October 05,2004

Chairman Grassley works to make sure chiropractic services treated fairly by Medicare program

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley said that the Department of Health and HumanServices has made the right decision in suspending plans to allow Medicare carriers to establishlimits on the number of services a chiropractor could provide to an individual Medicarebeneficiary.

"The administration's positive action to delay any such limits is a significant step towardsmore equitable treatment for chiropractors in the Medicare program," Grassley said."Automatically denying payment for services once an arbitrary limit is reached would result inclaims being denied without medical review. No other providers in the Medicare program havelimits put on the number of services they can provide, so why should chiropractors?"

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers theMedicare program, published proposed instructions to set frequency limits for chiropracticservices. Grassley made the case against such a plan in September by making a personal phonecall and sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

"I really appreciate Secretary Thompson and Administrator McClellan's response onbehalf of chiropractors," Grassley said. "And I look forward to continuing our dialogue about thevalue of chiropractic services to the health and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries."

The Iowa senator has a record of supporting access to chiropractic care for Medicarebeneficiaries. Last year, Grassley won passage of legislation to establish a two yeardemonstration program at four sites to evaluate the feasibility of covering additional chiropracticservices under Medicare. His provision was included in the Medicare prescription druglegislation enacted in December 2003. Grassley's measure further expands the scope ofchiropractic services covered by Medicare consistent with private insurance, other federal healthplans and state practice laws. Previously, only one chiropractic service was covered underMedicare.

Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, is the founding college of thechiropractic profession.

In the U.S. Senate, Grassley is Chairman of the Committee on Finance, which isresponsible for all Medicare legislation.