Posted: March 15, 2017
It was another active week for step therapy legislation across the country; here are some highlights from New Mexico and Texas.
After getting off to a successful start, two step therapy bills in New Mexico are now being met with resistance by some state legislators, bringing their progress towards becoming law to an unfortunate halt. HB 244, introduced in the New Mexico House on January 25 by Representative Liz Thomas, passed the House floor on March 4 and was sent to the Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee. Following a hearing last Friday, the bill was passed by the Corporations & Transportation Committee and referred to the Senate Finance Committee. SB 179, also introduced on January 25 by Senator Liz Stefanics, was next supposed to be heard on the Senate floor but unfortunately was derailed due to pressure from insurance companies and instead was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
As of now, both HB 244 and SB 179 have not been scheduled for a hearing by the Committee and there is fear that it will not be heard at all. With time quickly running out, the CSRO urges the Committee to give these bills the attention they deserve and schedule them for a hearing as soon as possible.
SB 680, a step therapy bill introduced in the Texas Senate by Senator Kelly Hancock on January 31, cleared its first major hurdle when it passed unanimously out of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee yesterday. This bill, like the ones in New Mexico, seeks to place important limits on step therapy protocols and is thus crucial for ensuring the protection of a patient’s ability to receive safe, accessible, and appropriate care. The CSRO applauds Senator Hancock and the Members of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee for supporting this important legislation.