ACA amplifies Medicare parity efforts on Capitol Hill

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The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is increasing its efforts to boost congressional support for Medicare parity legislation.

With assistance from an international lobby and law firm experienced in healthcare, the ACA is focusing on recruiting additional cosponsors for the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654) by targeting key House committees and working with senators to introduce a Senate companion bill. The bill currently has 110 congressional cosponsors.

Introduced in April by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), H.R. 2654 would increase Medicare coverage of services provided by chiropractors within the full extent of their state licensure, enabling chiropractic patients to access additional covered services that may be medically necessary. The change would also align Medicare with chiropractic coverage offered in many private health and Medicare Advantage plans. The bill also defines a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) as a physician in the Medicare program.

“Passage of the Medicare parity bill is ACA’s No. 1 legislative priority,” said John Falardeau, ACA senior vice president of public policy and advocacy.

Since 1972, Medicare beneficiaries have been covered for only one chiropractic service (manual manipulation of the spine), limiting their options and access to other effective nondrug treatments for relieving pain and improving function.

The federal Medicare program, which serves as a model for private insurance plans, currently serves more than 55 million individuals. Various projections forecast the number of people 65 or older increasing by about one-third over the next decade.