The Oregon Rheumatology Alliance continues to battle for patient access to treatments and to maintain the physician's independence in regard to medical management of diseases.
ORA 2011 Updates
ORA sent a letter to the President of Health Net of Oregon regarding the practice of using home infusions for Actemra, Orencia IVIG and Reclast. Based on our request, Health Net has agreed to support the use of Actemra and Orencia in the physician's office. ORA reached an agreement of on-site care for IVIG and Reclast.
ORA supported Senate Bill 724, which would have prevented Mid-Stream Insurance Contract Changes. Other organizations such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, The Arthritis Foundation - Pacific Northwest Chapter, The Psoriasis Foundation, and many more supported this bill as well. Unfortunately, this bill died in the Senate shortly after it was introduced.
ORA was part of the process in introducing Senate Bill 675, which would have required health insurers and third party administrators to use standard prior authorization forms prescribed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services. This bill was turned down, and now this group is working on attaching the amendments to SB 94, generated by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
ORA sponsored Senate Bill 864 in the 2009 legislative session. This bill was introduced by ORA to Senator Vicki Walker, and would have prohibited forced off-label prescribing by the insurer. Our members testified and met with each of the Senate Health Care Committee but the bill was tabled after extensive lobbying by the insurance industry.
In March 2009, the ORA Board of Directors sent a letter to the Director of the Center for Drug and Health Plan Choice (CMS) regarding the 2010 Call Letter. Suggestions were made to alter wording in the section "Use of off-label indications". The call letter was released on March 30th. Please click here to see a copy of the final call letter.
Several editorials have been written and published regarding access issues. To see copies of the editorials, visit the "advocacy articles" section of this website.
ORA has maintained a working relationship with the OMA, the Psoriasis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation. We will be moving forward together regarding a legislative effort on behalf of medical access issues. You can find a link to each of these organizations web sites by visiting the "ORA Affiliates" page of this website.
ORA Board of Directors continues to educate health care insurers and purchasers. Due to the complex nature of rheumatic disease, treatment needs to be individualized and rheumatologists should be making treatment decisions for their patients.