We’re always fighting for you, and one of the issues we continue to tackle is educating legislators on the unfair fee schedule used by insurers to pay chiropractors.
This summer, our lobbyist Lori Grassi has been meeting with state lawmakers, using visuals to show them how insurance company fee schedules for Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy (CMT) is paid at, in many cases, 100 percent less than what is paid to osteopathic and naturopathic doctors using the Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) codes. This tool clearly shows how these payments are unfair, especially when the patient copay for chiropractic services is much more than the co-payment required for primary care!
In addition, through these visuals legislators also are learning that carriers have not increased fee schedules to chiropractors in 13 years, clearly unfair financial treatment in a market place where three insurers (Regence and Premera, their subsidiaries and Aetna) hold policies for most of the covered lives in Washington state, and chiropractors have no legal effective way to negotiate fees.
We are also educating legislators about the importance of defining chiropractic as a Primary Care profession, along with physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and naturopathic doctors. This will not only level the playing field when it comes to patient co-payments, it would also allow chiropractors to access the loan re-payment program for newly licensed DCs who choose to practice in a rural setting. And, we continue to challenge unfair prior-authorization practices by encouraging providers and patients to file complaints with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). OIC confirms that they are receiving our complaints, are fully aware and concerned about the issue and are considering a market conduct review.
Your support is critical to advance this major agenda. To meet our contribution goals and effectively contribute to State Senate and House campaigns and House and Senate soft money PACs we still need to raise $65,000 over the next 3 months. It’s also important that you spend some time this summer meeting with your legislators. Have coffee, write them a modest check and invite a few of them into your clinic! It makes a difference! You can find your state legislator at this link: http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder.
If you have contributed recently and/or are a regular contributor to the WSCT, it is appreciated. If you haven’t contributed, I urge you to do so today. Donate online here to make either a one-time or recurring donation. Or if you prefer, mail your donation to WSCT, PO Box 2163, Seattle, WA 98111.
Make a one-time contribution: $1000, $500, $250, $100, or sign up for monthly credit card withdrawals: $100, $50, $25 monthly.
— Dr. Dave Butters, President
Washington State Chiropractic Trust