Bill Will Help Patients with Ongoing Rx Needs Get Their Medications at One Time

Armstrong Introduces Bill to Help Patients
with Ongoing Rx Needs Get Their Medications at One Time

‘Prescription Synchronization’ Cuts Trips to Pharmacy, Helps Patients Stick to Med Schedule

 

Rep. Deborah Armstrong, a long-time health care advocate and member of the House Health Committee, has introduced legislation, HB 274, which would require health insurance plans in the state to cover prescriptions for less than a 30-day supply of a medication, if that prescription is written in an effort to synchronize the refills of multiple, ongoing medications taken by the patient.

“Many New Mexicans – especially our seniors – take more than one prescription medication each day,” Armstrong said. “Unless the refills of those prescriptions are synchronized, patients can end up going to their pharmacy three or more times each month to pick up the medications they need on an ongoing basis. That can be a great hardship for many patients and can lead to missed refills and missed medications, jeopardizing patient health.”

In order to address the issue, HB 274 would amend the Health Care Purchasing Act to include a section on prescription synchronization. The only impact that the change would have on coverage providers would be their need to cover the less-than-30-day supply prescriptions that would be required to get all of a patient’s prescription refills on the same schedule. Once the prescriptions are synchronized, they would be covered as usual by the plan provider.

“Prescription medications are a critical part of health care,” Armstrong said. “Being able to regularly and easily get prescriptions refilled will make it simpler for patients to take the medications they need on an ongoing basis, which will ultimately help New Mexicans stay healthier.”

HB 274 has been referred to the House Health Committee and the Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee. It is expected to be heard in its first committee next week.

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About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie is a long-time health care advocate. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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