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Aimed Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 4

Welcome to Volume 1, Issue 4 of Aimed Monthly! In this issue, we have many federal updates to share with you along with a brief analysis of recent copay accumulator bills that have been signed into law. Start reading below!

Highlights

Navigating Uncertain Waters
Last month, Aimed Alliance Counsel, Stacey L. Worthy, and Staff Attorney, John A. Wylam, hosted a webinar presentation exploring recent federal health policy proposals. This webinar is intended to guide health policy advocates through the complex proposals that have been issued in recent months. Tune in to the recording to learn how these proposals could impact patients and providers.
 
Bait and Switched
We will be sending a letter to Blue Cross Network of Michigan calling on the insurer to reverse a policy that may result in nonmedical switching. After patients were locked into the plan for the remainder of the year, the insurer rescinded coverage for a medication that many patients with chronic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis rely on. Read our sign-on letter, and email John Wylam at jwylam@aimedalliance.org by Friday, April 12th, if you’d like to sign your organization onto this letter.
 
Seeking Safer Harbors 
In February 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General issued a proposed rule that would amend the Anti-Kickback Statute’s safe harbor protections. These safe harbors have historically shielded rebate practices in the pharmaceutical supply chain from antitrust scrutiny. Amending these rules could have enormous effects across the entire health care economy. Review how Aimed Alliance responded to this proposal.
 
Back to Work! 
In March 2019, the Trump Administration released its 2020 Budget Request, which includes details on a number of the Administration’s policy priorities. Read Aimed Alliance’s analysis of the policy proposals contained in the budget request here.
 

Events

  • On April 10, Aimed Alliance Counsel Stacey L. Worthy will be speaking on a panel about innovative patient advocacy initiatives at the Alliance for Patient Access’s Fourth Annual National Policy & Advocacy Summit on Biologics and Biosimilars.
  • On April 29, Aimed Alliance Staff Attorney John A. Wylam will be presenting on a webinar jointly hosted with the Derma Care Access Network titled “Preventing Discrimination and Offering Quality Benefits for Employees with Dermatological Conditions.” Register to attend the webcast here.
  • On May 3, Aimed Alliance Staff Attorney John A. Wylam will be presenting at a Hill briefing jointly hosted by Aimed Alliance, DiabetesSisters, and Amarin. John will be discussing the patient’s perspective regarding cardiovascular disease and access to treatments. You can RSVP for this event by emailing heartcare@kslaw.com. This event will be taking place at noon in 2044 Rayburn HOB. Lunch will be provided.
     

Where We've Been


Aimed Alliance staff regularly speak at conferences and other similar events. Below is a list of our recent speaking engagements.
  • Earlier this month, Aimed Alliance Counsel Stacey L. Worthy presented on nonmedical switching at the Free to Care Conference, which was hosted at the Library of Congress by Practicing Physicians of America, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Physicians for Reform.
State Legislative Update
  • Virginia has become the first state in the nation to enact a law prohibiting copay accumulator policies. On March 25, 2019, Gov. Ralph Northam signed HB 2515 into law, which will require health plans to include financial assistance provided by third parties into the calculation of enrollee’s cost-sharing responsibilities and maximum out-of-pocket costs. This law will become effective on January 1, 2020.
  • West Virginia subsequently enacted HB 2770, becoming the second state in the nation to prohibit copay accumulator policies. On March 27, 2019, Gov. Jim Justice signed the Fairness in Cost-Sharing Calculation Act into law, which will become effective on June 7, 2019.
  • North Carolina Reps. Sasser, Murphy, Lewis, and Bell introduced HB 534, the NC Pharmacy Benefits Manager Licensure Act on April 2, 2019. This bill would impose stricter regulations on PBMs and prohibit copay accumulator policies in the state. North Carolina is the 11th state so far to consider copay accumulator legislation.
  • Having trouble keeping track of the status of all these copay accumulator bills? You can visit our website to use our legislative tracking tools, tailored for individual issues.
 

In Case You Missed It

  • On March 21, 2019, Aimed Alliance Counsel Stacey L. Worthy presented on a webinar jointly hosted with the Derma Care Access Network titled “Managing Benefits for Employees with Dermatological Conditions.” If you missed the original broadcast, you can view the recording here.
  • On March 27, 2019, District Court Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia held that the work requirements that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved for use in Arkansas and Kentucky’s Medicaid programs are invalid because they are inconsistent with the statutory purpose of the Medicaid program. Read an article published by Phil Galewitz from Kaiser Health News discussing the implications of this ruling and the path moving forward.
  • On March 28, 2019, District Court Judge John Bates of the District of Columbia held that significant portions of the Department of Labor’s final rule on association health plans are unlawful. Read an article published by Katie Keith from Health Affairs, analyzing the impact of this ruling on association health plans moving forward.
Contact Us
Questions, comments, suggestions, or feedback? Send us an email.
Copyright © 2019 Aimed Alliance, All rights reserved.


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