Big Changes for the Chiropractic Profession

Big Changes for the Chiropractic Profession

While our children grow up in our households, sometimes we don’t see the monumental physical changes they undergo. Hair gets longer; our boys gain strength and muscle; all the kids get taller. However, when friends who haven’t been by in the last year drop-in, they remind us of how much our children have changed by commenting about how they looked just a few years ago.

Sometimes, it takes a little historical glance to remember change in other areas. The ICS has always made an incredible impact on the chiropractic profession in Illinois, but in the last 12 years, so much has changed. The following is a brief list of legislation that the Illinois Chiropractic Society both introduced and passed on your behalf in the last 12 years.

Introduced and Passed

Insurance Recoupment

The ICS introduced and passed legislation and led a group of health care professions for the first time establishing a limit on the period for which health plans (insurers) may demand recoupment. Previously unlimited, insurers may now only seek refunds for the previous 18-months in the absence of proven fraud.

Scope Clarification

The ICS introduced and passed legislation resulting in an amendment to the Medical Practice Act, clarifying the physician status of chiropractic physicians,  defining the scope of chiropractic physicians to include the administration of atmospheric oxygen, and authorizing DCs to provide advice regarding the use or overuse of over-the-counter products.

Delegation Legislation

In response to an Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation opinion that the Medical Practice Act did not permit chiropractic physicians to delegate patient care tasks to office personnel, the ICS introduced and passed legislation to permit such delegation to qualified licensed and unlicensed assistants in the physician office. 

Student Sick Leave Authority

The ICS introduced and passed legislation that re-affirmed the authority of DCs to certify student sick leave.

Teacher Sick Leave Authority

The ICS introduced and passed legislation that re-affirmed the authority of DCs to sign school certification for teacher sick leave.

State Board of Health Representation

The ICS introduced and passed legislation to add chiropractic physicians to the State Board of Health, to join MD/DO physicians, a dentist and mental health practitioner on the board.

Assisted Living Facility Parity

The ICS introduced and passed legislation to establish that chiropractic physicians have parity with MD/DO physicians to provide services within the scope of their licensure to residents of Assisted Living facilities, without needing additional licensure under the Assisted Living and shared Housing Act.

External Health Care Review

ICS introduced and passed legislation allows for chiropractic physicians to assist patients during an External Health Carrier Review. Chiropractic physicians are now allowed to provide information and evidence to prove a given treatment was medically necessary, and therefore should be a covered service. This process was created and is intended for claims that are denied by the insurance provider for being “Experimental and/or Investigational.”

Minor Consent

The ICS introduced and passed legislation that created parity among health care providers regarding the types of providers who may treat emancipated minors. The ICS began working on this legislation with numerous other health care groups after our doctors were unable to provide needed treatment to certain groups of young people, such as minors living on their own because these young people were not permitted to give their own consent for chiropractic treatment.

Medically Prescribed Diets and Dietitians

The ICS introduced and passed legislation to remove the previously restrictive language and allow chiropractic physicians to initiate a “medically prescribed diet” both directly or in coordination with a dietitian. Previously the bill restricted that service to MDs and DOs.

Other Critical Impacts

In addition to passed legislation, our advocacy efforts include defense, bill modification, regulatory body advocacy for non-legislative initiatives, rule comments for the chiropractic profession and much more. Here are just a few of the many different issues that the Illinois Chiropractic Society has impacted on your behalf. These are just a few of the many reasons that ICS members support your state organization.

Fee Splitting Clarification

The ICS was actively involved in successful legislation updating the fee-splitting provisions of the Medical Practice Act, thus clarifying that physicians may pay collection agencies a percentage of their recoveries and that 2 or more licensed health care workers may divide fees for concurrently rendering services to a patient, provided that the patient has knowledge of the division and that it is made in proportion to the actual services performed and responsibility assumed by each licensee.

PT Employment Legislation

Following an Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation opinion that physicians (DCs, MDs, and DOs alike) could not employ physical therapists, the ICS was actively involved in successful legislation (including an override of Governor Quinn’s veto) amending the Medical Practice Act to clarify that physicians may employ other licensed health care workers and other persons, including physical therapists.

Vocational Rehabilitation Parity

In response to comments by the ICS and NUHS, the Department of Human Services revised vocational rehabilitation rules to permit chiropractic physicians to provide supporting documentation indicating no contraindications to a patient undergoing spinal manipulation (originally the rule would have required an M.D. or D.O. to provide the opinion).

Disabled Parking

The ICS successfully lobbied the Secretary of State to revise its rules to require that its branch offices accept the signature of chiropractic physicians on certifications of disability for disabled parking placards or plates.

Laser Pulsed Light Rule

As a direct result of formal comments submitted by the ICS and NUHS, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation revised proposed rules that would have prohibited chiropractic physicians from using non-cutting (cold) laser in the treatment of patients.  The ICS was successful in affirming the right of chiropractic physicians to use devices that cannot cut skin, thus preserving the right to use cold laser.

Illinois State Board of Education

After ICS submitted written concerns questioning ISBE policy, the ISBE now permits DCs to sign requests for food substitutions for non-disabled students.


Like that friendly reminder about our children growing up, we all need that reminder of how much we are progressing as a profession in Illinois. We hope to provide perspective with this list that only lists major highlights of our advocacy achievements to advance the chiropractic profession.

About Author

Marc Abla, CAE

Marc Abla began working at the Illinois Chiropractic Society in 2002 and became the Executive Director in 2008. He brings his extensive financial, administrative and association experience to the ICS. He is a Certified Association Executive and a graduate of the Certified Leadership Series through the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Additionally, he is a member of the Illinois Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, Association Forum, Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, and the American Chiropractic Association.


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