The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians is a member of the Ohio Step Therapy Coalition, a group supporting Senate Bill (SB) 243 and House Bill (HB) 443, bills currently being heard in both the House and Senate to reform the step therapy process used by insurers to control their costs. Coalition members have written a jointly signed letter to Senate Medicaid Committee Chair Dave Burke (R-Marysville, OH) and House Insurance Committee Chair Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania, OH) asking that they move these pieces of legislation prior to the Ohio General Assembly’s summer recess.
Step therapy is a one-size-fits-all policy and for many physicians and patients it has become a barrier to getting the right care at the right time. Step therapy can undermine physicians’ ability to effectively treat patients, lower quality of care, and lead to set backs and disease progression for patients.
Neither bill prohibits insurers from using step therapy, but seeks to balance cost containment with patient needs. HB 443 and SB 243 protect patients by ensuring that step therapy programs are based on clinical guidelines developed by independent experts and that the exceptions process for step therapy is transparent and accessible to patients and physicians and other health care professionals.