The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) is a national organization whose members are legislators from all 50 states who are interested in insurance issues. A subcommittee of NCOIL has proposed a “model bill” entitled “Workers’ Compensation Pharmaceutical Reimbursement Rates Model Act” which is essentially a copy of recent legislation passed in Pennsylvania.  The NCOIL legislator who is pushing this “model bill” is the Pennsylvania legislator responsible for the Pennsylvania law.

This “model bill“ will disallow physicians from dispensing medicines to workers’ compensation patients unless (1) the physician sees the patient within seven days of the injury and (2) then may only dispense a single fill.  Almost all pain management doctors and orthopedic doctors who dispense will be adversely affected in caring for their patients.

In response to this NCOIL proposal, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted the following resolution at its June 2018 meeting in Chicago:

(30)      RESOLUTION 245 – OPPOSING NCOIL ATTEMPTS TO STOP PHYSICIAN DISPENSING

Madam Speaker, your Reference Committee recommends that Policy H-120.990 be amended by addition to read as follows:

Physician Dispensing H-120.990

Our AMA supports the physician’s right to dispense drugs and devices when it is in the best interest of the patient and consistent with AMA’s ethical guidelines.

Our AMA oppose legislative and other efforts that are in conflict with AMA policies concerning patient access to physician-dispensed drugs and devices.

NCOIL will be considering passage of this “model bill” at its national meeting in Salt Lake City in July 2018.

Several state medical societies (Maryland and Georgia) plan to object to the NCOIL “model bill.”  PRI will be filing a detailed letter of objection to the bill concentrating on the fact that the NCOIL subcommittee relied on a study from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) which was totally discredited by the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission in 2015.