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Legislation to Loosen the Reins of Prior Authorization Passes Out of Committee

Monday, February 5, 2018   (1 Comments)
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On February 1st, Substitute Senate Bill 6157 (SSB 6157) was voted on favorably in an almost unanimous bipartisan vote by the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee. The legislation is now in Rules, where it needs a majority vote before moving to the Senate floor for consideration.

SSB 6157 states that a health carrier cannot require prior authorization for an initial evaluation and management visit and up to eight consecutive treatment visits, when medical necessity standards are met and the visits are within the limits of the health plan. This is a huge step forward for many providers as the legislation includes massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and hearing therapy, and East Asian Medicine.

During the hearing on the legislation, providers were uniformly supportive, with the insurance industry was uniformly negative. The final speaker was a representative from the business community whose message was that workers need care when they need it, so they can get back to work. That testimony indicates that the tide is turning on this important issue of assuring that health care consumers have meaningful access to their therapy benefits.

AMTA-WA is strong supporter of SSB 6157, and has worked collaboratively with the other professions noted above. We will keep you posted on what we hope will be its continued progress through the legislative cycle.”


Allison Hanelt says...
Posted Monday, February 5, 2018
Send a comment to your legislators using this link: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6157&Year=2017

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