State Policies Tackle Patient Access, Safety

As published originally in the Institute for Patient Access blog:

As state legislatures gear up for the new year, several have introduced legislation aimed at accessible, safe medications.

  • Virginia has introduced a bill to limit excessive co-payments and co-insurance rates, ensuring patients’ access to vital medications. HB 1948 and SB 1394will increase access to medications by ensuring that the required copayment or coinsurance … does not exceed $100 per month for a 30 day supply,” explains FairCopayVA.org.

The organization notes that specialty tier drugs, sometimes needed for rare or chronic illnesses, sometimes come with exorbitant co-insurance rates. Patient who cannot afford their out-of-pocket costs are effectively priced out of the care they need.

  • Washington state has introduced legislation on so-called “pay to prescribe” SB 5443 would require disclosure to patients of any insurance plan that compensates health care providers to prescribe one prescription drug over another. The bill would also require insurers to inform patients of any penalties that encourage physicians “to minimize or avoid referrals to specialists.”

 The bill aims to reinforce the Affordable Care Act’s vision of informed, empowered patients selecting the health insurance coverage that’s best for them.

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