Governor Baker signs bill to overhaul insurance prescription practice


Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday signed a bill to restrict the practice in which some patients are forced to try and fail on insurance-preferred treatments before their insurer approves a more expensive option prescribed by doctor.

“On behalf of the dozens of patient groups who have worked so hard on this issue, we are thrilled that Governor Baker has signed it into law,” said Marc Hymovitz of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, who led the coalition. supporting the bill. “This law puts treatment decisions back in the hands of doctors and patients, where they belong. It ensures that patients will get the drugs they need in a timely manner.”

Final votes on the so-called Step Therapy Bill (H 4929) came after the House passed an amendment by Rep. John Lawn (H 5258) addressing the number of days allotted for appeals under the law Project. The final bill asks insurers to process step therapy calls within three business days or 24 hours in an emergency.

Senator John Keenan said the bill would help patients with multiple sclerosis by allowing them to continue with the treatments that are right for them even if their health insurer changes their formulary or the patient needs to change insurance coverage .

“People with MS need early and continued access to the disease-modifying therapy that works best for them in order to slow disease progression,” said Laura Hoch, senior advocacy officer for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in a statement. by Keenan’s office. “This legislation will help ensure continuity of care in their MS treatments and will not be forced to take medications that they know don’t work for them.”

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