By Robert C. Jones, DC
Since I was a child, I have been told by my seniors that time accelerates as you age. I don’t believe I am all that old, but the past two years that I have served as ACA president certainly have been a lesson in accelerated time. So much has changed and so much has been thrown at ACA over the past two years. The most important message I can impart, as my cycle as president comes to an end, is that ACA is in great shape.
Our Board of Governors (BoG) is active, engaged and responsive to the needs of the association and its members. The leadership in the House of Delegates (HoD) is strong and affective through participation in many committees, which contribute to the work of ACA and the direct actions of the board.
The work of the HoD and BoG is then put into action and supported by the operations team. The overall collaborative strength of these multiple leadership lanes is self-evident and was most apparent during the strong national leadership that came out of the HoD, BoG and operations team during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.
With the pandemic surging again, I am often asked, “Is ACA going to survive the financial strains being put on all associations because of the pandemic?” The HoD have taken their fiduciary responsibilities keenly. Finances are led by the Finance Committee and the operations finance team. They are constantly re-adjusting the forecasted budget and updating the HoD and BoG so these governing bodies can make appropriate decisions when voting on the budget. The net result is that ACA is fiscally healthy and doing well. It cannot be overstated that this good net result could not occur without the continued membership support by our general members.
I personally have been heart warmed by the support our general members continue to show during this time of hardship. Many associations are bleeding general members, but we have only had an initial modest drop in membership. Many of those members now returning.
Thank you for maintaining your general membership and a special thanks to those who have shared the value of membership with another colleague so that they too have now become a member. It cannot be overstated how important a strong ACA membership helps us to get much-needed legislation passed, such as the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 3654), and to advocate on behalf of our profession to be participants in the ever-evolving healthcare system. Without doubt, your membership is imperative to our association’s—as well as our profession’s—success.
If I could have one wish, it would be for all of us to get behind and pass H.R. 3654. We all must personally ask our House representative to sign onto the bill, and eventually when there is a Senate companion bill, we must ask our Senators to sign on, as well.
I emphasize “we all must personally ask” our legislators. Legislators are motivated when large numbers of their constituents ask them to sign on to a bill, not when an associations lobbyist or delegate reaches out. Each of us must take on the personal responsibility of getting this legislation passed.
H.R. 3654 would provide parity to our profession in Medicare on a level with other physician-level providers. Currently, for all other providers listed in Medicare, the program allows them to practice according to their individual state scope laws. Likewise, H.R. 3654 would allow chiropractors to practice according to their respective state scope of practice. (It would not add on any service that is not already present in Medicare). This would give Medicare beneficiaries more options when choosing a provider to perform a service. And as we have all experienced, where Medicare goes, so goes all the other health plans. I ask all of you to get behind this bill. Let’s get this done!
In closing, I have so many people to thank for supporting me, holding my hand through situations and challenging me when I was going down the wrong path. They say it takes a community to raise a child; I have learned it takes a community to make a successful leader, too. I would like to acknowledge EVP Karen Silberman and her entire operations team. I was blessed to have such a fantastic group of people help make my day-to-day work look so professional and polished. Thanks also to the support of everyone in the House of Delegates who worked hard on committees and advised the board.. And thanks to all the BoG members, who are a great team and have become cherished friends.
Thank you, everyone!