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Health Care Legislation Includes Gains and Shortfalls for Integrative Medicine … plus more

by John Weeks

Integrative Practice Leaders on the Passage of the Health Care Bill The passage of historic health care legislation (HR 3590) by Congress in March 2010 included gains and shortfalls for stakeholders in the integrative practice arena. Leaders of various health care organizations associated with integrative practice fields sent out a flurry of e-announcements to their members the subsequent week. Many celebrated the passage of language that mandates nondiscrimination among licensed practitioners in Section 2706, which states, “a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under applicable State law.” “Historic pro-chiropractic provisions in reform bill” headlined the March 21 electronic notice from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), which held passage of nondiscrimination as its top priority. The ACA anticipates that the nondiscrimination provisions will also extend to the 50 million individuals in self-insured plans of employers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). In addition, the ACA adds that, under the legislation, doctors of chiropractic are to be specifically included in medical homes and workforce planning. An ACA spokesperson states, “The bill doesn’t level the playing field but (includes) steps in the right direction.”

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