|MCA In Touch: March 2017|
In this issue:
By Barbara L. Dolezal, DC
Today, something caught my attention while musing over notes, Facebook posts, photos, conversations and emails surrounding Day at the Capital and the 69th Minnesota Chiropractic Association Annual Convention this past weekend. It surfaced that the images, sounds, sensations, aromas and flavors unique to the past few days will forever set this event apart from all other events in life.
I’ll never forget Katie and Lisa preparing information packets for a large conference room full of concerned doctors. Preparing and speaking in low tones, the doctors would shortly convene at the newly remodeled Minnesota Capitol, State Office Building and the new Minnesota Senate Building to personally deliver the MCA’s legislative talking points to their Representatives and Senators. I was appreciative of the time the legislators’ staffers took to listen, share stories and take pictures of us with our legislators. Day at the Capitol is a long standing MCA tradition that brings doctors together in ways that only strong commitment and vision can. This year, Day at the Capitol was coordinated by Dr. Chuck Sawyer to highlight two patient-centered bills that the MCA’s Legislative Committee worked long hours to bring to the 2017 session. I departed the capitol after my legislative visits with my Key Doctor, Dr. Wally Cole, a couple mints and a candy heart in my pocket. I was feeling uplifted and hopeful about the strong future of chiropractic.
Reflecting on DAC during the drive from the capitol to the MCA Convention in Brooklyn Center, it struck me that something life-changing had started to unfold at Day at the Capitol. Trying to put the source of that awareness into words would have to wait, because, arriving at the hotel, the aroma of fajitas, beverages and conversation at the convention center swiftly moved into an excellent Professional Boundaries class, made even more excellent by Dr. Greg Hynan asking the tough questions that we were all thinking; followed by three engaging hours of Radiology where Dr. Christian Kollar answered all Dr. Chris Major’s difficult-to-see radiology questions correctly – from the back row! The day ended on a bittersweet note with my last Board meeting as presiding MCA President that evening.
The bitter faded and the sweet took over as Friday set in with a revitalized group of doctors who came to convention to hear Nutri-Dyn sponsored speaker Dr. Joel Silverman’s injury protocols in the morning, and, in MCA Convention tradition, Keynote Dr. Bill Moreau’s presentation on UNITY and concussion in the afternoon. There to follow was a dynamic schedule of classes on relevant topics, most notably, Dr. Chad Paulson’s “Caring for Veterans” presentation, that left us all with a lot to think about.
That evening another great MCA tradition was held, the 69th Annual Minnesota Chiropractic Associations Awards Banquet. The Awards Banquet is an honoring, elegant evening with a savory plated dinner, lighthearted humor and carefully considered awards to doctors and to those who support our profession. Of all the wonderful memories from the Awards Banquet, there’s one memory that lends meaning to it all. The moment when Dr. Scott Mooring received the Minnesota Chiropractic Association’s Chiropractor of the Year Award brought the room to its feet and brought Dr. Mooring to the front of the room where his humble demeanor and calm, steady words of thanks brought tears to our eyes. The prestigious MCA Chiropractor of the Year Award is emblematic to us chiropractors, who serve our patients and who have a deep sense of pride in the art, philosophy and science of chiropractic. Congratulations, Dr. Mooring! Well deserved!
Again, there remained at the end of two jam-packed days, an intangible sense that something life-changing was happening around this gathering. That sense permeated the conversations, interactions and comments of the doctors, speakers, vendors and sponsors and even the Marriott wait staff as we said our “see you tomorrows” while departing the Awards Banquet.
Saturday, the final day of convention, was filled with great food, thought-provoking research and evidence-based practice including Ethics, Soft Tissue Dysfunction and Rehabilitation presented by Dr. Perle of NCMIC. Dr. Burt presented the 2016 Palmer Gallup Survey showing the results of Palmer College’s second in-depth survey of patients’ thoughts and considerations when choosing chiropractic care. Throughout the day, the refreshments and light fare served between sessions gave doctors time to process their ideas, have their questions answered, and meet one another. The topics, presenters and doctors who attended this convention seemed to hold each other’s attention without tiring until this final day closed with a toast by Dr. Doug Broman at the traditional MCA Convention finale, the President’s Reception.
The familiar two-hour drive home to Alexandria from the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest gave me plenty of time to ponder the events of Day at the Capitol and the MCA Convention. Once my SUV warmed up and my lips and fingers returned to their normal color, I began to mentally flip through the information that was presented on so many diverse topics, and the people and events that make convention, Convention.
As the road miles flew by, that overarching, life-changing feeling, and the perception that the tide had turned, caught my attention again. This brought me to reflect on the like-minded doctors who’d met together this weekend. Together, unintentionally, they had tapped into a deep rooted sense of UNITY. This renewed UNITY became life-changing when it wrapped around the conversations, images, thoughts, smells and tastes surrounding the strong MCA traditions of Day at the Capitol and the MCA Convention. Together, a legacy was created. A Tradition of UNITY was revealed, creating a new measure against which all past and future events will be weighed.
I invite you to the MCA Tradition of UNITY at the 2018 Day at the Capitol and the 70th Minnesota Chiropractic Association Annual Convention, March 15 -17 where Dr. Craig Couillard, 2017-2018 MCA President, will lead the charge to take higher ground for chiropractic!
By Dr. Chuck Sawyer, MCA Professional Officer for Legislative AffairsOn Thursday, March 9, over 80 chiropractic doctors and students from Northwestern Health Sciences University visited with lawmakers about issues of concern to the profession and the patients they serve.
The 2017 MCA Day at the Capitol event began with an early morning breakfast briefing at the Capitol Ridge Hotel in St. Paul where the group received an update and talking points on two bills introduced in the 2017 Legislature.
The first seeks to expand reimbursement for all examination and therapeutic services provided by chiropractic doctors in Minnesota’s public healthcare programs (i.e., Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare (HF1357/SF1425). The first of two hearings on that bill occurred later in the afternoon in the House Health and Human Services Reform committee. Following an introduction from the chief author, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, and testimony from the MCA the bill cleared that committee without a dissenting vote.
During an otherwise packed committee agenda, Rep. Dave Baker from Willmar spoke in a very complimentary way about the value of chiropractic care and the profession. He is Dr. Robyn Brostrom-Martin, Dr. Carrie Clark, Greta Clark, Representative Jenifer Loon, Dr. Jenna
Goldsmith, Dr. Laura Hey, Dr. Brianna Highby also currently sponsoring several bills during this session that would limit and monitor opioid prescribing practices among medical physicians and other providers.
The second stop for the bill was on March 15 in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee, but moments before the bill was heard an unexpectedly high fiscal note was released and, after some additional MCA testimony, it was “laid over” for possible inclusion in the committee’s omnibus financing bill. That prompted Mr. Kevin Goodno to meet with Drs. Chuck Sawyer and Craig Couillard regarding the bill’s language and to lay out next steps with the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The fate of the legislation in the omnibus financing bill is uncertain due to concerns among GOP members over rising costs in Minnesota’s Medicaid program and – for both political parties – the prospect of even more significant federal funding changes that could come about if the American Health Care Act becomes law.
Dr. Michele Maiers, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Northwestern, briefed participants about a second bill of great interest to the chiropractic community, licensed acupuncturists, podiatrists and other provider groups (HF886/SF749).
The Minnesota Chiropractic Association has partnered with other patient consumer groups and professional associations under the banner of Minnesota Fair Care s to advocate for patient choice and provider non-discrimination. Led by Dr. Maiers and Mr. Dave Kunz from Northwestern, MN Fair Care worked with House and Senate members from both parties to introduce legislation containing provisions to enhance access and create parity in reimbursement across provider groups. One provision of the bill that garnered the most interest from legislators would allow beneficiaries to apply the expense of any healthcare services to their annual deductible.
While the number of authors on these bills exceeded 35 in the House and 5 in the Senate, neither was heard in committees before the deadline of March 10. However, MN Fair Care remains committed to advancing this bill in the 2018 session.
The MCA has been following a no-fault auto insurance bill that has been of some concern (HF1012/SF1848). It regulates no-fault auto benefits and requires the deduction of basic economic loss benefits previously provided. The legislation includes two provisions, one of which could have an impact on health care providers elsewhere, we’ve used healthcare as one word. I prefer health care, but I prefer consistency even more.. That provision would prohibit the ability to collect a medical claim in no-fault through a court action and collect for the same claim under the no-fault, PIP provision.
Due to the way the bill was drafted, it could be interpreted to mean that a provider, who wrongly submitted a claim to one payer, could not resubmit to the correct payer and pay back the first payer, if payment is received under the first claim submitted. The authors and the proponents of the legislation agreed to accept an amendment to address the concerns raised by the MCA. The bill was heard in both the House and Senate Commerce Committees on March 8 and passed out of both committees on a split vote along party lines (GOP for, DFL against). The bills are awaiting action by the full Senate and House.
Although it is unlikely that either of the two non-discrimination bills we have been pursuing will move forward in 2017, this session is shaping up to be neither helpful or hurtful to the profession. However, our collective presence at the Capitol on March 9 has raised awareness about the benefits of chiropractic care and our value as a profession.
We have also brought some highlighted visibility to our concerns regarding both commercial and public program insurance reimbursement and we simply have to keep at it through effective lobbying and on sgoing constituent contact. It also means that after the session ends, financial support for our friends in the Legislature is important and all of us can help through our contributions to MCPAC!
Elections for Fiscal Year 2017—2018
Dr. Craig Couillard, Lakeville — President
50-Year Meritorious Service Award
Dr. Myren Anderson
MCA Outstanding Educator Award
Dr. Scott Mooring
Claudius Galen Award
Mr. Brad Cost
John Allenburg Meritorious Award
Dr. John Hynan
Young Practitioner Meritorious Service Award
Dr. Lukas Biermaier — Northwest District
Chiropractor of the Year
Dr. Scott Mooring