Rx in Reach 2020 Advocacy Priorities

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The Rx in Reach GA Coalition is a collective community of patients, advocates, nurses, allied health professionals and physicians who speak as one unified voice on health related issues that truly matter to Georgians. We advocate transparency and affordability in healthcare. We give voice to advocates who daily endure the battle of illness and attempts to attain affordable, quality healthcare. We persist in our goal to effectively reduce cultural incompetency and disparity in our healthcare delivery system. 
Our position remains to improve the wellness of all Georgians by:
Removing all obstacles to patient care and prescription drugs.
Expanding network adequacy and access to specialty care, ensuring patients care is affordable, protecting full access to coverage and increasing patient protections.
Address inadequate insurer networks and Pharmacy Benefit Manger companies that reduce access to care, create barriers to care and contribute to high out-of-pocket costs for patient. 
Leading the charge to confront any public health crisis.
Driving the future of medicine to support improved technology, training and education with full encouragement of preserving the integrity of the patient/doctor relationship.
Rx in Reach Capitol Day supporting policies and legislation:
Implementation 1.2020 of Step Therapy Reform
Support promoting Medicaid expansion to cover the uninsured in GA and opposing Medicaid work requirements 
GA New Medicaid Waivers –
Support Georgia Maternal Mortality Committees’ recommendation to extend Medicaid coverage for mother’s financially stressed to one year after child’s birth; overall we are concerned who is NOT covered under these waivers.
Passing Surprise Billing legislation. Patients, physicians and policymakers are deeply concerned about the impact that unanticipated medical bills are having on patient out-of-pocket costs and the patient-physician relationship. (Yesterday, Sen. Dr Ben Watson, Senate HHS chair, stated he was optimistic Surprise Billing legislation will pass this session.
Pass Georgia law regulating Co Pay Accumulator Programs- Copay accumulator programs, being implemented by pharmacy benefits managers and health plans that exclude copay assistance from counting toward a patient's deductible or other out-of-pocket maximum. Given this damaging lack of transparency, plans should be required to post their co-pay card policies clearly in plan documents and formularies and notify their beneficiaries and health care providers explicitly; in easy language and directly to patients of changes to their policies. 
Support Legislation to identify precise strategy to end the Opioid Crisis in GA
Support a tax on Tobacco  and Vape products in stores and online while addressing Georgia’s Vaping Crisis
Streamline Prior Authorization process by requiring use of a standard form, with timelines for insurers to respond to the form and ensure continuity of care when patient changes insurer.
Support comprehensive Elder Care Reform legislation to end abuse and protect indigent and elderly patients; particularly correct shortcomings in oversight of assisted-living and large personal care homes; as sited in the AJC expose “Unprotected”.
Support Rare Disease Advisory Council proposed by Sen. Nan Orrock -SB 274
Support legislation that will allow for PBM transparency and guardrails to curb their dangerous and financially lucrative practices as middleman. More than 30 states have introduced some form of PBM legislation since 2018, making it by far the most common drug-pricing legislation being pursued in the states. However, current legislation in GA requiring licensing, audits and restricting anti steering of patients and patient data is not enough. PBMs continue to present a major barrier to care; most especially patients getting their patients and pharmacists in GA. We stand firm to shine new light on the need for new state law that creates new robust state authority for the oversight of PBMs. (Op Ed)
Support of GA STOMP (https://georgiastomp.com/coalition/) and opposing a Tax on Menstrual Products - HB 8
Passing HB 426, Hate Crimes Bill, Rep. Chuck Efstration, as is. Passed House and currently in Senate Judiciary Committee. We ask you to call your Senators and ask them to pass HB 426. On the GCSC website: www.safega.org  will be Senate Judiciary Comm. members to call first asking them to support HB426.
*Best way to expand access and reduce health disparity is to commit to having voter registration available at all your events.
*Please address your concerns on all access by calling and meeting with your State Representative and Senators. I strongly encourage you tell your legislators the bills you support and highlight concerns you know your members and advocates care about.
Lt Governor established a “Task Force on Health Care Access and Cost”. They had a meeting first week of January. I will distribute their meeting schedule as soon as it is available. When they meet it is streaming LIVE from The Senate Chamber. They are discussing many of the issues and concerns we are talking about today. I urge you to tune in and target meetings with legislators who would benefit from your input on affordable access problems.
© Rx in Reach GA, 1.15.20