Call to Action: Help Us Secure Legislative Co-Sponsors!

As you know, the Health Freedom Action Massachusetts (“HFAM”) coalition is working hard to secure greater protections for practitioners providing alternative health services in Massachusetts. HFAM has secured Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli and Senator Sal DiDomenico to file “An Act providing for consumer access to and disclosure of complementary and alternative health services” (House Docket 1747 and Senate Docket 634). This “Health Freedom” bill, which is a first-time filing in Massachusetts, would establish notice and disclosure requirements that serve to protect consumers, but also preserve the alternative health practitioner’s role in the health care system.

In particular, this legislation recognizes the ability of an individual to provide complementary and alternative health services. The legislation also requires that practitioners make thorough disclosures to the client before he or she receives services. The notice would provide the client with a description of the services to be provided as well as relevant degrees, training, experience, credentials and any other qualifications held or obtained by the practitioner. The legislation clarifies that certain acts are prohibited by a practitioner of complementary and alternative health services (e.g. prescribing prescription drugs, using anesthesia, etc). Finally, the legislation ties any violation of the notice and disclosure requirements to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, the consumer protection act.

HFAM needs your help to secure additional co-sponsors for the Health Freedom bill. The more sponsors we have on this legislation, the greater our chance for success. To that end, please take action in the manner described below. January 30th is the deadline for co-sponsoring legislation; make your calls now!

ACTION STEPS TO SECURE CO-SPONSORS:

ACTION #1. Find out who your legislators are (both House and Senate). Go to www.wheredoivotema.com and enter your home address. Click on your state Representative and state Senator’s names and you will be redirected to the Massachusetts legislature’s website where you will see the State House office phone number and email contact information.

ACTION #2. Call your Senator and Representative. January 30th is the deadline to secure co-sponsors for legislation – do not wait to make the call!

Sample Dialogue:

My name is [NAME] and I am a voter in your district.

I am calling on behalf of Health Freedom Action Massachusetts, which is a coalition of alternative health practitioners who are working to establish high standards in providing complementary and alternative health services.

In particular, the Health Freedom bill, sponsored by Representative Pignatelli (House Docket 1747) and Senator DiDomenico (Senate Docket 634) will preserve the role of alternative and complementary services in our health care system. Further, the legislation will improve consumer protections by creating notice and disclosure requirements that are necessary to ensure that consumers have the information necessary to make informed decisions about the services they receive. Finally, the legislation will not cost the Commonwealth any money.

I ask that the Senator/Representative support the Health Freedom Bill and co-sponsor House Docket 1747 and Senate Docket 634 as soon as possible. Will he/she sign on as co-sponsor?

Again, my name is [NAME] and I can be reached at [TELEPHONE NUMBER] if the Representative/Senator has any questions. Thank you for your support of our efforts to preserve informed health care decision making in Massachusetts.

ACTION #3. Follow your call up with an email. Let HFAM know the results of your call!