May 2019 Message from the Director
Spring tends to be a busy time for many of us in the industry. Between conference season and the end of legislative sessions, there’s a lot going on! Here is what the NICA team has been up to the past month:
Updates from D.C.
In late April, NICA met with Senate Finance Committee Oversight staff to discuss the 340B drug discount program and whether the program is achieving its intended objectives. NICA urged Chairman Grassley and the Committee’s investigative team to include the 340B program within the scope of an existing investigation to preserve the program’s integrity and ensure that it is providing value for the patient populations the program is intended to serve.
Progress on Patient Access Legislation
As many fellow patient advocacy groups know, most state legislative sessions are wrapping up and we’ve been very pleased with recent progress on patient access-related policies that NICA has been active on, including:
- Assembly Bill 24 in Wisconsin had a joint hearing on April 17 that provided an opportunity for patients to share the harmful consequences of step therapy. If passed, this bill would establish a clear appeal process and detail cases where step therapy protocol could be bypassed when medically necessary.
- House Bill 1879 was signed into law by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on April 29. This new law places guardrails in prescription drug utilization management (UM) protocols and requires a health plan to clearly post the process and criteria for prescription drugs that require a UM protocol, including prior authorization and step therapy.
- House Bill 2099 was unanimously voted out of the House Committee on Insurance on April 11 and now awaits an imminent hearing in the Texas Senate. This is an important bill that ensures that patients in Texas who stay on the same health plan from one year to the next can remain stable on their therapies.
- Senate Bill 352 was signed into law by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on April 9. This law will help mitigate deceptive “bad drug” advertising in Tennessee and protect the patient-physician relationship and treatment adherence.
- Senate Bill 509 was signed into law by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on April 16. After Jan. 1, 2020, insurance plans will be required to use “recognized, evidence-based and peer-reviewed clinical practice guidelines” in their step therapy protocols.
To see all the bills NICA is active on or check if your state’s legislature is in session, view our interactive legislation tracking map here.
#NICA2019 Meeting Reminder
We can’t believe that NICA’s first conference is next month! We have been overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm we’ve received by the infusion industry and have worked all year to make this a productive and dynamic experience. Although we’ve increased capacity, there is limited space and time left to register. The late registration period ends on June 14, so make sure you secure your space before then!
Our exhibit hall has over 50 organizations with unique offerings to enhance your infusion practice’s ability to treat patients! If you would like to join them and get your products and services in front of leaders in the infusion industry, we only have a couple of exhibit booths available. Register to exhibit here.
Thank you for your continued support and belief in NICA’s mission. We anticipate this will be a period of change and growth for our organization, and we are so fortunate to have fellow patient advocates like you working alongside us.
Thank you for your time,
Brian Nyquist, MPH
Executive Director, National Infusion Center Association