Wenstrup Recognized as an Advocate for Patients By The Hemophilia Federation of America
Washington, June 6, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) received the Hemophilia Federation of America’s Champion Award in recognition of his work advocating on behalf of patients across America. In particular, the Hemophilia Federation of America applauded Wenstrup’s introduction of the bipartisan Restoring the Patient’s Voice Act, (H.R. 2077), which is designed to give providers increased autonomy in determining the care that is best for their patients.
“I am proud to serve as an advocate in Congress for patients across America who have experienced firsthand the health hazards of one-size-fits-all policies that don’t account for their unique medical history or the recommendations of their doctor,” said Dr. Wenstrup. “Instead, we need to continue working to streamline the process to empower patients who require more individualized care. The doctor-patient relationship is a cornerstone of quality healthcare and working to restore it benefits all Americans.”
“We offer our thanks and are pleased to honor Congressman Wenstrup with our Champion Award for his leadership in protecting the doctor-patient relationship and patient access to appropriate and individualized treatment,” said Kimberly Haugstad, CEO & President of the Hemophilia Federation of America.
The Hemophilia Federation of America’s ‘Champion’ Award is given to Members of Congress for their work in healthcare on behalf of the patient community.
Legislative background: Currently, when a physician prescribes a particular drug treatment for a patient, the patient’s insurance company may require them to try a less expensive treatment, or series of treatments, first, before they can have access to the drug originally prescribed by their physician. The patient is not able to try the second treatment until the first one is proven to “fail.” This protocol is known as “step therapy” and is understandably deployed by insurance companies as they strive to control costs while maintaining quality care.
Unfortunately, step therapy protocols often ignore a patient’s medical history, such as whether they have already tried certain drugs under a different health insurance plan, or if they have other medical conditions that might interfere with the drug’s effect. It may also not take into account whether a certain drug’s side effects will impact the patient’s ability to perform their job, or if the patient would prefer a drug that has a different ingestion method or dosage form. While many insurance companies that utilize step therapy have a process for patients to receive exceptions, it can be unclear, resulting in excessive back and forth between the provider and the insurance company, and delaying care.
The Restoring the Patient’s Voice Act would require employer-sponsored health plans that utilize step therapy protocols to establish a clear, effective, and fair exceptions process to allow patients to bypass the step therapy requirements in limited circumstances.
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