In my last letter, I shared information about the historic legislative achievements in 2018 for the Washington State Chiropractic Association, the Washington State Chiropractic Trust and chiropractic as a whole, including passage of chiropractic Fair Pay and Prior Authorization bills.
Now, we must work to support those state legislators who supported us. This is a critical mid-term election year and all of us must work together to re-elect our supporters – those willing to fight for our issues.
You have probably received communications from the WSCA regarding hosted meetings in various legislative districts around the state explaining the passage and implementation of the Fair Pay and Prior Authorization bills for which 2 hours of CE is offered at no cost. There is a component of the meetings where legislators from the district are invited to attend. Maybe you have already attended one of these meetings. We still need chiropractors to host more of these meetings inviting the chiropractors and the legislators from your area to attend. Our lobbyist, Lori Grassi, speaks at the meeting and will help you to set it up, and to invite the chiropractors and the legislators. Contact Lori at 206-878-6055 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we did accomplish amazing legislative gains this year, there’s always more work to do. Here are the priorities for the 2019 legislative session, as outlined by the WSCA Board of Directors:
Emphasizing drugless services to combat the opioid crisis: This proposed legislation is modeled after legislation that passed in West Virginia this year. This bill is intended to do three things:
1) Require health plans to increase their visit limits to 20 for drugless services such as chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy and occupational therapy.
2) Require the copay for these drugless services to be the same as Primary Care services.
3) Require patients who seek opioid services/prescriptions to first visit for a trial of care at least one of the named drugless providers prior to receiving an opioid prescription.
Regulating benefits managers: Benefits managers like ASH, eviCore and others are hired by insurers to implement some, or all, of the following services; prior authorization, clinical review, billing, network creation and management. We are working to introduce legislation that would require them to be licensed by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. This legislation would also include provisions that would require disclosure of the agreements between the benefits managing company and the insurer, exposing financial incentives to blocking access to care.
Ensuring chiropractors receive Primary Care Status: Chiropractors are the only physician-level
providers who are not statutorily defined as primary care. Our message to legislators is that a primary
care provider’s job is to triage, treat and/or make appropriate referrals, working within their scope of
practice. Legislators are not knowledgeable about and do not understand the chiropractic education,
we need doctors to help educate them about our training which includes differential diagnose and our
practice of triaging our patients and referring to other providers for conditions outside of the
chiropractic scope. The most common presenting complaints to a primary care provider’s office are
musculoskeletal in nature and physicians routinely prescribe a muscle relaxer and/or an opioid
We are always monitoring other legislation and opportunities for new ideas to present themselves
We may not achieve legislative wins every year but it is important to remember that over the past
many decades the chiropractic profession in Washington State has not endured losses of previous
accomplishments. Year after year we have defended and protected against legislative attempts to
undermine patient access to our services, especially yearly attempts to erode or eliminate the Every
Category of Provider law, which requires that all plans sold in Washington State provide chiropractic
We have expended enormous political capital to achieve our latest legislative wins, and much will be
expected of us. I can’t stress enough how important it is to donate to the Trust, to help elect
those who support chiropractic.
If you have contributed recently and/or are a regular contributor to the WSCT, it is appreciated and
makes a difference. If you haven’t contributed, I urge you to do so today. Just click here
to make either a one-time or recurring donation.
Make a one-time contribution: $1000, $500, $250, $100
Sign up for monthly credit card withdrawals: $100, $50, $25 Monthly
P.S. Regarding the new Prior Authorization Bill, we have heard that some
doctors are having trouble with coverage under specific health plans. To help
the WSCA track this issue, ask your patient to request from their employer or
their insurance company the “Summary Plan Description.” Then scan and email
the following information to us: The name of the employer purchasing the plan,
the plan name (or number) and the group name (or number). Email
to email@example.com — put “Summary Plan Description” in the subject line
— Dr. David Butters, President
Washington State Chiropractic Trust