Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ACA: Include Doctors of Chiropractic In Medical Homes

The Joint Commission has developed a Primary Care Home accreditation program for practices seeking formal recognition as “medical/health care homes.” To ensure that doctors of chiropractic are able to fully participate in these primary care homes, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has submitted comments in response to the proposal underscoring DCs’ training and qualifications as primary care providers.

Section 3502 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) specifies that Doctors of Chiropractic can potentially be tapped as members of community health teams to support the development of “medical homes.” These teams are designed to increase access to comprehensive, community-based coordinated care.

“It is critical that Doctors of Chiropractic are considered ‘primary care clinicians’ with regard to the standards. As The Joint Commission is aware, Doctors of Chiropractic are well-trained portal-of-entry physicians currently providing primary care services,” states ACA President Rick McMichael, DC, in a March 10 letter to the Joint Commission. “Chiropractic physicians, based on their education, training and experience, provide essential services to treat and manage the broad range of injury, illness and disease involved in the human condition. … The training and licensure of DCs makes them a valuable resource that must be utilized.

While the Joint Commission is one of several entities developing accreditation criteria for medical homes. HHS will ultimately be responsible for implelenting the program. The agency may, however, take into considertion accreditation programs developed by quasi-government groups such as the Joint Commission when crafting its plan - making it critical that ACA provide its advice and recommendations on behalf on behalf of the chiropractic profession.

To read ACA’s letter, visit: http://www.Acatoday.org/pdf/joint_commission_final.pdf.

Source: American Chiropractic Association newsletter, May 2011

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