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Understanding Medicare

As the largest purchaser of managed care and the largest health payer in the U.S., Medicare covers more than 43 million Americans. The Association of Chiropractic Colleges Postgraduate Subcommittee has compiled information for doctors in the field, addressing concerns outlined in the 2005 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report.

Medicare was first adopted in 1965 with Part A-Hospital and Part B-Medical coverage, both administered by HCFA (now CMS). Chiropractic wasn’t included until 1972. Two additional parts have also been added to the plan: Part C-Managed Care and Part D-Prescription Drugs. Chiropractic works under Parts B and C, as appropriate.

While the Social Security Administration funds Part A, funding for Part B is supported by the federal government and is always at risk of being revoked (i.e. due to continued improper documentation). With all carriers typically following the lead of Medicare, such a revocation could result in catastrophic damage to chiropractors. According to the OIG, 94 percent of claims submitted by chiropractors are missing required elements in their Medicare documentation. A rallying of the chiropractic profession to remedy this problem is crucial to maintaining providership privileges and chiropractic’s position in the health community.

For more information on proper Medicare documentation, visit: www.palmer. edu/news2.aspx?id=4522

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