BOSTON (WWLP) – The legislature ended formal sessions in August, but some bills are still making their way through the process.
Governor Baker signed off on a bill dealing with Step Therapy. Step therapy can be an extremely frustrating process, especially for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. It is a practice also known as “fail first.” Insurers will make patients try and fail on less expensive treatment options before insurers will approve a more expensive option that is recommended by a physician.
A physician told 22News, “Step therapy adds a needless, needless bureaucratic burdens to getting the care that they need. So with this new law, we’re reforming step therapy, we provide a process for patients to get the treatment they and their doctors feel like they need.”
Both the House and Senate passed their respective bills before Formal Session ended in August, but they did not come to an agreement until late October. The disagreement was in how many days were allotted for appeals under the bill.
The final version of the bill will mandate insurers process appeals in three business days or in 24 hours in emergency cases. That will go into effect on October 1st of 2023.
More than 50 patients and provider groups across the Bay State supported this legislation. The law does not ban step therapy completely, but what it does is puts patient protections in place.