Chiropractic and the Passing of the ACA
The months leading up to the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, were quite hectic for so many different groups within the medical community. There was significant pressure placed on professionals of various different disciplines, to ensure that when a state was developing its package of “essential” healthcare benefits, that their discipline was accounted for.
Sure, cardiologists, pulmonologists, orthopedists, and many more medical professionals had no problem securing their inclusion in state healthcare packages. But in the case of chiropractors and other practitioners of alternative medicine, there was heavy concern.
This “essential” healthcare benefits package includes all of the services in which state coverage will be required under the new healthcare law. Throughout 2012, chiropractors and chiropractic interest groups turned to the lobbyist community to make sure that their voices were heard. When the legislative process was all said and done, the efforts of the chiropractic lobby had done a great service for chiropractic care in the United States.
Initially, chiropractic care was included in almost half of the 50 states’ essential benefits packages. At the time there was much more of a clouded perception surrounding chiropractic care. There was not nearly as much trust in the discipline, and the body of research regarding the potential benefits of chiropractic care was quite limited.
In October 2014, the landscape of these essential benefits packages was much different. In a joint effort between the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the Robert Wood Johnshon Foundation, an in depth analysis identified chiropractic care as a component of essential health benefits packages in 45 out of 50 states, translating to an 88% level of coverage. This portrays significant growth in not only the provision of chiropractic care and state coverage of these services, but in the overall acceptance of this discipline into the framework of our newly formatted healthcare system.
All throughout the chiropractic community have worked hard to gain this momentum and ensure that chiropractic care is acknowledged as a true discipline of medicine. With 45 out of 50 states seeing chiropractic care fit to be included in their mandatory service provisions, the chiropractic community should be pleased with the results they have achieved.