Q: Will I still be able to go to my chiropractor when healthcare reform laws take effect?
A: Many of the changes are already occurring in healthcare reform. Most of these changes will not even be noticed by any patient for a while as they don’t drastically change your relationship with your doctor. I am seeing higher out of pocket costs for some of my patients, which I don’t like to see. But, this trend will continue and higher costs will be the norm. I do not think, however, anyone will be unable to visit their chiropractor.
To the contrary, health care reform has brought additional recognition to the chiropractic field. Doctors of chiropractic and their patients will benefit from a provider non-discrimination provision that reads, in part, “A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under applicable State law.”
The American Chiropractic Association has long fought for such a non-discrimination provision. This federal law is applicable to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans. The law also specifically includes doctors of chiropractic as potential members of interdisciplinary community health teams, clusters of public health staff who deliver services in the community. A team generally consists of primary care providers, specialists, public health nurses, and outreach workers.
I feel that chiropractic is going to undergo a major phase of acceptance among the medical community. This has been happening a lot already in recent years, especially in other parts of the country, and is long overdue. It is the preventative focus that chiropractors of preached about regarding health care that is the buzz now in an attempt to find ways to better manage the chronic diseases that have now crippled our healthcare system, negatively affected our entire economy, and forces millions to suffer. It is blatantly obvious to those that make decisions that the “more pills for everyone” philosophy is not working. Chiropractic has a major role to play in this new type of healthcare I think it will be more utilized.
Talk with your chiropractor about the impact, if any, that health care reform will have on your relationship.
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