Summary: To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide Medicare coverage for all physicians’ services furnished by doctors of chiropractic within the scope of their license, and for other purposes. (Cosponsors Bipartisan)
ANGIE CRAIG’S POSITION: Representative Craig Cosponsored the bill on 10/29/19.
STATUS: Introduced 7/09/19 by Rep. Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26].
INFORMATION RELATED TO THE BILL:
Chiropractic care was first allowed by Medicare in 1972. Since then, the only service that Medicare can reimburse has been manual manipulation of the spine. The program does not allow for chiropractic practices like joint mobilization, physiological therapies, soft tissue massage techniques, and other treatments, which are covered by private sector health coverage plans and other federal health delivery systems like the VA. The American College of Physicians recently updated their guidelines on lower back pain treatment to suggest using non-drug treatments, like those offered by a chiropractor, before prescription drugs.
Congressman Higgins said about the bill: “35 million Americans receive chiropractic care each year, and seniors in the Medicare program should have the option of continuing the same drug-free pain management options that they prefer through their Medicare coverage. This legislation would accomplish that.” (Source: Rep. Higgins, Press Release, 7/09/19)
Just The Facts: HR 3654 (Source: Elite Sport and Spine)
- Appropriately defines a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) as a “physician” in the Medicare program.
- Provides patient access to all Medicare-covered benefits allowable under a chiropractor’s state licensure.
- Requires that DCs complete a documentation webinar.
- Is bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.).