A big congratulations to Karen James, LMT who has been a strong advocate in the state of Washington for legislative changes relating to insurance laws. Karen has spent hundreds of hours in Olympia Washington at state senate hearings regarding potential pending changes to insurance carrier laws. Recently, on January 17, 2018, House Bill 2837/ Senate Bill 6157 was approved by The State Legislatures and is now awaiting signature by Governor Jay Inslee.
This Bill will protect patients’ ability to get an initial evaluation and up to 8 consecutive treatment visits, if those treatments are medically necessary and within the quantitative limits of the health plan. This reasonable solution will allow patients to receive medically necessary value-based care in the fields of massage, acupuncture, and physical therapies, and make meaningful improvements toward recovery, therapy reducing the overall costs of the health care.
What this means for you, the patient. This is a victory because it means that your insurance provider cannot dictate that you do not need the above-mentioned services. It means that your providers- doctors, massage therapists, acupuncturists etc can determine the best course of your medical care without having to jump through insurance hoops just to find out that they “do not approve these services just because they determine they are not medically necessary”. This is the current working model.
It may seem like a small step in the right direction, but it is a big step in helping the patients receive the health cares that they should be entitled to under their insurance plan. Currently in the past several years, people were not allowed to receive such services, even though their plans claimed to allow for these services.
Thank you Karen and everyone at the capitol this year who so selflessly donates their time to helping make changes that positively impact the healthcare we can provide to our patients!