Dear Patients & Friends of Northwest Integrative Medicine,
Beginning immediately NWIM will no longer accept *new* patients with United Healthcare (UHC) Insurance.
If you are a current patient with UHC we will continue to see you. Only immediately family members (ie. children, spouses, siblings, etc.) of current patients, who also have UHC, will be permitted to establish as a new patient if they wish.
To understand our decision you must understand the politics of the current healthcare industry and payment practices. When the affordable care act was passed there was legislation that mandated providers be paid equally for equal work. For example, if a nurse practitioner or a naturopathic doctor perform a physical exam and provide treatment, they should receive the same payment from an insurance company as an MD would.
Well, this is not the case. Imagine as a doctor, anyone, being paid $0.17 for one hour worth of work. Yes, that really happened. How about $4? Again, true. Legally and contractually, we are unable to bill patients the remainder and/or the cost goes straight to you and your deductible. As a small, family owned and operated business, we value our time and cannot survive on this type of pay. Accepting this low pay would compromise our care to our patients, which is unacceptable to us. This is why, after much thought and deliberation, we are restricting our care but will maintain our relationship with our current UHC subscribers.
If this makes you mad, know that it makes us mad too! There’s very little, as a provider, that we can do about it. But you can take action! Tell United Healthcare they are limiting your access to affordable, high-quality, whole-person medicine, one that is about prevention and cost-savings. Naturopathic doctors fill a growing need for primary healthcare in this country and they are systematically preventing access by excessively devaluing its delivery.
If you have questions, please contact our office manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northwest Integrative Medicine