SB 1045 is the ACS Fair Copayment Bill and will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Feb. 5, 2014. It states:
"A health insurer may not impose as a limitation on treatment or level of coverage a copayment, coinsurance or deductible amount that is charged to the insured for services provided by a portal of entry health care provider licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 8 or 19 (Chapter 8 is DCs and 19 is PTs) that is higher than the copayment, coinsurance or deductible amount that is charged to the insured for the services of a portal of entry health care provider for the same medically necessary treatment or condition. "Portal of entry health care provider" means a person from whom a patient may receive services and insurance coverage for those services without a referral from a physician who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17. (Chapter 13 is MDs, 17 is DOs)"
The bill title is "Prohibiting payment for services to persons other than the assignee; equivalent cost-sharing requirements; definitions." As of 01/13/14, SB 1045 had been assigned to the Senate Health and Senate Appropriations Committees, both of which it will have to pass to be considered by the full Senate. The insurance industry has so much influence at the legislature that when a bill is adverse to the industry, they are able to get it assigned to two committees rather than only one to make it harder to pass the bill. We are prepared to fight and win in both committees.
SB 1279 is the ACS Insurance Equality Bill and will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Feb. 5, 2014. It states that if an insurer violates our existing law, you can bypass the Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) and file a lawsuit asking a judge to declare there is a violation. It also states it is discrimination to pay an MD or DO more than a DC to perform the same service, and that it is discriminatory to apply utilization review only to DC claims and not equally to MD and DO claims. Altogether, these changes will raise your fees and have a crippling effect on ASHN operations by eliminating precertification and the intensive medical necessity reviews which you currently have to tolerate.
If you live or work in the districts of any of the following members, you and your patients, staff and family must inundate members with letters and calls containing the text below. Here are the committee members with descriptions of their districts. For exact information of which district you and your patients live in click on this link: How Do I Find My Legislators at www.azleg.gov and enter your home address to find your Legislative, not Congressional, district. Then find the link for the Arizona Legislature at www.azleg.gov. Go to the Senate then to Members and search for your District number and find your Senator. Send them a simple letter along the lines of the following:
"Dear Senator: I respectfully request that you vote yes on SB 1045 and SB 1279 on Feb. 5th in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. These bills will expand access for chiropractic care and make it easier for patients to get all of the chiropractic care they need. They will require insurance companies to treat chiropractic doctors and patients more fairly. Thank you very much, (fill in your name)."
If you do your part as we do our part, we will achieve success in the Legislature in 2014 and restore insurance equality for chiropractic. Your practice will experience a total turn-around. Are you ready? Is this what you want? We know the answer is yes. Then get busy now!
Here are the Senate Health and Human Service Committee members and their districts with contact information:
Sen. Nancy Barto: District 15 Northeast Phoenix bounded by Scottsdale Rd. on the East, 59th Ave. on the West, Bell Rd. on the South, Carefree Hwy. on the North. Contact: email@example.com or 602-926-5766.
Sen. Judy Burges: District 22 Northwest Phoenix bounded by 101 Ave. and N. Lake Pleasant Rd. on the East, N. Perryville Rd. on the West, Bell Rd. on the South, Lake Pleasant Rd. and North Maricopa County on the North. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-5861
Sen. David Bradley: District 10 East Tucson along all of E. Broadway, E. Speedway, E. 22nd St., E. Golf Links Rd., E. Tanque Verde Rd., and Wilmot Rd. Contact email@example.com or 602-926-5262
Sen. Katie Hobbs: District 24 Central Phoenix bounded by N. 48th St. on the East, N. Central Ave. on the West, E. Camelback Rd. on the North, and I-10 on the South. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-5325.
Sen. Ed Ableser: District 26 East Valley bounded by McKellips Rd. on the North, Baseline on the South, 48th St. on the West and Gilbert Rd. on the East. Contact email@example.com or 602-926-4118.
Sen. Kelli Ward: District 5 Mohave County west to the Colorado River including Kingman, Bullhead, Lake Havasu City. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-4138.
Sen. Kimberly Yee: District 20 North Central Phoenix bounded by I-17 on the East, W. Bell Rd. on the South, N. 101 Freeway on the West and W. 101 Freeway on the North. Contact email@example.com or 602-926-3024.