Urge Assembly Health Committee to Support Bill That Would Prioritize Patient Safety Over Insurance Company Profits

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Action needed: 

Write to the Assembly Health Committee, urging legislators to support CHA-sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 958 (Limón, D-Santa Barbara, and Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge). This important bill would protect medication safety for patients by preventing health plans from mandating the use of third-party vendors for specialty drugs. CHA has prepared a template letter and key messages for your use.  

Please send your letters to Emily Schroeder at [email protected]

Timing:

Please send your letters by June 22.

Background:

In the past few years, insurance companies have begun mandating the use of third-party vendors for specialty medications administered at hospitals — despite increased risks for children and adults with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. In this practice, known as “white-bagging,” an insurance company or pharmacy benefit manager selects an off-site pharmacy to deliver delicate medications on a patient-by-patient basis to hospitals. 

This creates a host of potentially deadly problems, including improperly stored medication, delays in treatment, unnecessary changes in treatment plans, and upheaval for patients who must reschedule care. To ensure patient safety and the best clinical outcomes, legislation is needed to prevent insurance companies from putting their needs above patients’ needs. SB 958 would not outlaw white-bagging but would disallow this practice when it is not in the best interest of the patient.