Minnesota is feeling the budget crunch just like many other states, much less the nation, which led state legislators to make tough decisions regarding health care when passing the latest budget.However, while health care services were cut in a number of areas, annual chiropractic visits covered by the state for fee-for-service Medical Assistance patients actually doubled. As detailed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the new budget also provides for the development of a CAM demonstration project and extends state coverage to include acupuncture as provided by DCs and other providers.
Spearheading the beneficial provisions was seven-term Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), head of the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Finance Committee – and a Northwestern University of Health Sciences graduate.
The pro-chiropractic provision in the new budget is particularly significant because only a few years ago, annual chiropractic visits were slashed from 24 to 12 – a compromise that saved chiropractic care from being eliminated altogether from the state's Medical Assistance, General Assistance and Minnesota-Care programs.
Another Insurer to Make Amends for Oversights
Just last issue, we reported that Aetna Connecticut would review all chiropractic claims received after July 1 to ensure no claims had been denied in violation of the state's equality law, which mandates that DCs be paid the same as MDs for providing the same services. Now, Cigna – which has been taking heat for several years from VI Equicare, a U.S. Virgin Islands-based PPO, for denying CPT code 97140 (manual therapy) when billed with modifier -59 (indicating a distinct procedural service) – has agreed to reimburse all such claims incorrectly processed / denied.
West Point Hotel to Dedicate Room to Brig. Gen. Halstead
Retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, the first female West Point graduate to command at the strategic level and now a spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, will be honored by the Thayer Hotel at West Point on Nov. 2, 2011. The hotel, known for hosting five U.S. presidents and numerous world leaders, will dedicate a room to Gen. Halstead and outfit it with customized decor reflecting her global contributions.
"I am humbled to my knees to accept a room at the Thayer Hotel to be decorated in my honor," said Gen. Halstead. "These rooms are amongst the most celebrated in the world, and I am privileged to be chosen to join and remain present in a place so significant to our nation's history."
Other military heroes who will be honored with rooms at the Thayer Hotel include Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Gen. Barry McCaffery and Gen. Martin Dempsey.