January 1996 Bulletin

Coalitions are active at state-level

The following is a report on the activities of Patient Access to Specialty Care Coalition groups in various states.

Colorado Optional point-of-service legislation will be introduced by the Congress of Physician Specialists which is affiliated with the Colorado Medical Society. The coalition will work with the Congress of Physician Specialists to seek approval of the legislation.

Illinois The coalition met for the third time on October 11, 1995. The groups in attendance discussed what assistance their organization could give to the coalition (i.e., financial support, staff support, etc.). Three committees were formed- membership, public relations, and legislative. The committees will meet to discuss their role in the coalition. Legislative language will be developed for introduction in the Illinois General Assembly in the spring of 1996.

Indiana The coalition is developing goals and principles and will persue legislation in 1997.

Massachusetts The Massachusetts coalition has met with a legislator on the Massachusetts Joint Health Care Committee who is interested in sponsoring point-of-service legislation. The coalition is awaiting support from the Massachusetts Medical Association.

Michigan The Michigan Partners for Patient Advocacy will introduce the Michigan Patient Protection Act in the general assembly. The coalition will actively work with this group and assist in membership recruitment, drafting legislation, and other support as needed.

New York The state recently approved legislation requiring that a plan with a point-of-service feature be made available to individuals who purchase their own health insurance. The coalition pursued legislation requiring point-of-service in all plans. This bill passed the New York assembly, but was stalled in the senate. The coalition will continue meeting to map out future legislative strategy. The New York General Assembly is expected to only address budget issues in the spring 1996.

North Carolina The coalition held an initial phone conference. Members are in the process of determining whether or not to work with the North Carolina Medical Society.

Oregon Legislation was approved stating insurers must have a point-of-service option available for purchase by employer purchasers of group health plans with more than 25 employees. It appears that the coalition will pursue additional point-of-service legislation in the future.

Pennsylvania Legislation, including point-of-service, was to be introduced in September. However, that legislation was put on hold so the Pennsylvania Medical Society can deal with problems arising with the state's Catastrophic Loss Fund. The state medical society may pursue point-of-service legislation in January.

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