March 2019 Message from the Director
I hope this monthly message finds everyone well. As other fellow patient advocate groups know, legislative sessions across the country are well underway, which is an exciting time for NICA!
Thank You, NICA Advisory Committee
Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting our bi-annual NICA Advisory Committee meeting in Austin. We had a productive meeting that focused on the outstanding need to establish minimum standards for outpatient infusion/injection therapy in the interest of promoting patient safety by reducing disparities in quality of care across care settings. We are looking forward to publishing these guidelines in the coming months.
Our advisory committee members graciously volunteer their time and expertise to engage with NICA to preserve, optimize, and expand access to the in-office infusion delivery channel. We are incredibly thankful for their contributions, not only to our organization but to the broader in-office infusion industry as well.
2019 NICA Meeting
There is a little over 100 days until the inaugural NICA meeting commences and general admission tickets are already sold out! We are working hard to get approval for additional tickets that we can make available for those of you who haven’t yet registered.
We still have space in the exhibit hall for companies and organizations who wish to share their unique products and services with other leaders in the infusion industry. Click here to see which organizations will be represented in the exhibit hall or register as an exhibitor here.
If you’re attending, speaking, or exhibiting at the meeting, we encourage you to let everyone in your professional network know! We have created banners and sample verbiage for that you can share on LinkedIn here.
Legislative sessions across the country have convened and are considering bills that could impact patients’ access to high-quality infusion therapies. As with every legislative session, NICA will have a presence in the halls of state capitols and coalitions across the country to protect patients’ access to care by advocating for protections around step therapy, non-medical switching, safe advertising practices, PBM transparency, and expansion of newborn screenings.
We have recently published an interactive map of all the bills NICA will be active on at the state and federal level that are related to step therapy, non-medical switching, Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) transparency, and cost-share assistance (including co-pay accumulator bills). I encourage you to look at these maps and see if there are any bills in your states that could help or harm your patients’ access to care. If you would like to know how to get involved with our advocacy efforts, please reach out to our education and policy coordinator, Kaska Watson, MPH ([email protected])
As we anticipate a proposal from CMS regarding the International Pricing Index (IPI) model, which is expected to be introduced this spring, it is important that we are proactive in collecting examples of how patient experience, health outcomes, and quality of life are enhanced by access to in-office infusion/injection therapy. We know there are patients in each of your infusion centers who are deeply appreciative of the care they receive. If you know of a patient who might be willing to share their in-office infusion experience and journey, I encourage you to reach out to our communications coordinator, Amy Rios ([email protected]).
If we are not at the table, we’re on the menu. Patients move politicians, so let’s make sure we are prepared to communicate the differential advantage of office-based infusion/injection care compared to hospital outpatient settings through the patients’ perspective.
Thank you for your continued support and belief in NICA’s mission as we prepare to tenaciously advocate for patients’ access to economical, compassionate, and accessible sites for infusion/injection care.
Thank you for your time,
Brian Nyquist, MPH
Executive Director, National Infusion Center Association