Stories & Connections
(If you have a correction, update or new material to add for Minnesota, please see our State to the Nation page where you can add information.)
MN Fair Care’s The Minnesota Fair Care Act: Patients’ Rights & Provider Nondiscrimination introduced
Update: Feb – Mar 2017
The Minnesota Fair Care coalition of patient and provider groups (listed in the following update) has introduced its Minnesota Fair Care Act into both the state House and Senate. The provisions of the bill address health insurance conditions that continue to worry residents and lawmakers alike:
- By giving consumers the ability to spend personal dollars during a policy deductible period with any licensed provider of their choice, in or out of the payer’s network.
- By ensuring that licensed providers of all disciplines are available in accord with the state’s network adequacy rules.
- By requiring that denials of care have a transparent rationale; are applied uniformly across provider types; clearly articulate authorization on determination, criteria and insured’s right to appeal.
- By applying non-discrimination provisions to all plans in the state (including self-insured, third party administrators, workers compensation, state health care program, and auto insurance carriers).
Coordinated since 2015 by Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Northwestern Health Sciences University, the bill is the most comprehensive piece of state legislation addressing these issues since 2015, when Oregon and Rhode Island passed bills focused on ending insurer discrimination. Unlike those efforts the MN Fair Care bill contains strong provisions to ensure compliance.
House bill HF0886 is available here. (lick on “Bill text as introduced, under the bill number.) The Senate version, SF749, is identical.
MN Fair Care has made the following documents available that fully describe the legislation and its purposes and provide a quick summary of the bill, its purposes and the MN Fair Care membership (MS Word documents):
Your Story of Reimbursement Denied Can Be of Great Importance
Has reimbursement for your treatment been denied, delayed or been inadequate? Your experience will help legislators, insurance regulators, insurers and policy leaders to understand the value of access to your preferred care providers. Click the banner to the right to add yours.
MN Fair Care announces new members; prepares to introduce bill for 2017 session.
Update: Jan 2017
At its January 2017 member teleconference, MN FairCare reviewed the status of legislative support for its 2017 bill and discussed promotion and legislative contact efforts in the weeks ahead. Here are the groups who have participated in MN Fair Care and have formally committed to the legislative program:
Northwestern Health Sciences University, Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy
State Pain Policy Advocacy Network (SPPAN), Academy of Integrative Pain Management
Integrative Health Policy Consortium
Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM)
Minnesota Podiatric Medical Assn
MN Chiropractic Assn
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Assn of Mn
Noran Neurological Clinic
MN Athletic Trainers Assn
MN Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Minnesota Physician-Patient Alliance (MPPA)
Mn Optometric Assn
Health Policy Advocates
MN Citizens Federation NE
Bonnie Bolash, LAc (individual)
The following groups are considering joining the coalition:
Mn Occupational Therapy Assn
MN chapter American Physical Therapy Association
Minnesota APRN Coalition
MN Small Business
MN Fair Care coalition prepares to build on legislation into the fall.
Update: May 2016
MN Fair Care coordinator, Michele Maiers, DC, summarized the coalition’s work this spring and plans ahead.
“We met our goal of getting bills introduced in both the house and senate,” reports Michele Maiers, DC, co-ordinator of MN Fair Care. Her summary continues: “(due to the shortened session) Neither moved through necessary committees to be considered for a vote. The legislation will need to be re-introduced next session, when we will have a new slate of legislators, as everyone is up for reelection this fall.
“We plan to use the bill, patient testimonials, and key talking points over the summer and into the fall as campaign issues.”
Keep up at the coalition’s Facebook page. www.facebook.com/MNFairCare/
“Minnesota Fair Care” Introduces “Patient Rights and Provider Non-Discrimination” into state House and Senate.
Update: March 2016
House Version: HF 3291
Authors: Glenn Gruenhagen, Nick Zerwas, Tom Anzelc, Joe McDonald, David Bly, Carolyn Laine and Leon Lillie
Senate Version: SF 3046
Authors: Chris Eaton, Kathy Sheran, Julie Rosen, Kent Eken and Jim Abeler
Click on the image below for a one-page PDF of the talking points and share with friends and colleagues!
AND: Contribute Your Own Stories of Reimbursement Denied!
Has reimbursement for your treatment been denied? Consider sharing that story through our Stories Album. We are happy to provide a place for Minnesotans to contribute their own experiences. Click here to add yours!
“Minnesota Fair Care” Formed
Update: Feb. 2016
Legislation to be introduced in shortened March – May Legislative Session
The multi-disciplinary group of practitioners that has been working since 2014 to develop options for advancing the directives of Section 2706 agreed at a meeting at Northwestern Health Science University in January to introduce a bill during the 2016 legislative session. This will be done despite the short session (March – May) during which the bill will probably not have time to proceed through the required committees. (See the February 2016 blog post here.)
Update, Fall of 2015, CoverMyCare’s parent, the IHPC and its partner, the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine, AIHM both signed on as members of the steering committee. The project has been supported by the Minnesota Chiropractic Association and other state professional healthcare organizations. It’s goal: “Establish Minnesota legislative or rule enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Section 2706, the vital provider non-discrimination provision, consistent with Congressional intent.”
Through the CMC partnership with the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), MN Fair Care Minnesota has been introduced to two Minnesota business organizations: Small Business Minnesota and Buy Local Twin Cities.
The proposed legislative language that the group has been developing includes among its action points:
- prohibits the unequal application of payment based on the profession of the provider
- prohibits unequal application of fee structures, reimbursement rates, network adequacy and approval processes
- licensed providers’ costs of service would apply to policy deductibles
- denials of care must be applied uniformly across provider types
- non-compliance resulting in suspension of plan participation in state public health programs
Reference, Contacts and Complaint Submission
Fair Care Minnesota
(Can you add to or update these references? If so, please see our page, State to the Nation)