SANTA FE ― Monday, a bipartisan bill to ensure patients get the right medication at the right time made history, and passed the House Floor.
Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Representatives Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), Monica Youngblood (R-Albuquerque) and Senators Elizabeth Stefanics (D-Cerrillos) and Gay G. Kernan (R-Hobbs), would improve “step therapy”, the practice used by insurance companies to cut costs by requiring patients to try more affordable treatment options before more expensive ones.
SB 11 would allow doctors to skip treatments that have already proven ineffective or harmful and prescribe more effective treatments first.
“Some patients aren’t getting the best, most effective care possible because of the ‘step therapy’ model imposed by insurance companies that doesn’t always work for patients when looking at their treatment options,” Thomson said. “This bill not only fixes that, but returns the patient to the center of their own treatment plan, ensuring their voice in advocating for their own care with their trusted doctor, not insurance companies.”
The current “step therapy” practices may leave patients suffering through less effective treatments or even worsening their conditions by delaying efficient treatment. SB 11 will allow patients and doctors to appeal “step therapy” practices to opt for more effective treatment options.
This bill is part of a multi-year effort to work on insurance reform, but has never made it to the Governor’s desk.