ACA: Removing Subluxation Language from Medicare is Only Way to Accomplish Objectives
In a letter written to the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) House of Delegates (HOD) the President of the ACA, Anthony Hamm DC outlined for the HOD how the ACA’s staff has made “achieving full physician status in Medicare” a top priority of the association since February 2015.
These efforts, according to Hamm, culminated in the public launch on Oct. 27, 2015 of the ACA’s grassroots campaign: The National Medicare Equality Petition.
Hamm went on to state that the ACA has received the support of numerous organizations and individuals within the profession that were involved in “building a consensus” for their plans which included the organizations involved in the Chiropractic Summit Group – specifically the Summit’s Steering Committee which is made up of:
- American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
- International Chiropractors Association (ICA)
- Congress of Chiropractic State Organizations (COCSA)
- Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC)
- National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE)
- Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB)
- Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE)
“ACA is of the opinion that nothing less than removal of the “subluxation” language in the definition of physician section will accomplish our objectives. Historically, the facts are that this language has proven to be the major barrier within HHS and CMS when we advocated for regulatory remedies expanding our reimbursement and coverage for the full range of services provided by a DC.”
Ham further stated:
“While there was high consensus on the objective of Medicare reform during the Summit Roundtable process, there was much discussion surrounding the proposed legislative language. Specifically, whether or not “detection and correction of subluxation of the spine through manual manipulation” would need to be eliminated and replaced with language simply designating DCs as physician level providers on the same level as MDs and DOs who report/bill services to Medicare based on their individual state laws.”
Lamenting on the failure to stop discrimination in Medicare after the spending of “massive resources” over a decade, the groups embarked on a profession wide legislative effort.
During the Summit Group’s Roundtable discussions the Association of Chiropractic Colleges offered “compromise language” on subluxation that was placed into the preamble of the proposed new Medicare law. The Association of Chiropractic Colleges is made up of all of the chiropractic college Presidents in North America.
According to Hamm the language in the preamble only states that DCs must continue to have the ability to detect and correct subluxations of the spine for Medicare beneficiaries. This language is not in the actual proposed legislation.
While the Summit Group has a “rule” that individual organizations are not allowed to talk about internal deliberations without consent from the entire group, Hamm’s letter to the HOD revealed that six of the seven Summit Roundtable organizations voted in favor of this language without revealing which organization objected or abstained.
The obvious outlier appears to be the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) since the ICA recently came out with its own similar plan for reformation of Medicare.
Unfortunately, along with the ACA, the ICA plan also supports the same scope of practice expansion under Medicare based on state law and the ICA promotes its continued involvement with the Summit Group. The difference being the ICA wanting to keep subluxation in the law as opposed to a mention in the preamble.
The effect of going to Congress with two competing versions of legislative language on Medicare is obvious.
The contention that chiropractors are trained and educated as primary care physicians has been promoted by several organized groups, organizations, and trade associations within chiropractic.
These groups, professional organizations and schools are referred to as the Chiropractic Cartel because they enjoy a monopoly on the educational and licensing functions of the entire chiropractic profession throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
The Chiropractic Cartel includes mostly members of the so-called “Chiropractic Summit” group which has as one of its goals the establishment of chiropractic as the practice of primary care as chiropractic physicians.