JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. John Wiemann (R-103) introduced health care reform legislation designed to give MO HealthNet recipients greater options for treating back pain.
“This legislation allows for a much-needed reform to Missouri’s Medicaid program by providing more health care options for patients who need treatment for back pain,” Wiemann said. “Patients should have the option to see a chiropractic physician to address back pain and chiropractors should be eligible for reimbursement for services. This health care reform bill does not add any new funding and could result in savings for taxpayers with HealthNet recipients seeking less costly alternatives for their back pain.”
HB 1516 would add chiropractic physicians as a provider in the MO HealthNet program. Currently, they are not reimbursed for providing services to the Medicaid population forcing HealthNet recipients to seek more expensive medical services to treat back pain. Adding chiropractic physicians as a health care option available to HealthNet recipients will give patients a choice rather than forcing them to seek treatment at emergency rooms or with a more expensive physician to treat back pain. In many cases, medical physicians will prescribe opioids or narcotics to relieve back pain. While medication might be a good option for some patients, others want to see a chiropractic physician to address their issues.
Studies suggest integrated care from chiropractic physicians could decrease the number of opioid prescriptions by up to 77 percent in patients suffering from chronic pain, and save the state between $12.9 million and $21 million a year. In 2018, The Joint Commission is requiring hospitals to offer non-pharmacological treatment options that include the services offered by chiropractic physicians.
HB 1516 would allow chiropractic physicians to provide services within their scope of practice and offer an alternative medical service to HealthNet recipients, reduce potential opioid addiction, and save the state money by reducing the number of visits to more expensive providers and emergency rooms.