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AWIR Advocacy Newsletter
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AWIR ADVOCACY NEWSLETTER
As part of the multifaceted benefits of the Association of Women in Rheumatology we are initiating an Advocacy newsletter to assist our members in the prominent  advocacy issues that face our specialty now. With MACRA, MIPS, Alternative payment models, FDA regulations and CMS proposals in the news, we must remain informed and be ready to challenge any issue that would impede access to patient care.
The immediate issues upon us now include:
  • MACRA ( Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015)
  • CMS proposal for pilot program to cut benefits to Medicare beneficiaries
  • STEP Edit for savings to healthcare systems in many states
The current Opiod crisis necessitates information about Electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS). And let's not forget Biosimiliars! They are here and the FDA has guidelines about use of these products in the US.
 
Partnering  with your State society, Coalition of State Rheumatology Organization (CSRO), American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and the Arthritis Foundation will assist you in staying informed and active in our quest to deliver the best care to all of our patients. It is imperative for us to be knowledgeable  and active advocates for ourselves and our patients.

Stay informed with this inaugural ADVOCACY NEWSLETTER ISSUE. The Association of Women in Rheumatology is your partner along with our allied partners in continuing advocacy for our patients.

 
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The MACRA makes 3 important changes to how Medicare pays those who give care to Medicare beneficiaries. These changes include: ending SGR for determining Medicare payments; making a new framework for rewarding health care providers for giving better care; combining our existing quality reporting programs into one system. Basic and frequently asked queries about this new system are noted in this extensive directive from CMS.gov.
 

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs.html

 
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Step Therapy has become popular with many insurers to contain medication costs. This Fail First policy requires patients to fail one or more covered medications. Patients with rheumatic diseases cannot afford to do this, as this may have adverse affects on their health. See what this policy is and be informed, to assist your patients in your state.
 

http://www.csro.info/failfirst

 
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CMS has recently released a rule on part B Drug Payment Model. If implemented this would be disastrous for our senior patients. AWIR and many other organizations have weighed in on this issue with letters. There is still time to add your voice!.
With information from the American College of Rheumatology includes see the rule, the call for comments and a message from our Government Affairs Chair.
 

http://www.rheumatology.org/Learning-Center/Publications-News/RheumWATCH/ID/733/ACR-RheumWATCH-March-17-2016


Write to CMS and encourage your patients to submit letters using this easy link. Every voice counts!

https://infusioncenter.org/fixpartb
 
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Biosimiliars are here! The FDA has a regulatory guideline for approval of these products in the US. Know the facts about these products and stay informed.
 

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/HowDrugsareDevelopedandApproved/ApprovalApplications/TherapeuticBiologicApplications/Biosimilars/UCM428732.pdf

 
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With the opioid crisis in the headline news and affecting every physician that treats pain, being knowledgeable about electronic prescriptions for controlled substances is a  must. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has many resources for you to review. A few frequently asked queries may help you now.

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/ecomm/e_rx/faq/faq.htm
 
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