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Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

On Friday March 24, after many months of review, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) held a public meeting in Boston, MA to discuss evidence findings on treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ICER is a non-profit organization that reviews the effectiveness of medications and their costs. Throughout the RA treatment review, we continuously engaged with ICER, pushing ICER to consider the unique perspectives of individual patients, their caregivers and providers. During the March 24 meeting, we played a vital role, presenting patient-centered research, asserting the patient voice and displaying strong leadership on behalf of the arthritis community. To kick the ...more
Juvenile Arthritis Camps: Why JA Camp is an Experience You Can't Miss

Juvenile Arthritis Camps: Why JA Camp is an Experience You Can't Miss

From Mobile, Alabama to the shores of Waialua, Hawaii, the Arthritis Foundation is proud to host camp programs for kids with juvenile arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases. Camp programs provide a safe and secure camping experience for both children and teens. Some locations also offer family camps – an opportunity for the entire family to attend together. Katy Carter of Los Angeles says, “When our daughter Rhiannon was seven years old, she wanted to meet other kids with arthritis. She wanted to know that she wasn’t alone, that there were other kids just like her. This was a defining moment in our ...more
35 Attend Capitol Day in Pennsylvania Advocating for Prior Authorization and Copay Cap Bills

35 Attend Capitol Day in Pennsylvania Advocating for Prior Authorization and Copay Cap Bills

Families, physicians and patients gathered in Harrisburg, PA on March 28 to learn more about potential legislation that could affect access to care and meet with their legislators to enlist their help. They shared their stories with legislators and asked them to cosponsor the prior authorization bill and the copay cap bill. It was an impactful day of relationship building using personal stories to communicate the urgent need for support and passage of these bills. If enacted, the prior authorization bill will standardize prior authorization protocols and streamline access to vital medications. The copay cap bill will limit the cost of ...more
Volunteer Kick-Starts Successful Louisiana Walk To Cure Arthritis Event

Volunteer Kick-Starts Successful Louisiana Walk To Cure Arthritis Event

Born on July 4, Geoff and Sara Morthland called red-haired Ellery their “firecracker,” but at 19 months old, only Ellery’s knees were inflamed. They soon discovered the reason: juvenile arthritis (JA). “I felt so powerless, Sara Morthland, Ellery’s mother, said. “I couldn’t make it go away.” The Baton Rouge, Louisiana resident turned emotion into action and searched for a fundraiser supporting an arthritis cure. When she discovered Walk to Cure Arthritis, Sara was elated—only to learn Louisiana did not have a Walk. Sara and Ellery Determined to raise awareness and find a cure for her daughter, Sara set out to launch the first ...more
Step Therapy Win in West Virginia!

Step Therapy Win in West Virginia!

Step therapy is a cost saving tactic used by insurers that requires people with arthritis and other potentially debilitating conditions to try and fail lower-cost medications before covering more expensive treatments. In other words, insurance companies oftentimes disregard treating physicians’ knowledge of their patients and related expertise, forcing patients to try cheaper medications, all to save a few dollars. Margaret Gnegy, Chris Poe, Delegate Kelly, Doshia Petry, Cathy Schrader, Pam Fields (L-R) Sponsored by Delegate John Kelly, House Bill 2300 was signed into law and establishes a clear channel for patients and practitioners to request an override when an insurance provider levies ...more
Stop the Fish Oil Aftertaste

Stop the Fish Oil Aftertaste

Yes, you can reap all the benefits from your inflammation-fighting fish oil supplements without the fishy taste. Don’t let your fish oil supplements linger on a kitchen shelf because it causes fishy burps. Follow these five tips to minimize this unpleasant problem and still get your helping of omega-3 essential fatty acids: Keep the Bottle in the Freezer When a fish oil capsule is frozen, the fish oil is broken down in the stomach more slowly, which can reduce the aftertaste. Choose Enteric Coating Some brands, such as Kirkland Signature and Nature’s Way, offer capsules with enteric coating, which prevents them from being digested until they reach ...more
Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals

Arthritis-Friendly Freezer Meals

When you are tired and achy from your arthritis, a hot, nutritious meal at the end of the day may be just what you need – but preparing it can create even more pain and exhaustion. Instead of toiling to prepare a meal full of anti-inflammatory foods every night, registered dietitian Sara Haas, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends making meals in bulk and freezing them. At the end of a long day, all you have to do is reheat and serve. Freezing meals, Haas says, “Is a great way to get balanced, more healthful meals in the ...more
Battling Arthritis Burnout

Battling Arthritis Burnout

Worn out from dealing with your disease? Never-ending appointments, medication refills, insurance paperwork, and diet and exercise worries can take a toll. Living with a chronic disease can be exhausting, even without the fatigue that comes with being ill. Chronically ill people often feel burdened and burned out from coping with pain and illness while also managing their treatment and daily work-life demands, says Mary Anderson, a specialist in health psychology at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston. And when patients feel burned out, they’re less likely to take care of themselves, says Mayo Clinic rheumatologist and researcher John Davis III, MD. It ...more
Success at Summit! Advocates Meet with Congress as American Health Care Act Released

Success at Summit! Advocates Meet with Congress as American Health Care Act Released

The 2017 Advocacy Summit was held March 6-7 in Washington, DC, and while the outcome is still developing, we are very pleased with the results thus far. Arthritis affects people regardless of age or origin, so it was no surprise that this year’s Summit attendees were a mix of all ages from coast to coast. More than 400 people from 45 states attended. Summit attendees participated in a variety of educational programs, all designed to help them better understand issues that are affecting easy access to affordable care, and how to communicate to policymakers the devastating effects of arthritis and critical need for ...more
Help Your Partner Cope with Your Arthritis

Help Your Partner Cope with Your Arthritis

Does your partner cope with the ups and downs of your arthritis by keeping his or her frustrations and fears on lockdown? Does he or she try to micromanage problems away? Understanding your partner’s coping style can make you both happier and healthier. Understanding what’s behind your partner’s behavior can be an important step toward a stronger relationship, says Nancy Ruddy, PhD, a clinical psychologist at McCann Health in Mountain Lakes, N.J. Couples can get locked into unhelpful patterns that negatively affect health, but strengthening your bond makes for a happier relationship and can improve your health. For example, research shows people ...more