State Government Info

The New Hampshire Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (NHAPTA) is excited to announce that the Governor Hassan has signed into law HB1281 to update state law on copayment for physical therapy and chiropractic services.

“Co-Pay relief is critical for access to quality health care service for many New Hampshire consumers,” according to NHAPTA President Deidre Daley. “Co-pays as high as $50 per visit are prohibitively expensive and lead to poor outcomes for patients. We applaud the legislature and the Governor for their leadership on thi.”

The bill requires insurers issuing or renewing individual or group policies under the 2009 Patient Protection and Affordable Care act shall not charge copayment, coinsurance or office deductibles for PT and chiropractors greater than the amounts charged for the services of primary care physicians. The bill also requires the insurance commissioner to compile certain data on member cost sharing.

NHAPTA has worked for years to help achieve copay relief and maintain access for physical therapy services for the people of New Hampshire. With this bill, the legislature worked to establish a balance between access and patient responsibility to help individuals who have suffered physical limitations regain function.

September 2015

During this past legislative session, there were 2 bills which would have established a fee schedule for workers comp patients at 150% of Medicare. The one in the House was referred to committee meaning it may come up next year and the one in the Senate, after a very hard fight could not pass due to conflicts in the Senate. The Senate did pass SB 133 which mandated the state insurance department to collect payment data on workers comp. This is important as it will collect 100% of WC date vs. the 60% that NCCI collects. In addition, NCCI mission is to support insurance companies so they always support the insurance company. Theoretically the insurance department is neutral but many of the employees are former insurance company workers so they have a bias so having all of the information to review is important to physical therapists and physical therapists assistants.

The chair of the labor committee in the house decided he was going to add a fee schedule to SB 133 but utilized different math. He was open, held a couple of hearings for feedback and changed his amendment many times. The last version was a cap set by the insurance commissioner. This is a de facto fee schedule and we were against his proposal. This was being supported by the majority Republicans which was surprising as they are the party of free market and less government interference. The world was upside down in NH politics and it passed committee by a vote of 10-8.

Working the with NH Medical Society and the NH Hospital Association, we did more than our part. We had the chair of the house finance agree to speak against the bill. In addition we had some Republican representatives who are our friends vote against the bill and lobby for us. Having one chair go against another chair is not good political form. To have someone do this for us was huge. In addition, we reached out to the Teamsters and spoke with them that the fee schedule would not help the injured worker and in fact, could potentially have a negative effect on the quality of care. We made the statement, employees are getting injured for corporate profit and now they will not have the best treatment for corporate profit. They reached out to 40 Representatives on our behalf. We sent out an email blast to all of the Representatives in the house with our talking points. We have gotten kudos from our coalition for our efforts. This shows how being engaged can make a difference.

The debate in the House was robust, but in the end the amendment adding a cap to workers comp payments was defeated. There was an amendment modifying language regarding payment of workers comp services which will level the playing field for insurers and provide opportunity for negotiation.

The Senate has concurred (agreed) to the amendment so it went on the governor's desk and has been signed. The fight for a fee schedule began 3 years ago with the NH workers compensation advisory council and then the governors commission on workers comp costs ending with legislative activity this year. NHAPTA was there every step of the way helping to shape the way. Workers compensation patients account for 17% of the volume for PTs in NH and 25% of the reimbursement. This one was huge. This was a great example of the value of NHAPTA. Please share with every PT and PTA you know.

To help support NHAPTA advocacy efforts, please donate to the NHAPTA PAC. Send checks payable to NHAPTA PAC, 6 Robin Road, Concord, NH 03301. We must report your name, address and work place for every donation to the PAC above $25.


CONTACT US Phone: (603) 369.3049
Fax: (860) 656.9069