Note: these videos were produced by the American Chiropractic Association, and are for informational purposes only. Each individual should contact their local Doctor of Chiropractic to seek the treatment that is best for them.
Who are we?
The Maine Chiropractic Association (MCA) has a rich history in caring for Maine. For over fifty years, we have been at the forefront of establishing policy and procedures that prevent abuse of the healthcare system and promote quality affordable care. Our members have consistently defended patient rights and the right to access affordable care.
Chiropractic providers are always looking for the true primary cause of disease, and aim to treat that cause as opposed to simply addressing the symptoms. This leads to a higher overall level of health, and avoids a all too common reliance upon drugs to avoid pain or disease. Chiropractors are portal of entry providers, meaning anyone can directly access care or services without a referral. All Maine insurance plans are mandated to provide chiropractic care.
MCA members are at the top of their field, always learning and looking to better improve the wellbeing of their patients and families. Many of our members hold post-graduate subspecialties in fields such as obstetrics, geriatric care, pediatrics, sports medicine, kinesiology, nutrition, acupuncture and oriental medicine, radiology, and rehabilitation. Most chiropractors order blood work or diagnostic imaging as the patient needs and have equal status in managing personal injury or worker’s compensation cases.
The Maine Chiropractic Association was formed on October 1, 1922 in Augusta Maine and chose Dr. Percy C. Hardy as its first President setting membership dues at $5.00 annually (Fresh, home-delivered milk cost about $0.60 a gallon that year). Our first Champion of Chiropractic Care was B.J. Palmer who encouraged the young association to introduce a chiropractic licensure bill immediately and on April 7, 1923 our licensure bill was signed by the governor.
Dr. Isabelle Hieserick of Biddeford applied on September 25th, 1923 and was granted the first Maine Chiropractic license on October 2, 1923. She had been practicing in Sanford, Saco and Biddeford since May 15,1915.
On October 4,1925, Dr. Clinton Clauson of Waterville who had been in practice since 1919, was elected president of the Maine Chiropractic Association. Dr. Clauson would later become governor of Maine in 1958. Dr. Clauson died while in office of governor on Dec 29,1959.
On November 10,1968, Mr. Carroll Martin was hired as our first lobbyist at 4,500.00/yr. and by 1969 there were 34 chiropractors licensed in the state of Maine. Mr. Martin served the MCA until 1978 when he was replaced by John Royce, becoming Lobbyist/Executive Secretary.
On May 15,1971 the MCA celebrated a huge victory in Augusta when Workers compensation was passed on April 1,1971 including chiropractic coverage. Governor Ken Curtis, a friend of chiropractic and patient of Dr. Robert Lynch Sr. signed the bill and signed inclusion of chiropractic services in Medicaid.
1970 brought forward national coverage of Chiropractic services by Medicare for retirees after a nationwide grassroots campaign by Chiropractors throughout the country.
On March 7, 1973 Senate President Ken McLeod introduced a bill to delicense chiropractors in the state of Maine an in protest on April 25,1973 over 1,100 people showed up at the Augusta Civic center for a hearing on the McLeod’s bill. The bill died in committee 0-13 in favor of Chiropractic.
In 1983 MCA passed Workers Compensation legislation that allowed chiropractors to be reimbursed for the full scope of their license, not just hands on spinal manipulation. The legislation also allowed chiropractors to testify before the Workers Compensation Committee. 1983 also marked passage of an updated scope of practice bill reflected the many changes in our profession, and in 1988 after many years of struggle we passed full insurance Equality under indemnity insurance plans which was all that existed in Maine at that time, and in 1989 the Association was represented on the Mandated Benefits Advisory Committee which was set up to do away with mandated benefits. We were successful in neutralizing the negative efforts of the commission by end of year. In 1991 we amended a physical therapy bill to allow chiropractors to refer to physical therapists.
In 1992 we passed the first in the nation Chiropractic Association Certification law. Many other states would follow our lead, and in 19854 passed legislation 1994 that required every HMO in Maine to include chiropractic coverage for services and chiropractic providers in their networks. In 1995 we passed further HMO legislation that allowed chiropractic patients to directly access a Doctor of Chiropractic without gatekeeper approval for up to 36 visits a year. This was the first and only law like it in the country. It has served as a model for almost every state in the nation. Later legislation was passed in 1997 that did away with a sunset provision on our Direct Access bill. Passage of this legislation assured continuation of direct access. In 1998 we passed legislation that placed a chiropractor on the Board of the Maine Health Data Organization
In 1998 we honored John Royce for 20 years of service to the MCA, in 2008 for 30 years of service and in 2018 for 40 years of service to the organization. Much of the legislative successes of the past 40 years were made possible by his work and dedication.
Legislation was passed in 1999 that placed acupuncture clearly within the scope of chiropractic practice and separate legislation that allowed chiropractors to give second opinions in Workers Compensation cases. In the 2003 legislative session we were successful in getting Chiropractic included in the new non-profit state plan called Dirigo Health. Dirigo Health will be following all state mandates because of our legislative efforts and in that same year we also worked with the Governor to assure that Chiropractic remained part of the state Medicaid program. Currently Maine has some of the best Chiropractic Medicaid coverage in the country. In the 2004 legislative session there was once again an attempt to eliminate Mandated Benefits. The MCA was instrumental in defeating that attempt. We were also slated for partial removal from Medicaid which the MCA and Governor helped defeat. In the 2005 legislative session Mandated Ins. Benefits were again under fire. The MCA once more had to play a lead role in defeating that attempt. The State of Maine was chosen also to be part of the Medicare Demonstration project. We were one of only a handful of sites chosen nationwide and we currently have the highest participation rate of any site chosen.
In 2002 we had Dr. Marc Malon of Biddeford appointed by the Governor to Dirigo Health planning committee. In 2006 the MCA leadership met with Governor Baldacci regarding keeping our Maine Care coverage. The result of that meeting was a pledge by the Governor to support our staying an important part of this insurance program. Also, in 2006 the MCA defeated legislation that would allow small businesses to self-insure thus making them exempt from mandated benefits.
In 2007 the MCA defeated legislation that would have taken authority away from the Board of Chiropractic Licensure. Also, in 2007, the Medicare Demonstration Project ended, and the MCA met with representatives of Brandeis University who will be doing a study on how the project worked. Also, in 2007 the MCA had important research undertaken by the Maine Health Information Center(MHIC) that would help the MCA understand how we compare with providers under insurance plans etc.…The money for this research would be funded through donations to the MCA Healing Hands Touching Hearts fund. We also sought to have chiropractic care included in the new Mainecare Chronic Care Initiative.
By 2011 the MCA was fighting hard to stop Governor LePage from removing chiropractic care from Mainecare, fighting the elimination of mandated benefits under commercial insurance coverage and in 2012 fought against selling of insurance across state lines where coverage might not include chiropractic care. In 2013 we were successful in removing the “rolling calendar year” requirement of Mainecare which allowed for more visits as needed.
In 2015 the MCA helped form the Alliance of Health Professionals due to the efforts of our own John Royce and Gordon Smith of the Maine Medical Association. The group discusses ad works to promote legislation that would help all allied healthcare professionals and our patients and to oppose legislation felt to be intrusive or detrimental to our needs. That year we also passed an anti-discrimination mandate which stated that if an insurance carrier pays another provider type for treating a condition it must not discriminate against a chiropractor treating the same condition if the treatment is within our scope of practice.
In 2016 Chiropractic Care was named an essential benefit in Maine under the Affordable Care Act provisions because of our past efforts to ensure chiropractic care was mandated. IN 2017 we promoted legislation allowing for higher reimbursement under Mainecare and expansion of Mainecare to pay for the examinations. Those items were passed but have not yet been funded. We continue to promote that change and to work with Mainecare for expanded visits and a better prior authorization process for services. We are also working with other healthcare professionals as part of the opioids task force as it relates to chronic pain management within the state.
Keep tuned in to see what we do next!