A bill designed to increase patient-access to chiropractors was signed into law by Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire May 15. The governor waited until the last day to sign the bill, according to Lori L. Bielinski, LMP, executive director of the Washington State Chiropractic Association.
The bill, SB 5597, allows patients to receive chiropractic care in a clinic where they are established patients, even when their current doctor is unavailable. Prior to the passage of this bill, insurance coverage was only paid when a patient saw his or her primary doctor. Consequently, if that doctor was not available, the patient could not see another physician in the same clinic.
The bill rectifies this discrepancy. The bill states that if a patient’s regular chiropractor has a contract under a health-insurance plan, another chiropractor employed at the same clinic will be allowed to provide the same services under the same insurance plan as long as the second chiropractor meets the plan’s qualifications.
The legislation does not increase benefits, but allows patients to get the benefits they are already paying for.
Sources: Washington State Chiropractic Association, Washington State Legislature, www.leg.wa.gov