FRANKFORT — A state House committee made substantial changes Wednesday morning to a bill that would allow chiropractors to collect more from insurers — a move that the bill's sponsor said "guts" the bill.
The House Banking and Insurance Committee unanimously approved the substitute version of Senate Bill 75, which would limit the number of co-payments insurance companies can charge customers for a trip to the chiropractor.
Sen. Tom Buford's bill, which was supported by the Kentucky Association of Chiropractors, would have allowed chiropractors to bill and be reimbursed more by insurers for certain medical treatments.
The association says on its Web site that in 2004, insurance reimbursement for chiropractors was reduced by 38 percent from the largest insurer in Kentucky. Since then, most other major insurers in the state followed suit with reductions "to stay competitive."
Chiropractors are earning less today than they earned 10 years ago, the association says.
The House committee changed the bill so it would restrict insurance companies from charging more than one co-payment or coinsurance from the patient during a visit to a chiropractic office, even if more than one procedure is performed during the visit.
The chairman of the House committee, Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, said the panel's version of SB 75 "is now a good thing for consumers and the chiropractic industry."
But later Wednesday, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee retaliated by attaching Buford's original proposal to House Bill 199, an insurance-related measure sponsored by Greer.
"My bill is still alive," Buford said Wednesday night after a quick committee meeting in the Capitol.