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Our Issues

The CSRO is at the forefront of state, federal, and payer policies working to grant access, affordability, and relief for the rheumatology community. Our advocacy work focuses on educating members of Congress and state legislatures to achieve the mission of the CSRO: ensuring access to the highest quality care for the management of rheumatologic and musculoskeletal disease.

CSRO Priority Issues:

  • Drug Supply Chain and Pricing Reform – The CSRO is actively working to reform and regulate the harmful practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which are located at the center of the drug supply chain model.
  • Step Therapy/Fail First – through our leadership in the State Access to Innovative Medicine (SAIM) Coalition, CSRO leads on-the-ground coalition work in target states.
  • Non-Medical Switching – CSRO supports protecting currently-stable patients from switching medications for non-medical reasons within a plan year. We work with the KeepMyRx Coalition in supporting non-medical switching legislation.
  • Specialty Pharmacy Mandates – Many rheumatology practices currently use the “buy and bill” method of acquisition for provider-administered drugs. Payers have begun to challenge this process through mandates such as “white-bagging,” which CSRO  actively campaigns against.
  • Accumulator Adjustment Program & Maximisers – Co-pay assistance is the only means many patients have to afford medically necessary medications. CSRO supports policy that would ensure co-pay assistance be counted towards a patient’s out-of-pocket maximum or help meet their deductible.
  • Prior Authorization – This administrative burden distracts from the provision of high-quality care and costs health systems close to a billion dollars annually. CSRO supports uniformed PA policies.

CSRO has been at the forefront of some of the greatest policy advances for rheumatology providers and their patients. Through the active participation of CSRO leadership, member organizations, and the broader community, we make advocacy work:

  • The CSRO facilitated the creation of both the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers (NORM) and the Alliance of Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP). These two pivotal organizations have amplified the rheumatology voice with payers, CMS, and state lawmakers across the country.
  • Step Therapy/Fail First state policies have been key to helping patients override unnecessary protocols to access the medication that would work best for them in a timely manner. Through our work with the State Access to Innovative Medicine (SAIM) Coalition, over half of the states have passed legislation granting improved access for patients. CSRO is the current Chair of the organization and has taken leadership roles in heading state coalition activities for identified state targets.
  • Payer policy revisions and mandates have increased exponentially in the last five years. CSRO has been successful in helping overturn non-medical switching practices and protecting current patients by having them grandfathered into the original coverage policy. These payer issues also include reimbursement changes in coding and changes to acquisition models that have a significant impact on our providers.
  • CSRO leadership participates in numerous Hill meetings throughout the year, which includes a federal fly-in that is hosted by the CSRO for leadership and advocates from our member organizations. Federal meetings are also held with CMS and individual MACs to discuss ongoing issues impacting the practice of rheumatology.

CSRO Advocacy Resources:

  • Legislative Map Tool – This tool will allow you to learn about existing and pending state and federal CSRO priority issues. This includes opportunities to submit letters in support or opposition to the issues highlighted in your state.
  • Action Center – The CSRO uses Voter-Voice as the official engagement platform for advocates, which allows you to communicate directly with your legislators. The process only takes a few minutes to complete and is an easy, impactful way to engage with your elected officials.
  • Policy Correspondence Archive – All of CSRO’s policy letters submitted to state, federal and payers are uploaded to the website for easy access by members and the broader community.