Feature

HHS to target step therapy, Stark Law in 2019


 

Addressing issues related to step therapy and adapting the Stark Law for a value-based care environment are on the Department of Health & Human Service’s agenda this year, according to agency Secretary Alex M. Azar II.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar speaking at the AMA National Advocacy Conference, Feb. 12, 2019 Gregory Twachtman/MDedge News

HHS Secretary Alex Azar speaking at the AMA National Advocacy Conference, Feb. 12, 2019.

Speaking Feb. 12 at the American Medical Association’s National Advocacy Conference, Secretary Azar said the agency will be looking into ensuring that patients on medical plans who have found a working drug after going through a step-therapy protocol will not have to restart on a drug that has already failed for them if they switch insurance providers.

“I was very disturbed to hear that stable patients switching among insurance plans, like switching among Medicare Advantage plans, can often be required to start over again on a step therapy regimen,” he said.

“This is not just potentially injurious to their health, it’s also penny-wise and pound-foolish,” Secretary Azar continued. “We know that getting a patient on the right drug, at the right time, is one of the best investments we can make in their health, and we do not want to impede physicians from making that happen. We’re looking at how we can address that issue now.”

The other area Secretary Azar highlighted that the agency is working on is making changes to the Stark Law.

Next Article: