Sponsored by The American Chiropractic Association.
The COVID pandemic over the past two years has presented challenges to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and its members, but 2020-21 has seen ACA’s leadership, members and staff pulled together, no more so than in the support and progress of the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654).
The original bill, sidelined by Congress’ need to focus on pandemic relief in early 2020, still managed to end the 116th Congress with 91 cosponsors. In April of this year, Congress reintroduced the legislation, which would allow Medicare beneficiaries access to the chiropractic profession’s broad-based, non-drug approach to pain management, an important strategy in national efforts to stem the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse. As of August 2021, the bill had 63 congressional cosponsors.
Bringing together stakeholders
In 2020 alone, ACA lobbyists and its member advocates met with more than 300 legislators to urge their support of the bill. The ACA adapted its annual Advocacy Day on the Hill into a virtual format that enabled groups of members to meet with congressional members and exchange data as well as powerful stories of how chiropractic helps patients and improves outcomes. Other stakeholders the ACA works with include ChiroCongress (also represented on the ACA’s Legislative Committee), Clinical Compass, the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, the American Black Chiropractic Association, NCMIC, and many state associations.
It was the ACA early in the COVID pandemic that ensured chiropractic’s place on the Department of Homeland Security’s list of essential workers, enabling doctors of chiropractic to provide essential care to their patients, some of whom were on the front lines of the pandemic.
Moving chiropractic forward
As the standard bearer of chiropractic, in addition to aggressively promoting the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act, the ACA continues to champion research and partner on research initiatives with key industry stakeholders in support of patient-centered chiropractic care. Diversity is promoted through the ACA’s Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), which held the association’s first-ever EDI Forum in late 2020 to explore diversity issues and challenges in the chiropractic profession. A special leadership roundtable on EDI issues was also convened. The ACA’s first Faculty Symposium was held, due to COVID, as a virtual meeting in 2020 and 2021, and the ACA enjoyed a 119% increase in reach with its 2020 “Active and Adaptive” campaign for National Chiropractic Health Month.
Financial stability and sustainability
Throughout the past year the ACA was able to diversity its revenue via conference sponsorships, endorsements, and advertising which will heal reach the goal of having 25% of its revenue from non-dues sources. The ACA continues to add more diversity to leadership, better reflecting the chiropractic profession and the ability to attract new members.
Embracing professional pride
The ACA champions programs supporting the essential role and value of the profession. Initiatives include:
Consumer focused HandsDownBetter.org website
Improved Find-A-Doctor online research tool
Print on-demand patient-centered educational material to help educate patients on health topics and support of pro-chiropractic legislation.
Support H.R. 2654
The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654) was introduced by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) and would increase Medicare coverage of services provided by doctors of chiropractic within the full extent of their state licensure and would align Medicare with chiropractic coverage offered in many private health and Medicare Advantage plans.
“We applaud Rep. Higgins and the cosponsors for their support of modernizing Medicare’s chiropractic coverage to meet the needs of today’s beneficiaries, who should not only be able to choose their provider but also access necessary covered services conveniently and safely during these challenging times,” said ACA President Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD.
We remain deeply impressed by how much ACA members — through direct efforts and their membership support — have accomplished, and that continued support remains vital. To urge your member of Congress to support this important legislation, visit www.HR2654.org.
About the ACA
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor.
We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways — by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices.
We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic.