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Posted on 05-12-2010

May 12, 2010

As many of you know I was away from the office yesterday attending the CCA (California Chiropractic Association) legislative conference in Sacramento.  This annual event is when we meet with our state legislators to discuss pending bills that affect chiropractic patients, the practice of chiropractic, and health issues in our state.

 

We heard from Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez, Assembly Member Mary Hayashi, Assembly Member Dave Jones who is running for insurance commissioner, and Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal.  Ms. Lowenthal was the recipient of the CCA's Legislator of the Year Award.  Ms. Lowenthal won this award for introducing legislation that requires Worker's Compensation insurance companies to pay for treatment that they had pre-authorized.  As she told us, she could not believe it was necessary to introduce such legislation.  But as she looked into the matter, she saw many examples of insurance companies not following through on payment for treatments they had already authorized.
After the presentations to the group, over 100 chiropractors from around the state, we met with our local legislators in their offices.  I had the pleasure of meeting with Assembly Member Noreen Evans, Assembly Member Jared Huffman, and the Chief of Staff for State Senator Patricia Wiggins.  These meetings went very well and we were assured of support on the items we discussed with them.
We expressed support for a bill that would require insurance companies to update and maintain accurate provider lists.  Again, another law that seems like it should be unnecessary, but you would be surprised at how often I check a provider list for someone and see names of doctors who have moved out of state, retired, or are deceased.  Consumers have the right to accurately know what providers are on their insurance plans.
Another bill had to do with requiring insurance companies to provide more transparency in relation to the premium costs of their plans.  Again, it is a consumer 'right to know' issue.

I must say I was particularly impressed with Assembly Member Dave Jones who is running for insurance commissioner.  He appears to have a very good handle on the insurance situation in California.  As I have been seeing his ads on television, I have also been impressed that he is not taking any contributions from insurance companies.  As patients and healthcare providers, it is vital that we have an independent head of this department to protect all of our rights.

Dr. Tucker 

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