Urgent: Action Needed on HB 4132
Dear Friends and Patients,
As you may (or may not) know The WellBridge Clinic works to improve the health and lives of our patients and advocate for better health care in the Oregon State Legislature.
I am the Medical Director and Owner of the clinic, I am also the Vice President of the Oregon Association of Acupuncturists. There have been an increasing number of obstacles to patients accessing their health care. Part of that problem is the tremendously low reimbursement rates that health insurance companies pay for our services. This challenges our ability to bill insurance, provide the professional medical environment you should expect and fails to provide a living wage for our providers and staff.
We are currently advocating for HB 4132 which will create a study of the trends in reimbursement rates to medical providers. The study will be conducted by the Oregon State Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) and is the first step toward an equitable health care system for patients and providers.
Our bill passed the first legislative stage unanimously with the support of all parties (Yay!), but we are now stuck in the next stage and we are running out of time.
Our profession, and health care as an entirety, are in a crisis. We are burdened with more costs, more bureaucracy, and lower reimbursements for services. Science supports acupuncture, you have experienced the benefits. The safety, health benefits, and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture are unsurpassed.
Please take 2 minutes. Use the email below as a form or template. You can copy and paste. Send 2 separate emails to each of the Co-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee listed below. We have until Noon on Friday 02/25/2022.
It is always a privilege to be of service.
Call with questions 503-544-9611.
John Rybak, LAc, MSAOM
Must be completed by Friday, February 25 at 12:00 (noon).
I am writing to ask you to please prioritize House Bill 4132 in this legislative session. This bill would have the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) study provider reimbursement trends for physicians, physician assistants, dentists, nurse practitioners, and integrative medicine providers such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, and massage therapists. It is estimated to cost $1 million in one-time funds.
As a patient, I have experienced the benefits of acupuncture. I support the livelihood of medical providers and I want to ensure that I still have access to my health care. However, insurance reimbursement has not kept up with the rising costs of doing business. The COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation have put providers in a squeeze. Having to tell patients I no longer take their insurance is terrible, especially when the treatment is working. However, I must cover my costs to stay in business.
As Oregon looks at health payment reforms, including value-based payments and cost growth containment, now is the time to gather good data about provider reimbursement trends.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Your name and town or city]