AthleticTrainers - Issue Summary

Should athletic trainers be able to bill insurance companies?

athletic trainersBy: LFDA Editor

If you've been to a high school or college athletic event, you've probably seen them on the sidelines, typically with a fanny pack full of gear. They are the athletic trainers, and they are normally on staff or contracted to high school and college athletic teams throughout New Hampshire.


If there's an injury on the field, the trainer is typically the first responder, providing initial treatment for anything from a twisted ankle to a bone break.

A larger issue for athletic trainers off the field is whether they should be able to charge insurance companies for their services, if such services are covered when performed by another health care provider.

According to the New Hampshire Athletic Trainers' Association, allowing athletic trainers to bill insurance would provide trainers with "fair practice and equal access to insurance reimbursement." A law would not increase the cost of insurance, said the association.

Opponents of reimbursement for athletic trainers argue that a reimbursement model would decrease the quality of athletic trainer services, since trainers would make money based on the number of appointments in a day rather than on the quality of their service.  There are also no national standards on how much education an athletic trainer must receive, and some healthcare professionals argue that allowing athletic trainers to bill insurance companies would unfairly, and potentially dangerously, put athletic trainers on the same footing as more rigorously licensed healthcare professionals.

For more information about athletic trainers, see the FAQ at the N.H. Office of Licensed Allied Health Professionals.

Previous Legislation

SB 423, which was considered but put into study by the 2010 Legislature, would have required health insurance coverage for athletic trainer services performed by a licensed athletic trainer, if such services would be covered when performed by another health care provider.

What do you think? Should athletic trainers be able to bill insurance companies just like other health care providers?

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If you are interested in this athletic trainers issue and want to take action here are some choices:

  • Contact one of the organizations listed in Learn More. These groups represent the pro or con positions of issues.
  • Contact a government official as follows:

1. Contact members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives or the New Hampshire Senate.

2. Give your opinion to Governor Maggie Hassan

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Do you think services by athletic trainers should be covered by insurance? Whatever your thoughts are, we urge you to make your voice heard. See the "Learn More/Take Action" section on this page for more information.

Issue Status

SB 423, introduced in the 2010 Legislature, would have required health insurance coverage for athletic trainer services performed by a licensed athletic trainer, if such services would be covered when performed by another health care provider. The legislation was adopted by the Senate, but the House put it off for further study. 

News

There are no 2014 articles on this topic.

April 10, 2013
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