Some insurers and their plans still make it difficult for patients to see the doctor of their choice. The “Any Willing Provider Law” in Idaho mandates that all insurance companies open their doors to any provider, granted the provider apply and follow the terms of the contractual agreement. It still seems some insurances companies restrict access to doctors and hospitals and make it difficult to get through that open door.
In the emergency rooms of America, EMTALA took care of that. It’s definition now is the “layperson’s view of the emergency.”
One case in Idaho went to the Supreme Court already, where the Supremes overruled the lower court, and award costs and a new appeal to a group of cardiologists.
Isn’t it time all companies and groups representing themselves as gatekeepers to care – that insure patients in Idaho – obey the law? Patients need to be pro-active knowing their rights.
AWP laws come in a variety of forms but the most common type prohibits managed care networks from excluding physicians, pharmacists, hospitals, and other health care providers who are willing to accept the network’s terms and conditions from participation. As the term implies, AWP laws require managed care network sponsors to include any provider who agrees to abide by the terms of their contract and accept their payment schedule.
AWP laws adopted around the country differ considerably. Some permit managed care plan subscribers freedom of choice to select any provider in general, and others have choice with respect to pharmacies or even narrow categories of specialists such as chiropractors, optometrists, or psychiatrists. Some AWP laws apply to institutional providers such as hospitals and still others require network sponsors to merely notify subscribers of plan practices.
As best as we can determine at least 17 states have passed some form of AWP law. But, the governors of Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont vetoed their respect AWP legislation. The laws in nine states apply only to pharmacies and pharmacists. Among these is the Massachusetts proposal which the governor vetoed. The Massachusetts legislature voted to override the veto.
California has an open-panel requirement with respect to health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Minnesota adopted a law that requires managed care plans to expand network providers
and Virginia has an open-panel requirement for preferred provider organizations (PPOs) networks that permit chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, and psychologists to join if they agree to terms and conditions.
Idaho enacted an AWP law and grievance procedure. The law includes provisions that specify that (1) any provider who is qualified and willing to meet plan terms and conditions must be allowed to participate as a network provider; (2) termination or nonrenewal of a provider may occur only after written notice of intended breach of contract, and (3) all insurers must have a grievance procedure in place that includes arbitration or other reasonable due process features (HB 886). (Adapted from: olr@po. state. ct. us)