NWHSU Students Take Part in MCA Day at the Capitol

NWHSU students joined the Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA) for the 2023 Day at the Capitol. Doctors from across the metro area met to present three bills to their respective representatives and senators from their districts.  

Students were paired with MCA doctors and some seasoned students who had lobbied in Washington, D.C. were sent solo to advocate for chiropractic access. “It’s extremely important for constituents to keep coming back to the capitol to make their voices heard so representatives can continue to learn how it impacts their own communities,” shared T4 chiropractic student Kirsten DeHaven. 

Three Bills to Support Chiropractic Care in Minnesota  
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Chiropractors and students in attendance were lobbying for three bills: Modifying Coverage of Chiropractic Services in the Medical assistance and MinnesotaCare Programs (SF 828/HF 1429), Health Insurance Claims Assessment Establishment (SF 506/HF 2699), and Health Care Provider Contract Termination (SF 258/HF 1782).  

“We want to help further the chiropractic practice by providing more comprehensive services to our patients and continue to improve our communities.,” explained Khalil Perimeter, a T7 chiropractic student at NWHSU.  

SF 828/HF 1429, the focus of the day, would expand Medicaid and MinnesotaCare to include a broader range of chiropractic services to patients who use these services. Now, only spinal manipulation and one yearly exam are covered under insurance, and the patient is expected to pay for the remaining services out of pocket. This leaves many treatment options out of reach, as many patients who qualify for these programs are low income.  

The other two bills pertain to the interests of chiropractic providers. SF 258/ HF 1782 brings attention to a statute that allows insurance companies to terminate in-network chiropractic providers without notice or reason. This also impacts patients that lose coverage under their preferred providers. This bill would push insurance companies to give a notice of termination and introduce an appeal process.  

SF 2518/HF 2699 addresses the provider tax, which is a 2% tax paid by health care providers. This bill would lower the tax or eliminate it, with the intention to ease financial and administrative burdens from small business practice owners.  

Networking and Learning Lobbying Skills  

MCA day at the capitol is a great opportunity for students to network with chiropractors in the community, to get involved in the association as a student and to practice advocating for their future profession.  

“MCA day at the capitol was an amazing educational experience for students to be able to learn about government and legislative processes and connect with doctors,” said Sebastian Bergeron, T4 chiropractic student.  

All students at NWHSU are encouraged to get involved with professional associations, lobbying, and community engagement early. “MCA day was very beneficial as a student by being one with the chiropractic community through strength, unity and advocacy,” shared Tin Tran, a T7 student.   

If you’re a student interested in the MCA, you can contact Brenda Toler at btoler@mnchiro.com. 

Story by Kit Harlow, Chiropractic Student