Organization type: The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is a 501(c)(6) organization. This is a designation the Internal Revenue Service reserves for business leagues and boards of trade not organized for profit.
Organizational leadership: The ACA is operated by a House of Delegates, which consists of a president, vice president, and four board members—one of whom is a public member—together compromising the Board of Governors.
The ACA’s House also includes state delegates and alternate delegates, a FACA (Faculty American Chiropractic Association) delegate, a SACA (Student American Chiropractic Association) national chair, the council president and one representative from each affiliated state organization.
Mission statement: “To inspire and empower our members to elevate the health and wellness of their communities.”
Future vision: The ACA’s vision is to lead “a modern movement of chiropractic care based on higher standards and a focus on patient outcomes.” One of the ways it is working to achieve this goal is via a re-branding, resulting in the release of the “new ACA.”
Under the new ACA, this organization hopes to become more collaborative, while also having a greater focus on evidence-based practices. It also strives to promote adherence to its new clinical practice guidelines, which offer recommendations regarding the noninvasive treatment of low-back pain, creating a standard it calls “Hands Down Better.”
On its website: ACAToday.org offers several different sections, each providing information for various needs.
For instance, under the “Practice Resources” tab, you’ll find the latest compliance management practices, or you can learn more about coding, reimbursement and documentation. This page also offers information designed to help you market your practice, improve patient relations, and better understand many of the federal programs you may interact with regularly, such as Medicare, Veterans Affairs, and more.
The ACA also has a page dedicated to the latest chiropractic research, offering members the option of downloading ready-made infographics to easily share this information with others. Its “News & Publications” page also makes it easier to stay current in the field.
If you are looking for ways to earn your continuing education (CE) credits or simply want to expand your knowledge to improve your practice, you can find all of the upcoming ACA events and programs under the “Education & Events” tab. The ACA also offers on demand courses if you’re looking for programs you can take anytime.
To join: Most ACA memberships require that you’ve graduated from a four-year course at an accredited chiropractic college that is either recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or has a reciprocal agreement with a recognized agency and be a licensed doctor of chiropractic (DC). However, there are some packages available to individuals who have not earned this distinguished degree.
With that in mind, the 12-month membership package options include:
- Student membership ($60 for 4 years): For students enrolled in an accredited chiropractic college. Student members cannot vote in ACA elections and cannot hold office (membership automatically converts to new graduate upon graduation).
- New graduate membership (free the first year after graduation): New graduates can vote in ACA elections but cannot hold office.
- New practitioner membership (fees are given below):
- 2nd year of practice = $11 per month or $132 for the year
- 3rd year of practice = $22 per month or $264 for the year
- 4th year of practice = $33 per month or $396 for the year
- 5th year of practice = $44 per month or $528 for the year
New practitioners can vote in ACA elections and hold office.
- General membership ($55 per month or $660 per year): Members can vote in ACA elections and hold office.
- Chiropractic assistant membership (free): For office or support staff of general members; cannot vote in ACA elections and cannot hold office.
- Governor’s Advisory Cabinet ($100 per month or $1,200 per year): Advisory cabinet members can vote in ACA elections and hold office; this includes undefined “enhanced privileges.”
- Family membership ($27.50 per month or $330 per year): For family members of general members who practice in the same office; can vote in ACA elections, but cannot hold office.
- Retired/disabled membership ($11 per month or $132 per year): For DCs no longer practicing due to retirement or permanent disability; can vote in ACA elections, but cannot hold office.
- Sustaining membership ($27.50 per month or $330 per year): For DCs who are semi-retired (working fewer than 20 hours per week), working part time, or working in Department of Defense military treatment facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs or faculty members and administrators working at chiropractic colleges eight or more hours per week—cannot vote in ACA elections and cannot hold office.
- International membership ($14 per month or $165 per year): For DCs practicing outside the U.S.; cannot vote in ACA elections and cannot hold office
- Associate membership ($14 per month or $165 per year): For non-practicing DCs serving in the Armed Forces or attending college full time or full-time, non-DC faculty and administrators at chiropractic colleges or non-DC attorneys or executive directors of chiropractic organizations; cannot vote in ACA elections and cannot hold office.
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