Insurers Oppose N.J. Bill Giving Chiropractors Equal Billing

February 24, 2006

Insurers this week testified in Trenton against a bill (A-1003) that would permit chiropractors in New Jersey to seek reimbursement for services at the same rate as licensed physicians and surgeons.

The legislation would also place the same limitations or conditions on chiropractors’ services as applied to physicians and surgeon.

“We believe this change would significantly disrupt our present system and reverse regulation that is already in existence,” said Richard Stokes, regional vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “We agree with others that mandating these types of costs into our medical system is inappropriate and that the Department of Banking and Insurance and other state departments are the more appropriate level for this type of review. Legislation will only take away pricing flexibility that the appropriate regulator would be better able to handle and respond as changes occur.”

Stokes also expressed concern that the measure would eviscerate New Jersey’s present medical fee schedule without taking into consideration the considerable efforts made by the Department of Banking and Insurance to discuss this issue with the public and develop a fee schedule. “Further discussions about the medical fee schedule should be considered,” said Stokes. “But if there are concerns with the medical fee schedule, we need to start at the regulatory level with the Department rather than seek new legislation. We believe that legislation mandating certain fee arrangements would set a dangerous precedent.”

Stokes pointed out that medical costs have been going up considerably in New Jersey and around the nation and that legislation like A-1003 will only add to the cost of medical treatment without any serious increase in benefits. “Both federal and state governments have been looking at this issue and how to help provide medical treatment to all people,” said Stokes. This legislation will only add to these costs and pressures that the system can ill-afford at this time. Legislators must help to hold the line on these costs.”

Source: PCI

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