CMS Clarifies Chiropractor Ordering Policy

Chiropractors are not allowed to order and refer items or services to Medicare beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified in bulletins sent to stakeholders.

"In recent announcements and materials, CMS incorrectly included chiropractors in the list of physician and practitioner types that may order and refer items or services to Medicare beneficiaries," the bulletin said. "In accordance with the Social Security Act... doctors of chiropractic medicine are not eligible to order and refer."

CMS added that Medicare coverage "extends only to treatment by means of manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation," and said other services furnished or ordered by chiropractors are not covered.

CMS indicated it was revising documents and change requests to reflect its policy on chiropractor orders and referrals.

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Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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