In October, I joined forces with fellow Arthritis Foundation advocates to testify on step therapy reform. We traveled to the Massachusetts State House in Boston and shared our stories with legislators. Testifying at a bill hearing may seem intimidating, but here are my tips for making it less scary.
Legislators want to hear from their constituents. They appreciate you taking the time to come and weigh in on a bill that matters to you. It if helps you, bring notes to reference.
Remember, its impossible for legislators to know about every bill being debate, so it is our job to educate our legislators on what is happening to the millions of Americans with arthritis.
Legislators don’t expect you to know everything about the bill. In the unlikely event that they ask you a question and you don’t know the answer it is perfectly appropriate to say “I am not sure, but will follow up with you to get the answer.” Then the staff from the arthritis foundation can help find the answer!
No one knows your story better then you do.
That is why you are at the hearing to testify; to share your story and to show how the legislation can impact millions of patients just like you.
You have the chance to make a difference and you CAN do it! With these tips, you’ll be ready to share your story and advocate on legislation that would make a difference to the arthritis community. Remember, elected officials are just like you and me!
You can take action today by sending a message to your legislator about federal step therapy reform via the Action Center. With just a few minutes, you can let your elected officials know that you support breaking down barriers to care for people with arthritis.
Read about what step therapy put a young arthritis patient through.
My name is Sophie Sherman, and I am a rising high school senior from Brookline, Massachusetts. When I was 11, my parents started to notice that I wasn’t acting like myself. Instead of spending time with my friends after school, I would take four-hour-long naps on the living room sofa. Instead of asking for seconds on pasta night, I would barely touch my plate. It seemed like everything I did, be it physical or mental, consumed every ounce of my energy. Continue reading Safe Step Act Needs Your Support
WI Governor Tony Evers Signs Step Therapy Bill with Arthritis Foundation Advocates Looking On Continue reading Wisconsin Step Therapy Reform Bill Signed into Law
In Pennsylvania, we’re working on legislation to streamline patient access to care. And we can’t do it alone. On June 5, Arthritis Foundation Advocates traveled to Harrisburg for a state legislative day. They shared their stories with legislators and asked for support on two important bills. Continue reading Advocates Gather in Harrisburg to Advocate for Patient Protections
The Arthritis Foundation is happy to announce that the Georgia legislature passed a new law this month that will protect Georgians who are living with arthritis. Continue reading New Georgia Law to Prevent Unnecessary Step Therapy Actions
Step therapy, also known as “fail first,” is a tool used by insurers that requires patients to try a less expensive treatment, or series of treatments, before they can access the drug originally prescribed by their physician. Overly burdensome step therapy requirements can jeopardize the patient-provider relationship and unnecessarily prolong ineffective treatment, preventing patients from immediately starting, or in some cases continuing, to access the most appropriate treatment recommended by their doctor. Continue reading Importance of Step Therapy Reform
On Wednesday, January 23, a group of Georgia Advocates gathered at the state capitol building to talk to legislators about step therapy reform. The event was attended by Advocates from across the state,including a mother and daughter who drove from three hours away to talk about the challenges they’ve faced getting access to their medications. The day included a visit from the bill sponsor, Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-43), a brief overview of current step therapy practices and role playing, as well as meetings with some of Georgia’s legislators.
Our Advocates talked to legislators about step therapy, which is an insurance practice that requires patients to use a lower-cost drug before permitting more expensive treatments, despite a physician’s recommendation. Rep. Cooper shared with our Advocates that her bill will create guardrails, allowing a physician to override a step therapy request if the requested medication will negatively react with a medication the patient is already taking, or if the patient has previously tried and failed that drug.
The bill has just been introduced and will go through the Georgia House and Senate chambers for review and votes. Please take a moment to take action by reaching out to your legislators and asking them to support step therapy reform in Georgia.
Living with arthritis can be a daily struggle. Your quality of health and life will be affected by how much you speak up for yourself. Here are some ways to be an effective self-advocate. Continue reading 5 Ways to Advocate for Yourself
It’s been a busy year for patient advocacy – with significant wins at the federal and state levels. Read on to get the scoop on the results of the midterm elections, our 2018 year in review, and a look at what 2019 has in store. Continue reading Looking Back, Looking Ahead
It’s Never Too Early to Think About Open Enrollment
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 are just now tuning into this series, check out our previous blog posts on accumulator adjustment programs, pharmacist gag orders, President Trump’s drug pricing blueprint, drug rebates, premium increases, and an update on the Affordable Care Act.
Continue reading TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series