Oklahoma state senator information payments to focus on value of diabetes care


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma state senator has tabled several bills to reduce the cost of diabetes in Oklahoma.

In the state of Sooner, more than 450,000 adults have diabetes and more than 1 million have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Senator Carrie Hicks (D-OKC) has a son with type 1 diabetes and is co-chair of the Legislative Diabetes Caucus.

One of the main problems, according to Hicks, is that public and private health plans cover long-term diabetes complications, but not individual care.

“The pandemic has made the urgent need for the state to address major healthcare reform in the individual, small group, public and employer health insurance markets even more urgent. This is especially true for those with diabetes who are at higher risk for COVID-19, ”Hicks said. “Affordable insulin is the foundation of diabetes management for every third person with diabetes – but insulin is only part of a mosaic of drugs, medical devices, software, consumables, services, nutritional therapy, and education about diabetes self-management disease requirements. “

Hicks has filed seven bills addressing copay caps, pass-through discounts, billing transparency, IRS federal guidelines, standards of care, and non-medical switching.

  • SB 979 limits the total cost of a 30-day supply of insulin to $ 25 and a 30-day supply of FDA-cleared diabetes devices and accessories to $ 100
  • SB 721 creates the Act on Access to Life-Saving Medicines and requires that all discounts, rebates, price concessions and fees related to a point-of-sale prescription drug entitlement be passed on to the consumer.
  • SB 165 instructs the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) to compile a list of the prescription drugs that are considered essential to the treatment of diabetes and the annual cost of those drugs.
  • According to SB 589, pharmaceutical manufacturers must inform OID about certain price increases for diabetes drugs.
  • With SB 990, insured persons can set aside tax-free funds for certain medical expenses under private health insurance plans with high deductibles for diabetes equipment, supplies and related services.
  • According to SB 861, health insurance coverage in Oklahoma must meet the standards of care of the American Diabetes Association.
  • SB 468 prohibits changes to prescription drug insurance once approved by the insurer.

“Now is the time to invest in prevention,” said Hicks. “The shift is better for everyone, and a smarter investment of health dollars for the payers, especially in the face of a diabetes epidemic.”

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