Since 1998 the American Chiropractic Association has been involved in a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services, (HHS) claiming that Medicare was illegally denying chiropractic services to recipients in Medicare HMOs. Both Reuters Health and PRNewswire of January 25th 2001 reported on this case. According to these reports the chiropractic group has just cleared a major hurdle when a federal court rejected a request from HHS to dismiss the lawsuit.
The main argument is that Medicare has determined that beneficiaries who want chiropractic and are entitled to these services by law can be sent to non-chiropractors for the same services. HHS feels that other types of health professionals can give chiropractic care, and therefore by not offering these services by a chiropractor HHS is not in violation of any federal law. The chiropractors argue that the law specifically says that such services are rendered by chiropractors and that no other health care professional is qualified or safe at rendering chiropractic care. With this latest victory, the chiropractors case will continue.