WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act to ensure Medicare patients have full coverage of chiropractic care. As medical professionals have reported seeing more neck and back pain in their patients over the pandemic, this bipartisan legislation would expand Medicare’s coverage of chiropractic services, ensuring Medicare patients have access to chiropractic care as a non-drug alternative for pain management.
“Chiropractors can provide patients with a wide range of health care services, but current restrictions under Medicare prevent them from offering seniors a full scope of treatments or ordering diagnostic services. This is particularly an issue in rural areas. Our bill, the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act, provides care options from chiropractors for Medicare patients suffering from back or neck pain, and ensures they can receive the care they need,” said Senator Cramer.
“This bill will make it easier for seniors to get the chiropractic care they need for their pain,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Burdensome regulations currently in place are an onerous obstacle for Medicare patients seeking necessary treatment. By expanding Medicare coverage to all chiropractic services, this measure will ensure seniors have alternative means of treatment when managing their pain—a substitute to potentially addictive opioid prescriptions.”
“Chiropractic services can make a world of difference for patients suffering from chronic pain,” said Senator Wicker. “I am glad to join this bipartisan effort to expand access and improve flexibility for Medicare patients who want an alternative to narcotics for pain management.”
“The more than 1.1 million Wisconsinites on Medicare should have the option to receive safe chiropractic care should they want it,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to join this bipartisan legislation to ensure Medicare covers this non-drug approach to pain management for its recipients.”
Medicare has covered some chiropractic care since 1972, but outdated regulations require beneficiaries to seek diagnostic tests elsewhere and then return to the chiropractor for covered care. By removing obstacles that do not exist under most private insurance plans, the legislation would expand Medicare coverage to allow access to all chiropractic care, such as x-rays and other diagnostic services, needed to determine and prescribe appropriate treatment. It would also provide access to alternative means of treatment for patients suffering from back or neck pain that may be otherwise be treated by opioid prescriptions.
The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act is supported by the American Chiropractor Association.
Click here for bill text.