Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
MCA In Touch – August 2018
MCA In Touch

Presidents Article

MCA President-Sara CuperusDear Colleagues:

Summer is quickly coming to an end and everyone is gearing up for sending kids back to school and settling back into a new routine. The MCA and the Board of Directors has been busy laying the groundwork for so many new things, so we can settle into a new routine as well.

First, we have gone live with our new MCA app (more info below). If you haven’t downloaded it yet, I encourage you to do so. It will be an easy place for all things MCA related – connect with other docs, see what events are coming up, there are chat features within any groups you may belong to like sports council or the pediatric council. This is a very new tool for us, so we would love your feedback as well, as we desire to make this tool something useful for all our members. As an aside, did you know you get a complimentary CA or Team Member membership with your paid membership?? We can even create a CA group via the app for all those billing and front desk questions too!

Second, we are partnering with a strategic communications firm to help us create and set appropriate goals and priorities – not this year, but for the next three years. The Executive Leadership team has spoken a lot over the past few years about creating legacy leadership, so that the message is the same, no matter who is at the helm. We are very excited to have someone come alongside us as an association to help us improve and grow.

Third, we are thrilled to bring you the Leadership Summit in October. This will be a one-day event, focused on helping you be a better leader. No one teaches doctors how to be good leaders. We will spend time with personal growth in the areas of Strengths Finder and Languages of Appreciation, and then help you apply these concepts to the people on your staff who make you look good every single day. Then, we are going to examine how we can improve you bottom line (who doesn’t want a little more $$ in their pocket at the end of the day?) with some concepts from Profit First and how to make Social Media Marking work for you. I assure you – you’ll walk away with new insights and information that will bring value to you, your clinic and your patients. Don’t miss out. Registration is online now.

Last, we continue to advocate for you and your practice. We signed on with the ACA and other states against UHC’s decision to not allow treatment for headaches. We were recently notified that this effort was successful and UHC has reversed their decision. We have created the 2018-19 legislative survey to help shape our legislative priorities for this upcoming session. Please take some time to read Dr. Chuck Sawyer’s article on what do to next after the Primary in this newsletter. We also continue to partner with SecureCare to have a voice at the table with Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The Board is busy laying the foundation for a new routine. We’ve talked about change a lot over the past few years. Change is good. But, change can be hard. But, in our case, change in necessary. We are busy working to create a better association for our members so that we can have a bigger voice within our state. Please join us in these efforts, as many hands make light work. Keep your eyes open for new things coming from the MCA!

Dr. Sara Cuperus

MCA Launches New Member Community!

We are pleased to announce that we launched the Minnesota Chiropractic Association Social Link online member community yesterday. And we think you are going to love it!

MCA SocialLink

The new community includes an enhanced member profile as well as a year-round mobile app so you can connect with your fellow MCA colleagues anywhere, anytime.

You can expect a brand new way to easily connect with colleagues, share information across the MCA network and manage your membership preferences. Finding member information and updates will be easier than ever thanks to this exciting new enhancement. Your login information will remain the same, but you will now also have the option to login through your LinkedIn or Facebook credentials.

Here are some key ways you will be connected to the MCA community:

  • With Alerts and Push Notifications, the app provides instant updates about what's happening in the MCA community.
  • Members can access their community feed, connections, member directory and engage year-round.
  • Help new members get connected immediately with Messages and Suggested Connections.
  • Make membership renewal and event registration easy with a few simple clicks.
  • New clean design of your member profile for easy access to your data.

Take a tour of the new member features by watching this short webinar.

Start Connecting!

  • Log in from your browser here
  • Or download the mobile app to your iOS or Android devices using the icons below:
  • Download Social Link on App Store       Download Social Link on Google Play

Once signed in, you will be directed to your feed, encompassing all activity from other connected members.

Don’t miss out on this exciting new update! We look forward to your engagement.

What Should I do Before November 6?

Charles Sawyer, DC
MCA Professional Officer for Legislative Affairs

Fueled largely by open races for governor, attorney general, U.S. Senate and congressional seats and several Minnesota House seats, voter turnout in the primary election on August 14 was the highest since 1994. So, now that the ballot has been set for the midterm elections, what will the MCA be doing and what can all of us do before November 6?

First, for those of you who participated, the Legislative Committee is currently reviewing your responses to the legislative priorities survey sent earlier this summer to MCA members and other Minnesota doctors. Your opinions will inform decisions the committee will make in its next meeting about our advocacy agenda leading into the 2019 session. This month we will also be sending a candidate survey all Minnesota House incumbents and challengers, as we did in 2016, seeking their responses to questions about issues of concern and interest to chiropractic doctors.

Secondly, and more importantly, I strongly encourage all MCA members to get involved at a local level, in your voting districts, reaching out to candidates who are running for seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives. All 134 House districts will be on the November ballot and there will likely be many new members seated – from both parties – when the legislative session resumes on January 8, 2019.

You can do this in several ways, but especially now that candidates are back on the campaign trail meeting voters in local coffee shops, at house parties raising money and reaching out through their websites.

As we continue to pursue our legislative agenda, we have the opportunity to both reconnect with incumbents who support the profession and challengers who may not be familiar with our issues and how they affect chiropractic patients. Regardless of your party affiliation, take a few minutes to get in touch with House candidates and an easy way is through their campaign websites and by email. Introduce yourself and send a brief note sharing your views about the issues that are on our Legislative Agenda.

Finally, if you have any questions or want additional information about any of the House races, please contact me at or (612) 719-1079.

Communicating More Strategically

Charles Sawyer, DC
MCA Professional Officer for Legislative Affairs

With the intent of sharpening and elevating the effectiveness of our messaging, the Board of Directors voted in June to retain a consultant to work with the leadership of the association on a new strategic initiative.

MCA President, Dr. Sara Cuperus, recommended that the Board execute a contract with The Write Advantage, Inc., a small local firm that has assisted other organizations in Greater Minnesota including St. Cloud State University and the Minnesota Rural Education Association.

Strengthening the MCA’s brand and accelerating membership growth – especially among younger doctors – are important association priorities, and our consultant has already commenced work on a communications audit that will be discussed during a Board strategic planning meeting on Saturday, September 15th.

The Write Advantage Inc. will work alongside the MCA Board and Staff to bring a strategic approach to communications and marketing, and I am looking forward to their help with our messaging to members of the legislature in advance of and during the 2019 session.

We have a great story to tell about the advantages of chiropractic care, the value of MCA membership and – to policy makers – the important role our profession plays in Minnesota’s healthcare landscape.

Watch for more information and updates about this initiative next month.

Sports Council Update

Rohin Sachdeva, DC

MCA Sports CouncilThe MCA Sports Council has been working with the Red Ribbon Ride for the last 3 years. The ride represents 5 Twin Cities HIV/AIDS organizations; African American AIDS Task Force, Hope House of St. Croix Valley, One Heartland, Rural AIDS Action Network and The Aliveness Project. The ride’s purpose is to raise vital funds for HIV/AIDS services, treatment, prevention and awareness.

This year’s event was based out of camp One Heartland in north central Minnesota, featuring two days of out and back rides. Riders had the option of riding approximately 100, 85 or 50 miles on Saturday and either 65 or 35 more on Sunday. Doctors from the MCA Sports Council were stationed at camp in the morning, the lunch pit stops and again at camp when the riders returned to provide support to the riders and keep them going on the next leg of their journey.

The sports medicine team was led by Drs Cailin Shurson and Brandon Langerude. They helped the riders through various levels of pain, discomfort, and injury on the ride, keeping them happy, healthy and on their bikes.

The MCA Sports Council sponsors many events every year but for me personally the Red Ribbon Ride has been one of my favorite. The group of people who organize and run the ride are incredibly fun to be around and interact with leading up to and during the ride. Even with all the work that goes into preparing for and executing our end of the ride I still look forward to doing it again next year. We’d love to see you there or at any of our upcoming events.

SecureCare Update

SecureCare of MinnesotaOver the last year SecureCare has significantly evolved as a company. We have broadened our product portfolio and now serves large clients in the following service areas:

  • Chiropractic network management
  • Physical Therapy network management
  • Outsourced credentialing services
  • Massage Therapy management
  • Acupuncture network management
  • Advanced analytical services and reporting

This combination of services positions SecureCare to better compete with other physical medicine companies. As part of this evolution, SecureCare would like to welcome Erick Alvarez as the new Physical Therapy Medical Director. Erick has worked in both clinical practice and managed physical medicine for nearly 20 years as a site coordinator and clinical director. He has a vast experience in various clinical settings, including outpatient physical therapy, post-surgical rehabilitation, home health pediatrics, workers' compensation/industrial setting, utilization management and telerehabilitation. Please join us in welcoming Erick to SecureCare!

QMB: Potential Stumbling Block in Patients with both Medicare and Medical Assistance Coverage

Lyle Coleman, DC

Within the group of patients that have Medicare / Medical Assistance coverage combo lurks a subset of patients designated Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). This group has annual incomes of $12,000 or less and that qualifies them for special protection by Medicare.

I used the word lurks because the patients may not be aware that they are QMB and it is difficult, but not impossible, for a provider to discover their protected status. See the links at the bottom of the article for more information and directions to find out if they are QMB.

So your front office staff needs to be alerted that anyone with Medicare and Medical Assistance, no matter which is primary, or in the form of a Medicare Advantage Plan needs extra care in benefits verification.

Why all the fuss? Because this coverage combo means the patient may not be billed or collected from for balances remaining after both primary and secondary payers have been processed.

Furthermore, Medicare will not allow QMB patients to “opt out” of that designation and just pay you out of pocket for their care. That is especially important to know if you are out of network for that patient. So what happens when Medicare finds out you have collected, either accidently or on purpose, from a QMB patient? First they will attempt to educate the provider. If that does not work, the provider will be kicked out of Medicare.

I do not want to unnecessarily alarm anyone. This scenario is not very common for most of us. But the two times it has surfaced nationally have both been in Minnesota. Also in Minnesota, Medical Assistance can be administered by third parties like South Country here in the southern part of the state. So that is another layer to get thru to determine for sure if the patient is QMB. And a third party payer may not be aware of QMB at all, but the rules will still apply.

From a business perspective, if the combination of the patient’s coverage and your network participation would mean the care of that patient would be free, you need to know that before care is rendered – not afterward.

Action Item: With your staff review your patient list to see if you have any Medicare/ Medicaid combo coverage situations. Then investigate those to see if any are QMB patients. If a patient is QMB, have you collected from them money you shouldn’t? If so, return the money so you are not in violation that puts your Medicare participation at risk.

As always I am happy to help you work thru your questions.

Below are a couple resources including a Medicare presentation about QMB, FAQ’s regarding QMB, the email from my NGS contact who researched the answers, and where to go for help or further questions.

Platinum Association Business Member

Center for Diagnostic Imaging logo

Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal