‘CONTINUITY OF CARE BILL’ EARNS SUPPORT TESTIMONY
A proposed state bill that would protect patients from the sudden and potentially dangerous substitution of medications due to insurance terms received expert support from Ohio State during proponent testimony at the Statehouse on March 10.
Stacy Morton, a medication assistance program coordinator with the OSU Comprehensive Transplant Center, supported House Bill (HB) 453, called the “Continuity of Care Bill,” by emphasizing that substitutions of medication for insurance purposes, especially when it comes to transplant immunosuppression prescriptions, can be unsafe to patients.
"These changes have forced healthcare teams to scramble to adjust the patient’s care plan and drug combinations just before surgery, resulting in combinations that were not first-line therapy,” Morton said. “Also, patients could suffer graft rejections, lose their grafts or potentially lose their lives if multiple drug changes are allowed to occur.”
HB 453 would protect patients by prohibiting sudden substitution with other formulations of medications without proper notification.
"People who chose a particular health plan because it provided good coverage of their existing medications deserve the assurance of continuity in that coverage,” says Jennifer Carlson, assistant vice president for government affairs at the OSUCCC-James. “We need to ensure that ample notice is given to the patient and provider when changes are made in the formulary.”