Rx in Reach Georgia Coalition Update

Article Type: 
Blog

 

  http://static1.squarespace.com/static/54cc075be4b0f886f475c44a/t/54d2988de4b0dccf9fb60da1/1423087760518/?format=500wRx in Reach GA Coalition   

 

January 31, 2020

 

Dear Coalition Partners,

 

We thank all our partners who participated in our 2020 Rx in Reach GA Capitol Day! It was a huge success! We highlighted our new partners; My Three Sickles (Sickle Cell Advocacy) and My Style Matters (Breast Cancer Advocacy). We were also fortunate to hear from a leader from the H.E.A.L. Collaborative. Our efforts were recognized as a ‘point of call’ in the House by Chair Rep. Sharon Cooper. Many of our legislators joined us for lunch. We extend our sincere appreciation.  I attached two great photos. Please send me your Advocacy Capitol Day so we can share.

 

Rx in Reach is working hard and moving fast with PBM Oversight Bills from the GA Senate and House. ( Please see OP Ed attached)We have been at the GA Capitol daily. We are meeting with leadership and key legislators. Let me know if you want to join us. We need your help today.

 

Bill Updates

 

1. To date there is a comprehensive bill, Georgia Senate Bill, SB 313, sponsored by Senator Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge has introduced extension revisions regarding the prohibition on the practice of medicine by PBMs, Insurance Commission regulation, including  licensing  and filing fees with new anti-steering provision, revised and extended provisions relating to reimbursements, rebates, administration of claims and  prohibitive activities surcharges for PBMs. (Dean.burke@senate.ga.gov)

 

Although, we are awaiting further PBM legislation to be introduced in the House we are hopeful the House bills will provide the same provisions of SB 313 plus add any other ease of access requirements.  SB 313 will probably be heard in the Senate Insurance Committee, led by Chair Burt Jones, burt.jones@senate.ga.gov , (404) 656-0082.

 

For your convenience I have attached the Senate and House Insurance Committees Members. As soon as we know about a hearing for PBM legislation we will ask you to:

1.      Attend the hearing! We need to fill the room with our partners and their members. This was critical to us getting Step Therapy Reform passed and I know it will be equally important here.

2.     Start contacting the appropriate committee members, asking for their support of the specific bill (s).

 

·        We are in immediate need of Patient Stories, from those who have experienced PBM barriers to their prescription drugs. We are especially seeking stories from patients who need access to specialty drugs or forced to use a mail-order pharmacy. We are seeking stories particularly from Hemophilia, HIV, Lupus and Sickle Cell patients. Of course all patients’ stories reflecting PBM harmful practices are appreciated.

 

·        We are also seeking physician stories to include for Op Eds, Printed Press Guest Commentary, and LTEs and for hearing testimony. Please send on any physicians who have encountered PBM barriers for their patients care and prescribing.

 

Please send the stories and physicians willing to participate to dlg@arxc.org as soon as possible and contact information with a patient headshot photo.

 

We cannot participate in a hearing without patient stories and physicians lending their voices.

 

If you want more information on this issue attached is a summary. Also, if you did not participate or view the Joint Special Committee on Access to Quality Healthcare meeting devoted to PBM harmful practices please go to:

https://livestream.com/accounts/25225474/events/8824293/videos/200537638?fbclid=IwAR32aZ_S5yy2FPKr2pWa1I9dTiqhw9vSlGHHCxy41N_npSKE7qgspxN1jOo. Also a summary of PBM Problem in GA is attached.

2. Our Rx in Reach GA website is being updated to focus and reflect on our efforts on PBM legislation. We will update our Advocacy Media toolkit to help you post messages on your Social Media platforms and for a targeted legislator campaign.

 

3. Medicaid Expansion also moving on Waivers. Medicaid (1115) waiver comment period runs through 11 pm on Friday, Feb. 7th. We may hear about 1332 waiver application next week. We have signed on to a Statement letter for GA 1332. There are too many concerns to discuss here however; I implore you to participate in public comment.

 

Yesterday CMS unveiled its Medicaid block grant guidance (see the State Medicaid Director letter here, and a CMS fact sheet here).  

 

4. Hate Crimes Bill, HB 426 is in Senate Judiciary. It is important for the health and safety of Georgians need to pass ‘as is’. Last session it passed the House 96-64. The push back is about the language;” relating to crimes and offenses, so as to provide for sentencing of defendants who commit certain crimes which target a victim because of the victim's race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity;”…Legislators who object do not want the words ‘sexual orientation’, or a mandatory sentencing. We have been to leadership and now are visiting Judiciary Committee members. We may get this critical bill passed if we can get 3 more Senators to commit a “Yes” vote.

 

Attached is the Senate Judiciary Committee Members List with their phone numbers. Please start calling today asking Senators to pass HB 426 ‘as is’.

 

 

Thank you again for your assistance and being so generous with your outreach. You are all greatly appreciated!

 

ARCLogoThickStrokeDorothy Leone-Glasser, RN, HHC.

Executive Director, Advocates for Responsible Care (ARxC)

| O: 404-633-5843 | D: 678-778-3614 | F: 404-321-5952 | E: dlg@arxc.org

www.arxc.org

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Project Chair, Rx in Reach GA Coalition

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