Stories & Connections
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Update of March 17, 2017
Very Strong Provider Non-discrimination Bill Introduced“An Act To Require Nondiscrimination Policies in Providing Health Care Services” was introduced on March 15 by State Senator Justin Chenette (right). The bill contains very strong unambiguous language that would put licensed integrative providers onto a level reimbursement playing field with other providers.
Among the discriminatory practices insurers have used that are explicitly prohibited by this law:
- Lower reimbursement rates
- Limits to the number of allowable visits
- Limited payment amounts
- Limited providers in the insurer’s network;
- Elimination or restriction of integrative or naturopathic services that are within a provider’s scope
The bill also forbids insurers from implementing “exclusionary language in provider contracts that references ‘not medically necessary,’ ‘not clinically efficacious’ or ‘experimental’ solely to deny coverage for services.”
THE BILL TEXT IS AVAILABLE HERE (PDF). The state’s legislative session extends through June 27.
Senator Chenette is in his first term representing the Saco region south of Portland. He is ranking member of the Taxation Committee and previously served two terms in the House. The Maine Association of Naturopathic Doctors (MAND) was instrumental in shaping this bill, which took some of its provisions from the Minnesota bill introduced earlier this year.
MAINE RESIDENTS: Have You Experienced Denial of Coverage?:
Has your insurer denied reimbursement for your treatments by naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, midwives or other licensed professionals? If so and you would like to share your experience (anonymous if you prefer), check out our CMC Story Page, which has a short form to use. It will help legislators and advocates for patient access. And thanks!