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Any Willing Provider Laws

What are Any Willing Provider (AWP) laws?

An Any Willing Provider (AWP) law is a piece of legislation allowing a provider to demand inclusion in a network if they agree to an insurer's terms and conditions. Under AWP laws, managed care networks cannot exclude physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers willing to comply with their terms and conditions of participation.

There are at least 17 states that have passed some type of AWP law since the first one was introduced in 1980. In nine of these states, the laws only apply to pharmacists and pharmacies.

With AWP laws, managed care organizations must contract with any provider willing to meet their terms and conditions, even if it cannot be shown that the provider meets quality standards or the geographic needs of the health plan.

How do AWP laws affect healthcare?

In general, AWP laws are well-supported by physicians but generally opposed by health insurers and the business community because they may lead to higher spending and health insurance premiums.

However, in favor of AWP laws is their ability to provide plan participants with greater choices for where to receive their health services.