Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium to Launch CoverMyCare Campaign to Activate Consumer Support for ACA Section 2706

Washington, DC-based integrative health and medicine writer and consultant Taylor Walsh, an Integrator adviser and columnist, sends this notice: “In early September, the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) plans on rolling out a CoverMyCare website in support of its consumer campaign to educate the public and state officials about Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act: ‘Non-discrimination in healthcare’. Because correct implementation of the law lies in the hands of state officials, CoverMyCare will provide contact information for those officials and advocacy tools as a way to help patients and practitioners persuade their states to make sure that insurers comply with the law.”

CoverMyCare Project Manager, Taylor Walsh CoverMyCare Project Manager, Taylor Walsh

Walsh continued: “The web site will include a section on ‘Integrative Health in the US’, that will explain the poorly understood basics of the CAM disciplines, the education of its practitioners, patient stories, and examples of the growing use of integrative practice across the country, including in US Military and Veterans Health.” Walsh adds that “the project will engage consumers, patients and practitioners through social media and crowdsourcing and to emphasize the broad promise of Section 2706 which is reimbursement for the services of all licensed health care practitioners.” The initial stages of the project are being funded through grants from Bastyr University and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

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Comment: First, major kudos to Bastyr and AMTA for their policy leadership. In the tenure of Bastyr’s president Dan Church, PhD, which he announced will end June 2015, Bastyr has co-sponsored IHPC’s major Affordable Care Act and Beyond: A Stakeholder Conference on Integrated Health Care (Report) (2010), been a stalwart partner organization to IHPC and has also been a steady, significant contributor to the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), an organization that has also been engaged in multiple policy-related efforts. (Disclosure: I am involved with ACCAHC.)

Meantime, terrific to see AMTA stepping up after its slow start in support of that significant portion of its members who are involved in third party payment for their services. Second, credit Walsh who saw this gaping need, conceived and pushed this campaign. While the campaign’s initial duration is just six month, here’s hoping CoverMyCare will pick up steam, with crowd-funded and other support. The consumer may be the necessary countervailing force to insurer intransigence, and we need to up their involvement and keep at it. We can surely guess that the antagonism in the insurance industry to doing what Congress intended will certainly outlast 6 months.

This article originally appeared in The Integrator Blog.

Author: John Weeks


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