Legislation aims to add chiropractic medicine to Medicaid benefits

Local News

Studies show that if a patient initiates care with a chiropractor, they are significantly less likely to be prescribed pain medications and are also less likely to visit an emergency room for treatment. However, New Mexico’s Medicaid program does not reimburse chiropractic doctors.

Chiropractic physician Dr. Michael Pridham and New Mexico state Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil discuss what it will take to add chiropractic medicine to Medicaid benefits.

Most health insurance companies cover conservative pain management options like chiropractic medicines with chiropractic physicians treating numerous painful conditions with a hands-on approach. However, as New Mexico’s program doesn’t reimburse doctors of chiropractic, 42% of patients in the state with Medicaid cannot access this option.

Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil is sponsoring legislation to provide funding for chiropractic medicide in Medicaid. She has experienced relief following a ski accident that left her in chronic pain.

The legislature founded the New Mexico Overdose Prevention & Pain Management Council. The Council was formed to help prevent opioid overdose with Dr. Pridham serving as a chair of the Integrative Treatment Committee.

A Senate Memorial previously passed the legislation unanimously in 2016 to study the concept of adding chiropractic medicine benefits to Medicaid. A bill passed the Senate Public Affairs last year, though it was held up in Senate Finance.

The New Mexico legislature starts on January 21 and will continue until February 20. For more information on chiropractic medicine, visit the New Mexico Chiropractic Association’s website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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