October 2019 Message from the Director
Happy fall, everyone! The year might be winding down, but we are in the midst of many exciting developments that I am excited to share with you.
New Team Member
In September, we expanded our team with the addition of a new development program coordinator, Ashley Kana. In this role, Ashley will be responsible for the management and expansion of our Infusion Center Locator and provider membership. Ashley joins the organization with a robust skill set in patient education and care coordination and we are excited to have her join the NICA family!
For those of you who are not familiar with NICA’s Infusion Center Locator, it is the largest publicly available database of infusion centers in the United States, and was created to connect patients across the nation with infusion providers who are best able to meet their needs. Infusion center staff can add and maintain listings to provide accurate information, including available medications, office hours, amenities and more! Learn more here>>
With thousands of searches every month—many by commercial insurers looking to connect their members with low-cost non-hospital care settings—infusion providers that haven’t claimed their facility’s profile may be missed in these searches. Find out how to claim your infusion center here.
Patient Access Petitions
Last month we focused our advocacy efforts on two important petitions addressing barriers to patients’ access to care. We partnered with the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers (NORM) to gather signatures on our down-coding petition to Humana from rheumatology practice managers during their annual meeting. I encourage you to learn more about how down-coding can negatively impact patients’ access to care and sign our petition to senior leadership at Humana.
We also wrote a letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the wake of their decision to impose non-medical switching practices on their beneficiaries. If you oppose insurer policies that supersede providers’ prescribing authority and clinical expertise by dictating the course of treatment for its members, I encourage you to sign our NMS petition here.
I am deeply appreciative of the exciting opportunities I get to connect, educate, and empower patients within the autoimmune community. I am honored to speak at two patient empowerment events in October with NICA’s closest patient advocacy partners.
Grave’s Disease & Thyroid Foundation
I’m excited to speak to patients prior to the Grave’s Disease & Thyroid Foundation’s Patient Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, Oct. 4. Patients living with Grave’s Orbitopathy (also known as Thyroid Eye Disease or “TED”) do not have a treatment option to manage active disease progression, only surgery to manage symptoms. As the first treatment, an infusible product, moves through the biopharmaceutical pipeline, I’m honored for the opportunity to educate a biologic-naïve patient population on infusion therapy, biologics, insurance coverage, support programs, and access barriers. Learn more here>>
Enhancing Lives by Empowering the Autoimmune Community
We are excited to be part of another patient educational symposium for Lupus and autoimmune communities, hosted by our friends and colleagues at the Lupus and Allied Diseases Association and Lupus Colorado. I am looking forward to speaking on demystifying specialty drugs, biologics, infusion/injection therapy, adherence, and access challenges. This event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO. It’s free to attend with a complimentary lunch included, but you must be registered. I encourage everyone in the Denver area to participate in this educational event for patients with Lupus and their loved ones. Register here>>
Thank you for your continued support in being a part of the NICA family! Your continued support has contributed to our success, and we wouldn’t be here without you and your patients!
Thank you for your time,
Brian Nyquist, MPH
Executive Director, National Infusion Center Association
P.S., Did you see we published our first, semi-annual print newsletter? Check out the Fall issue of The Infusion Advocate here! We’re anxious to hear what you think.