July 2020 Message from the Director

July 2020 Message from the Director
Dear colleagues,

 

What a whirlwind of a few months it has been. When the COVID-19 health crisis drastically escalated in early March of this year, the NICA team hunkered down, swiftly adapted to working remotely, and immediately re-positioned to prepare, publish, and disseminate coronavirus related guidance and resources. We created and assembled the COVID-19 Toolkit on our website to serve as a catchall information for infusion patients and providers. Additionally, members of the NICA team personally reached out to individual provider members across the nation to see how they were coping with the “new normal” and identified any existing challenges they were having that we could assist them with.

 

Meanwhile, we simultaneously maintained and circulated general NICA content and continued to play an active role in ongoing advocacy efforts affecting this invaluable delivery channel.
It has been an eventful 3-month sprint, and we are happy to connect with you today to highlight all that we have been doing to continue serving as the nation’s leading advocacy voice for in-office infusion while protecting patients’ access to the highest quality care possible.

 

New and Updated Resources

 

The NICA Advocacy Toolkit
This critical resource serves as a one-stop shop for infusion patients and providers to gain insight into current advocacy issues, access the educational resources they need to be informed and supported, and to obtain and utilize letter templates, campaigns, and social media to make their voices heard. The Advocacy Toolkit can be accessed anytime, anywhere, 24/7/365 on the NICA website.

 

New and Improved Current Medication List
This list contains all currently marketed provider-administered IV and injectable medications to date, and is exclusively available for infusion providers who are NICA Provider Members. A discount on the purchase of the current medication list is just one of the benefits associated with annual Provider Membership. More information on Provider Membership, including how your office(s) can join, can be found here.

 

The Infusion Blog
Hear the voices of the infusion industry by visiting our new blog! With guest posts from patient advocates, heads of fellow advocacy organizations, infusion center providers, and more, this is the newest corner of the internet to explore diverse perspectives on what protecting and preserving this delivery channel really means. Be inspired and visit infusioncenter.org/blog to read our most recent posts.

 

NICA Patient Perspectives Video
In May, we premiered the NICA Patient Perspectives Video: a 10-minute look into the lives of real patients and how they came to experience the life-changing experience of infusion treatment. This video explores how office-based infusion centers are a more affordable and effective option to hospital treatment, explains the impact of this delivery channel on the healthcare industry as a whole, and demonstrates the NICA advocacy mission and what we do to protect patients’ access to care. We’d like to extend a special thank you to Wasatch Infusion for serving as the backdrop for this inspirational video and to Fuel Marketing and Impatient Cow Productions for filming and production.

 

Advocacy Initiatives

 

UnitedHealthcare Step Therapy and Specialty Pharmacy Mandate
You may have been updated via our social media channels, but we’d like to take a moment to reiterate this triumph: UnitedHealthcare has halted their harmful mandates until further notice. They will not implement step therapy requirements for Ocrevus and Orencia, and have also delayed implementation of Ocrevus drug procurement requirements until further notice. Thank you to everyone that signed our petition against UnitedHealthcare’s new specialty pharmacy medication mandates. Your collaboration contributed to the successful push back against harmful payer policies.

 

We hope you and your patients are remaining safe at this time.

 

Thank you for your time,

Brian Nyquist, MPH

Executive Director, National Infusion Center Association