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Collective Negotiations and Out-Of Network Bills Need Your Support

OUT-OF-NETWORK LEGISLATION NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!

There are just a few days left in the 2012 legislative session.  All physicians must continue to call, write and fax their legislators and Governor Cuomo’s office to urge that they enact legislation to assure health insurance companies offer health insurance policies with out-of-network coverage that have meaningful coverage of such costs.  Aggressive health insurer opposition, as well as opposition from some business groups, is slowing down consideration of this measure, so your advocacy is absolutely essential for this measure to be enacted.

MSSNY continues to meet with key leaders in the Assembly, Senate, and Cuomo Administration to urge the enactment of legislation incorporating these concepts.  Negotiations will be continuing through the weekend into early next week. Moreover, MSSNY has been working closely with several patient advocacy groups to coordinate action in support of addressing this problem.

To assist physicians in their grassroots advocacy, MSSNY has also created a new section on its website that includes talking points, MSSNY’s memo in support of this legislation, a patient-educational flier, a template script for physicians and patients to follow in calling their legislators, recent news articles in the New York Times and New York Daily News detailing this problem, and a link to send a letter to your legislators from the MSSNY’s Grassroots Action Center in support of this legislation.

Please act today!
(AUSTER, DEARS, CONWAY)

COLLECTIVE NEGOTIATION BILL – NEEDS PHYSICIAN ADVOCACY

With only four legislative days remaining in the regular legislative session, legislation (A.2474-A, Canestrari/S. 3186-A, Hannon) to permit independently practicing physicians to negotiate collectively with health insurance companies has stalled in both houses of the legislature.  This legislation, which now has 67 co-sponsors, has advanced from the Assembly Health Committee to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee but has failed to advance further in that house.  Identical legislation (S.3186-A, Hannon) is back before the Senate Health Committee after it passed the Senate last year but hasn’t yet moved this year.

Collective action is now prohibited under federal antitrust laws.  As a result, with most regions of New York State being dominated by just one or two health plans, most physicians face one-sided contracts from health insurers with little if any opportunity to negotiate.   It is the patient, however, who bears the brunt of this market dynamic because the physicians’ inability to negotiate results in the imposition of unnecessary barriers for patients as they seek to access necessary care.  These health plan abuses include: cumbersome pre-authorization processes that delay our patients from receiving needed care and testing; arbitrary limitations on necessary prescription medications; and overly aggressive barriers that limit patients’ ability to receive care from the specialist physician of their choice.

An all-out grassroots push is necessary because the health insurance industry is doing all in their power to stop this measure from going forward.  If you want to level the playing field with the health insurers, please make these contacts!

All physicians are urged to contact their legislators in support of this critically needed legislation, and can send a letter to their legislators in support of this legislation by clicking here.

(DEARS, AUSTER, CONWAY)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 at 10:42 am and is filed under NEWS FROM THE NYS LEGISLATURE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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