By Nicole Racadag, MSJ
SEVERAL ACA REPRESENTATIVES traveled to Charleston, S.C., in November to participate in the 2015 Convention of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA). COCSA, which was established in 1969 to provide an open, nonpartisan forum for the advancement of the chiropractic profession through service to member state associations, hosted the annual event Nov. 12-14 at the Charleston Marriott Hotel.
At this year’s convention, ACA placed a strong emphasis on garnering support for the National Medicare Equality Petition, the association’s grassroots campaign that seeks to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have full access to a broader range of covered services provided by chiropractic physicians than current law permits.
“We talked about the importance of the petition and the role that the states will play in supporting the effort,” says John Falardeau, ACA’s senior vice president of public policy and advocacy. “We want to make states full partners in this effort as we move forward. We see this campaign as the number one advocacy issue for the chiropractic profession since national health care reform.”
Over the course of the three-day meeting, Falardeau and ACA Executive Vice President Rick Miller, accompanied by a film crew, were able to gather more than 20 video testimonials on the need for seniors to have full access to Medicare-covered services by doctors of chiropractic (DCs) that could improve their quality of life.
“We were extremely encouraged by the level of participation by several DCs who were willing to put their support for the petition on film so we could share it around the country,” says Falardeau.
In addition to promoting the petition, Falardeau and Miller discussed the various pieces of legislation ACA currently has in Congress and urged the meeting attendees to contact their legislators to have them co-sponsor those bills. They also shared information about ACA’s vast body of resources that are available to DCs on ICD-10 implementation.
“The October 1 transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 has generated questions from ACA members related to all the different stages of transition. As DCs reach different stages in their clinics’ transitions, they are reaching out to ACA for advice. I continued to emphasize that the resources we’ve put together on ICD-10 are among the best in the health care world,” notes Falardeau.
When they weren’t presenting at the convention, Falardeau and other ACA representatives had the opportunity to listen to speakers address chiropractic issues at the state and national levels and participate in several information-packed sessions and social events. The conference had a mobile application for attendees to access schedule information and speaker notes, and attendees were able to engage with each other throughout the meeting on social media via the hashtag #COCSA15. The conference also provided training for association leaders and staff on how to more effectively manage their organizations and provided a forum for discussion of trends in the association and chiropractic industries.
Falardeau added that ACA is already looking forward to participating in the 2016 COCSA meeting in Phoenix.
“ACA has always had a strong presence at the COCSA convention. It’s important for the association to be in attendance to show support for the individual states and the doctors that they serve,” Falardeau says.
For the latest updates on ACA’s public policy and advocacy efforts, follow John Falardeau on Twitter as he tweets from Capitol Hill @ACAontheHill.
Nicole Racadag is ACA’s public and media relations manager.