Mid-Year Convention Updates
Council Advances “Patient Health Care Non-Discrimination Act” in New York
The Council believes that all New Yorkers should have the freedom to seek the treatment and provider of their choosing with respect to their healthcare, if treatment of a given health condition is within a licensed health care provider’s scope of practice. Unfortunately, this has not always been possible in New York for a variety of reasons. To reverse this historical bias against chiropractic and other non-allopathic health care professions, the Council will advance the "Patient Health Care Non-Discrimination Act", as a top legislative priority going forward.
The Council’s dynamic reform proposal is still in the drafting stage and has not yet been introduced in the legislature. The bill will strengthen existing federal and state laws by prohibiting discrimination against all non-allopathic health care providers in New York, whether through self-funded health care plans or plans fully funded through insurance, thus allowing all New Yorkers equal access to a wide array of beneficial, licensed health care services.
The Council spent many months researching this new legislation and writing a preliminary blueprint, which will serve as a guide when we begin drafting technical bill language and seeking sponsors in the legislature. The blueprint itself is based on current “best practices “– laws enacted and legislation pending from both the federal (the Affordable Care Act’s Section 2706, non-discrimination in healthcare) and state levels (Wisconsin, Washington, Louisiana and Rhode Island non-discrimination laws, among others).
The Patient Health Care Non-Discrimination Act will likely contain the following key provisions to end the bias against chiropractic and other non-allopathic health care providers in New York:
● A requirement that all healthcare plans provide coverage for services that are within the scope of any licensed health care provider.
● A prohibition on fee discrimination.
● A prohibition on restricting health care coverage by establishing underwriting, cost containment, utilization review or other performance measures that are not comparable for all licensed health care providers.
● A prohibition on an insurer or health plan from circumventing the provisions of the law by creating new reimbursement codes that are not listed in the AMA CPT code book.
● A requirement that all healthcare plans include coverage for alternative treatment of pain management that does not involve the use of opioids.
● Application to health plans fully funded through insurance and self-funded plans.
● Substantial fines and penalties imposed upon parties not complying with the law.
The Council is presently reaching out to NYSCA, the other licensed health care professions, patients’ rights groups, the public and other key organizations who have expressed an interest in advancing this important legislation, as we try to build a large coalition in support of its formal introduction in the legislature, which we will seek later this year. In the meantime, please support our efforts on this important issue, where the Council is taking the lead!
Council Advocates for Chiropractic as a Solution to the Opioid Crisis
As New York continues to struggle from the opioid crisis, the Council continues to take a very public role in advocating how chiropractic can be part of the solution. On February 12th, Dr. John LaMonica submitted testimony before the Senate and Assembly Joint Health Budget Committee on chiropractic as a natural, non-addictive alternative for the treatment of pain. On February 15th, Dr. Joseph Baudille testified for a second time before the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, emphasizing how chiropractic can help alleviate the crisis by managing pain without the use of addictive drugs. We are also attempting to meet with the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Health to further raise awareness on how chiropractic can be a natural solution to help combat the opioid crisis in New York. We are also monitoring several alternative pain management bills in the legislature.
Council Meets with New Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board and Top Staff to Discuss MTG Compliance and IME Reform
Dr. Bryan Ludwig and Council lobbyist Perry Ochacher, along with NYSCA representatives, met with Clarissa M. Rodriguez, the new Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board on March 27th to discuss the Medical Treatment Guidelines, including follow-up regarding the materials we submitted to the Board detailing how some carriers are not operating in compliance with the guidelines, leading to unjustified treatment denials. We also discussed continuing fee disparity in chiropractic reimbursement and IME reform. On April 26th, we had a conference call with Board staff to discuss implementation and staffing of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on the Utilization of Independent Medical Examiners, which we fought for and won as part of last year’s state budget. We are now pushing for chiropractic representation on this important Advisory Committee, which is tasked with improving the deeply flawed IME process.
Lobby Day 2018, Scope of Practice Bill and Other Legislative Priorities
Our annual Albany Lobby Day was held on April 24th, where we advocated for the Chiropractic Scope of Practice Modernization (A.8541/S.7427) and Business Partnership bills (A.5807, A.1943/S.4291, S.4125). We also initiated discussions about our forthcoming Patient Health Care Non-Discrimination Act. Between the Assembly and Senate, we are presently monitoring over 180 different bills that impact chiropractic, paying particular attention to legislation in the following areas: Opioid Crisis/Pain Management; Clinical Peer Review; Preceptorship Tax Credits, Out-of-Network Coverage; Medical Treatment Guidelines; limited “collective bargaining” rights for health care professionals; and childhood immunization, just to name a few. Additionally, we continue to host and attend important political events with key legislators to promote the Council and our legislative agenda.
The New York Chiropractic Council is committed to fighting for meaningful policy reform in New York such as the Patient Health Care Non-Discrimination Act, but we cannot do this without your support.
• Please stay involved as an active and dues paying member of the Council;
• Contribute to ChiroPurpose-PAC, our official Political Action Committee. C-PAC is the political action arm of the profession’s efforts to fight for chiropractic. For our profession to succeed, C-PAC must succeed. To contribute to C-PAC, contact either Dr. Donna DeRosa at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 320-4568, or Dr. Scott Brunengraber at email@example.com-(631) 772-9355. Alternatively, you can speak directly with either of them over the weekend. Thank you!
If you have further questions or need any additional information, Council lobbyist Perry Ochacher can be reached at (518) 729-4555, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.