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Congress Passes Legislation Expanding Veteran Access to Nondrug Chiropractic Services

Friday, April 13, 2018  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2018

 

Congress Passes Legislation Expanding Veteran Access 
to Nondrug Chiropractic Services

 

Afton, Va. -- Congress, with the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, has approved a plan to expand access to chiropractic’s nondrug approach to pain relief to veterans, many of whom suffer from back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions resulting from their service.  

The Senate voted 65-32 to approve the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package on March 16. The vote follows House passage, and the bill now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.  

Supported by several veterans groups and championed in Congress by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the approved language calls for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand the availability of chiropractic services at no fewer than two medical centers or clinics in each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) by no later than December 31, 2019, and at no fewer than 50 percent of all medical centers in each VISN by no later than December 31, 2021.

The measure also, for the first time, codifies and broadens chiropractic services in the VA to include services provided by doctors of chiropractic under the Preventive Health Services and Medical categories--in addition to existing coverage under Rehabilitative Services--placing chiropractors in service categories previously closed to them.

Currently, veterans have access to chiropractic services at more than 70 major VA treatment facilities in the United States, but nearly 100 VA sites offer little to no availability. This disparity comes at a time when the need for drug-free options for musculoskeletal conditions is urgent. VA data cites “diseases of the musculoskeletal system/connective system” such as back pain as the No. 1 ailment experienced by veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who access VA treatment. Moreover, surveys show that, similar to the civilian population, many veterans struggle with prescription painkiller (opioid) addiction.

[Extracted from a 3/23/2018 press release provided by American Chiropractic Association. For more details, visit, www.acatoday.org. For International Chiropractors Association advocacy news, visit www.chiropractic.org.]


 

 

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