NU Online News Service, Jan. 24, 3:45 p.m. – The New Mexico Senate Consumer and Public Affairs Committee is considering a bill that would prohibit health maintenance organizations from discriminating against practitioners of acupuncture and other forms of “oriental medicine.”
The bill, S.B. 371, was introduced by Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, N.M., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
State lawmakers around the country have responded to complaints about the effects of health coverage mandates on health coverage premiums by introducing and passing fewer mandate bills in the past year than in previous year.
But, if enacted as originally written, S.B. 371 would forbid HMOs from discriminating against doctors of oriental medicine “relative to other providers regarding reimbursement levels and services provided within their scope of practice,” according to the bill text.