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Lobbying Center

March 2016

The 2016 legislative session is underway, and the beginning of the session is dominated by budget negotiations. In mid-January, the Governor released his proposed 2016 - 2017 budget. The Senate and Assembly will release their one-house budgets in mid-March, and a final negotiated budget must be passed by April 1, 2016 to be considered on time. The Senate and Assembly have been conducting hearings to get input on the Governor's proposed budget. On Monday, February 8, 2016, NYSCA Vice President Jason Brown testified on NYSCA's behalf, before the Higher Education joint budget committee asking that the Senate and Assembly include in their one-house budget proposals our legislation to allow doctors of chiropractic to form business partnership with medical doctors. (The full hearing is available for viewing on the New York State Assembly website and Dr. Brown's testimony begins at 5:58.25.)

In addition to pursing the inclusion of our legislation in the budget, we have also been following a proposal involving workers' compensation that was included in the Governor's proposed budget. The Governor proposed language that cleans up language and changes some of the processes within the system. This language has been read over by the NYSCA legislative committee, workers' compensation committee, NYSCA and legislative counsel. There are no major areas of concerns specific to chiropractic, but we are continuing to review and monitor several changes that will impact patients and access to the system. Any areas of concern will be addressed when and where appropriate.

Although budget is the current focus in Albany, the NYSCA has not been sitting on the sidelines. While we are seeking to include our partnership bill (S215A/A4391) in the budget, we continue to have discussions with both Assembly and Senate members, including members of the Assembly Higher Education Committee where the bill has stalled. The Senate has passed this bill each time it has been up for vote. Although a Joint Legislative Task Force meeting has not taken place as of this writing, the NYSCA and the Council continue to work together for passage of this piece of legislation.

Additional legislation that will be considered this session will be IME reform and scope of practice modernization. IME reform is being reviewed with a coalition of other healthcare providers who would also be impacted by a change to the current laws. Scope of practice modernization legislation remains in drafting at this time, but we anticipate release to the NYSCA House of Delegates shortly as all chiropractic stakeholders have now had an opportunity to comment. Regarding modernization of the scope of practice it is appropriate to reiterate that this draft is intended to update our scope to allow us to practice to the fullest extent of our education. There is no intent to include prescription pharmaceuticals or surgical procedures as these are not part of the education curriculum. Modernizing our scope is necessary to allow the profession fuller inclusion in the changing healthcare environment; allowing participation in DOT physicals, ACOs, PCMHs and other healthcare models. This ties in with the effort for national Medicare reform as changes to the Social Security Act affect federal programs but state scopes of practice regulate what can be provided and reimbursed for in a particular state. For years, we have had to go to the State Board for rulings on specific issues and then rely on interpretation by State Education attorneys, who are sometimes unfamiliar with the nuances of our profession. At times, these rulings do not coincide with our level of training or what we know we are able to do. Scope modernization is needed so that we have a clear and accurate enabling law under which to grow the profession.

Your support in these endeavors is vital.

For any questions regarding the legislative activity of the Association, please contact the legislative committee chair, Mariangela Penna at [email protected].