October 4, 2013 — The American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) House of Delegates (HOD) met Sept. 27-29 to approve policy statements, hear reports and set direction for the organization during its annual meeting, held at the headquarters of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) in Greeley, Colo.
Adapting to change was an overarching theme in many presentations and discussions at this year’s meeting. Speaking to delegates, ACA President Keith Overland, DC, noted, “We have an opportunity facing us like never before in history. Our entire U.S. health care system is transforming. The payment mechanisms and delivery system are changing. Evidence and cost-effectiveness are required. We must stop clinging to the past if we want to create the future.”
To that end, experts talked to delegates about the need to encourage chiropractic physicians to reach out and become active with other provider groups involved in new integrative health care delivery models such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes. Delegates were also urged to share ACA resources to help DCs nationwide meet important deadlines for quality measurement in Medicare, federal HIPAA patient privacy regulations and transition to ICD-10 codes.
Delegates welcomed change internally at ACA with the transfer of staff leadership to new CEO James Potter, who replaces retiring executive vice president William O’Connell. Potter informed delegates that plans for updated technology at ACA headquarters and new collaborative approaches will create “a more nimble, more focused and more responsive national association” that is better able to meet strategic goals. “I believe there is an emerging new vision for ACA and it’s palpable. You can feel it. Something is going on. You all are thinking differently,” he said.
As part of its work, the HOD approved resolutions and bylaws. Significant to the profession is the following:
Best Practices and Clinical Guidelines: With more of health care payers transitioning to models supporting evidence-based health care practices, delegates approved a resolution to develop an ACA work group to review current and future best practice and guideline documents for potential adoption. The resolution points out that management of many commonly encountered disorders by chiropractic physicians is under scrutiny by third-party payers, and notes that “evidence-informed practice incorporates evidence-based research, established clinical guidelines, standard and accepted diagnostic algorithms and, diagnostic procedures and patient preference used in conjunction with the clinician’s clinical skills.”
While in Greeley, Delegates and ACA leadership took the opportunity to honor three worthy individuals. Retiring NBCE executive vice president Horace Elliott and William O’Connell were both presented with the ACA Leadership Award, recognizing individuals who have provided exceptional leadership and service to the profession. In addition, Oregon delegate Vern Saboe was honored with a special award for his contributions to ACA member recruitment.