We continue to move forward, with your support
Here's a brief background and update on this piece of legislation, Senate Bill 734:
Naturopathic Doctors are paid, on average, only 60 cents on the dollar compared to MDs, DOs, NPs and PAs.
(See attached document below for our 1-page explanation of the details)
There is no good reason for this, other than we are the smallest of those fields.
Creating a law to repair this discrepancy is our only realistic step.
We are all busy doctors, seeing patients and running clinics and businesses. We wouldn't do this if we didn't feel it was 100% necessary to keep our doors open, and continue to provide Oregonians with the high-quality care they have come to expect from us.
Myself and colleagues have been meeting with many state Representatives and Senators over the past few months (I myself had 7 meetings last Tuesday), educating them on this economic discrimination and how our bill will remedy this.
I can say that I have been surprised with how receptive all the legislators I have met with have been, on a whole.
There has been an outpouring of support for our bill, and we truly appreciate it.
Yesterday, several very brave colleagues of mine testified before the Senate Healthcare Committee, presenting this bill, and describing how enacting this would improve the lives of ourselves, our patients and our community. Of course, there was inevitable resistance. Our bill would disallow private insurers from paying us less than a Physician's assistant for the exact same type of visit, for example. They want to keep paying us paltry reimbursement rates. They don't want that to change.
Their testimonies did not come as a surprise. Providence, Regence and Kaiser representatives testified in opposition to our bill. The hearing ended with the Senate committee being supportive in concept, and asking that the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians and those insurers meet, and discuss whether a compromise can be made as to the concerns they brought up.
Across both houses, there appears to be a lot of support for us. We will continue to move forward as this legislative session continues. So keep tuned in for further developments.