During the interim this study committee discussed a number of issues related to increasing access to and lowering the cost of health care. One of the main discussion topics during the proceedings was co-pay requirements for chiropractic services. Speakers representing the North Carolina Chiropractic Association urged lawmakers to support a mandatory chiropractic co-payment equivalent to or less than primary care co-pays. This standard would apply to both private and public payers. Advocates argue high medical costs associated with the treatment of back pain and urge chiropractic primary care as a cost-saving solution. Similar legislation, SB 561, was introduced last year by Sen. Hise, but was not debated during the 2013 Legislative Session.
The report approved during today’s meeting urges the NC General Assembly to pass legislation similar to SB 561 during this year’s short session. The NCMS opposes any law that would require payers to create equal status for physicians and chiropractors, including co-pay parity legislation.
In addition to the recommendations put forth regarding co-payment for chiropractic care, the committee also approved a recommendation regarding optometry education in North Carolina. Specifically, the committee has asked the General Assembly to study the need for an optometry school in North Carolina.
Both of these recommendations will require approval by both chambers of the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative short session in order to become law.