Legislative Update: Oral Chemotherapy Bill signed by the Governor

A coalition of health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, and patient organizations picked up momentum this week in an attempt to make Missouri the 28th state to require insurance coverage parity of both oral and intravenous cancer treatments. The American Legislative Exchange Council hosted members of the Missouri General Assembly, special guests, and other key stakeholders at the Capitol on Tuesday to discuss national

Schaaf takes on state health care system

State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, is joining with a Missouri House colleague in a bid to change health care in the state.

Mr. Schaaf has introduced a bill in the Senate this session that he said would increase access to providers, insert competition in the market and allow consumers to know the cost of health care in advance by requiring price transparency. He said the legislation offers reforms to the private sector and to Medicaid by relying on market-based solutions to bring down costs.

The legislation addresses Medicaid reform with a pilot program that uses health savings accounts for qualifying recipients.

Patients, doctor ask lawmakers for ‘parity’ between oral, IV chemotherapy coverage costs

Bills have been heard in the committees in the state House and Senate that would require insurance companies to charge patients the same out-of-pocket amount to cover oral chemotherapy as they would to cover intravenous chemotherapy.Insurance plans often treat oral chemotherapy as a pharmacy benefit but treat intravenous therapy as a medical benefit. This means patients generally pay more for oral than they would for intravenous.

Lawmakers have been told that makes it cost-prohibitive for some patients to get the pill form. Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Doctor Carl Freter says the pills are often much more effective and targeted at cancer cells.

NY health commissioner says new drug database has cut ‘doctor shopping’ by 75 percent

ALBANY, New York — New York Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah says the state’s new online database of drug prescriptions has cut so-called “doctor shopping” by 75 percent.

The Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing, called I-STOP, began operating in August.

Health officials say more than 66,000 practitioners have used it more than seven million times already to check prescriptions on nearly three million patients.

Legislative Update: Health Care

Issue Summary: Representative Jeff Grisamore (R-Lee’s Summit) is sponsoring legislation to create the “Show-Me Healthy Babies Program” as a separate Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the unborn children of pregnant women up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Grisamore presented House Bill 1063 and House Bill 1065 to the House Committee on Children, Families, and Disabilities last week, one of which is

Missouri Debates Rules Covering Pill-Based Chemo

JEFFERSON CITY — There’s little debate over the advantages of treating cancer with a pill compared to intravenously.

Conventional IV chemotherapy comes with a litany of side effects, often kills healthy cells along with cancer and must be administered in a medical facility. Oral chemotherapy, by contrast, has fewer and less severe side effects and can be taken at home.

How much that pill should cost is a different matter altogether.

Lawmakers are considering legislation making Missouri the 28th state to bar insurance companies from charging higher co-payments and deductibles for chemotherapy medication taken in pill form.

Missouri Moves Legislation to Expand Medicaid Managed Care Statewide

A bill that would expand the Medicaid Managed Care program has begun its journey through the legislative process. Senate Bill 518, filed by Senator David Sater (R-Cassville), was voted out of the Senate Committee on Seniors, Families, and Pensions. Specifically, this bill would extend the current MO HealthNet program statewide by January 1, 2015. The program would be extended to all eligible groups enrolled in a managed care plan as of January 1, 2015.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Insurance Navigators

Posted by Dave Berry Gate Way Group Contact: David Jackson  Senate Hears Bill to Tighten Regulations on Navigators: The introduction of health insurance navigators through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has prompted strong defensive efforts from health insurance agents. Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) presented Senate Bill 498 on Tuesday in the Senate Small Business, Insurance,[…]