Kansas Patient Coalition Update – March 14th on SB 341 (Action Needed before March 24th)
Here are the main highlights from the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee hearing on SB 341 on Thursday, March 10th:
- KDHE testified in favor of SB 341. Twenty-four organizations and individuals testified as opposed to the bill. MHA is one of the organizations opposing SB341.
- The Committee asked very good questions and seemed skeptical of the bill.
- At this time, Chairman Hawkins does not plan to take any further action on this bill.
o Therefore, it is likely that this bill will be worked in a conference committee which could occur before the Legislature begins their spring break on March 24rd. Rep. Hawkins, Rep. Dove, and Rep. Ward are likely to serve as the House conference committee members.
- Outreach to Governor Brownback:
Encourage advocates to contact Governor Brownback and express their concern with SB341
o While Governor Brownback cannot take any direct action on the bill, he does have the ability to influence this legislation. It is important that we communicate to the Governor that SB 341 is not good policy. Step therapy can delay or lower quality of care and often puts patient safety at risk. While many states are reforming step therapy, SB 341 removes patient protections and severely impacts a patient’s ability to get the appropriate medication based on the prescribing healthcare provider’s clinical expertise. Step therapy often leads to disability, additional emergency room and doctor visits, hospitalizations, and ultimately higher healthcare costs.
Immediate Advocate Outreach to Committee: Please reach out to the KS House Health and Human Services Committee in opposition of SB 341 between now and March 24. Talking points are below the list of committee members – we would like to kill the bill, but if it must move forward we must make sure that patient protections are included.
Talking Points when calling, writing or in person – (Please incorporate your own wording so written comments will not appear the same)
- Please vote no SB 341 as it puts patient health and safety at risk by failing to protect patient access to effective medicines.
- SB 341 must not advance until appropriate patient protections are included,
o Limiting the use of step therapy for any prescribed drug to no longer than 60 days and prohibiting insurers from requiring patients to fail a drug more than once.
o Require that the recipient try and fail only one prescribed drug on the preferred drug list
before the product or therapy recommended by the recipient’s health care provider can be prescribed and become eligible for coverage.
o Give the prescribing health care provider access to a clear and convenient process to expeditiously request an override of the chosen “step”.
Step therapy protocols be based on appropriate clinical practice guidelines or published peer-reviewed data developed by independent experts with knowledge of the condition or conditions under consideration.
- By preventing patients from receiving the most effective treatment first, their healthcare can be further compromised, potentially resulting in higher healthcare costs.
- Don’t come between the physician and the patient in managing their care. Physicians are very much aware of the cost of medication and do all they can to keep treatment cost down without jeopardizing their patient’s health.
- Step therapy can negatively affect patient care and drive up healthcare costs due to increased doctor visits and/or hospital visits that could be avoided if patients are not forced to use less effective medications.
In addition to emailing House Health Committee and asking for a “No” vote, we have also shared sample tweets as well:
- #steptherapy puts health costs above patient health. Vote NO on SB341 #MyDrKnowsBest #ksleg
- #MyDrKnowsBest what medicines I need, not insurance companies. Vote NO on SB341#steptherapy #ksleg
- #steptherapy keeps patients from getting the medication their doctors know they need. Vote NO on SB341 #ksleg
- Doctors, patients and advocates are speaking out about the harmful insurer practice known as #steptherapy #ksleg
- Have you been forced to fail on meds other than what your doctor prescribed before you could get the right medication? That’s #steptherapy #ksleg
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