Did you know that in Oregon, Naturopathic Doctors are paid less than MDs, DOs, even Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants - for every single office visit?
And I'm not talking 2% or 5% less. I'm talking 30-60% less.
That doesn't seem right, does it?
Yet insurance companies are allowed to pay us less, just because they can.
The Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians is trying to correct this injustice with a Pay Parity bill, House Bill 2673.
Our first attempt at passing a Pay Parity bill was in 2019. It was unsuccessful, largely due to blockades and intentional faulty messaging provided by the insurance companies. We have come up with (what we hope are) effective tools to address this.
A lot has changed since 2019, I don't need to tell you that.
But what I can tell you is that as a profession in this state, the economic impact of unfair insurance coverage was not fair and not great in 2019. In 2021 it is truly devastating.
If we do not act, there will be widespread negative repercussions in Oregon for anyone who is an ND or would like to see an ND. Perhaps permanently.
The OANP needs to demonstrate we're not alone. That others care about this issue.
Here's a short list of who should care:
So, what can I do?
I'm so glad you asked.
I invite you to use this very simple letter template, edit and write in it what you wish (even 1 or 2 sentences is wonderful), and email it to email@example.com.
They will be collecting up all the letters and using these to show that we have public support for our bill. Though these will all be collected up together, if you do not know your senator and state representative, you can find out who they are here>>>
We do have far-reaching support for our bill. It is supported across the aisle, and also across the healthcare fields. We just need to show the evidence.
I have attached word document templates below. You can send in a word document, or even just copy and paste your message into an email and send to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Deadline: please send it in this week! Things are moving fast, and we need to show our support now!
Subject: Re: HB2673, Support Fair Pay for Naturopathic Doctors (NDs)
Dear House and Senate Health Care Committees, Oregon Legislature,
My name is (Insert Your Name) and I am a patient of a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and your constituent. I would like to share my experience working with an ND as a medical provider and ask you to please support HB2673.
(Insert your experience here. Use the following as a prompt)
I have worked with many types of medical providers, and none have taken the time and shown the care in my health and welfare like my Naturopathic Physician. The level of education, support and competent care that I have received has not only helped me move forward with my health conditions, but has renewed my faith in the healthcare system.
Unfortunately, right now in Oregon NDs are not being fairly compensated for their valuable contributions to healthcare in this great state. This makes it more difficult for people like me to access this unique and essential level of care. It also limits my choices when it comes to healthcare.
My ND manages the majority of my healthcare needs whether it be my annual physical, lab orders, health screenings or prescription(s). They also refer me to other competent providers and specialists when appropriate. In addition, they teach me about diet and nutrition, how to stay active, manage stress, improve my sleep and become more proactive in my own healthcare. All of these things come together to create a more complete treatment plan for my health and I have never felt better.
I am asking you to vote yes on HB2673 and support fair pay for Naturopathic Doctors.
(Insert Your Name)
Will this actually make a difference???
Yes, yes it will. I have sat in on numerous senate and house healthcare committee hearings and can tell you from experience that our organization saying, "please bring our bill to a vote, we have 1,500 letters of support" will make a much bigger impact than, "please bring our bill to a vote, we have 5 letters of support."
Politicians are much more likely to act, even whether to call a vote or not, if they know that there is a ton of support behind the bill.
Every letter of support counts.
Now the question is, can I count on you???
I hope so, and truly appreciate your support.
Patient letter template:
Letter template for my fellow NDs:
Letter template for my allied healthcare professionals: