NICA Hill Day 2023
National Infusion Center Association Hill Day
The National Infusion Center Association (NICA) had it’s annual Hill Day on September 13, 2023. NICA is a nonprofit trade association, representing provider-based infusion centers that offer a safe and more affordable alterative to hospital infusion settings. As the voice for provider based infusion centers, NICA has overcome countless barriers to care, access obstacles, and threats to infusion centers like ours at The Elliot Lewis Center.
NICA’s sister organization, The Infusion Access Foundation, also participated in Hill Day, representing the patient’s voice in access to care for infusion therapies. The mission of the Infusion Access Foundation is to mission is to expand access to provider-administered therapies and help patients live their best, healthiest lives.
As an advisory committee member of NICA and board member of Infusion Access Foundation, our Executive Director Marissa Shackleton attended Hill Day. She had the opportunity to represent both the infusion center and patient voices in meetings with congressional and senate offices, including Massachusetts offices of Senator Ed Markey and House Minority Whip Katherine Clark.
Two patient access issues were at the center of the discussions: Safe Step Act & HELP Copays Act.
The Safe Step Act requires insurers provide a clear process for patients and providers to access medications subject to a step therapy protocol, requiring exceptions be granted when meeting certain conditions such as the patient being stable on the requested medication. This would eliminate the ability of an insurer to mandate a patient switch therapies when they are stable on the medication.
The HELP Copays Act would prohibit the use of copay accumulator programs and require copay funds apply toward a patient’s out of pocket cost. This will continue to allow patients to access high cost medications by supporting the financial assistance programs designed to help patients.