Advocacy

Highlights from CSRO

posted: September 23, 2019

CHICAGO – The annual meeting of the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) commenced on September 13 and 14, boasting legislative victories and inspiring action on issues affecting the practice of rheumatology.

United States Senator Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, a practicing gastroenterologist, kicked off the meeting discussing the challenges legislators face when healthcare issues are presented to them.

Other lawmakers from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Virginia were on hand to discuss the impact advocates from the medical community can have not only seeing a bill passed, but crafting language that meets with standards of care. Processes that interfere with quality care include step-therapy, accumulator adjustment programs and non-medical switching.  The Honorable Cyndi Munson from the Oklahoma House of Representatives shared the impact advocates from the medical community had on the uncontested passing of non-medical switching legislation in her state.

Attendees learned about other 2019 successes as well as upcoming challenges. To date, a total of eight states signed step-therapy reform measures into law, four states addressed accumulator adjustment programs, ARIZONA being one of them, and two states are poised to protect patients from non-medical switching.

Attendees engaged in an “Advocacy Boot Camp”; participating in a Mock Committee Hearing, Media Training and Relationship building that focused on how and when to share information with legislators.

Attendees were presented with a legislative and regulatory federal update given by Emily Graham, RHIA, CCS, on issues impacting rheumatologists and their patients.

Finally, attendees were entertained by Dr. Kevin Pho who presented on the role of social media in medicine and the benefits it can bring to advocacy for those in the rheumatology profession.

Let us, rheumatology providers in Arizona, continue to engage in advocacy efforts by discussing with our legislators the impact step-therapy and non-medical switching have on patients access to care.  Let us share with them standards of care that need be considered in all health care legislation.