OLYMPIA - Two bills aimed at strengthening the patient-provider relationship have passed both chambers of the state Legislature and now head to the governor for his signature.
Senate Bill 5887, sponsored by Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy, would prohibit insurance carriers and benefit managers from requiring immediate prior authorization approvals for certain treatment visits if a doctor determines the visits are medically necessary.
While the legislation does not completely prohibit the practice of preauthorization, it would allow physical therapists and other therapeutic professions to begin treatments for patients without delay, increasing the opportunities for better health outcomes.
A second bill, SB 5601, co-sponsored by short, seeks to regulate health and pharmacy benefit managers, requiring registration and reporting provisions under the oversight authority of the Office of Insurance Commissioner.
The benefit managers have not been directly regulated, yet were having a negative impact on patient health, access to care and the doctor-patient relationship, short said.