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WEAMA Legislative Alert! Posted 2/9/2018

February 09, 2018 12:34 PM | Shelley Dahle (Administrator)

"This bill, which we support, is still in the Rules Committee. If you haven't called your Senator yet, please take the time right now to make the call."

WEAMA Supports SB 6157 Prior Authorization. Please call your local Senator ASAP! The bill prohibits a health carrier from requiring prior authorization for an initial evaluation and management visit and up to twelve consecutive treatment visits with a contracting provider in a new episode of care of certain therapies (East Asian Medicine, Chiropractic, PT and OT) that meet standards of medical necessity and are subject to quantitative treatment limits of the health plan. The bill has bi-partisan support. Here are the bill sponsors: Sponsors: ShortKudererRiversClevelandPalumboNelsonBeckerWalshWarnickVan De Wege

The bill had a public hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee earlier this week. WEAMA provided the attached testimony at the public hearing on the bill. We hear that the Chair of the Senate Health Care Committee plans to schedule an Executive Session vote on the bill in this week. The bill will then go to the Senate Rules Committee and wait to be pulled to the floor of the Senate for a vote. There is no House companion bill, so only call your Senator at this time.

Please call your local Senator and let them know that you support SB 6157!

To find out who your Senator is in your legislative district go to: Find Your District

Enter your home address, not your workplace, and your state legislative district will pop up. The website will also provide their contact information. Please send them an email or call and speak with their legislative assistant.

Please ONLY CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR as there is no bill in the House yet. When it passes the Senate, we will do another legislative alert to contact your state House of Representative members.

Talking Points

PLEASE SUPPORT SB 6157, re. Prior-Authorization 

Short, Kuderer, Rivers, Cleveland, Palumbo, Nelson, Becker, Walsh, Warnick, Van De Wege

For every day of delay, an opioid is prescribed in its place!

  • Every service listed in this bill is a non-pharmacological option to an opioid.
  • This bill gives patients access to up to eight visits of care without having to seek prior authorization. 
  • This bill does NOT require additional benefits be covered. 
  • This bill does NOT remove medical necessity. 
  • This bill does NOT remove prior-authorization completely! 
  • Prior authorizations drive up costs by requiring unnecessary evaluation visits at intervals that are too soon 
  • Prior authorizations shift administrative burden to providers and delay care.

This bill simply gives patients up to 8 consecutive visits of their already existing benefits, for the same episode of care, without going through the administrative burden of prior authorization.

Third party companies from out-of-state, who are unregulated, are hired by insurers to interfere with the DrPatient relationship.

This bill follows a House Health Care work session from the 2017 session. Insurers had several years to correct the issues related to this process and have taken no action. The administrative shifts continue and the delays get longer.

PLEASE VOTE YES ON SB 6157

Lori Grassi, Washington State Chiropractic Association, 253-988-0500 Melissa Johnson, Physical Therapy Association of Washington, WA Speech Language and Hearing Association, 360-2806429 Kate White Tudor, WA Occupational Therapy Association, 360-402-1272 Melanie Stewart, American Massage Therapy Association-Washington Chapter, 360-556-8280 Leslie Emerick, East Asian Medicine Association, 360-280-6142