Advocacy

Chiropractor scope of practice expansion bill in Congress

AOA and affiliates write a letter expressing strong opposition to a bill that would authorize chiropractors to use the title “physician” under the Medicare Part B program.

The AOA, the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society and the Washington Osteopathic Medical Association recently sent letters to Congress opposing a bill (H.R. 2654) that would authorize chiropractors to use the title “physician” under the Medicare Part B program and be paid the same rate for manual manipulation of the spine as DOs or MDs, as well any for other medical service they are licensed to perform.

In the letter, the AOA and its affiliates express strong concerns that the bill would establish a pathway for coverage and payment for chiropractors providing medical services for which they may have very limited or no formal training.

The letter also states that expanding Medicare coverage for chiropractors would likely lead to a significant expansion of chiropractors providing medical services in specialties where they have insufficient training and put patient safety at risk. Additionally, if H.R. 2654 is adopted, it would likely incentivize other health care professions to seek legislative changes in coverage and payment rates.

As data from states where there has been an expansion in nonphysician practice rights shows, patient access to care has not improved, while health care costs have increased. The AOA will continue to monitor this bill and take additional steps if necessary to prevent this bill from moving forward.

Related reading:

Scope of practice expansion: Patient safety sacrificed for greater access

Expanding GME, rather than expanding scope of practice, can alleviate looming physician shortage, DO writes

1 comment

  1. Chiropractors scope of practice is determined by the states and their respective boards. Most insurance policies only cover that scope. Admit it, this is about money not public safety!

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