caused by a delay on the part of CMS to implement claims processing edits that automatically deny non-covered services. A few media outlets picked up on the report, focusing on the payments, not surprisingly. But there’s more to this story. The OIG report actually found that CMS’s billing edits were largely successful in preventing improper payments, and that most of improper payments were made prior to CMS finally implementing its edits in 2014.

Author: N. Ray Tuck
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New Rule on AHPs Could Lead To a ‘Race to the Bottom’ Market for Health Plans

On June 19, the U.S. Department of Labor released a long-awaited final rule expanding the availability of alternative insurance plans that do not need to meet the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s benefit requirements.  The rule was handed down despite deep concerns from consumer advocates, state officials and physician groups, including the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The rule will extend so-called “association health plans,” which allow insurance companies to skirt benefit requirements and other parts of the 2010 law.

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Senate Clears Bill Extending Funding for Veterans Choice Program

*Member-Exclusive Content* A bill combining the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) seven community care programs easily cleared the Senate May 23 with a vote of 92-5. Included among the programs is the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to seek care from private providers, including chiropractors. The bill also eliminates previous requirements for accessing outside services. While this is a promising development, the American Chiropractic Association will closely monitor resulting regulations and implementation in consideration of past issues chiropractors have experienced with the Veterans Choice Program.

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Author: Jack Dusik
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An Open Letter to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

In her open letter to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Healthcare, ACA Senior Scientific Advisor Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, offers suggestions to NCCIH on how to meet some of today's pressing healthcare challenges and, in particular, how complementary and integrative health care can play a role. She writes, "We desperately need a healthcare delivery system 1) that is able to consistently provide evidence-based, patient-centered care to the right individual at the right time, 2) for which the patient care trajectory for chronic conditions begins with the safest, most conservative, effective option available and, 3) that empowers patients and providers with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed decisions that are deeply rooted in disease prevention and health promotion. Much work lies ahead in identifying how CIH practices can best contribute to this effort."

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Federal Change to Essential Health Benefits Rule Creates More Challenges for States

Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule regarding health insurance provisions related to the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Act).  Among the myriad of provisions contained in the rule were several that could have an impact on chiropractic coverage.  With the rule designed to give more power to the states in determining plan structure, chiropractic state associations will need to be vigilant in monitoring state action, especially the rule’s impact on states now being able to develop essential health benefits for plans that fall under the Act’s umbrella.


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Congressional Caucus on Integrative Health, Wellness Holds Inaugural Meeting

*Member-Exclusive Content* With the burgeoning opioid epidemic serving as backdrop, the Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus (IHWC) held its inaugural meeting March 15 on Capitol Hill. The Caucus was founded by Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) with the goal of providing a non-partisan educational forum to increase understanding of how shifting the focus in health care to prevention and health promotion can create cost savings and improve health outcomes for Americans.

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Author: Jack Dusik
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Despite Obstacles NCLC 2018’s Advocates Boost Chiropractic on Capitol Hill

Regular attendees of ACA’s National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC) have learned to expect nature to play a supporting role during this action-packed event, and this year did not disappoint. With wind storms topping out at more than 70 mph, and the cancelling of votes in the U.S. House of Representatives to make way for the late Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, NCLC 2018 was especially challenging. Nevertheless, hundreds of chiropractors and students forged ahead, enthusiastically delivering the profession’s message to more than 300 officials and their staff members in the House and Senate.

Author: Jack Dusik
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Budget Bill Passed by Congress Contains Several Important Health Provisions

In the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 9, the House passed a bill that was passed by the Senate several hours earlier to keep the government funded for another two years.  This action by Congress ensures fiscal “peace” through this year’s mid-term election and into 2019.  Shortly after the House passed the measure, the president signed the bill, again effectively ending the threat of a government shutdown for the foreseeable future.


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ACA Convenes Stakeholder Forum to Address Opioid Crisis, Collaboration

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) hosted a historic Stakeholder Collaborative Forum on Jan. 26 at Northwestern Health Sciences University to delve deeper into the current market need for chiropractors in combating the opioid crisis as well as issues related to chiropractors working within or in collaboration with hospitals and health systems. Michele Maiers, DC, PhD, facilitated the meeting with the primary goal to identify industry trends and how to position members to be successful.  Several qualities were identified and work groups were established to help guide ACA in the creation of toolkits we can provide for our members. 

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