October 2, 2012 — The American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) House of Delegates (HOD) met Sept. 29 to approve policy statements, hold elections, and hear reports as part of its annual meeting, which was held electronically for the first time in the association’s history. The decision to hold the meeting in a virtual setting mirrors the association’s aim to take bold steps and seize opportunities to make the services of chiropractic physicians more widely available and equitably reimbursed.
Speaking to delegates, ACA President Keith Overland, DC, expressed gratitude to the profession’s past leaders and noted that today’s leadership must promise “to continue their work until every last patient who wants to see a DC can do so without any discriminatory barriers placed in their path.”
“Our small profession must continue to press on for what is right and what is just,” he continued, noting that millions of patients count on chiropractic’s “collaborative, integrated, distinctive approach to health care that uses conservative, natural approaches first.”
Vice President Anthony Hamm, DC, added that “bold steps are indeed an ingredient to professional success,” and that differences among doctors of chiropractic (DCs) should not be considered a weakness but instead a strength for the profession in achieving its goals.
Among reports presented, delegates received information on an innovative “visioning” process that the association is undertaking to add greater focus to its goals and use of resources and better position itself for future challenges and opportunities.
To better prepare chiropractic physicians to play on a level field with other health care providers, ACA delegates passed a resolution promoting strict standards of conduct by encouraging members to adhere to not only ACA’s Code of Ethics but all relevant federal and state statutes providing anti-fraud standards. “The ACA opposes any type of fraud within the chiropractic profession and within the insurance industry, third-party payers, managed care organizations or other entities where restrictive and unfair reimbursement practices toward the chiropractic profession exist,” the resolution notes.
Recognizing the increased integration of chiropractic services in various practice models, delegates also passed a policy offering guidelines on participating in multi-disciplinary practices to help chiropractic physicians evaluate whether such opportunities emphasize financial gain over clinical appropriateness. The policy touches on the importance of an independent legal consultation before entering into an agreement and also provides specific guidance on hiring personnel, patient supervision, referrals, and coding and billing issues.
Finally, the HOD approved guidance for DCs on how to properly use CPT codes to describe kinesiology taping procedures that support and protect muscles.
Election of officers
Seasoned veterans will remain on the executive committee of ACA’s Board of Governors (BOG) and in top leadership positions in the HOD, while two new district governors will join ACA’s board.
Dr. Overland, of Norwalk, Conn., was re-elected ACA president; Michael Simone, DC, of Dacono, Colo., will continue as chairman of the board of governors and governor of District 6. Dr. Hamm of Goldsboro, N.C., maintained his position as the third member of ACA’s executive committee and was re-elected ACA vice president.
In governor elections, James Rehberger, DC, of Highland, Ill., was elected governor of District 2, succeeding F. Dow Bates, DC, of Des Moines, Iowa, who stepped down after six years of service on the BOG. In addition, Richard Bruns, DC, of Bangor, Maine, was elected governor of District 4; and Joseph Morelli, DC, of Waipahu, Hawaii, was re-elected governor of District 7.
In Council of Delegate elections, held on Sept. 20 in advance of the HOD meeting, David Herd, DC, of Geneva, N.Y., was re-elected president of the Council of Delegates; Karen Konarski-Hart, DC, of Little Rock, Ark., was elected vice president; and Michele Maiers, DC, of Minneapolis, Minn., was elected secretary.
Doctors not up for re-election who will continue to serve on the board include: Kelli Pearson, DC, of Spokane Valley, Wash., governor of District 1; Robert Tennant, DC, of Shirley, Ind., governor of District 3; John McGinnis, DC, of Sumter, S.C., governor of District 5; and Rick McMichael, DC, of Canton, Ohio, immediate past president.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, acatoday.org