Introduced Into US Congress
As reported in the March 9, 2001 PRNewswire,
Representative Wes Watkins, of Oklahoma, has introduced legislation that
would require Medicare
to reimburse doctors of chiropractic for the full scope of services they
are licensed to provide under state law. The bill has been named the
"Chiropractic Patients' Freedom of Choice Act."
Currently US Medicare only pays for what they term, "manual
manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation." This means
that under the current system any examination or x-ray procedures used in
a chiropractic office are not covered.
situation has deprived both beneficiaries and the program itself of the
health benefits and cost savings that might result from full and open
competition between doctors of chiropractic and other Medicare
providers,'' said American Chiropractic Association President Dr. James A.
Mertz. "Numerous research and actuarial studies all point to the fact
that chiropractic services could save the Medicare program billions of
dollars each year.''
According to the bill, the proposed legislation would
not add or require coverage of any new services under the Medicare
program. It would simply provide beneficiaries access to currently covered
Medicare services when performed by doctors of chiropractic.