Why you should get involved with patient advocacy in the new year

| Amy Prentice

As we celebrate the start of a new year, NPF’s State Advocacy and Government Relations team is preparing to kick off our state policy campaigns. We are searching for patients and health care providers who can help us with our ambitious agenda: to improve access to treatments through policy changes.

 

Step therapy

Like recent years, our first policy priority is passing legislation that provides an exemption process to step therapy. Known as “fail first” policy, step therapy is a tool frequently used by insurance companies that requires patients to try – and fail – on one or more medications before granting coverage for the treatment originally prescribed by their doctor. Patients are increasingly subjected to this process, hindering their ability to properly treat their disease. Seventeen states have already passed step therapy exemptions. We plan to continue the momentum and build on those successes. 

NPF staff have identified 13 states for step therapy legislation: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and Washington. If you are a resident of one of these states, you can learn more about getting involved at steptherapy.com

High out-of-pocket costs

Our second policy priority is addressing high out-of-pocket costs. Too often patients are unable to afford their treatments, forcing them to make tough decisions like sacrificing other expenses or abandoning treatment. We’ve targeted eight states for bills that will lower high treatment costs: Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania.  

We’ve already launched our out-of-pocket efforts with a comprehensive three-part webinar series. If you are a resident of any of these eight states and if you struggle with high out-of-pocket costs, please email aprentice@psoriasis.org for details on how to get involved.

Other ways to support our state efforts

Patient advocacy can be as easy as sending a quick Twitter or Facebook post. You can craft letters or personally meet with your state lawmakers at the Capitol or their local office. Your attendance at a town hall meeting, bill hearing or an NPF Advocacy Day in your state is also extremely valuable. NPF team members work with each advocate individually to ensure you feel comfortable and are prepared to engage in one or all of these activities. 

If you’re looking for a higher level of engagement, you can join one of our regional Advocacy Action Networks. These networks are composed of patients and health care providers trained in our policy priorities and kept up-to-date on all of our state activities through monthly conference calls and occasional emails. The Advocacy Action Networks are designed to both regularly support and raise awareness of our advocacy efforts. 

If you would like to learn more about one or all of these advocacy initiatives, contact us at aprentice@psoriasis.org. The patient and provider voice is crucial to our success. You can make a difference!

 


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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