Medicare Equality – How to Get Involved
Illinois’ Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), National Government Services (NGS), modified its Local Carrier Determination (LCD) for chiropractic services in 2015. This change was significant because it gave chiropractic physicians the ability to appropriately list secondary diagnoses (secondary only to the Medicare required subluxation diagnosis) on the claim forms. This was a significant step towards Medicare provider equality; however, we continue to be reimbursed only for spinal adjustments. Full scope inclusion in Medicare is critical for the chiropractic profession.
Medicare equality has been and continues to be a high priority for the Illinois Chiropractic Society (ICS) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Several ICS representatives, along with students at the National University of Health Sciences, met with Congressional members in Washington DC in late February to discuss this critical topic, and we continue to have these conversations with policymakers.
We all know and understand the problems that both doctors and patients experience with this short-sighted policy, and we all must take appropriate actions to address our concerns. Patients are being forced to pay for services that Medicare requires our doctors to both perform and charge (i.e., examinations) and for services that are necessary to bring patients back to health (i.e., physical therapy). However, we have been unable to effect change in Washington to date. The ICS and the ACA both believe it is time, and our national ACA lobbyists are working diligently to file legislation to address the inequality.
While the ACA is addressing the issue in Washington, what can Illinois’ doctors do?
Support key Congressional members:
Fixing the inequality will require the support of key Congresspersons and Senators in Washington. If you are unsure of where to begin, you could attend or support tonight’s event for Congressman Peter Roskam, who is the chairperson of the powerful Health subcommittee of Ways and Means:
Tonight (May 3) at 5:30 p.m.
Offices of Dr. Kenneth Olson
Pure Health Physical Medicine
2116 W. Galena Blvd., Ste. 112
Aurora, IL 60506
You can find more information or how to participate here: https://www.acatoday.org/Advocacy/Rep-Peter-Roskam- Event
Improve your documentation:
Although chiropractic physician error rates are on the decline, please make sure that you are documenting fully according to Medicare standards. We have several online courses designed to assist you with this process. You can see the courses at www.illinoiscme.com.
Educate your Medicare patients:
The lack of reimbursement impacts your patients directly, so let your patients know that they can call their Congresspersons and Senators and ask them to fix the problem. Additionally, ask them to sign the Medicare Equality Petition.