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MCA In Touch: November 2017
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In this issue:


Save the Date for the 2018 MCA Convention

Mark your calendars and plan to join us March 15-17, 2018, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Bloomington!

Forecast for the 2018 Session of the Minnesota Legislature

by Chuck Sawyer, DC, Kevin Goodno, Esq, and Anni Simons

When the 2018 Minnesota Legislature reconvenes on February 20, we will again have opportunities to influence public policy in ways that are beneficial to both patients and members of the Minnesota Chiropractic Association.

Nevertheless, it will be a short session and, unless the state budget forecast turns bleak and lawmakers target the Department of Human Services for funding cuts, it may turn out to be a relatively uneventful session when it comes to health policy.

That’s because the impending November 2018 election will also influence the dynamics of the Legislature. The entire Minnesota House is up for re-election and, in the open Governor’s race, the GOP and DFL candidates have widely divergent views regarding spending on public health care programs — especially MinnesotaCare — and other health policy issues including the fate of MNsure. And the ongoing uncertainty regarding federal Medicaid program funding, under the Trump administration and Congress, will continue to be a cause for anxiety among Minnesota lawmakers who are committed to maintaining — and even expanding — affordable insurance coverage for approximately 20% of Minnesota adults and families.

A short session will also limit the time available for committee hearings, so any legislation that is complex or controversial will be difficult to move past the bill introduction phase of the legislative process.

For the Minnesota Chiropractic Association, the legislative priorities for 2018 currently under consideration by the Board of Directors will continue to focus on patient and provider non-discrimination especially in Minnesota’s publically-funded health insurance programs; ensuring that the current law that phases-out the provider tax in 2019 is retained; and safe-guarding the rights of patients in the no-fault insurance system.

The MCA Legislative Committee has also recommended adding another agenda item pertaining to opportunities to influence state agency policies and legislative initiatives regarding the management of acute and chronic pain in light of the ongoing opioid crisis.

Since the conclusion of the 2017 session, the Legislative Committee and lobby team have been active in several areas. One of the most notable efforts has been an exchange of correspondence between the MCA and the Department of Commerce over the matter of legislative intent and agency enforcement of Minnesota Statutes 62A.03 and, specifically, a provision that refers to “… reimbursement on an equal basis for the service, whether the service is performed by a physician, osteopathic physician, optometrist, chiropractor or registered nurse …”

In a brief one-page response to our inquiry on May 4, 2017, a senior investigator explained that the department had contacted “major Minnesota health insurance companies” who reported that they were “compliant with these statutes.” Moreover, they told the department that “… specific rates used to reimburse providers and provider groups, including chiropractic providers, are determined through discussions (emphasis added) with each provider or provider group” and that the insurance companies and the provider “… negotiate and agree upon a specific fee schedule.”

In a three-page letter from the MCA to the department this past August, Drs. Craig Couillard and Doug Broman challenged both statements referring to statutory intent and “negotiating” with chiropractic providers. While we had no expectations for agency enforcement of a collection of statutes that are several decades old, we felt that it was important to challenge the response we initially received from the Department of Commerce.

We have received better assistance and cooperation from the Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding our efforts to advance the MCA’s Medical Assistance legislation in 2018. You may recall that our bill easily passed the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee in 2017 and was heard and laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus spending bill in the Finance Committee which is chaired by Rep. Matt Dean from House District 38B in White Bear Lake. Unfortunately, the provision was not included in the spending bill because of the projected high cost estimate provided by the Department of Human Services. In a recent meeting with department staff, Kevin Goodno and Dr. Chuck Sawyer discussed the fiscal note accompanying the bill which estimated the costs for expanding reimbursement for the full scope of chiropractic services to be higher than we felt would be reasonable. We challenged the department’s assumption that the average per member per month costs for non-manipulative chiropractic services would be comparable to that of physical therapists and are cautiously optimistic that DHS will respond with a reduced cost estimate.

We are not expecting any serious efforts to pursue no-fault auto insurance legislation by either the industry or providers. The MCA has developed a close and productive working relationship with stakeholders who have an interest in no-fault auto insurance reform and, under the leadership of Drs. Doug Broman and Scott Mooring, we expect that the development of treatment parameters and educational materials for providers will continue to help address fraud and abuse in the system without the need to impose restrictions on the vast majority of chiropractic doctors who provide quality, reasonable and cost-effective care for patients injured in motor vehicle accidents.

Finally, mark your calendars and plan on attending the 2018 MCA Day at the Capitol on Thursday, March 15, and watch for more information about that important event.

Not your traditional Non-Profit

by Rohin Sachdeva, DC

We would like to introduce to you to Bolder Options, an MCA partner organization. They will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2018. Our partnership with Bolder Options has grown over the past 5+ years. Some of you may have spoken to their staff at our MCA convention or helped with one of their events throughout the year.

Bolder Options is an activity-based youth mentoring program that uses athletic activities, academic goal-setting, and volunteerism to build self-esteem and encourage health habits in 10-14 year-old youths. This program is designed to provide opportunities for the youth of Minnesota to develop and engage in healthy habits including but not limited to: proper nutrition, fitness, group activities, academic succes, community involvement. Mentors and mentees are matched based on interests and goals after a process including intakes, interviews, and orientation. After the screening process is completed, both will begin the curriculum leading them on the path to graduation.

There are three great ways you can help a non-profit organization like Bolder Options: time, talent or treasure. Throughout the month of November, Bolder Options is running their ‘Give to the MAX’ campaign. November is the month for giving — if you have that extra dollar lying around or need write-offs for your business, please consider looking into this campaign, which you can find at

Please also consider giving your time and talent to help. January is National Mentorship month. Bolder Options is always looking for more mentors to help with their ever growing wait list of youth want to be a part of this program. To get involved with their program, please contact Bolder Options at

Get Involved: Grass Roots Advocacy and the MCA Key Doctor Program:

Charles Sawyer, DC, MCA Professional Officer for Legislative Affairs

The legislative process is often messy — so much so that it’s often compared to sausage making. And, like other big public policy issues such as taxes, transportation and K-12 education, just about everything related to healthcare is complicated and Minnesota legislators are typically faced with a mountain of bills to consider, so their time and attention on a wide range of issues is generally limited.

The 2018 session of the Minnesota Legislature will be short, all 134 House seats are up for election next November, and there is an open-seat race for the Minnesota governorship. However, like other years, we will again have opportunities to inform lawmakers about the benefits of chiropractic care and ask them to support our legislative initiatives — especially on behalf of our patients who are their constituents. We are also well known to legislators from both political parties and many of them, or members of their families, are chiropractic patients.

Your Minnesota Chiropractic Association has a clear and actionable legislative agenda. In 2018, we will again work to pass legislation seeking to expand reimbursement in Minnesota’s Medicaid program for the full scope of chiropractic services; we will continue to lobby for the repeal of the health care provider tax, and will also work to protect the rights of injured patients in Minnesota’s no-fault auto insurance system. In addition, as medical physicians and others begin to reduce the frequency with which they prescribe opioid medication, the challenge of chronic pain management — and the value of non-pharmacologic management — will continue to give us opportunities to influence the thinking of lawmakers with regard to chiropractic treatment and acupuncture, which many DCs employ.

Here is what is most important for you to know: your involvement in grass roots advocacy is essential and there are many ways to get involved – especially joining your colleagues in the MCA’s Key Doctor Program. While we have many of the legislative districts covered by doctors who are currently on our roster, we always need more so I would encourage you — no, I plead with you — to get in touch with me for additional information. We won’t ask you for much, so send me an email at or call me at (612) 719-1079.

What is MCPAC?

By Angela Graper, DC, CACCP, DC, CACCP

The Minnesota Chiropractic Political Action Committee (MCPAC) has been established to advance the advocacy and legislative agenda of the chiropractic profession in Minnesota. Donor participation encourages taking an active role in government policy as it relates to issues affecting the chiropractic profession and patients, and provides opportunity to educate elected officials and those seeking elected office about issues affecting the work we do and the patients we serve.

Why should I give?

Because relationships matter! Every year Minnesota’s elected officials consider and pass countless pieces of legislation that directly and indirectly affect the profession of chiropractic. From the provider tax to no-fault auto, to securing MA coverage for services, this legislature, and the one elected in November 2018, will make decisions that impact your ability to provide care for your patients.

Because elections matter! As a group, you can have impact by helping to elect chiropractic-friendly candidates at the state level. A PAC allows a community of like-minded individuals to amplify their voice — individually, doctors may not have the time and resources to affect candidate elections.

Who can give? How do I give? How much can I give?

Anyone who cares about the chiropractic profession can give to MCPAC, and there is no maximum to what you can contribute. However, contributions are not tax deductible and corporate contributions are not allowed. Donations must come from personal (not business) accounts in accordance with state law.

Learn more and make a donation on our website:

MCA Sports Council at the United Healthcare US Open Racquetball Championships

by Rohin Sachdeva, DC

MCA sports council

After years of working under other medical team leads, the MCA Sports Council was able to secure their spot as the medical team lead for the US Open Racquetball Championships this year. We led an integrative sports medicine team consisting of MCA chiropractors and medical doctors currently working at the VA in conjunction with the U of M PMR Program. This team was very successful in staffing for this event spanning from October 4-8, 2017.

Since 2010, this tournament has taken place each year in Minneapolis. In 2017, the championships consisted of 726 players from 15 countries including: Argentine, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Great Britian, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, the United States, and Venezuela. The event took place at three Lifetime Fitness locations — two in downtown and one in Fridley. The tournament included both professional and amateur categories, with each category consisting of men and women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

As the medical team, we provided an array of services from chiropractic to first aid. Participants had access to chiropractic care for pre and post-match stretching, athletic taping, kinesiology taping, manual therapy, first aid and injury screening. Thankfully, no major injuries took place at the event this year.

We look to keep this event on our event list for next year and beyond.

A huge thanks to the following doctors for their hard work with this event. Rohin Sachdeva D.C., Jodi Dorpinghaus D.C., Adam Millsop D.C., Erik Reis D.C., Chris Dean D.C., Cailin Sharon D.C., Grant Nobles D.C., Kyle Steineman D.C., Craig Couillard D.C., Crystal Neal D.C., Katie Claire D.C., Brionn Tonkin M.D., and Alex Senk M.D.

MCA Continuing Education Credit Retrieval

We’re getting close to the end of the year, and we all know what that means: annual license renewal CEs are due!

Whether you’re a member or not, the MCA has developed an online profile for you. In this profile you will find your continuing education transcripts for all courses you have taken through the MCA. If you do not know your log-in, please contact the MCA office and we assist you in retrieving this information.

If you have any questions regarding credits not found in your profile, please contact Jessica Truhler at

Please note: The MCA only keeps track of CEs taken through the association. If you have taken any CEs from an outside organization, please request your credit certificates directly from that organization.

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