The fifth Chiropractic Summit, held in Washington, D.C., in mid-May, yielded a unified call to action that urges all chiropractors, students, patients and chiropractic organizations to mobilize and represent the profession as health care reform discussions get underway.
It is imperative that you take immediate action to help ensure that your interests and those of your patients who need and depend on the essential services provided by a doctor of chiropractic are fully protected in any final legislation likely to emerge from Congress. Specifically, we must:
A) Guarantee that essential services delivered by a doctor of chiropractic are included as a covered benefit under any national reform plan.
B) Ensure that all plans (including Medicare) allow for full direct access to the providers and health care pathways of their choice. Every patient should have the right to choose and be reimbursed for all health care services from doctors of chiropractic without barriers and limitations that unfairly restrict their freedom of choice.
C) Defeat any attempt to impose an MD-referral requirement for patients to obtain access to chiropractic care.
This is what you need to do today:
1) Contact your members of Congress (House member and two U.S. senators) immediately using ACA's Legislative Action Center [access at www.chirovoice.org] or ICA's [legislative site], www.adjustthevote.org. At both sites, you can sign on to mobilize your patients and send regular appropriate pre-prepared messages to Congress quickly and efficiently.
2) Contact the President of the United States immediately via www.healthreform.gov and write a letter directly to the president, expressing your personal wishes regarding chiropractic inclusion in any reform proposal. Address your letter to:
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
The fifth chiropractic summit comes only months after the fourth summit, held in Las Vegas in January 2009, which also culminated in a unified message - on Medicare reform. The consensus statement approved at the January meeting said, in part: "Medicare beneficiaries should have the right to choose and be reimbursed for health care services from doctors of chiropractic without barriers and limitations," and suggests a simple solution to the Medicare crisis: "[L]egislation should provide reimbursement to beneficiaries for the full range of currently covered health care services when provided by doctors of chiropractic consistent with state law."
Medicare and the national debate on system-wide health care reform have been the primary focus of discussions at all five summit meetings, convened under the auspices of a broad-based steering committee comprised of representatives of four major chiropractic organizations: the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, the American Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractors Association and COCSA. The first summit, held in September 2007, also in Washington, D.C., featured representatives of 13 chiropractic organizations. Since then, representation has grown considerably; an estimated 40 national and international chiropractic leaders representing 30-plus organizations concerned with the current and future welfare of the profession now participate.