Posted on Mar 25, 2020
ACA to Federal Government: Chiropractic Profession Essential to Patients, Ready to Assist Against COVID-19
Arlington, Va. – The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reached out this week to the federal government to underscore that the services doctors of chiropractic provide are essential to many patients—including those who continue to provide critical services and support to the pubic during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
As they provide this essential support, chiropractors share the public health responsibility of slowing the transmission of COVID-19. For those who continue to see urgent cases, ACA has recommended that DCs employ strict hygienic practices at every point of patient contact and keep up to date with prevention recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The association has also urged chiropractors to closely monitor state and local health authorities and to comply with any relevant guidance or mandates.
In a letter to Vice President Michael Pence and HHS Secretary Alex Azar, ACA President Robert C. Jones, DC, states that the chiropractic profession stands ready to assist as necessary in efforts to eradicate the pandemic and that it is a strong resource to tap for additional patient support. Even now, DCs help to keep emergency rooms clear of acute musculoskeletal cases. “Doctors of chiropractic are primary-contact healthcare providers who provide essential care, including (but not limited to) managing acute and urgent musculoskeletal conditions,” Dr. Jones writes. “These services are critical for managing cases that otherwise could end up in emergency rooms, worsening an already difficult situation.”
In a second letter to HHS, ACA specifically requests that a waiver be granted to authorize chiropractors to practice up to the full scope of their license for Medicare beneficiaries via telehealth services. This would enable chiropractic patients under Medicare to receive critical support from their chiropractors while helping them to maintain social distancing practices necessary to slow/prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“ACA has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak from the start and putting careful thought and planning into how and when to respond responsibly to this public health crisis,” commented Dr. Jones on the decision to write to Pence and Azar. “As chiropractors, we have a role to play in helping to protect our patients as well as to ensure those who are needed on the front lines such as healthcare providers and those who support the supply chain can continue to do their often physically demanding jobs.”
To read ACA’s letters in full, and to access a list of important links to public health information from CDC and other credible sources, visit www.acatoday.org/COVID19.