August 2020 Message from the Director

August 2020 Message from the Director

Dear Colleagues,

 

We hope you and your families have been enjoying a safe and socially distant summer. Since the weather has gotten warmer and the days have gotten longer, the NICA team has been running full steam ahead as we continue to work tirelessly to protect patients’ access to high-quality care and the providers that serve them. It has been a full month of new faces, new projects, and reacting to changes in the infusion industry.

 

NICA reacts to the Trump Administration’s Executive Orders regarding importation of foreign drug pricing policies through an International Pricing Index (IPI) Model

We are deeply concerned that the recent decisions by the current administration to allow reference pricing and importation of drugs into the U.S. adversely impact patients’ access to safe, high-quality treatments. Although the details of the plan remain vague, we remain committed to ensuring the integrity of the U.S. drug supply to deliver consistent, safe, and high-quality medications in order to mitigate risk and optimize health outcomes for patients nationwide. Click here to read our full statement.

 

Welcoming new NICA team members

In July, we welcomed two new warriors to the NICA family. Corinne May joined us as Chief of Staff. She will be working to optimize organizational efficiency and will support coordination across the NICA team with all ongoing projects and activities.

 

Kindyl Boyer has joined us as our new Education and Policy Coordinator. She will work to drive NICA’s policy priorities and expand our education program by curating existing materials and identifying deficits to fill with high-value, organic content. Her predecessor, Kaska Watson, will celebrate her last day with NICA on Friday, August 7th as she leaves to pursue her Juris Doctor degree in the Health Care Law program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland. Although she will be deeply missed, we are proud that she is pursuing her career goals.

 

Provider Member Survey

We work hard to invest in resources and value-adds for our patient and provider stakeholders, and we always want to ensure that we are measuring up to the needs of the delivery channel and our membership. In July, we put together a survey and distributed it to our Provider Members to gain feedback on all NICA resources, advocacy efforts, and educational content to assess the impact we have made and explore ways to improve. Thank you for all who participated in this important stakeholder input platform.

 

NICA responds to Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield’s self-administered medication policy

We expressed concern regarding the newly announced policy changes for Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield members. The policy devalues member and provider choice, ultimately to the detriment of patients. We oppose any and all policies that aim to move patients away from their provider-prescribed therapy for reasons other than health or safety. We wrote our comment letter urging Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield to clarify the policy language and reverse the decision to steer the course of treatment and shift specialty medications to the pharmacy benefit.

 

As always, we appreciate your support, and 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