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According to long awaited results from a congressionally mandated pilot project testing the feasibility of expanding chiropractic services in the Medicare program, patients who have applied and are eligible have a high rate of satisfaction with the care they receive from doctors of chiropractic.

When asked to rate their satisfaction on a 10 point scale, 87 percent of patients in the study gave their doctor of chiropractic a level of 8 or higher. What’s more, 56 percent of those patients rated their chiropractor and their office with a perfect 10.

Contributing to that satisfaction was the attention given to patients needs and the accessibility of chiropractic care. Patients who qualified reported that doctors of chiropractic listened to them carefully and spent sufficient time with them. Some 95 percent said they did not have to wait longer than one week for appointments after submitting their applications for insurance eligibility.

“Doctors of chiropractic everywhere should feel pride in these patient satisfaction results and in being part of a profession that still sees the great need for spending time with patients and truly listening to them,” said Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “It’s clear that patients deeply value the time their chiropractic providers spend with them and the expert care that DCs offer.”

The pilot, known as a Femonstration Project in Congress, was conducted from April 2005 to March 2007 throughout the states of Maine and New Mexico, and also in Scott County, Iowa, 26 counties comprising the Chicago metropolitan area, and 17 counties in central Virginia.

Current chiropractic coverage under Medicare plans is limited to spinal manipulation. Under the demonstration project, however, chiropractic care was expanded to include diagnostic and other services, such as X-rays, examinations, physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

This means Medicaid does have chiropractic benefits. The problem is the extremely low reimbursement for chiropractic services. It would actually cost more money for the clinic to process the claim compared to what Medicaid would pay for such services. This is essentially having a chiropractor pay you to receive chiropractic care. Unfortunately, this is why it is usually impossible to find a chiropractor in Hayward that accepts Medicaid.

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