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100 State Advocacy Victories….and Counting!

100 State Advocacy Victories….and Counting!

The Arthritis Foundation reached a milestone in September, securing our 100th state legislative victory since 2014! Congratulations Advocates!! All of these victories were made possible due to all of you! Our victories occurred in 47 states plus Washington, DC, impacting more than 50 million people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and have focused on many patient access to care issues like: Step Therapy: Requires a patient to try a lower cost drug for a specific period of time before a higher cost drug is considered. Prior Authorization: Requires a provider to obtain approval before prescribing a new drug. Biosimilar Substitution: Requires that communication ...more
TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series - Rock and Enroll With Us This Open Enrollment Season

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series - Rock and Enroll With Us This Open Enrollment Season

It’s that time of year again! Leaves are changing, seasons are shifting and it’s officially time to kick off all things open enrollment. Learn the ins and outs of open enrollment so you have the tools to find the plan that works best for you. Start here with our 10 Tips for Managing Your Care Costs video – it’s  quick and easy, and in less than five minutes you’ll be 10 tips closer to mastering your health coverage. What exactly is open enrollment? The term open enrollment refers to the period every year when individuals can sign up for health insurance. Traditionally, this ...more
The Link Between Gout and Atrial Fibrillation

The Link Between Gout and Atrial Fibrillation

What does a disease that inflames your joints have to do with an erratic heart rhythm? Quite a lot, it turns out. Researchers have discovered that people with gout are at increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AFib). One recent study analyzed a sample of Medicare claims data from more than 1.6 million people ages 65 and older. Those with gout were up to 90 percent more likely to be diagnosed with AFib than those without gout. The risk was particularly high among elderly adults. The potential link between the two conditions underscores the need for gout patients to pay attention to their ...more
Interval Training: A HIIT for RA?

Interval Training: A HIIT for RA?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) tops the American College of Sports Medicine’s list of most popular workouts. According to a small study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, it might be just the ticket for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), too. HIIT is an aerobic, heart-pumping form of exercise where short bursts of maximum effort, usually lasting from 20 to 60 seconds, alternate with less intense recovery periods. Studies suggest that HIIT is as effective at burning calories and improving heart and lung health as steady-state exercises like running or biking. One 2018 meta-analysis found that HIIT was significantly better than moderately intense steady ...more
TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series - Association Health Plans

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series - Association Health Plans

We are continuing our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you’re just now tuning into this series, check out our previous advocacy blog posts here. In August, we kicked off a focus on health insurance benefits as we approach open enrollment this fall. This week, we take a closer look at association health plans. What are association health plans? As the term indicates, association health plans (AHPs) are a specific type of health plan that an employer group or an association can offer to their employees. A ...more
PsA Research Briefs: Comorbidities

PsA Research Briefs: Comorbidities

Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. PsA May Put Liver at Risk People with PsA may have an increased risk of liver disease, according to a new study that followed more than a million people for an average of 6 years. People with psoriasis were 37% more likely to develop liver disease than those without inflammatory diseases, the study found. Those with PsA were 38% more likely to have liver disorders. Taking methotrexate further increased their risk. SOURCE: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2018 Cardiovascular Risk Factors Undertreated A large percentage of patients with psoriasis and psoriatic ...more
Ambassador Spotlight - Stephanie Kwiecien

Ambassador Spotlight - Stephanie Kwiecien

Advocating for the arthritis community, says 27-year-old Stephanie Kwiecien, has restored the voice that bullying shut down. “Advocacy is really important to me because it gave me back the voice I thought I’d lost,” says Kwiecien, who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (now known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis) when she was 18 months old. During her elementary and middle school years, Kwiecien’s peers were unfazed by her condition and her teachers were understanding. But high school was different. Some classmates teased Kwiecien. “It all kind of happened in gym class. I limped, and I couldn’t run as fast as the others,” ...more
Meditation for RA and PsA

Meditation for RA and PsA

Meditation is good for your soul. Research shows it can also help ease pain caused by all types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and osteoarthritis (OA). For centuries, meditation has been used to help focus the mind and soothe the spirit. But scientific evidence suggests this ancient practice – particularly a modern form known as mindfulness meditation or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) – offers a variety of health benefits, including relief for chronic joint pain and skin disorders like psoriasis. The Research People with psoriasis were involved in some of the earliest research on mindfulness meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, ...more
Powerful Testimony at the 2018 JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting

Powerful Testimony at the 2018 JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting

Hundreds of patients and their families, FDA staff, industry leaders, and researchers convened in Washington, D.C. to participate in the externally-led JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting on August 2, 2018. The meeting served as a kickoff event to the 4-day Arthritis Foundation JA Conference East. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of juvenile arthritis (JA). In many children, it’s a life-long illness with a high risk of disease and treatment-related morbidity. There is no cure, and treatments for children are limited. This meeting, which is part of our strategy to help find a cure for this serious disease, ...more
From Washington State to Washington DC, the 2018 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Welcomed Over 1,800 Participants

From Washington State to Washington DC, the 2018 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference Welcomed Over 1,800 Participants

Each summer as school lets out and the weather starts to get warmer, there’s an excitement in the air felt all the way from Long Beach, California to the shores of Long Island, New York. There are always good reasons to be excited for some time off, but for many children, teens, young adults and their families affected by juvenile arthritis and related rheumatic diseases – the Arthritis Foundation’s National Juvenile Arthritis Conference has become the summer event to look forward to. Over two long weekends in late June and early August, more than 1,800 attendees made their way to Seattle, ...more