Documented cases of discrimination against NDs: Sea-change at HHS?
After almost two years of correspondence and at least one in-person meeting with representatives from the integrative health and medicine community, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has acknowledged that instances of insurer discrimination in violation of Section 2706 submitted from the state have merit.
HHS responded this past April to a selection of documented cases of discrimination that the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) assembled with its state member associations in Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Maine, and Puerto Rico. (Such cases are similar to those you’ll find in our Stories Album involving other disciplines).
The HHS executive who has been leading the long conversation with AANP and the IHPC, said that the documentation showed clear examples of discrimination in violation of 2706 (those provisions are not yet known), and that their review process may lead HHS to reach out to the state insurance commissioners directly.
This acknowledgement could mark a sea change in the posture that HHS has adopted since its flawed guidance on 2706 was issued in 2013 and in an updated version in spring of 2015. Independent actions in the states, including those involving state insurance commissioners, combined with this HHS acknowledgement may also be welcome news for other professions whose providers have faced similar discriminations with little response from their state officials.
These are important parallel tracts that CoverMyCare will continue to track through 2016.