ADVOCACY & LEGISLATION
As the largest professional association representing Doctors of Chiropractic in Pennsylvania, public policy advocacy is a mission-critical function of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association.
Public policy advocacy, especially when it comes to federal and state legislation, as well as state regulations, includes embracing and touting a health policy founded on the concept of conservative care first, which is well known to the Chiropractic profession, but a concept that is still developing within the public policy arena.
Advocacy--shaping legislation, regulations and overall public policy--is one of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association's five strategic pillars and included in PCA’s 5-year strategic plan, PCA2020. One of the most vital roles of the PCA is to promote the passage of legislation and regulations that support Doctors of Chiropractic and their patients, as well as oppose legislation that is detrimental to Chiropractors, our current health care system, and patients. PCA’s advocacy initiatives and efforts directly affect every Doctor of Chiropractic in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
As a PCA member or a Pennsylvania-licensed Doctor of Chiropractic, one of the most important things YOU can do to assist YOUR Chiropractic profession is to know your state legislators! Click here to find your local State Representative and State Senator. Interested in joining PCA's mission to advance the profession? Email us to inquire about joining PCA's Legislative Committee!
“Tip of the spear” for PA Chiropractors & Patients
Case S. Phillips, DC, Chair, PCA Legislative Committee
This month’s legislative update leads off with some good news from Harrisburg.
Chiropractic champion Senator David Argall (R- Schuylkill, Berks; Senate Majority Policy Chair) introduced Senate Bill 1215, “Parity in Payment.”
Some health plans in Pennsylvania deliberately reimburse chiropractors at a lesser rate, especially for evaluations and radiographic films. Senator Argall and PCA are leading the fight to end insurers’ discriminatory practices. We thank Senator Argall for defending and supporting our beloved profession. Dave Argall is a true warrior for chiropractic.
On the third Wednesday of each month, PCA’s Legislative Committee meets with our lobbying firm, McNees-Winter Group. On May 20, 2020, the Legislative Committee met with a light agenda, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. As Legislative Committee Chair, I yielded the floor to PCA’s key lobbyist, former Lt. Governor Mark Singel, who discussed PCA’s legislative priority items.
House Bill 517, the “delegation” bill, remains in the House Professional Licensure Committee. We continue our work with Committee Chair Representative David Hickernell to push for consideration of HB 517 in the remaining days of this session (ends November 30). Since our last PCA DIRECT, the Legislative Committee organized a letter writing and telephone campaign requesting that Chairman Hickernell move the bill out of his committee and onto the House floor for a vote. When the PA House of Representatives returns to session, PCA will again call upon its members to make a second intensive outreach to Rep. Hickernell, as well as members of his committee.
Pennsylvania DCs, PCA members included, MUST lead the charge in restoring our freedom to delegate exercise therapy to TRAINED personnel.
PCA members are reminded that exercise therapy CANNOT be delegated to unlicensed personnel until a legislative solution is in place. That is PCA’s end goal- a legislative solution via HB 517 (LINK HERE TO FIND MY PA STATE LEGISLATOR). Will you do your part to see HB 517 become law this year?
Governor Wolf’s veto of a telemedicine bill was also discussed. Although the bill passed the House and Senate, it included restrictive language that would have limited telemedicine use for certain types of medications and treatments, including abortion, which led to Governor Wolf’s veto.
Additionally, SB 637 is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature; this bill directs that a licensing board or commission go through a two-stage review when considering whether an individual applicant’s criminal conviction disqualifies her or him from state licensure.
One more important item- the issue of “surprise balance billing” may soon see action at the federal level- the US Congress. Stay in touch with PCA for updates on that important federal legislative initiative.
On a final note, members are reminded that your PCA team needs support from YOU. Please find the time to
join our legislative calls and meet with your state representative and senator (LINK TO PCA KEY CONTACT). Like you would do for new patients, introduce your legislators to your practice, your patients and PCA’s legislative slate.
You’ll be glad you took the time to do so and much like your relationships with your
patients, you’ll likely develop a long-term rapport with your state senator and representative. *
August 13, 2018
A MAJOR WIN for the PCA & ACA: UHC WITHDRAWS “NO REIMBURSEMENTS FOR HEADACHES” POLICY FOR DC’S
During PCA’s Annual Convention this past June in State College, ACA President N. Ray Tuck, DC engaged with Pennsylvania’s DCs, including offering comments at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Members and meeting with the PCA Board of Directors for an extensive briefing on the heavy-handed antics of the health insurance industry. One item that sparked intensive discussion amongst PCA’s Board of Directors was the recent policy decision by UnitedHealthCare to stop reimbursing DCs for treatment of headaches. Dr. Tuck promised to step up a more aggressive response to this issue and shortly after returning to the ACA, he made good on his promise. Likewise, PCA promised to provide Dr. Tuck with as much ammunition as possible in opposition to UHC’s clinically baseless and profit-driven policy.... READ MORE HERE
August 10, 2018
Aetna/ Magellan/ NIA
On your behalf, YOUR PCA Executive Team had a conference call with Aetna/ NIA/ Magellan on August 2, 2018 to discuss the upcoming Utilization Management program, which is scheduled to begin on September 1, 2018.
The PCA Executive Team requested the call with Aetna/ NIA/ Magellan. Prior to the call, the PCA set the agenda with 26 detailed questions that were based on PCA members’ questions and concerns.... Click here to read more about the call.
June 20, 2018
State Farm v. Robert J. Cavoto
Jason B. Martin, Esquire, PCA General Counsel
In the case of State Farm v. Robert J. Cavoto, a Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge recently held that a chiropractor who delegates therapeutic exercises to unlicensed supportive personnel is in violation of the Pennsylvania
Chiropractic Practice Act. In other words, according to the opinion rendered by the Judge, a Pennsylvania chiropractor violates state law when the chiropractor prescribes therapeutic exercise and has a CA or staff supervise the patient doing
the exercise, even when the chiropractor is in the office suite while the exercises are performed. CA or staff includes athletic trainers, exercise physiologists and other unlicensed individuals... read more here
July 5, 2018
Act 67 of 2018 (formerly Senate Bill 892) - Chiropractic Education Bill
PCA's successful initiative led by Senator Guy Reschenthaler (Allegheny, Washington) scored a major victory for patients, students, and chiropractors when Senate Bill 892 passed the PA General Assembly during the week of June 18, 2018, and was sent to Governor Wolf to sign into law. SB 892 allows students to obtain the hands-on clinical experience they need to gain their credentials. Prior to Governor Wolf signing the legislation into law, Chiropractic students had to go out-of-state for clinical training. "The new law will spur the establishment of PA Chiropractic schools and increase the chances of students establishing practices in the Commonwealth", said PCA’s 2018- 2020 President Alison Benedetto, DC. Act 67 of 2018 is being hailed for bringing better access to health care for patients, as well as for providing new economic opportunities for the Chiropractic profession in the Commonwealth. Click on the video below for a summary of this Act from Immediate Past President, Dr. Ray Benedetto:
July 31, 2015
Fairness in Co-Payment Act - Act 39 of 2015
Based on numerous members’ complaints and those of many Chiropractic patients, the PCA took the lead on this important health consumer and provider issue. Partnering with the PA Physical Therapy Association and a consortium of other health care providers, PCA was able to take on the insurance interests and win a victory for patients and providers. Known as the Fairness in Co-Payment Act, Senator McIlhinney commented, “This measure will better protect health plan policyholders by preventing insurance companies from shifting an even greater share of the financial burden onto consumers.” Read more here...
HELPFUL LINKS & INFORMATION