Women's health care services — Duties of health care carriers.
(1) For purposes of this section, health care carriers includes disability insurers regulated under chapter 48.20 or 48.21 RCW, health care services contractors regulated under chapter 48.44 RCW, health maintenance organizations regulated under chapter 48.46 RCW, plans operating under the health care authority under chapter 41.05 RCW, the state health insurance pool operating under chapter 48.41 RCW, and insuring entities regulated under chapter 48.43 RCW.
(2) For purposes of this section and consistent with their lawful scopes of practice, types of health care practitioners that provide women's health care services shall include, but need not be limited by a health care carrier to, the following: Any generally recognized medical specialty of practitioners licensed under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW who provides women's health care services; practitioners licensed under chapters 18.57A and 18.71A RCW when providing women's health care services; midwives licensed under chapter 18.50 RCW; and advanced registered nurse practitioner specialists in women's health and midwifery under chapter 18.79 RCW.
(3) For purposes of this section, women's health care services shall include, but need not be limited by a health care carrier to, the following: Maternity care; reproductive health services; gynecological care; general examination; and preventive care as medically appropriate and medically appropriate follow-up visits for the services listed in this subsection.
(4) Health care carriers shall ensure that enrolled female patients have direct access to timely and appropriate covered women's health care services from the type of health care practitioner of their choice in accordance with subsection (5) of this section.
(5)(a) Health care carrier policies, plans, and programs written, amended, or renewed after July 23, 1995, shall provide women patients with direct access to the type of health care practitioner of their choice for appropriate covered women's health care services without the necessity of prior referral from another type of health care practitioner.
(b) Health care carriers may comply with this section by including all the types of health care practitioners listed in this section for women's health care services for women patients.
(c) Nothing in this section shall prevent health care carriers from restricting women patients to seeing only health care practitioners who have signed participating provider agreements with the health care carrier.
[2000 c 7 § 1; 1995 c 389 § 1.]